Sunday, March 4, 2007


Just caught UNFORGIVEN on the cable channel that shows Westerns. Maybe it’s a guy thing, or maybe an old guy thing, but I love a good Western.

Here’s a bunch of Westerns I can watch anytime:

STAGECOACH (the 1930s movie that made John Wayne a star, deservedly so)
RED RIVER (the only time Wayne was afraid as an actor, he said, was in his first scene with Montgomery Clift and his new kind of realistic film acting)
THE SEARCHERS (some critics consider this John Ford’s greatest film)
HIGH NOON (a supposed metaphor for McCarthyism, though I could never figure out which side it was a defense of)
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (another Ford classic, and one of many Westerns about Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral shootout, this one with Henry Fonda is exquisite)
UNFORGIVEN (Clint and Morgan Freeman with Gene Hackman? ‘nuff said)
DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (one of James Stewart’s many great Westerns, containing the classic and easily satirized Marlene Dietrich Germanic-accented frontier floozy—see BLAZING SADDLES)
THE WESTERNER (Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan are such a great match, maybe Brennan’s best performance, it’s almost a love story between the two of them!)
SHANE (Alan Ladd, Van Helfin, Ben johnson and Jack Palance, with child star Brandon deWilde in what many consider THE classic Western)
BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (some silly ‘60s nuances, but original)
THE WILD BUNCH (the underrated Ernest Borgnine holds this film together for me and makes it extraordinary)
THE GUNFIGHTER (Gregory Peck at his restrained best)
GUNFIGHT AT OK CORRAL (Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, 1950s titans)
TOMBSTONE (despite being over the top, and Dana Delany being miscast as Curt Russels’s Wyatt Earp girlfriend, it is still totally compelling, Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday gives maybe his best performance)

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