Just getting into Westerns

Probably as a result of the upcoming game Red Dead Redemption, I’ve given the genre another look. Previously I never really considered the genre, never saw any of the films beyond a vague awareness, viewed it as kind of old-hat and having a ‘Sunday afternoon’ feel.

But I think I’ve misjudged the genre. I’ve seen The Proposition, which I thought was brilliant (although not technically a Western, since it’s set in Australia). Just working my way through Leone’s Dollars trilogy, although did it a bit bass-ackwards since I watched The Good, The Bad & The Ugly first, fortunately it’s more of a prequel, so I wasn’t too confused.

What other films (modern or classic, although being spoiled cinematography wise these days I generally prefer more modern films) should I take a look at?

In no particular order:

The Outlaw Josey Wales
True Grit
Little Big Man
Lonesome Dove
The Long Riders

Just to name a few.

Also, Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai. Set in feudal Japan, it really is a Classic Western.

Although the Leone/Eastwood fims are often called a trilogy I don’t think they have anything in common with one another character-wise or plot-wise. Clint wears the same poncho in each - I think that is the extent of the continuity.

As for your question, investigate the names John Ford, Howard Hawks, Budd Boetticher, and Sam Peckinpah. That’s a good start.

True Grit–greatest movie ever made.

The Outlaw Josey Wales

High Plains Drifter


Blazing Saddles–ok, not your usual “western”, but everybody needs to see it. In the original form, not edited for TV.

The Searchers
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Although you shouldn’t see it early on, since it sets the conventions of the genre on its head, Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven is superb.

List of Western films.

Too many for me to go through right now, to see which I liked. But off the top of my head you can add these to the list:

The Oxbow Incident

Tombstone (if you can stand Dana Delany’s acting in it)

Pale Rider (Not one of my faves, but a lot of people like it.)

Heaven’s Gate. Most people hate it. I hate the Graduation scene and the Roller Skating scene, but I love the rest of it. And Isabelle Huppert is nekkid.

Straight To Hell. Hey, I’m a Pogues fan.

Young Guns

Greaser’s Palace. Seriously weird.

Jeremiah Johnson. One day I’ll get me a .50 caliber Hawken.

A regular topic:

Top Western Movies

Best Western

Best Western (movie)

No Country For Old Men
3:10 to Yuma
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Those are my favorites.

Seconded; excellent film.

Thanks for the suggestions fellas, the sheer number of films in the genre is rather daunting to the uninformed.

Red River
The Shootist

and so many more… Westerns are the American version of Zen.

Well, too bad you’ve already watched the best western in existence.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a close second.

Red River is good, but quite older. True Grit is good . . . in a way . . . it gets better towards the end but the first 3/4ths of the movie is almost more of a parody of a western than a western. John Wayne had his moments of unbelievable awesomeness on screen, but it always nags me that he seems to have been such a dick in real life.

Unforgiven is good.

The Magnificent Seven is good.

Django is good.

Tombstone is damn good.

Now here’s where a lot of folks may disagree with me, but I think Young Guns is real good.

Shane is good.

Well in addition to being good films, many Westerns are simply beautiful to look at, even really crappy ones in terns of story and character can be startlingly beautiful. “The Searcers” and “Silverado” being two great examples, but the point is, even a bad Western can be worth watching.

My favorites are True Grit, The Shootist, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and even though it’s not set in the classic time period, Hud.

Can you tell I spent a lot of time watching TV and going to the movies with my grandfather as a kid? :stuck_out_tongue:


The Wild Bunch.

The Apple Dumpling Gang.

Pick two out of three.

*Ride the High Country

Rustler’s Rhapsody

She Wore A Yellow Ribbon

Major Dundee*

I watched The Cowboys last night. Worth watching in my opinion.

Rio Bravo is good.

What’s the black and white one with John Wayne and the baby in the desert? I like that one.

For a more modern take on the classic western, I have to suggest The Quick and the Dead. It’s not the world’s greatest movie or anything, but it’s a good time.

Honestly, though, the best western of the past few decades was, for my money, the series Deadwood on HBO. Well worth checking out. Not your normal horse opera.

Open Range (2003) is a great, great movie.

Not only a classic, notable for being the only movie where John Wayne didn’t just play himself.

Unforgiven is in my top 10 movies of all time.