In honor of Western Week, this week’s ponderings:
What is your favorite Western movie?
For A Few Dollars More – Second of Leone’s Dollars trilogy.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – The third of Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, but actually a prequel to the other two. The most iconic and memorable of the trilogy, and commonly hailed as the greatest Western–and one of the best films of any genre–ever made.
Shane – The classic starring Alan Ladd as the drifting gunslinger Shane
Tombstone – Wyatt Earp and his boys bring justice to town. Features one of my favorite movie lines ever: “I’m your huckleberry.”
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the titled gang leader bank robbers.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre — Another of my dad’s favorites. Starring Hunphrey Bogart and Tim Holt, who go out to Mexico in the 1920s to prospect for gold.
High Noon – Gary Cooper stars as the lone, principled Marshall Kane, who takes on a whole bunch of baddies singlehanded. And gets to ride off into the sunset with Grace Kelley. Inspiration for Die Hard–you remember that first conversation between John McClaine and Hans Gruber, right?
3:10 to Yuma (2007) – Remake starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale is anything but a mere rehash. Stellar performances by all those involved.
No Country for Old Men – The contemporary western, film adaptation of the novel by Cormac McCarthy. You’ll never see Javier Bardem the same way again.
Once Upon a Time in the West – Sergio Leone masterpiece, starring Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda. Epic, with a capital E.
Unforgiven – Clint Eastwood’s tribute to Don Siegel and Sergio Leone, Eastwood takes every convention of the old western and turns them all topsy-turvy. Best Picture winner for 1992.
Three Amigos – Hilarious classic romp, poking fun at The Magnificent Seven. El Guapo! “Would you say I have a PLETHORA of pinatas?”
The Magnificent Seven – Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen make the ultimate, ensemble cowboy movie. *Hums theme music*
Maverick – To steal a line from Kristie, “before Mel was Mad!” he was a very entertaining actor. Very funny, witty film, with old Bret Maverick actor James Garner playing a major role.
The Missing – Anything Cate Blanchett acts in is an automatic winner for me. Tommy Lee Jones plays her estranged father in this touching, well executed (yet highly underrated) western.
Brokeback Mountain – Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver brave, moving performances in this bittersweet love story.
The Quick and the Dead – What? I really like this movie. What’s not to like? Look at that cast!