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Author Topic: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films  (Read 7830 times)

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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #105 on: October 14, 2018, 03:57:27 PM »
Top 10? I'm predicting a Sergio Leone movie will be number 1.

Yeah, I fully expect #1 to be The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But I guess we'll see.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #106 on: October 14, 2018, 04:17:11 PM »
Top 10? I'm predicting a Sergio Leone movie will be number 1.

Yeah, I fully expect #1 to be The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But I guess we'll see.

Probably, though there is a John Ford movie that is a very strong contender.
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Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #107 on: October 14, 2018, 04:54:21 PM »
I can think of a couple I've watched that were not made by Sergio that could easily be #1, and there are quite a few classic westerns I have not seen.

Since it has been mentioned, has there been a better release of The G, B, &U since the first blu-ray?  I was so disappointed with the sound in that release.  It looked great but it was like the person that did the surround mix was 12 and thought it was cool to have random sounds and voices coming from the corners of the room.


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #108 on: October 14, 2018, 05:07:29 PM »
I can think of a couple I've watched that were not made by Sergio that could easily be #1, and there are quite a few classic westerns I have not seen.

Since it has been mentioned, has there been a better release of The G, B, &U since the first blu-ray?  I was so disappointed with the sound in that release.  It looked great but it was like the person that did the surround mix was 12 and thought it was cool to have random sounds and voices coming from the corners of the room.

KINO released a new one last year. https://www.amazon.com/Good-Ugly-Anniversary-Special-Blu-ray/dp/B0716XZB2B

I have not watched it, so you'll have to look up reviews, but I know it was from a new scan.
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Offline linszoid

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #109 on: October 14, 2018, 05:44:13 PM »
Top 10? I'm predicting a Sergio Leone movie will be number 1.

Yeah, I fully expect #1 to be The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But I guess we'll see.

I'm hoping for Last of the Wild Horses or Gunslinger.


Offline Russoguru

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #110 on: October 14, 2018, 06:17:21 PM »
Top 10? I'm predicting a Sergio Leone movie will be number 1.

Yeah, I fully expect #1 to be The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But I guess we'll see.

I'm hoping for Last of the Wild Horses or Gunslinger.
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Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #111 on: October 14, 2018, 09:25:34 PM »
#9 – BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID
”Bitch, bitch, bitch!” - Sundance


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93 points on 7 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #7 (Stethancantus, CJones - Russoguru had it #2 on a partial)

Director: George Roy Hill

Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katherine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones, Jeff Corey, George Furth, Cloris Leachman, Ted Cassidy, Kenneth Mars

Subgenre: Outlaw/Revisionist Western

The top-grossing film of 1969 and four-time Oscar winner was an anachronistic wonder that poked at the stoic bravura of the traditional Western: Consider the broad buddy humor between its pitch-perfect leads, Paul Newman and Robert Redford; the poppy, Burt Bacharach-Hal David-penned score and that theme song, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”; and William Goldman’s wry, self-aware script. From the first sepia-saturated moments of George Roy Hill’s take on the Old West, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rewrote history, literally: Author Goldman famously wanted to tell the story of the titular outlaws’ flight to South America but didn’t want to do sufficient research for a novel-length treatment. And thus, “Most of what follows is true,” the film winks at its start. Gorgeously shot by Conrad Hall, the film is a deftly balanced mix of reverential genre elegy and sometimes deadpan, sometimes slapstick comedy. At its heart is then box office superstar Newman and comparatively small-potatoes actor Redford, the latter taking over after Steve McQueen backed out, balking over whose name would be billed first in the credits. As the Kid’s girlfriend, Katharine Ross complicates the duo’s relationship and lends nuance to what is essentially a love story. Curiously, Butch and Sundance’s posse, the Hole in the Wall Gang, was known as the Wild Bunch in real life but was changed for the screen to avoid confusion with another Western set for release a few months prior to its own premiere. - Amanda Schurr, Paste

Trivia:
The real Butch Cassidy (whose name was actually Robert Leroy Parker) got his nickname because he once worked in a butcher's shop. The Sundance Kid, real name Harry Alonzo Longabaugh, got his nickname because he once was arrested in the Wyoming town of Sundance.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 06:26:48 PM by George-2.0 »


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #112 on: October 14, 2018, 09:26:50 PM »
#8 – FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE
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Director: Sergio Leone

Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Klaus Kinski, Mario Brega

Subgenre: Spaghetti Western

The second of Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy and the most underrated. It’s also the movie where the director started indulging in eccentric cinematic flourishes—intricate flashback sequences, stretched-out long takes, dabs of absurdist humor coloring scenes of violence—that would peak with his two outright masterpieces, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West. Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef play bounty hunters in search of a psychotic, dope-smoking bandit, played by the fantastic Gian Maria Volontè, and his gang of cutthroats. Far more complex than its predecessor, For a Few Dollars More gives Van Cleef and Volontè complicated interior lives. Watching Van Cleef and Eastwood try to outwit each other, particularly in the hat-shooting sequence, and their general cynical attitudes toward the lawless world they exist in makes for solid viewing. Other highlights: Ennio Morricone’s robust score utilizes more discordant textures; Klaus Kinski plays a hunchback(!); and Van Cleef uses an array of bizarre weaponry that would go on to influence other Italian Westerns, particularly the Sabata movies, also starring Van Cleef. - Derek Hill, Paste

Trivia:
Lee Van Cleef was very grateful for his part in the film as he had fallen on hard times due to his heavy drinking. The film effectively marked a resurgence in his career. Van Cleef had taken up painting in the interim as a way of making money.

LoC Ranking Note:
This was a tough tie to break. They had the same points, were on the same number of lists, both shared the same 7th slot (on 2 lists) as high vote. So I went to second highest ranking and this one bested B&S with an 8th place vote, to Butch’s 11th place ranking.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 04:26:22 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #113 on: October 14, 2018, 09:30:41 PM »
#7 – STAGECOACH
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95 points on 6 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #3 (Edward J. Grugg II)

Director: John Ford

Stars: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Andy Devine, John Carradine, Thomas Mitchell, Louise Platt, George Bancroft, Donald Meek, Berton Churchill

Subgenre: Traditional Western

And just like that, with one swift zoom shot, John Ford gave John Wayne his breakthrough role and reintroduced American audiences to the man who would become one of their most lasting movie icons. Two Johns, making it happen. Stagecoach isn’t exactly a John Wayne movie despite the fact that John Wayne is in it; this was before the days of The Searchers, of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, of The Quiet Man, even of Hondo, movies that each helped shape Wayne’s persona and forge his screen legend bit by bit. In Stagecoach, he’s just a man with a rifle, a mission of vengeance and a soft spot for a prostitute named Dallas. Rather than the tradition of Wayne, the film belongs to the tradition of strangers on a journey; it’s about an unlikely and incongruous grouping of humans banding together to make it to a common destination. They ride a dangerous road, but Ford’s great gift as a filmmaker is his knack for making peril buoyant and entertaining, and in Stagecoach he does both effortlessly. - Andy Crump, Paste

Trivia:
The original negatives of Stagecoach were either lost or destroyed. John Wayne had one positive print that had never been through a projector gate. In 1970, he permitted it to be used to produce a new negative, and that is the film seen today at film festivals. UCLA fully restored the film in 1996 from surviving elements and premiered it on cable's American Movie Classics network. The previous DVD releases by Warner Home Video did not contain the restored print, but rather a video print held in the Castle Hill/Caidin Trust library.

My Reflections:
While I agree with the consensus in regards to Ford’s masterpiece, I do feel that ‘other film’ doesn’t blend the comedy and tragedy as seamlessly. While I called that picture “The most perfect, imperfect movie I’d ever seen” in my LB'd review, Stagecoach is pristine. The timing, the balance and blending of comedy and hardship is spot on. It’s just textbook cinema at its finest… even if I do rank that ‘other movie’ higher.


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #114 on: October 14, 2018, 09:32:44 PM »
#6 – SHANE
”Joey, there's no living with... with a killing. There's no going back from one. Right or wrong, it's a brand. A brand sticks. There's no going back. Now you run on home to your mother, and tell her... tell her everything's all right. And there aren't any more guns in the valley.” - Shane


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107 points on 6 of 13 lists - Highest Ranking: #4 (MartyS [Gromit])

Director: George Stevens

Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Jack Palance, Brandon De Wilde

