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Author Topic: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films  (Read 3645 times)

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Offline stethacantus

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2018, 01:30:26 PM »
I saw Silverado in the theaters weeks before it's premiere. The studio that released it was so worried that no one would go to see a Western that they screened it as a double feature with Rambo: First Blood Part II and hoped for good word of mouth to drive ticket sales for it's actual run. To be honest, the reason I went to see it was not Rambo, but because John Cleese was in the cast an I was a big Monty Python fans.  The Hollywood Western had been declared dead, so I think this was made just to prove the critics wrong. My only problem with it is it seems like half the  characters were created just to give big name stars extended cameos. None of them are on screen that long, and their characters add nothing to the story. The final line came from Kevin Costner as he and Scott Glen are leaving. He turns around and yells to everyone "We'll be back!", Which suggested there was going to be a sequel. Never happened.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2018, 03:16:23 PM »
Dead Man is a great movie, well worth checking out for someone looking for a very different sort of Western.  I really like the Hateful Eight for the most part, though much of the brutality towards Jennifer Jason Leigh's character gets a little too nasty for my taste (despite her doing a good job making the character really despicable).  I wasn't as big a fan of the reveal right before the penultimate chapter but it is nonetheless very good and well constructed.


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2018, 05:01:03 PM »
Dead Man is a trippy fever dream. I loved it. Ranked it high on my list

Silverado & Young Guns I haven't seen since the 80s. Would I still enjoy them?

The Naked Spur is an Anthony Mann, Jimmy Stewart Western... 'Nuff said!  :)





Offline Russoguru

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2018, 05:24:32 PM »
I've never seen Silverado. I've heard lots of good things about it but never got around to watching it.


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2018, 11:36:46 PM »
#25 – HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER
”It's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid.” - The Stranger


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50 points on 5 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #5 (Johnny Unusual)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Billy Curtis, Marianna Hill, Mitchell Ryan, Jack Ging, Stefan Gierasch, Ted Hartley, Geoffrey Lewis

Subgenre: Gothic/Revisionist Western

A ghostly figure on horseback emerges from a distant, hazy heat mirage recessed in the depths of a desert plain. High-pitched banshee wails squeal like souls of the damned crying out from the land of the dead as the drifter rides into the seaside mining town of Lago. Bystanders gaze at the rider with fear, distrust or possibly a startled look of recognition. A stranger has arrived, and all the dark secrets of the town will soon meet the harsh light of day. Clint Eastwood’s second film at the helm as director, High Plains Drifter finds him coming to terms with his Spaghetti past in this direct homage to the films of Sergio Leone. In the town of Lago, there are no innocents. This message is brought home repeatedly with stark close-ups emphasizing features distorted with anger and rage, rendered grotesque with the almost unbearable weight of their sins. Even Eastwood’s drifter is no heroic icon, almost immediately losing the sympathies of the audience by committing a casual rape of an uppity townswoman who ultimately turns out to be just as complicit as everyone else. Despite its cynical depiction of humanity and its dark subject matter, this brooding, yet never gloomy Western gothic keeps its tight hold on you, depicting a town slowly unraveling, turning against itself as its dirty secrets are exposed by a possibly supernatural entity. - Joe Petitt Jr., Paste

Trivia:
Universal Pictures wanted the film to be shot on the studio lot. Instead, Clint Eastwood had a whole town built in the desert near Mono Lake in the California Sierras. Many of the buildings were complete and three-dimensional, so that interiors could be shot on location.

The town of Lago was built 300 miles away from Hollywood. A 46-man crew of technicians and 10 laborers worked 10-hours a day for 18 days constructing 14 houses and a two-story hotel. They were burned down at the film's completion.


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2018, 11:37:46 PM »
#24 – RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
”I want to know if you red-necked peckerwoods are too chicken-gutted to finish this thing in the open.” - Steve Judd


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51 points on 3 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #4 (Charles Castle)

Director: Sam Peckinpah

Stars: Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R. G. Armstrong

Subgenre: Traditional Western

Few genres tackle ageing as convincingly as the western. A masculine genre fixated with self-sufficiency and isolation, the western often forced us to ask what comes at the end of a life lived by the gun – but when it does, the answers are rarely pleasant ones. Sam Peckinpah’s second film – and first masterpiece – is the simplest and most heartfelt of all the ‘geriatric westerns’.

It’s less obsessed with violence than ‘The Wild Bunch’, sweeter and less pessimistic than ‘Unforgiven’ and emotionally richer than either version of ‘True Grit’. Scott and McRea play old-time gunslingers, once feared lawmen now turned to pageantry and mercenary work, whose decision to re-team for one last lucrative job leads to in-fighting, betrayal and the final, irrevocable breaking of their partnership.

And just around the edges, we can feel the first tentative flourishes of what would come to be called ‘western revisionism’: the town of Coarsegold, populated by spit-hawking, ball-scratching Peckinpah regulars like LQ Jones and Warren Oates, is as convincing a vision of hell as anything in Bloody Sam’s later work, a hint that this world of high adventure on the high sierra wasn’t quite as rollicking as your average 12-year-old audience member might dream it was. - Tom Huddleston, Time Out

Trivia:
Randolph Scott retired from acting once he saw the finished film, saying he wanted to quit while he was ahead and that he would never be able to better his work here.
   
