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"Unforgiven" voted all-time best western by...

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I forget the exact website right now, but was taken back a bit when the site voted on the top 50 or more all-time greatest westerns & at A #1 was Eastwood's tremendous 1992 Oscar sweeping "Unforgiven" though

 

& they were seemingly very proud of it & seemed as though it was without peer, at 1st.

 

I easily rank it among the top 5 myself, but not at #1

 

On that note, started another poll on fav. westerns & not surprisingly "The Searchers' is in the lead was

 

Over at (tcm fanatics on FB)

 

 

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I can't argue about THE SEARCHERS.  I haven't seen the list but I bet SHANE and HIGH NOON are among the top.  UNFORGIVEN is really good and of more recent vintage so maybe more people remember it.  My favorite is STAGECOACH.

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Well, there are movies that some groups of the pretentious consider the "best", and they don't always jibe with what many others consider their "favorite".

 

And there's also a certain amount of people who go along with the former due to their believing those groups are allegedly "experts" and they HAVE to.

 

As much as I like both UNFORGIVEN and THE SEARCHERS, there are other westerns I like just as much and possibly a bit more.  And for a variety of reasons.

 

I tend to lean more towards THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and RIO BRAVO, with SHANE hot on their heels.

 

But then THE WESTERNER and RED RIVER shows up somewhere and gums up the works!  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

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I love Westerns films just as much as I love Musicals.  I can't argue with such titles such as "Unforgiven", "High Noon", "The Searchers", "Shane", "Stagecoach", "Red River", "The  Westerner", "Shootout at the O.K. Corral", The Ford trilogy.  I love all of these movies and always try to watch them when they are scheduled on TCM.  I believe "Unforgiven" is a Top 5 Western film of all time.    

 

I know any "best of" list is just an excuse to start an argument.  Since we do not know what titles are on this particular "All Time Best Westerns" list I would assume that the following movie made it on the list but is rarely spoken of on the TCM Message Boards nor has it made its premier on TCM.  This particular movie was released one year after "Unforgiven".  The movie which I speak of is "Tombstone".  This movie is going to be, if not, a classic Western movie and should be in the top 15 of any "All Time Top 50 Westerns".

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My Top Ten Favorite Westerns

 

Once Upon a Time in the West

The Wild Bunch

The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

Unforgiven

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Magnificent Seven

The Searchers

The Long Riders

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

The Outlaw Josey Wales

 

Runner-ups: Red River, Stagecoach, Tombstone, Little Big Man and Ride the High Country

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     I don't have a favorite #1 Western, but there's plenty of them I like.  I've never seen UNFORGIVEN, THE LONG RIDERS or THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE as of yet.  I like PALE RIDER quite a bit.  I'm also very fond of the 1967 Western "EL DORADO".  I like it better than "RIO BRAVO".  Arthur Hunnicutt is fine in the role Walter Brennan played in the '59 film. 

 

     Has anyone else here seen the 1972 western THE CULPEPPER CATTLE CO.?  It's worth a watch. 

 

     GUN HAWK (1963) was an interesting Western with a nutty ending.  A color film.   

 

     SHOOTOUT IN A ONE-DOG TOWN (1974-Tvm) was a decent made-for-television Western.  Good cast, too!  Runs 75 minutes.  With a title like that one might think it's a tongue-in-cheek Western.  I did at first, but it's not.  It's played straight without a laugh in its gunsight.   

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     I don't have a favorite #1 Western, but there's plenty of them I like.  I've never seen UNFORGIVEN, THE LONG RIDERS or THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE as of yet.  I like PALE RIDER quite a bit.  I'm also very fond of the 1967 Western "EL DORADO".  I like it better than "RIO BRAVO".  Arthur Hunnicutt is fine in the role Walter Brennan played in the '59 film. 

 

     Has anyone else here seen the 1972 western THE CULPEPPER CATTLE CO.?  It's worth a watch. 

 

     GUN HAWK (1963) was an interesting Western with a nutty ending.  A color film.   

 

     SHOOTOUT IN A ONE-DOG TOWN (1974-Tvm) was a decent made-for-television Western.  Good cast, too!  Runs 75 minutes.  With a title like that one might think it's a tongue-in-cheek Western.  I did at first, but it's not.  It's played straight without a laugh in its gunsight.   

GORMAN, I'd say if you liked SHANE, then you're BOUND to like PALE RIDER, since it's basically the same story.  Right down to the girl Brandon DeWilde like shouting after "the preacher" as he's leaving.  ;)

 

Ah, YES.  THE CULPEPPER CATTLE COMPANY.  I celebrated when this came out because it seemed(at the time) to me that the western genre was getting too slick and "sanitized" by then.  It certainly IS worth a watch.

