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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

My Favorite Westerns
(listed by year)

  1. The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965)
    This has to be my favorite John Wayne movie, although he has another on my list that I like for other reasons. Dean Martin, Earl Holliman, George Kennedy and Paul Fix help weave a story about a gunfighter who tries to come home and settle his late mother’s estate. Strother Martin combines with Dean Martin for one of the funniest scenes when Dean Martin’s character raffles his glass eye to afford a drink.
  2. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
    When Redford and Newman are trapped on some the side of a mountain with no place to go and the posse shooting at them, Newman wants to jump in the river below. Redford prefers to hopelessly fight it out in a gunfight, much to Newman's chagrin. Finally Newman questions Redford’s reluctance to jump and he replies, "I can't swim." After Newman’s long laugh, Newman says "Can't swim? Hell, the fall will kill you!" Classic.
  3. True Grit (1969)
    When I look back on the movie, there are quite a few names in it worth mentioning, besides John Wayne: Glen Campbell, Kim Darby, Dennis Hopper, Robert Duvall and Strother Martin. The scenery is tremendous. Glen Campbell's performance is hilarious, although it isn't supposed to be. Fortunately, Campbell could sing, because he couldn't act.
  4. Support Your Local Sheriff (1969)
    James Garner, Joan Hackett, Harry Morgan, Walter Brennan: What's not to like? Garner takes a job in a gold rush town and arrests the youngest son of the local evil landowner. A battle of hired guns begins as Garner continues to make the town his and beats the gunslingers at their own game.
  5. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
    Perhaps Clint Eastwood's best western and believe me, he's made many. The dialogue between Eastwood and Chief Dan George is classic and sometimes it is so funny that one forgets the movie is not a comedy. John Vernon shows his versatility as Fletcher, the man hire to track Wales and kill him. It's hard to believe that he turned out to be Dean Wormer in Animal House just two years later.
  6. Silverado (1985)
    When Silverado was released, most of the actors were stars but had not yet hit their prime: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover and Brian Dennehy. This is the story of a corrupt lawman and the cowboys who ride to save the day.
  7. Dances With Wolves (1990)
    I believe that Kevin Costner's tale of befriending Native Americans strikes a nerve deep in the heart of movie watchers everywhere. The cinematography is breathtaking and John Barry's soundtrack is second to none. Graham Greene and Mary McDonell turn in spectacular performances.
  8. Tombstone (1993)
    Though this movie is generally about Kurt Russell's character Wyatt Earp, Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday steals the show with his performance. Tombstone has a great supporting cast with Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, Dana Delaney and a host of others.
  9. Maverick (1994)
    Now this one WAS a comedy that took place in the late 1800s, but I enjoyed it all the same. Graham Greene again plays a Native American, but much different than the one in Dances With Wolves. Maverick is worth seeing for Greene's performance alone.
  10. Open Range (2003)
    This is a different kind of western with Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Benning. A former gunslinger has to take up guns again when threatened by a corrupt lawman. It is contrived, but effective.

*Contributed by: "Arlen Crawford" Wed, Mar 01 2006 / 16:56:06 PST