30 Great Westerns

The thing I like about lists like this—and the enthusiasts like me who devour them—is the way they serve as starting points for debate. Fer instance, I think Unforgiven is overrated, although I have a soft spot for Pale Rider, which most critics seem to feel was second-rate Eastwood.
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COMMENTS
Monty's picture

Once Upon a Time in the West is probably my favorite western and it is on the list. Still, how can anybody leave Winchester 73 off this list? And, how 'bout Big Jake? I agree with you on Unforgiven, a real snoozer that even Hackman's great performance couldn't save.

Wes Phillips's picture

Yes! Winchester 73 belongs there.

Mike Toschi's picture

So many wise people................... Tombstone? Yes! - Big Jake? For sure! - What about the big daddy....... Lonesome Dove?

Wes Phillips's picture

Wow, Alix, how could I forget? Especially since when I handicapped the duelling Wyatt Earp movies, I was so sure that Kevin Costner's was going to be the better one. Boy, was I wrong, Of course, Tombstone heavily relied upon one of my favorite books, To Live and Die in the West," which is lively and accurate.Lonesome Dove, sure. When I read McMurtry's novel (in Peru, yet), I spent hours casting the movie and came up with Duvall as Call and Paul Newman as McCrae. The movie got it right, IMO.As for Big Jake, I always file that one under guilty pleasures."" Great cast of character actors and the Duke is as relaxed and comfortable as always (even bad John Wayne movies are delightful)", but I find the generational conflict between McCandles and his snotty older son tedious and the mock Magnificent Seven syncopation of the theme has always seemed like off-the-shelf Dmitri Tiompkin to me. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing it now, so there.

Wes Phillips's picture

Wow, Alix, how could I forget? Especially since when I handicapped the duelling Wyatt Earp movies, I was so sure that Kevin Costner's was going to be the better one. Boy, was I wrong, Of course, Tombstone heavily relied upon one of my favorite books, To Live and Die in the West, which is lively and accurate.Lonesome Dove, sure. When I read McMurtry's novel (in Peru, yet), I spent hours casting the movie and came up with Duvall as Call and Paul Newman as McCrae. The movie got it right, IMO.As for Big Jake," I always file that one under ""guilty pleasures."" Great cast of character actors and the Duke is as relaxed and comfortable as always (even bad John Wayne movies are delightful)", but I find the generational conflict between McCandles and his snotty older son tedious and the mock Magnificent Seven syncopation of the theme has always seemed like off-the-shelf Dmitri Tiompkin to me. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing it now, so there.

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