Posted by: dougery | January 25, 2012

2012: My Year in… Westerns

It is a somewhat well known fact that I struggle to grow a beard. If left unattended my face will produce a scraggly goatee, the bulk of which is stache, soul-patch and neckbeard. I can raise no sideburns to speak of. My cheeks lay largely dormant. I make no secret of my beardlust of historical persons like Whitman, Karl Marx, etc. Which is to say that given the the poor state of my facial follicle affairs you might question my masculinity.

Perhaps this is why I spent 2011 watching every single Bond movie. Maybe it was an effort to bolster my testosterone-handicapped facade. Yes, I watch movies where dashing men seduce countless women and kill people to save the world. How manly. Yep, that’s me. Apparently I have not yet bolstered this inner inferiority complex because I have decided that this year will be the year of the Western.

Now unlike when I first ventured into the realm of Bond movies as a 007 virgin, I have seen a few Westerns. Good ones, too. Therefore when we get to my ‘syllabus’ later on, quite a few prominent titles will be missing because I have already seen them. Movies like:

Stagecoach (1939),
The Magnificent Seven
(1960)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
(1962),
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
(1966),
Tombstone
(1993),
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
(2007),
Meek’s Cutoff (2010),
or the remake of True Grit (2010)

So if a film does not appear on the list below (or the one above), and you think I should see definitely see it, holler at me in the comments section. I am going to try and get through as many of these as possible, at least as many as the number of Bond movies (22) but hopefully more. Also, if you see a big favorite of yours here, let me know that, too. I think I am going to proceed at random, rather than go in any kind of order. I culled these titles from various ‘Best of’ lists, most the these appeared on dozens of lists, a few were cherrypicked stand-alones that piqued my interest. Anyhow, I just received Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch in the mail today and will likely watch it over the weekend. A good way to begin I hope.

So here we are in chronological order, with who (at least to me) stands out name-wise in terms of director / actors, etc.:

My Darling Clementine (1946) feat. Henry Fonda
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
(1948) dir Huston, feat. Bogart
The Gunfighter (1950) feat. Gregory Peck
Red River (1948) feat. Montgomery Clift
High Noon (1952) feat. Gary Cooper / Grace Kelly
The Naked Spur (1953) feat. Jimmy Stewart
Shane (1953) dir. Stevens
The Searchers (1956) feat. Wayne
The Tall T (1957) feat. Randolph Scott (Add: JN)
Rio Bravo (1959) feat. Dean Martin
One-Eyed Jacks (1961) dir. Marlon Brando
A Fistful of Dollars (1964) feat. Eastwood
For a Few Dollars More (1965) ”
Cat Ballou (1965) feat. Jane Fonda / Lee Marvin
The Professionals (1966) feat. Burt Lancaster
Hang ‘Em High (1968) feat. Eastwood (Add: JS)
Will Penny (1968) feat. Heston
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) dir. Leone
The Wild Bunch (1969) dir. Peckinpah
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969) feat. Paul Newman, Redford
Little Big Man (1970) feat. Dustin Hoffman
Duck, You Sucker (1970) dir. Leone
2 Mules For Sister Sara (1970) feat. Eastwood, MacLaine (Add: KO)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) dir. Altman, feat. Beatty, etc
Jeremiah Johnson (1972) dir. Pollack (add: AA)
High Plains Drifter (1973) dir. Eastwood (Add: KO)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) feat. Kris Kristofferson / James Coburn
Blazing Saddles (1974) dir. Brooks
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) feat. Eastwood
The Shootist (1976) feat. Wayne, Bacall (Add: JD)
Tom Horn (1980) feat. McQueen (Add: KO)
The Man From Snowy River (1982) feat Kirk Douglas (Add: HP)
Silverado (1985) feat. Kline, Costner, etc
Pale Rider (1985) all Eastwood all the time (Add: JD)
Lonesome Dove (1989) TV mini-series (add: KAO)
Unforgiven (1992) dir. Eastwood
Posse (1993) dir. Van Peebles
Dead Man (1995) dir. Jarmusch, feat. Depp
Young Guns (1998) feat. estevez, sutherland (add: AA)
Ravenous (1999) feat. Carlyle, Pearce
Shanghai Noon (2000) Feat. Chan / Wilson
Open Range (2003) dir. Costner
Deadwood (2004-06) HBO TV series
The Proposition (2005) feat. Guy Pearce / Emily Watson
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) Tommy Lee Jones
Seraphim Falls (2006) feat. Brosnan (NO!) / Neeson
3:10 to Yuma (2007) feat. Crowe / Bale

See y’all ’round these parts soon I reckon.

Reading: You Deserve Nothing by Maksik

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Responses

  1. You should consider Lonesome Dove even though it’s a miniseries.

  2. Great add, KAO. I should also consider Deadwood, from what I hear. I’ve been scrounging for modern westerns, and those that explore feminism and race as Westerns are notoriously the province of white men subjugating the natives/women.

    • Deadwood is amazing. How are you planning to blog it? Would you do one entry per season, per episode?

  3. I am by no means an expert on this genre but a few of my favorites:

    Shane (good call on that one)
    The Shootist
    Pale Rider

    You have some interesting ones later on there and you continue to amaze me… You haven’t seen Blazing Saddles? Hehe.

    I look forward to reading your posts!

    • Nope, I have not seen Blazing Saddles. I am the film watching equivalent of an 8th grader. Remember, I lived in a cave at the bottom of the ocean sequestered away from all pop-culture for all of the 80s and most of the 90s.

  4. I freaking love Pale Rider. Any space westerns on the docket?

    & how’s the Maksik treating you? We should talk about it at some point.

    • space westerns… like Serenity? Cowboy Bebop? Or Star Wars? I’ve seen them all so they would be ineligible. But if you can think of any others be sure to drop me a line.

      I burned through the Maksik pretty quick. A fast, compelling, creepy read.


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