Subgenre: Traditional Western, but with a progressive slant

Beloved adaptation of Jack Schaefer’s wonderful novel, with Alan Ladd perfect as the buckskinned gunfighter trying to hang up his six shooter but finding that “There’s no living with a killing”. Memorable for so many reasons, from the Oscar-winning cinematography and Jack Palance’s gleeful bad guy, to the lump in the throat ending which still resonates as little Joey implores “Come back Shane!” - Graeme Ross, Independent

Shane is another of the great Hollywood westerns and probably the most archetypal and mythical in its execution. The heroes are truly good, the villains badder than bad. It explores one of the classic Western expansion themes, cattle ranching—or the freedom and lawlessness of the open ranch—versus farming, which eventually leads to civilization and settling down in one place, bringing families and the laws of the city into play. Visually a character straight out of the Old Testament, Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer) is a shaggy bearded cattle baron hell-bent on driving farming families from the land he considers his. A mysterious rider named Shane (Alan Ladd) arrives in the nick of time to bolster the courage of a group of homesteaders led by Joe Starrett (Van Heflin). Shane and Ryker, along with their cohorts, are relics of the past, ultimately doomed to extinction once the wives and children move in. Unlike Ryker, Shane knows this, and spells it out in their final showdown. The future of the West is in cities and communities. There is no place for lawless men like them in these new frontiers. All these years later, we know that Shane was wrong. Killing and lawlessness still abound in the cities, and big business still tramples the rights of the common man. The film is a reminder, though, that if communities band together, holding strong in faith and trusting one another, they can take back what is rightfully theirs and shape a collective destiny. - Joe Pettit Jr, Paste

Trivia:
The 2017 film Logan drew substantial thematic influence from Shane, and formally acknowledged it with a series of specific dialog references and scene clips. As the film ends, Shane's farewell words to Joey are recited, verbatim, at the title character's grave.

The film was completed in 1951 but George Stevens' editing process was so rigorous that it wasn't released until 1953. This drove up the costs of what should have been a simple, straightforward Western; in fact, they spiraled so much that Paramount approached Howard Hughes about taking on the property, but he declined. He changed his mind when he saw a rough cut and offered to buy the film on the spot. This made Paramount rethink its strategy--originally it was going to release it as a "B" picture but then decided it should be one of the studio's flagship films of the year. This proved to be a good decision, as the film was a major success and easily recouped its inflated budget.

My Review: https://letterboxd.com/captainquint/film/shane/


Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #115 on: October 15, 2018, 12:01:13 AM »
Somehow I've never seen BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (and this is in spite of Paul Newman being my favourite actor)

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE is def my least favourite of the Man with No Name Trilogy. Didn't make my list.

STAGECOACH was my entry to classic westerns. I love it very much.

SHANE is a wonderful film, ranked #5 on my list.
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Offline PsychoGoatee

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #116 on: October 15, 2018, 02:33:36 AM »
Love Butch Cassidy, very cool movie. Dig that Dollars movie, I remember renting it as a kid and finding it really badass, been a while since I watched it again.


Offline George-2.0

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #117 on: October 15, 2018, 04:40:03 AM »
I re-watched Shane and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon some months ago because I noticed several folks on Letterboxd were downgrading them, and I thought, maybe they haven't aged well. Maybe I need to revisit them and see?

Yellow Ribbon didn't hold up as well. Still enjoyed it, but mostly for Wayne's performance. But Shane is as memorable as it was in my youth. Even better because I was able to appreciate the nuances. It still resonates and I ranked it 5th as well.


I haven't seen Butch and Sundance since it played in the Drive-In back in late 69, 70...? (Yeah the Drive-In was a big part of my youth) so that one didn't make mine. Nor did For a Few $ More (I agree with Edward on that one)
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 04:46:13 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #118 on: October 15, 2018, 05:59:24 AM »
I liked Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but I've only seen it once and it didn't stick in my mind strongly enough to make it high on my list.  Still, it's on there and it's well worth watching.

For a Few Dollars More is a good movie and El Indio is a great villain.  I love the music watch showdown music.

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Offline CJones

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Re: LoC #112 -Top 50 Western Films
« Reply #119 on: October 15, 2018, 08:34:23 AM »
Top 10? I'm predicting a Sergio Leone movie will be number 1.

Yeah, I fully expect #1 to be The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But I guess we'll see.

Probably, though there is a John Ford movie that is a very strong contender.

You mean The Searchers? Yeah, that's gotta be in the top 5 somewhere.