My top 5 looks an awful lot like everyone else’s, with Johnny Guitar, Leone’s work and Red River somewhere on the top (my list couldn’t realistically stop at 5.) But I was surprised not to see Sydney Pollack’s Jeremiah Johnson on any of the posts. I really love this film’s contrast in the genre, with it’s harsh but quiet winter Utah mountain setting, it sets it apart (with the exception of The Great Silence) from the usual Monument Valley and Spanish desert. Robert Redford’s subtle performance is well textured with his solitude, humility, and determination and goes down as his most memorable to me, for sure.
My Darling Clementine, 3:10 to Yuma (1957) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Top 5 (for now)
1. The Wild Bunch
2. The Searchers
3. My Darling Clementine
4. The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
5. Once Upon A Time in the West
I hate that I have two Fords and two Leones in a row, but that is my top 5.
Honorable Mentions: McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Unforgiven, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Stagecoach, Red River, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Rio Bravo, Ride the High Country, The Man From Laramie, The Naked Spur, & many more.
Pat Garrett Billy the Kid
Jesse James Brad Pitt
Fitfull o’ Dollars
No particular order,
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
High Plains Drifter
The Ballad of Cable Hogue
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Ride The High Country
Sorry, I thought this was a thread for Best Western Hotels…
but I’ll play along:Stagecoach (1939)The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)My Darling Clementine (1946)The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)Ride the High Country (1962)The Wild Bunch (1969)McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)Barbarosa (1982)
I’m “shocked, shocked” that no one has mentioned Peter Fonda’s Western The Hired Hand.
Fonda himself told me that it was “better than The Searchers.”
Once Upon a Time in the West
1. The Good, the Bad and The Ugly
2. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
3. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
4. There Will Be Blood
6. The Wild Bunch
7. Once Upon A time In the West
8. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
9. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
10. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
Not sure if Sierra Madre or There Will be Blood are Westerns in the classical sense, but whatever. Rio Bravo just missed. It’s a movie I love, but not as much as some people. Johnny Guitar, The Man From Laramie, Dead Man, and The Proposition are also great films.
Most overrated western of all time is The Searchers. I love John Ford, but that film is just good, certainly not great.
The best western ever made, which I can’t believe no one here has mentioned is
directed by Martin Ritt from a story by Elmore Leonard starring Paul Newman, Richard Boone, Martin Balsam, Frederick March, Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Rush, Diane Cilento.
I can only think that the people contributing to this thread haven’t seen it. Otherwise it would be on everyone’s list. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it. A great, timeless classic. One of the few Western tragedies.
John Ford’s Wagon Master is now available on DVD. $14.99 at Best Buy. I can’t wait to see this one.
Soybean – I’ve seen it twice on VHS, and I’d rank it in the top five or six Ford films. I don’t want to spoil your experience by building you up for it, but you’re in for a real treat. This film is ripe for rediscovery, and hopefully it’s DVD release will help bring it back into the spotlight that is so richly deserves.
Yeah, there was a lot of talk about this film in all of the western threads. I’m glad it’s finally available. Lookin’ forward to it, thanks.
though i haven’t seen enough westerns, “the man from laramie” seems underrated. truly engaging characterization wrapped in a shakespearean conflict
Oops…forgot to give a shout out to Peckinpah (he’s on another level)
Top Peckinpah Westerns
1) Wild Bunch
2) Pat Garret and Billy the Kid
3) Ballad of Cable Hogue
I don’t want to spoil your experience by building you up for it, but you’re in for a real treat.
Let me build him up for him then: it’s Ford’s masterpiece and possibly my pick as THE high point of American cinema.
That’s some high praise, Gringo. But, it is a fantastic movie no matter how you cut it.
1. Dead Man (95)
2. Heaven’s Gate (80)
3. One-Eyed Jacks (61)
4. The Wind (28)
5. Good, Bad, Ugly (66)
6. El Topo (70)
7. Django (66)
8. Missouri Breaks (76)
9. The Claim (00)
10. Keoma (78)
Thanks for mentioning The Hired Hand and Wagon Master. I’ve seen neither but the comments about those two have motivated me to put them on my list.
On another note, why the minimal love for Shane. I love that film. The ending with the kid crying out to Shane to come back is a great—almost musical, in an operatic sense—moment. I love that film.
Btw, has anyone seen Ed Harris’ Appaloosa? It may not be one of the greatest Westerns, but it’s very good. Recommended to fans of the genre.
Jazz – Shane is so weird for me. The first time I saw it, I thought it was pretty good. Then, after buying a copy at Aldi, it just didn’t seem the same anymore. I need to watch it again, because I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that didn’t work for me the last time I saw it. Like High Noon, I think some people find it to be a little clumsy at times.
SHANE, man, just is awful. That kid is completely terrible. JOHNNY GUITAR is much more fun.
The wild bunch
The man who shot Liberty Valance
Pat Garret and Billy The Kid
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The quiet man
I’d be interested in hearing your take on it if you watch it again, Nathan. I haven’t seen it in while, but I’m pretty sure I would still like it. One complaint I could understand is the minimal action (i.e. gunfighting) in the movie, but I suspect that’s not the problem you had with it.
Prudence, Johnny Guitar is definitely interesting and more daring, perhaps, but Shane still ranks pretty high with me.
@Rose: The Quiet Man a western? West of Ireland, yes, but..
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
Once Upon A Time In The West