Author Topic: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films  (Read 5351 times)

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Online George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #90 on: October 12, 2018, 11:25:20 PM »
So has an original and remake ever made the same movie LoC before? I know in the Horror Film list, we split on both versions of Nosferatu (with neither making it)

And has anyone ever voted for both versions of a film on any LoC? I thought of putting both Grits on mine, but decided to pick one (the original) since there were so many, too many other fine Westerns movies to chose from. 3 of us went with '69, 5 with 2010.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 01:31:38 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline PsychoGoatee

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #91 on: October 12, 2018, 11:26:56 PM »
I highly enjoyed both versions of True Grit, and I really like The Wild Bunch. Also Ernest Borgnine is great, and is in everything. Ernest Borgnine is mentioned in a great joke on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander says it, I can't find the quote online but he says he's a tender lover or something like that. It was an MST3K-esque deep pull that I appreciated.

On voting for several versions of a movie, I don't think I have.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #92 on: October 13, 2018, 04:45:51 AM »
I never saw the original True Grit but the remake was great stuff.  I like that after all that build up, the villain isn't a fiend, he's just pathetic, (thoug also completely awful).

I remember liking the Outlaw Josey Wales but it didn't stick strongly in my memory like some of the other films in my list.  It might rise higher up on rewatch, though.

Still need to watch the Wild Bunch.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #93 on: October 13, 2018, 01:57:06 PM »
I've seen both versions of True Grit, but I much prefer the remake.  Almost entirely because of Hailee Steinfeld. Mattie Ross is the real main character of the story, and Steinfeld gives a much more compelling performance than Kim Darby. Plus, you know, she's the right age. This is something that always bugged me about the John Wayne version.

I can't remember any previous instance of two versions of the same thing making the same LoC before. But I've only been involved since LoC 52: Beverages. True Grit 1969 is probably the only western I've seen that I didn't put on my list somewhere, not because I didn't like it. I just didn't want to use both if I could help it.   


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #94 on: October 13, 2018, 04:20:17 PM »
RED RIVER was 12 on my list. A tremendous film.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN was a bit of a let down for me. I loved the other (surely upcoming?) adaptation of a Kurosawa film into a western, but this one didn't clear the bar for me.

Don't think I've ever seen THE WILD BUNCH.

Loved the remake of TRUE GRIT. I do prefer it to the original, which didn't quite make my list.
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Online George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #95 on: October 13, 2018, 10:29:38 PM »
#13 – THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
”This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” - Maxwell Scott


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75 points on 5 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #7 (Cole Stratton, Travis, Linzoid)

Director: John Ford

Stars: John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin, Vera Miles, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine

Subgenre: Traditional Western

Five years after the entrancing bitterness of ‘The Searchers’, John Ford reached a kind of accommodation with his favourite mythologies in this bundle of contradictions. This western, that opens just a few years before World War I, is a tragedy shot through with mischief and boisterous humour. And it’s a film that comes to bury the Old West but can’t help but praise it.

The end of the frontier life is heralded by the collision of James Stewart’s principled eastern lawyer, Stoddard, with rancher Tom Doniphon, played with rough charm by John Wayne. Stoddard’s civilisation competes with Doniphon’s western gun law as they both try to free the town of Shinbone from the grip of outlaw Liberty Valance and vie for the love of the same woman.

It’s a contrast that’s played out from the start, when Stoddard, now an ageing and respected senator, arrives back in Shinbone for Doniphon’s funeral only to find the great symbol of the west – it’s John Wayne in that pine box after all – is bound for a pauper’s grave. As Stoddard relates his story in flashback to the editor of the Shinbone Star, the layers of western legend are peeled away, exposing not lies but a collective will to mythologise and an amnesia necessary for progress.