 

But, in the short list of what you say you haven't seen I'd say THE LONG RIDERS is worthwhile due mostly to the clever casting.

 

Acting brothers cast as brothers.  JAMES and STACY KEACH as Frank and Jesse James, The CARRADINE BROTHERS (David, Keith and Robert) as The YOUNGER BROTHERS,  with DENNIS and RANDY QUAID as the  MILLERS and the GUEST brothers( Christopher and Nicholas) as Charley and Robert Ford.

 

Well written, well acted and well filmed.  One of MY favorites, too.

 

As for LIBERTY VALANCE, you GOTTA see that one!  I LIVE for the scene in the diner when John Wayne kicks Strother Martin in the face! ("I'LL git it Libberdy!" *WHAM!* )  :D

 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is one I caught the last half of on TV when I got sent home sick from work back in '71.  LOVE it too.  AND the look on Fonda's face when Bronson shoves that harmonica in his mouth!

 

Sepiatone

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Are you kidding me? No love for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"?

 

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Are you kidding me? No love for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"?

 

If I had added one more title to my list, it would have been Butch & Sundance.

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Are you kidding me? No love for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"?

 

I love Butch Cassidy.

 

But I suspect a lot of westerns buffs have a tendency to not regard it too seriously, as far as the genre is concerned, since it starred a couple of hip '60s actors not strongly associated with the genre. And that Raindrops number, which I find it charming, is something they will also have a lot of problems with. This isn't a film with Eastwood or the Duke, after all.

 

Having said all this, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the most enjoyable westerns that I've seen. Truth is, I get more pleasure from this film than say, John Ford's calvary films, steeped in the director's fantasy world of tradition and what the old West was like, including male choruses always seeming to hover around.

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I love Butch Cassidy.

 

But I suspect a lot of westerns buffs have a tendency to not regard it too seriously, as far as the genre is concerned, since it starred a couple of hip '60s actors not strongly associated with the genre. And that Raindrops number, which I find it charming, is something they will also have a lot of problems with. This isn't a film with Eastwood or the Duke, after all.

 

Having said all this, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of the most enjoyable westerns that I've seen. Truth is, I get more pleasure from this film than say, John Ford's calvary films, steeped in the director's fantasy world of tradition and what the old West was like, including male choruses always seeming to hover around.

 

And let's not forget the very quotable screenplay by the great William Goldman, who spent several years researching the project. 

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My Top Ten Favorite Westerns

 

Once Upon a Time in the West

The Wild Bunch

The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

Unforgiven

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Magnificent Seven

The Searchers

The Long Riders

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

The Outlaw Josey Wales

 

Runner-ups: Red River, Stagecoach, Tombstone, Little Big Man and Ride the High Country

Top Twelve

 
Once Upon a Time in The West
The Good The Bad And The Ugly
The Wild Bunch
The Searchers
Hombre
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Tall T
Man Of The West
The Ox Bow Incident
Ulzana’s Raid 
High Noon 
Ride Lonesome

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Not even in my top 50!

Agree, about Unforgiven.

 

Do this little test, imagine replacing Eastwood's character with another actor, and see how it holds up. With Eastwood half the production is carried by the cachet of the Man With No Name/Dirty Harry personna built up over his career, we know no matter how much pig  poop he lays in that at some point the Man With No Name will appear.

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The first time I saw Unforgiven I hated it. Just more Man With No Name kind of stuff, I dismissed it, and so damn violent! As CigarJoe says, just following through on the same predictable Eastwood screen persona we'd seen before.

 

When I saw it again a few years ago (not remembering it well) I saw it through entirely different eyes. Now I got the film's what violence does to men's souls message, and I marveled (not that I didn't appreciate it the first time I saw it) at the brilliance of Gene Hackman's multi layered portrayal. Richard Harris's flamboyant performance is a pleasure, as well, and Eastwood is fine.

 

I can't say that I've seen that many Eastwood westerns, but this one is clearly my favourite of them. Top ten western? Probably not on my list, but it's a fine film, nevertheless. Hackman's classic performance as Little Bill Daggett alone ("I'll see you in hell") makes it worth viewing.

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The problem some have with the genre is that those who hate westerns see them as no more than grown men that like them as vicariously reliving their childhood days when they played "cowboys and indians", and others nitpick the historical inaccuracies.