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 11:55:39 PM by George-2.0 »


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2018, 11:39:36 PM »
#23 – 3:10 TO YUMA (2007)
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52 points on 5 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #4 (CJones)

Director: James Mangold

Stars: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Ben Foster, Gretchen Mol, Vinessa Shaw, Dallas Roberts, Peter Fonda, Luke Wilson

Subgenre: Outlaw Western

3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 American Western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad. It is about a drought-impoverished rancher (Bale) who takes on the dangerous job of taking a notorious outlaw (Crowe) to justice. It is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name, making it the second adaptation of Elmore Leonard's short story "Three-Ten to Yuma". Filming took place in various locations in New Mexico. 3:10 to Yuma opened September 7, 2007, in the United States and received positive reviews from critics.

Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 89%, based on 215 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The remake of this classic Western improves on the original, thanks to fiery performances from Russell Crowe and Christian Bale as well as sharp direction from James Mangold." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Trivia:
The short story upon which the film is based was published in Dime Western Magazine in 1953. The action begins in the hotel room with a Deputy Sheriff guarding a twenty-one-year-old robber.

My Reflections
I enjoyed both versions of the story, though it’s difficult to remember which one I preferred. LoC spoiler alert...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 01:09:24 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2018, 11:43:53 PM »
#22 – MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER
”All you've cost me so far is money and pain…” - John McCabe


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54 points on 3 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #5 (Travis)

Director: Robert Altman

Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, René Auberjonois, Michael Murphy, Shelly Duvall, Anthony Holland, William Devane

Subgenre: Anti-Western

Robert Altman turns his creative powers to the Western genre, and the results are remarkable. Not only is the movie one of the finest post-classical Westerns, it’s also one of the best American movies of the 1970s and arguably Altman’s greatest work. Warren Beatty plays a saloonkeeper in love with a newly arrived British prostitute (Julie Christie). The two open up a brothel for the locals, and as profits soar, outside investors arrive to buy out Beatty’s business. He declines their offer and subsequently has to contend with assassins sent to finalize the deal and take Beatty’s business and the town by force. Altman’s usual cast of character actors all hit the right notes, and Vilmos Zsigmond’s sepia-tinged cinematography brilliantly evokes pictures of the time, dusty and hazy as if the images have been preserved within an opium dream. Leonard Cohen’s songs heighten the melancholic proceedings, tantalizing us with their lyrical insights into the inner lives of these lost souls. - Derek Hill, Paste

Trivia:
During post-production on this film, Robert Altman was having a difficult time finding a proper musical score, until he attended a party where the album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" was playing and noticed that several tracks from the album seemed to fit in with the overall mood and themes of the movie. Cohen, who had been a fan of Altman's previous film, Brewster McCloud (1970), allowed him to use three songs from the album - "The Stranger Song", "Sisters of Mercy" and "Winter Lady" - although Altman was dismayed when Cohen later admitted that he didn't like the movie. A year later, Altman received a phone call from Cohen, who told him that he changed his mind after re-watching the movie with an audience and now loved it.

My Reflections
This one had to find it's audience... and I admit it bored me to tears when I saw this as a kid. When I got older, wiser and re-watched it, I loved it and thought, "Gee, what a little dumbass I used to be."  ;D
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 01:13:34 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2018, 11:45:38 PM »
Man, I didn't care for the remake of 3:10. The original is far superior IMO.
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Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2018, 11:52:16 PM »
I've not seen either version of 3:10 in a while. While I did enjoy the remake, I believe I preferred the original.


Edit: and I just put the finishing touches on the last write-up I had to do. The most taxing part of hosting an LoC is done.  All I have to do from here on out is cut and paste.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 12:12:25 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline CJones

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2018, 11:55:36 AM »
I didn't even know 3:10 to Yuma was a remake until putting together my list. Considering how high I had it, I guess I should check out the original.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2018, 12:54:58 PM »
I've seen Mccabe and Mrs Miller but it's been... half my lifetime ago. Way back in 1999 I was in a Film class at a community college and one of the movies we watched was Mccabe and Mrs Miller. I remember it being very sad...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2018, 04:12:10 PM »
I remember liking 3:10 to Yuma (the remake, I have yet to see the original) when I saw it, but very little of it stuck with me, so it didn't make my list (same with some other movie that might come up, I'm afraid)

High Plains Drifter is wonderful.  I understand if it rubs people the wrong way for the rape scene (which is particularly nasty, particularly since I think you are supposed to be at least partially on the side of the rapist in that scene.  Ew.) but everything else is great.  It's a weird and really moves in a crazy direction.  It at first looks like the Drifter is there is change the corrupt but in trouble town for it's own good with him giving candy to Native American children and making the  most picked on guy in town the new mayor.  Then it becomes apparent that the Drifter's plans might not be what anyone thought.  Clint Eastwood's directed a lot of great Westerns but this one really feels the most like the Leone movies in look but also attitude.


Offline PsychoGoatee

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2018, 10:12:33 PM »
I've never seen High Plains Drifter, I should check it out. It's one of those ones where you kind of hear a bit about it and think I know how it ends. I'm sure it's cool though.

Anybody like Sabata? I ask because I randomly saw a box set of 3 Sabata movies in the CVS pharmacy today, looks like the first one is respectably regarded overall online.


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2018, 10:38:15 PM »
No, I've never seen Sabata… but I found the first one on youtube and am playing it now. (half way in and I'd call it good, bit not great)

I did kind of watch an old B-Western title Rawhide. I say kind of because I Fast-FWD through the singing cowboy stuff. I watched it because Baseball great, Lou Gerhig, starred in it and that made me curious. It's not a great movie, but he came off a likeable big lug of a guy, with a warm smile. 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 11:08:48 PM by George-2.0 »