Ford’s vision is remarkably unsentimental. He pays tribute to the Doniphons who built America while accepting that that their usefulness died with the frontier. Strangely, for all the director’s identification with The Duke, it’s Stewart who delivers what is surely a deliberate reference to the journey Ford has taken. ‘When I first came to Shinbone,’ he begins, ‘I came by stagecoach…’

More than 20 years after Ford’s own arrival with ‘Stagecoach’, he had reinvented the western again and in ‘Liberty Valance’ bequeathed a sad, warm-hearted reproach to modernity’s forgetfulness. - Paul Fairclough, Time Out

Trivia:
O.Z. Whitehead, playing a teenager, was actually 50 years old.

Valance addresses several characters as "dude." From the 1870s to 1960s, this was a pejorative term with the approximate meaning of "overdressed city slicker," usually applied to city dwellers visiting rural areas. In the 1960s, surfer culture adapted the term to mean "friend" or "companion."


Online George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #96 on: October 13, 2018, 10:35:29 PM »
#12 – RIO BRAVO
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79 points on 5 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #1 (Travis)

Director: Howard Hawks

Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan

Subgenre: Traditional Western

One of the truly great Westerns. John Wayne’s casual, seemingly effortless performance is also one of his finest, in a long career of sturdy, iconic roles. Director Howard Hawks and screenwriters Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman designed the movie as a conscious refutation to Fred Zinnemann’s earnest, socially aware criticism of the genre (and of conservative America) in High Noon. In that movie, a marshal (played by Gary Cooper) pleads for help from the good citizens of his town to no avail, as some gunslingers come to shoot him down. Hawks and Wayne strategically play out a similar situation much differently. Wayne’s sheriff doesn’t have to ask for help when a gang of outlaws descends on the town to violently free Claude Akins from his small jail cell. A group of misfits—down-and-out alcoholic Dean Martin, pretty boy Ricky Nelson, prostitute Angie Dickinson and old codger Walter Brennan—gladly stand by Duke when he needs them the most. When the bullets fly, Wayne and his friends stand tall and steely-eyed against their foes. From its masterful opening scene—a beautifully edited, wordless sequence involving sad-sack Martin, the villainous Akins and a contemptuous yet lovingly paternalistic Duke—to its climactic action-filled showdown, Rio Bravo hits all the right notes with easy-going charm and grit. There’s even a bizarre but lovable music number. But don’t be put off by Rio Bravo’s casual, old-fashioned charm. At its core, the movie resonates profoundly as a story of true camaraderie, moral duty and what it takes to stand up to wrongdoing when the odds are against you. Rio Bravo’s emotional power echoes with each subsequent viewing. - Derek Hill, Paste

Trivia:
John Carpenter named this as an inspiration for Assault on Precinct 13 (1976).

The sets in Old Tucson are built to 7/8th scale, so the performers look larger than life.


Online George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #97 on: October 13, 2018, 10:36:47 PM »
#11 – HIGH NOON
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80 points on 5 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #3 (Charles Castle)

Director: Fred Zinnemann

Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Lon Chaney Jr, Lee Van Cleef

Subgenre: Revisionist Western

One of the handful of films often touted as an archetypal Western, High Noon was actually quite atypical and possibly ahead of its time on its initial release. Director Fred Zinnemann was an unlikely candidate, a German Jew whose main exposure to the genre was through the fantasy Western novels of German writer Karl May. It was possibly the sole Western of its time to have a successful Hispanic businesswoman as one of its prominent characters. The film is often interpreted as an allegory of Hollywood blacklisting during the McCarthy era. Screenwriter Carl Foreman was accused of being a Communist sympathizer, and remained bitter about that fact for the rest of his life. None of these interesting facts would matter if High Noon weren’t a damn fine, gripping Western. Suspense builds with most of the narrative flow progressing in real time. Abandoned by his newlywed Quaker bride (Grace Kelly) and rebuffed by the townspeople, Sheriff Will Kane (Gary Cooper) grows increasingly desperate in his search to find an ally to face off against returning criminal Frank Miller. Due to arrive on the noon train, his old enemy has plans to assemble his gang in order to exact revenge on Kane for putting him away. Tight close-ups of faces, deserted city streets, empty windows, buildings and ticking clocks emphasize Kane’s locked fate and dwindling options, a technique borrowed and expanded on to exaggerated lengths by Sergio Leone. John Wayne thought the film’s themes highly un-American, and later joined forces with director Howard Hawks to film Rio Bravo as a sort of conservative riposte. The Duke was wrong. In retrospect, High Noon is a quintessential American story, expertly exploring the theme of one man, abandoned by those he considered friends, who stubbornly sets out to defy the odds by standing up for what he believes is right.  - Joe Petitt Jr., Paste