 

But you gotta admit.  ANY movies in which the story takes place in bygone days are more enjoyable( ANY movie in this case) when NOT viewed academically.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Was just trying to locate that all-time western list again that voted *"Unforgiven" (l992) as A No. 1 ever, but couldn't find it, not yet anyway

 

However, a couple more that may be of interest filmsite.com had "Butch & Sundance' on top

& the guardian.com has "0nce Upon a Time in the West" as #1 of all-time

 

& even though it wasn't theatrical, these should list 1989's magnificent tv mini-series "Lonesome dove' as an honorable mention

 

& who agrees that the legendary flop from 1980 "Heaven's Gate" (**) is not all that bad, but just mediocre?

 

THANK AGAIN

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The problem some have with the genre is that those who hate westerns see them as no more than grown men that like them as vicariously reliving their childhood days when they played "cowboys and indians", and others nitpick the historical inaccuracies.

 

But you gotta admit.  ANY movies in which the story takes place in bygone days are more enjoyable( ANY movie in this case) when NOT viewed academically.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

To Sepiatone, ever hear of a really neat magazine titled "Cowboys & Indians?" I got them yrs back as a gift for my mother & had her save most. Sometimes it can even be found in some grocery stores

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Well, there are movies that some groups of the pretentious consider the "best", and they don't always jibe with what many others consider their "favorite".

 

And there's also a certain amount of people who go along with the former due to their believing those groups are allegedly "experts" and they HAVE to.

 

As much as I like both UNFORGIVEN and THE SEARCHERS, there are other westerns I like just as much and possibly a bit more.  And for a variety of reasons.

 

I tend to lean more towards THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and RIO BRAVO, with SHANE hot on their heels.

 

But then THE WESTERNER and RED RIVER shows up somewhere and gums up the works!  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

I agree 100% & always try to indicate that difference of favs & the actual best-(i.e. among my personal all-time favorite films, several like "C. Courageous" "Dumbo" & a couple more I include, but aren't particularly among the top ten best flms ever made

 

However, your among the chosen few that would not include 1948's "Red River" on the finest list.

 

(TRIVIA: When John "Pappy Ford saw Hawks "R. River" he immediately told "The Duke" "I didn't know the sob could act" unquote)

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Well, there are movies that some groups of the pretentious consider the "best", and they don't always jibe with what many others consider their "favorite".

 

And there's also a certain amount of people who go along with the former due to their believing those groups are allegedly "experts" and they HAVE to.

 

As much as I like both UNFORGIVEN and THE SEARCHERS, there are other westerns I like just as much and possibly a bit more.  And for a variety of reasons.

 

I tend to lean more towards THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and RIO BRAVO, with SHANE hot on their heels.

 

But then THE WESTERNER and RED RIVER shows up somewhere and gums up the works!  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

I've always easily voted for both "Liberty" & of course "Shane" up in my own top ten.

 

(P.S. among my own "Walls-of-Fame" I have up a "NP Guide" from November 2002 with *"The Duke" on it's cover & says "Every Classic Western, except "Shane"

& another older & superb photo was in a "Premiere" & has a shot of Ford sitting in his famed directors chair & it reads from "The Man Who Shot"-"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" always found it cool as it's worded) & on that note, who also strongly thinks both Lee Marvin & or Edmond 0'Brien-(channeling *Thomas Mitchell) were robbed of s. actor nods for it? 0'Brien in somewhat of a prelude to his superb work in "The Wild Bunch" (l969)

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I love Westerns films just as much as I love Musicals.  I can't argue with such titles such as "Unforgiven", "High Noon", "The Searchers", "Shane", "Stagecoach", "Red River", "The  Westerner", "Shootout at the O.K. Corral", The Ford trilogy.  I love all of these movies and always try to watch them when they are scheduled on TCM.  I believe "Unforgiven" is a Top 5 Western film of all time.    

 

I know any "best of" list is just an excuse to start an argument.  Since we do not know what titles are on this particular "All Time Best Westerns" list I would assume that the following movie made it on the list but is rarely spoken of on the TCM Message Boards nor has it made its premier on TCM.  This particular movie was released one year after "Unforgiven".  The movie which I speak of is "Tombstone".  This movie is going to be, if not, a classic Western movie and should be in the top 15 of any "All Time Top 50 Westerns".

(TRIVIA: For the most part all that's still-standing from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (l949) is *Wayne's own house/fort,etc) American-Indians used to adore Ford because he'd always give them jobs. & given he reached admiral during "The War" like *Jimmy Stewart, he easily coulda' ben interred at "Arlington," but instead chose "Holy Cross, cem" in Culver City & *Jimmy chose the legendary Glendale "F. Lawn" instead, with his contemporaries

& who knows-(I'm certain one of you fellow TCM-ITES will have the answer out there) why was the marvelous in every way, Maureen 0'Hara chose/allowed to be interred in "Arlington, cem.?")

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Agree, about Unforgiven.

