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July 04, 2008


Bill Crider

Excellent placing of RIO BRAVO, but RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY has to be in any legit Top 10 list.

James T.

I think the list is pretty good.

Too bad Zorro movies don't count. I like Zorro the Gay Blade. Ohhhh, that is probably too politically incorrect these days.

The Frisco Kid is a good one, maybe a little too campy.

Thanks for your list.

Steve Hockensmith

I like RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY quite a bit -- better than THE WILD BUNCH, actually, though that's the Peckinpah Western that gets most of the hosannas. And RIDE's got L.Q. Jones AND Warren Oates AND Edgar Buchanan in it, so it's well-stocked with beloved Western character actors. But...well...you're gonna hate me for this, Bill, but...isn't Randolph Scott pretty darned stiff a lot of the time? I've seen maybe a half dozen of his Westerns, and I think the only time he didn't seem kind of cardboard and uncomfortable to me was in the very un-Western MY FAVORITE WIFE.

And if THAT seems like sacrilege, there's this: I'm usually not very impressed with Gary Cooper, either.

Bring on the flames!

As for ZORRO, THE GAY BLADE...well, if there's one thing we CAN'T say about George Hamilton, it's that he's stiff. Which sounds like the kind of set-up line that would've fit right in in the movie:




I'm with you on "The Last Picture Show" - I'm struggling with seeing it as a "western".

I was surprised that "Stagecoach" didn't make your list - isn't this the grand-daddy of the modern western?

If you like fun westerns, try James Garner's "Support Your Local Sheriff" - it's still my absolute favorite Saturday afternoon flick and Elam is in it (why wasn't it on your list???? hmmmm???). I also think "Zorro the Gay Blade" is one of the The Best when it comes to poking fun at the Zorro series. I just "netflix'd" that puppy a few weeks ago and am still cracking up.

BTW - try the Australian westerns for a change. I still get all tingly when I watch "The Man From Snowy River" - none of our cowboys ever road a horse down the side of a mountain in order to catch a herd of wild horses.



STAGECOACH I like, but I think it hasn't aged as well as John Ford's mid-period Westerns (specifically, the ones he made post-World War II through the mid-'50s). The Indian attack seems pretty corny by today's standards, IMHO, and something about the film still has the stagy/stilted quality I find in a lot of '30s movies. Still, you're right -- it's a really important movie. It's just not one of my personal faves.

As for the Garner flicks, they might have rated higher if I'd seen them more recently. I caught both SUPPORTs (but never SKIN GAME, which I'm betting is similar) several years back and liked 'em quite a bit. Guess I'll have to revisit them via good ol' Netflix and see if they break into the top 10.

And thanks for recommending THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER. I never did see that one, and it's about time I did. It's in the Netflix queue now.

Any other must sees I've missed, guys?



What about "Shane"? For me it conjures up all the hero-worship for cowboys I had as a boy--like Joey/Brandon de Wilde had for Alan Ladd. And it is physically beautiful with the Tetons. And a great villain inJack Palance.


Hey there, Ray! Good question. The simple truth is I need to see Shane again: I haven't watched it in twenty-something years. I remember liking it but not loving it at the time, but you know how one's perspective changes over the years. In fact, I find my perspective's changed in just the 15 months or so since I wrote the above post. At the time, I hadn't seen The Big Country or The Tall T yet, and I'd be tempted to slip both onto my top 10 list now. But where -- and would I simply bump off the bottom two or shake up the list some more?

Ahhhh, lists...always so arbitrary...and so fun.


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