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Thread: Western Movies

  1. #1
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    Default Western Movies

    OK you limp wristed aesthetes, lets talk about manly films, films about cowboys, hetrosexual cowboys!

    i'm sick of seeing reccomendations of unwatchable arthouse dross from eastern europe.

    lets talk hawks, ford, leone!


    lets talk about how westerns are the best films going,better than gangster films even

  2. #2
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    My dad is a western kind of man. He only ever seemed to read books by J T Edson and Louis L'Amour. He loves western movies and has passed on that to me. I remember it being one of the few times we would both sit down together. He was always a straight down the line Wayne/Randolph Scott kind of guy. If asked to discuss his favourite film he'd probably plump for The Searchers or Red River. In fact his only real ambition is to go to Monument Valley when he retires.

    When i suggested some of the seventies 'new hollywood' westerns to him in my callow youth he turned his nose up - Redford should never be in a saddle (Tell Them Willy Boy Is Here) according to him. He just about managed to maintain a dignity when i mentioned McCabe and Mrs Miller. But i suppose for me it's things like The Missouri Breaks, The Great Northfield Raid, stuff like that that i partciularly enjoy.

    We both managed to agree on McMurty's Lonesome Dove but for probably very different reasons...and of course The Unforgiven. He even reckons Costner is an actor much better suited to the western than anything else.

    I still get a pang of excitement when i see that The Big Country is on on a saturday afternoon on BBC2 (or Giant, which is a kind of western) or High Noon or 3.10 to Yuma.

    Be interesting to hear what comes up out of this thread

  3. #3

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    Django is an absolute classic - beware of the endless remakes, most of them were dross.

    Fistful of Dynamite was OK.

    Sorry, that's all I can think of.

  4. #4
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    the wild bunch is great cos theres lots of killing in it. high noon is amazing, its about being a man. very important. once upon a time in the west is bettter than anything in the world. thats a proper film. the searchers is incredible, she wore a yellow ribbon, the spaggetti westerns with eastwood are all fun but not on the level of the ones i just mentioned, great though, plus morricone music, good the bad and the ugly etc. if you don't love those your mentally wrong in the head. josey wales, thats fun, how can you not like that.

  5. #5
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    stagecoach,some of the best characters in the history of cinema
    the man who shot liberty valance, mmmmm thats good
    red river yeah that too
    the billy the kid one with dylan, that one too

    those are real films

  6. #6
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    i can never tell if luka is joking or not... but here goes anyway:

    Ulzana's Raid (grim. burt lancaster + indian uprising)
    The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (Paul Newman + John Huston)
    The Ballad of Cable Hogue
    Bad Company (1972- civil war draft dodgers head west)
    The Long Riders
    Billy Two Hats (Gregory Peck)
    Little Big Man

    and then how about some Marlon Brando westerns:

    One Eyed Jacks (brilliant)
    The Appaloosa
    The Missouri Breaks (jack nicholson)

    One Eyed Jacks is from 1961 and is directed by Brando- well worth watching if you like spaghetti westerns or peckinpah
    The Missouri Breaks has some of Brando's most over-the-top acting ever...

    i could go on... i have a soft spot for 70s (non-spaghetti) 'stoner' westerns- the best example of which might be "Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid", which luka mentions above

  7. #7
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    i'm certainly not joking. i really do love westerns. and i'm pleased to see a whole list there which is completely unfamiliar. i'll try and see some of those.

  8. #8
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    I'm with Luka. Films you can watch. Most of the filns that ppl like on Dissensus I can't sit still for. No offence, like.

    For no reason at all I'm going to mention Hannibal Brooks, a quite fantastic Olly Reed WW2 prisoner escape caper movie featuring an elephant. Marvellous stuff.
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  9. #9

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    yes westerns are great

    some faves not mentioned yet...

    the gunfighter
    the man from laramie
    johnny guitar

    + the budd boetticher ones, The Tall T, Seven men From Now, Commanche Station etc... short and simple, beautifully formed westerns. quite hard to see some of them these days tho i think, sadly.

    unforgiven, the more recent eastwood one, might end up being the last really good western ever made maybe?

    lots of good spaghettis besides the leone ones too..

    Django mentioned before is great, some of the 'sequels' are alright too.

    also

    The Great Silence
    The Big Gundown
    My name is nobody
    A bullet for the general
    Companeros


  10. #10
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    For What it's worth:



    Michael Cimino's unsurpassed Heaven's Gate (the long, 4 hour un-butchered version), the definitive post-Vietnam revisionist-nihilist Western.

    Sam Peckinpah's work - Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, The Wild Bunch (and his urban-cowboy westerns, Straw Dogs and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia). [Of course, most of the later Vietnam movies are Western re-makes]



    John Ford: The Searchers, Stagecoach etc (and, not forgetting to mention, Akira Kurosawa's manifold Japanese adaptations).

    Oh, I almost forgot: Bad Day At BlackRock

    Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter (still his best work).

    [Comedy: Brooks' Blazing Saddles (almost a pomo remake of The Producers).

    I'd better not venture into D.W. Griffith territory ...


    Last edited by Padraig; 27-02-2006 at 11:06 PM.

  11. #11
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    what makes a western a "western"?...is it the hats?...the tumbleweeds?...the narrative?...'cos, John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 is a western in all but setting, essentially a remake of Rio Bravo...and movies like The Wild Bunch and The Unforgiven are great precisely because they critique the western narrative...

  12. #12
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    critiques of the western narrative are nice- but nothing beats a good hat

  13. #13

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    yes i think henry s is right, there's a good quote from Warshow, westerns are "an art form for connoisseurs, where the spectator derives his pleasure from the appreciation of minor variations within the working out of a pre-established order"

    these little variations and re-arrangements allowing interesting re-evaluations of the central themes, codes, morality etc of the western...

  14. #14
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    Henry S: and movies like The Wild Bunch and The Unforgiven are great precisely because they critique the western narrative...

    Eastwood's Unforgiven ostensibly critiques it only to viscerally, sadistically reinforce it in its violently revenge-deadlocked denouement.

    Mister Matthew: yes i think henry s is right, there's a good quote from Warshow, westerns are "an art form for connoisseurs, where the spectator derives his pleasure from the appreciation of minor variations within the working out of a pre-established order"

    Yes, but its the exceptions to such lazy genre re-affirmations that ultimately prove the most interesting, connoisseurs 'an all ...

    As to the Hat as master-narrative signifier:

    Its either him or her

    But as cowboys and their headcovers go, this one, The Cowboy, is the most ominous:




    Be very afraid, he's a close friend/agent of Tony Blair, and George Bush, and ...
    Last edited by Padraig; 27-02-2006 at 11:22 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Phallic Woman

    Samuel Fuller's 40 Guns (recently out on DVD, at least in the US), gorgeous widescreen black and white with Barbara Stanwyck as the phallic woman ("She's a high-riding woman with a whip...")

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