 

Do this little test, imagine replacing Eastwood's character with another actor, and see how it holds up. With Eastwood half the production is carried by the cachet of the Man With No Name/Dirty Harry personna built up over his career, we know no matter how much pig  poop he lays in that at some point the Man With No Name will appear.

 

That's actually integral to the success of the film. It works because of Eastwood's past. When people in the film recall the things that William Munny has done in the past, the audience is expected to recall prior Eastwood films, particularly the Man with No Name. The story is showing what would have become of such a man if he had lived to old age, what it would have done to him internally. 

 

When at the end, as you put it, "the Man with No Name appears", the Munny character has lost. Sure, he kills the "bad guys", but at what cost? To get to that place in his mind where he can do those things again, he loses his soul. That was what Eastwood was trying to say, that these violent men were not heroes to be cheered, but soulless monsters to be feared, and maybe even pitied.

 

This is not your father's Western. It's deconstructionist of deconstructionist Westerns. The Man with No Name films, and others of its ilk, turned the old "white-hat/black-hat" Western archetype on its head by showing moral ambivalence. Unforgiven was a study on the end results of such moral ambivalence.

 

All of that, plus the tremendous acting, excellent dialogue, authentic sets and costuming, and superlative cinematography, are why it's in my top 5 favorite Westerns. 

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(TRIVIA: For the most part all that's still-standing from "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (l949) is *Wayne's own house/fort,etc) American-Indians used to adore Ford because he'd always give them jobs. & given he reached admiral during "The War" like *Jimmy Stewart, he easily coulda' ben interred at "Arlington," but instead chose "Holy Cross, cem" in Culver City & *Jimmy chose the legendary Glendale "F. Lawn" instead, with his contemporaries

& who knows-(I'm certain one of you fellow TCM-ITES will have the answer out there) why was the marvelous in every way, Maureen 0'Hara chose/allowed to be interred in "Arlington, cem.?")

 

O'Hara is buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to her third husband, Charles F. Blair, Jr., who was an aviator and brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force. They were married from 1968 until his death in a place crash in 1978.

 

Maureen-OHara-Charlie-Blair-Jr.jpg

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My Top Ten Favorite Westerns

 

Once Upon a Time in the West

The Wild Bunch

The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford-(Lawrence, another very rare inclusion, but it's very little known & only made $4m. & I went toi it when released & also think it's very strong (***1/2-out of 4) It earned the recent *Oscar victor: Casey Affleck a s. actor shot & took home Best Cinematograph. I felt as though it was like looking into a time porthole of sorts)

Unforgiven

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly-(TRIVIA: & is the ever obnoxious but talented filmmaker Q. Tarentino's all-time all-around fav. motion picture)

The Magnificent Seven-(P.S. I reviewed last yrs remake & expected it to be a typical remake in this era, but found it a wee-bit better then I anticipated (barely 2 & 1/2( & almost grossed $100m. domestically) of course still no match for this 1960 version)

The Searchers

The Long Riders-(& a fairly unknown & underrated western by Walter Hill)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

The Outlaw Josey Wales-(my personal candidate among Eastwood's overall top 3 to 5 finest)

 

Runner-ups: Red River, Stagecoach, Tombstone, Little Big Man and Ride the High Country

& a comparison vs. my own top 10:

1st "The Searchers"-(AFI voted it up to #12th place from #96th in it's hardly & still unkown sequel/follow up to "AFI's 100yrs...100 Movies" (l998) & in 07 they conducted this follow-up but not televised "AFI's 100yrs...100 Movies"-"10th Anniversary Edition" It voted it up #84 notches in a decade!)

2. "Shane"

3. "0nce Upon a Time in the West"-(NOTE: & also contains my all-time fav. score by Ennio)

4. "Unforgiven" ('92 version)-(P.S. I'll always remember both Ebert & Siskel-(now & sadly far more forgotton then Ebert?) compared it's scrip & dialogue to Hemingway)

5th "The Wild Bunch" (TRIVIA: Along w/"Bonnie & Clyde" the major reasons they installed the MPAA rating system)

6. "Red River"

7. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"-(PRINT THE LEGDN)

8. "High Noon"-(a role first & literally push onto John Wayne, like the earlier *Oscar sweeping "All the King's Men" (l949)

9. "My Darling Clementine"-(To me Henry was the epitome of Earp here, runner-up Costner in his epic 195min 1994 "Wyatt Earp" Ford even got to know Ford personally, shortly before his 1929 demise at age 81)

10th fav. "Stagecoach" (l939)-(not especially among my true favorite's, but must be included)

(Honorable-mention):

"Lonesome Dove" (l989 tv mini-series) Even Duvall's favorite role as Augustus McCrae)

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