Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ian's Top Ten Westerns.

Marjorie Beebe and  Andy Clyde.

Ian, a fan of Joel McCrea and Western Movies: "Before I do my own Top Ten for you (can’t resist those lists) I’m attaching my contribution to a chick flick Western. She’s having a high old time teasing her old buzzard of a father, a staple in Westerns for years to come- think of glorious old Edgar Buchanan who lighted up every scene he was in with his slightly malign chicanery. She’s actually PreCode, before puritanical old Will Hays got stuck into scripts with his blue pencil and his notions of what was seemly, and how young women should disport themselves". Ian's Top Ten Favorites:

1 South of St Louis. Obscure oater from 1949 no-one else would ever choose. It’s star is McCrea and it’s about friendship unravelling in adversity. It’s set in the Civil War of which McCrea wants no part. His conduct is almost entirely pragmatic, and his moral choices often highly questionable. Yet we understand this man and McCrea digs deep to show us his motivation and his humanity. A far cry from the antics of Wayne or Eastwood, and as I grow older all the better for it.

2 The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Maybe cheating since it’s set in the modern day but in all other respects it’s a Western. It’s directed by and stars the one man IMO still capable of making a great traditional Western. Tommy Lee Jones, like McCrea with whom he has much in common, can convincingly play the Everyman with hard moral choices to make.

3 Ride with the Devil. The often told tale of Quantrill’s guerrillas and to me the best yet. It shows them as they were, not middle-aged gunmen, but wild kids like the hoodies of the modern era. Tobey Maguire, on screen throughout, is absolutely superb.

4 The Wild Bunch. Have a feeling I might say Peckinpah is the best director of a Western- Ford’s manifest destiny doesn’t greatly sing to me. His masterpiece.

5 Seven Men From Now. Budd Boetticher might rival him. His films with Randolph Scott were exquisite and this is maybe the best. It’s given added punch by the great Lee Marvin.

6 Once Upon A Time in the West. The setting, the music, the grandeur and Jason Robards all set this apart from Leone’s earlier Westerns.

7 Track of the Cat Strange. snow-bound Western starring one of the greatest of them all, Robert Mitchum.

8 Man of the West. Late Gary Cooper, and very strong stuff. Quite an eye-opener.

9 The Outlaw Josey Wales. Not a great Eastwood fan (oh heresy) but this is his best.

10 Rio Bravo. Not a great Wayne fan either (oh heresy squared) but this is a charmer of a movie. How could it not be with Dean Martin co-starring?

Very best. Ian


Dawn said...

Ian, Thank you so much for your "top 10 westerns" list. You listed a couple of "new to me" westerns.

Gary Cooper, is one of my favorite actors and I was so happy to see one of his films made your list.

Paul 2 said...

Ian, I like that you put a very under rated film Track Of The Cat on your list and my favorite film with Julie London Man Of The West

Madison said...

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Thanks and have a great day!

Dawn said...

Madison, you can contact me at: