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Thread: Best westerns

  1. #106
    Senior Member Joe B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    Hey, that's a great performance by Ford. Ford I feel transcends the period. I liked the cutting too. I don't recall close-ups being done well like that without it feeling staged or fake. It's a shame the story is so corny.
    Last year I watched the special features on the Criterion release of "3:10 to Yuma". One of the interviews was with Glenn Ford's son. Referring to his dad's ability to make great choices as an actor, he told a story of the scene in "Superman" where Glenn, as Clark Kent's dad, has a heart attack. Ford had told the director that he was all set for the scene and didn't need any rehearsals. The director and crew, not knowing exactly how he would play the scene, thought Glenn actually had a heart attack when they were filming. His performance was incredibly subtle, putting his hand to his chest and very quietly, and with surprise in his voice, says "Oh my", and falls to the ground dead. It was so underplayed, many on the set thought it was for real.
    I love music. I want music. I need music.

  2. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe B View Post
    Last year I watched the special features on the Criterion release of "3:10 to Yuma". One of the interviews was with Glenn Ford's son. Referring to his dad's ability to make great choices as an actor, he told a story of the scene in "Superman" where Glenn, as Clark Kent's dad, has a heart attack. Ford had told the director that he was all set for the scene and didn't need any rehearsals. The director and crew, not knowing exactly how he would play the scene, thought Glenn actually had a heart attack when they were filming. His performance was incredibly subtle, putting his hand to his chest and very quietly, and with surprise in his voice, says "Oh my", and falls to the ground dead. It was so underplayed, many on the set thought it was for real.
    "3:10 to Yuma" (Delmer Daves) is actually quite a good film. The fashion of Frankie Lane (or others) singing the main idea behind the narrative over the opening credits is still alive and well at least until the 1960's "Cimarron".

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2c1n5d

    I've made a mistake; singing introduced westerns OF COURSE at least until 1966 and Hawks's "El Dorado":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QXhGGOFNko

    (Did I happen to mention that I'm a devoted Hawksian!!?) Here's an anecdote about the death of Howard Hawks:

    Hawks died on December 26, 1977, at the age of 81, from complications arising from a fall when he tripped over his dog at his home in Palm Springs, California. He had spent two weeks in the hospital recovering from his concussion when he asked to be taken home, dying a few days later. (He is far from the first person I've heard of who died or became seriously injured by tripping over a housebound dog.)
    Last edited by Christabel; May-19-2020 at 02:11. Reason: Chrono-loco!!

  3. #108
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe B View Post
    Last year I watched the special features on the Criterion release of "3:10 to Yuma". One of the interviews was with Glenn Ford's son. Referring to his dad's ability to make great choices as an actor, he told a story of the scene in "Superman" where Glenn, as Clark Kent's dad, has a heart attack. Ford had told the director that he was all set for the scene and didn't need any rehearsals. The director and crew, not knowing exactly how he would play the scene, thought Glenn actually had a heart attack when they were filming. His performance was incredibly subtle, putting his hand to his chest and very quietly, and with surprise in his voice, says "Oh my", and falls to the ground dead. It was so underplayed, many on the set thought it was for real.
    Yup, 3:10 to Yuma was great. I also liked the one with Christian Bale too, although they both get kind of implausible near the end. That's a funny behind the scenes story with Superman. It was the first movie with Ford I saw, and he played the ideal sort of father (or foster father).
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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  5. #109
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    Django Unchained for sure

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    Agree on Unforgiven, and True Grit, although I liked the remake with Jeff Bridges more than most of you. I like all of Eastwood's Pale Rider, and the rest.

    Have any of you seen The Tin Star? Great, IMO, somewhat lesser known western from the late '50s starring Henry Fonda and Tony Perkins.

    Love the genre and have a book around here somewhere of the "best" for each decade, i.e. up to when the book as published.

    Does Lonesome Dove count? I love it.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Jul-07-2020 at 21:39.

  7. #111
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    This is the best western ever made, IMO (and also in the opinion of very many critics). Howard Hawks's "Rio Bravo" (made 1958, released 1959). The score by Tiomkin is inspired; insouciant, dreamy and hauntingly evoking the evanescent period of the old west.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4bchx8

    This was the third last film from Hawks: two more westerns followed, "El Dorado" and "Rio Lobo". He only made 4 westerns in his career, starting with "Red River" of course (all 4 with John Wayne). The last 3 westerns had the same themes; a bunch of men defend a town from desperadoes and have to protect a prisoner in jail who will face the court.

    Hawks was interested in the relationships between men and the interruption of that by the "Hawksian woman". When Screenwriter Leigh Brackett complained to Hawks that she was writing the same story with each film he shrugged, "well, if they don't like it give 'em their dime back"!! The ensemble interaction of "Rio Bravo" is very reminiscent of the relationships in "His Girl Friday" from 1939.

    Howard Winchester Hawks, 1896-1977.
    Last edited by Christabel; Jul-11-2020 at 07:59.

  8. #112
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Just watched True Grit (2010) for the first time last night. I really enjoyed it. Loved the main character, loved Jeff Bridges. Beyond the quirky dialog, it didn't really feel like a "true" Coen Brothers movie but more of a traditional revisionist Western. But nevertheless it was great. Not sure how I managed to go all these years without watching it; I'm a big fan of the Coens.

    Is the original worth a watch? I'm not all that much of a Westerns guy, but I do want to watch more of them (if I can talk my girlfriend into it).

  9. #113
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    Just watched True Grit (2010) for the first time last night. I really enjoyed it. Loved the main character, loved Jeff Bridges. Beyond the quirky dialog, it didn't really feel like a "true" Coen Brothers movie but more of a traditional revisionist Western. But nevertheless it was great. Not sure how I managed to go all these years without watching it; I'm a big fan of the Coens.

    Is the original worth a watch? I'm not all that much of a Westerns guy, but I do want to watch more of them (if I can talk my girlfriend into it).
    I remember when the original came out and Glen Campbell joked, “I'd never acted in a movie before, and every time I see True Grit I think my record's still clean!”

  10. #114
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    Many critics think "The Searchers" is the best western ever made, but I disagree. There are sequences in it which are excellent, but the 'wrong' location put me off right away. I love Ford's active mise-en-scene, where every inch is utilized - example, around the dinner table - but there are too many buffoon characters in his films for me to really love them. Ken Curtis plays a buffoon in "The Searchers" and effectively ruins the film. Also, the scenes with the Indian "Look" undercut the seriousness of its intent. Ford often became confused with his dramas in this way.

  11. #115
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    I've seen two westerns in the last days which I would rate as highly as "Rio Bravo". The first is "Man of the West" (Directed by Anthony Mann) and starring Gary Cooper. And the other western also starred Gary Cooper, "High Noon" (Directed Fred Zinnemann).

  12. #116
    Junior Member ThaNotoriousNIC's Avatar
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    I've seen a ton of westerns over the last couple of years and here are my favorites in no particular order:

    1. For a Few Dollars More (1965): While The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a monumental film, my favorite film from the Dollars Trilogy is this film. Lee van Cleef and Clint Eastwood work together to take down a dangerous robber. It has some tense scenes and some nice action. I like Fistful of Dollars and Good, Bad, and Ugly, but this film has been my most watchable of the three for me.

    2. Red River (1948): This is my favorite black and white John Wayne film. There is an interesting conflict between John Wayne's character and his costar, Montgomery Clift. Also a lot of fun if you wanna watch a cattle drive on the screen.

    3.Unforgiven (1992): The ending of this film is probably one of the best I have ever seen. It is a very dark film compared to the previous two and it presents the West in a much different light. Highly recommended.

    4. The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948): Different kind of film for its time when compared to the John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies coming out at the time. Seen this movie once, which feature Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim Holt as three men looking to strike it rich in Mexico. There are a lot of twists and turns and is a good choice for a film if you are not looking for cowboys and Native Americans.

    5. The Searchers (1956): I knew that a lot of people would list this one, so I was trying to think of other John Ford movies with John Wayne that I like more. Eventually, I concluded that this movie still takes the cake for me. Incredible cinematography, a good soundtrack, and a more complex role for the Duke. There are parts of this movie that still gives me chills every time I watch it.

    Those are my top five in no particular order, but I did want to list a couple of Westerns that I recommend:

    1. Rio Bravo
    2. Calvary Trilogy (Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande)
    3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    4. True Grit (both the original or the remake are both pretty good imo)
    5. The Wild Bunch
    6. The Great Train Robbery (silent film)
    7. Winchester 73
    8. The Naked Spur
    9. Shane

    Some films I still need to watch include Once Upon a Time in the West and Tombstone (really want to watch Tombstone sometime soon).

  13. #117
    Senior Member Dulova Harps On's Avatar
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  14. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaNotoriousNIC View Post
    I've seen a ton of westerns over the last couple of years and here are my favorites in no particular order:

    1. For a Few Dollars More (1965): While The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a monumental film, my favorite film from the Dollars Trilogy is this film. Lee van Cleef and Clint Eastwood work together to take down a dangerous robber. It has some tense scenes and some nice action. I like Fistful of Dollars and Good, Bad, and Ugly, but this film has been my most watchable of the three for me.

    2. Red River (1948): This is my favorite black and white John Wayne film. There is an interesting conflict between John Wayne's character and his costar, Montgomery Clift. Also a lot of fun if you wanna watch a cattle drive on the screen.

    3.Unforgiven (1992): The ending of this film is probably one of the best I have ever seen. It is a very dark film compared to the previous two and it presents the West in a much different light. Highly recommended.

    4. The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948): Different kind of film for its time when compared to the John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies coming out at the time. Seen this movie once, which feature Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim Holt as three men looking to strike it rich in Mexico. There are a lot of twists and turns and is a good choice for a film if you are not looking for cowboys and Native Americans.

    5. The Searchers (1956): I knew that a lot of people would list this one, so I was trying to think of other John Ford movies with John Wayne that I like more. Eventually, I concluded that this movie still takes the cake for me. Incredible cinematography, a good soundtrack, and a more complex role for the Duke. There are parts of this movie that still gives me chills every time I watch it.

    Those are my top five in no particular order, but I did want to list a couple of Westerns that I recommend:

    1. Rio Bravo
    2. Calvary Trilogy (Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande)
    3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    4. True Grit (both the original or the remake are both pretty good imo)
    5. The Wild Bunch
    6. The Great Train Robbery (silent film)
    7. Winchester 73
    8. The Naked Spur
    9. Shane

    Some films I still need to watch include Once Upon a Time in the West and Tombstone (really want to watch Tombstone sometime soon).
    I agree with your list, except for numbers 5 and 6. Those Anthony Mann westerns were something else; he saw a darkness within James Stewart and was able to exploit that to bring to the screen some excellent depictions of what violence does to the individual. "True Grit" (1969) was a lot of fun, but I loved "Shane" (director George Stevens a hero of mine). That little boy calling out after Shane right at the end. Very touching. The Cavalry Trilogy: this one is my favourite, "Rio Grande". Wayne acknowledged composer Victor Young when he received his Oscar for "True Grit". (This music is just so reminiscent of Herbert Stothart!!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHAmpmMBXl4

    I read one of the most excellently written and researched biographies ever; John Ford by Joseph McBride. He claims John Ford insisted Archie Stout be included as a 2nd Unit cinematographer on "Rio Grande", despite the fact he'd gone past it professionally. Ford was loyal to his buddies and, as Stout had lost a son (his only child) six years earlier in WW2, the director absolutely insisted he got a job working on this picture. A lot in that cast were personal friends of both John Ford and John Wayne.

    Another little-known fact is the incredible history of Co-Producer Merian C. Cooper: what a man!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merian_C._Cooper
    Last edited by Christabel; Jul-15-2020 at 07:09.

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  16. #119
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    Another very good western, with a screenplay by Leon Uris ("Exodus"), "Gunfight at the OK Corral". Direction John Sturges.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqyiRwlLa80

    I think I've already mentioned this film before!!
    Last edited by Christabel; Jul-15-2020 at 07:51.

  17. #120
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    Lemonade Joe - it seems that nobody mentioned yet that cult classic western from 1964.



    Available at youtube with English subtitles:
    https://youtu.be/SzuTQWrjh2o
    Last edited by Mifek; Jul-15-2020 at 15:40.

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