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Best Westerns I: Weird and Wonderful

by Melanie Kolbeins - 0 Comment(s)

What is it about westerns? The wide open spaces? The sense of closure? The action scenes? Whatever the answer, here's the ones I think are sharp-shootin'...Dagnabit, there's so many, I'll review more later.

Meantime...Here's a few I reckon are a little different from the pack...

Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Humphrey Bogart goes mad in pursuit of gold in John Huston's classic. This movie has all the fun cliches that shape the imagination of the west: the cackling old toothless prospector, the mexican posse, the frontier quest for riches and, of course, the unforgettable line "Badges?! We don't need no stinkin' badges!"

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Some coworkers say this is a drama, not a western, but it reflects more recent westerns' focus on human motivations rather than shootouts. Brad Pitt is convincing as the weary James. Casey Affleck is eerie and believable as a fan and nemesis.

Unforgiven (1992)

Posted: May 11 2009,

Clint Eastwood came out of retirement as an actor and as a gunslinger in film for the Oscar-winning Unforgiven. A group of prostitutes band together and raise money to convince his character to seek out and eliminate whomever is killing their own.

There will be blood (2007)

Daniel Day Lewis appears as a terrible man, driven by lust for money, who destroys everyone he comes into contact with. This probably falls outside traditional definitions of a Western, but oil prospecting themes and dry dusty scenes compelled me to include it. It is based on Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!


Yul Brynner is a robot run amok in Michael Crichton's early examination at virtual reality/role playing games. How about living out your fantasies of going back to the old west, where those around you are really robots. It's perfectly safe...really...

Paint your Wagon (1969)

Clint Eastwood again with Lee Marvin and Jean Seberg in a psychadelic, polygamist musical. 'Nuff said.
If you prefer more traditional westerns, we have plenty of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies also. Check them out...


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