Trivia:
Producer Stanley Kramer first offered the leading role of Will Kane to Gregory Peck, who turned it down because he felt it was too similar to The Gunfighter (1950). Other actors who turned down the role included Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Montgomery Clift, and Burt Lancaster.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 12:32:22 AM by George-2.0 »


Online George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #98 on: October 13, 2018, 10:47:44 PM »
#10 – BLAZING SADDLES
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92 points on 7 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #1 (Linzoid)

Director: Mel Brooks

Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, Slim Pickens, Dom DeLuise, John Hillerman, Alex Karras

Subgenre: Comedy Western

Western purists might wrinkle their noses at this particular inclusion. Mel Brooks’ film, after all, isn’t a “real” Western, but rather a pastiche of Western tropes stitched together using his uniquely zany cinematic grammar. Above all else, Blazing Saddles skewers the many staple characteristics of the Western while mocking Hollywood’s racist mythologizing of the American West. But in many ways that just makes Blazing Saddles the ultimate Western film: It is so stocked with all of the “stuff” we expect from Westerns, plus a side of Brooks’ own madcap vision and human satire, that it ends up being a great comic Western and more. The film is so effective at being both a parody and an earnest story about a corrupt politician’s thwarted attempts at land-snatching from the good (if ignorant) people of Rock Ridge that we almost forget we’re watching pure, unabashed nonsense of a cleverly progressive bent. - Andy Crump, Paste

Trivia:
When Mongo rides into town, one Mexican says, "Mongo! Santa Maria!" Mongo Santamaria was a famous Cuban musician.


« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 10:53:43 PM by George-2.0 »


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #99 on: October 13, 2018, 11:49:15 PM »
RIO BRAVO is great, but didn't quite make my list - It was one that I wished I had time to revisit before putting my list together though.

HIGH NOON and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE both made my list (9 and 13, respectively).

I grew out of Mel Brooks a long time ago, as I mentioned in the comedy LoC.
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #100 on: October 14, 2018, 06:42:18 AM »
Wasn't a big fan of Rio Bravo but High Noon was great. It's a really powerful film and one of the tensest Westerns out there.  Though there's no twist or magical realism, it does sort of feel like a Twilight Zone episode (one of the better ones) in the way it builds tension and discusses human nature and the difference between standing with someone when it is easy to do and when it is hard.  Need to watch it again some time soon.

Still haven't seen the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  But my sister did have the song (which I'm given to understand doesn't appear in the movie) on a CD of 60's hits when we were young.

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Offline Russoguru

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #101 on: October 14, 2018, 09:25:01 AM »
I myself voted for Blazing Saddles, but there were quite a few things in that movie that stopped me from placing it anywhere near the number 1 slot.


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #102 on: October 14, 2018, 09:27:43 AM »
I'm predicting a lot of Sergio Leone in the top 10.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #103 on: October 14, 2018, 09:43:22 AM »
Top 10? I'm predicting a Sergio Leone movie will be number 1.


Offline PsychoGoatee

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #104 on: October 14, 2018, 02:12:40 PM »
Sergio is a cool dude for sure, and he may have been an overdressed city slicker quite possibly

(Lot of movies I've gotta check out, haven't seen a lot of the classics on this page here)