Legends of Western Cinema Week Kick-off!

PEOPLE!  'T'IS HERE!  The event Emma and I (and hopefully you) have been awaiting with bated breath!  Welcome to Legends of Western Cinema Week!  As you may have figured out, I'm nearly beside myself with excitement.

So, after lengthy consultations *snort*, Emma and I decided that it would be best for us to start off this week with a list of our top ten Westerns, but to do our lists separately, as we have two other collaborative posts in the works.  Thusly (yeah, I like that word), hop on over to her blog to view her top ten Westerns.  Meanwhile, here are mine.

This is a countdown list, like the majority of my top ten lists are (you can click on the handy little label on the sidebar if you wish to see other top-ten lists), with #1 being my very favorite Western.  I tried to be as accurate as I could in these, but, you know, 't'is difficult.   And I tried to take into consideration exactly how 'Western-y' each movie was in my rankings, but I don't know--I really do preface too often and too much in my posts.  Shutting up.

#10:  How the West Was Won (1962)

First of all, I loved the cast in this one.  Seriously--it's like the ultimate dream cast for oldie movies.  However, even though I know the three-pan-filming-thing was a big deal at that time, and was considered revolutionary and wonderful and everything, I gotta say, it distracted from the storyline.  Or, should I say, storylineS, because there were so many.  And they didn't always transition smoothly:-/  BUT, again, the cast was spectacular, and I did really enjoy the music.  All the old folk ballads, and hearing different lyrics to the tune of 'What Child Is This?' were wonderful.  Especially when the chorus started singing it at the very end, and an old Debbie Reynolds was rolling away in a wagon, laughing with her nephew and and his children, and it started to pan out into a vista of the Old West… "Come, come; there's a wondrous land, for the hopeful heart, for the willing hand.  Come, come away with me, and I'll build you a home in the meadow."  

#9:  Lonesome Dove (1989)

Aww, look at Woodrow and Augustus being epic Western bosses together.

Though it isn't my favorite overall, LD has several moments in it that are just too awesome to be ignored.  I like the latter parts of it better, for instance.  When *SPOILERS!* Gus dies, it's just too beautifully sad that it just…sniffles.  And then when Woodrow is bringing him back, and it's so hard, and he buries him in Gus and Clara's special spot, and the Latin inscription (which really doesn't make much sense in Latin, but we get the idea, so whatevs), and then THAT ENDING (oh my heavens above, that ending) and I just can't *END OF SPOILERS*  

#8:  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

You guys know already how I love this movie:D  Mainly because Howard Keel's, in my personal opinion, is one of the greatest voices God ever gave this earth;)  And then there are the delightful characters, and the dance sequences.  Like the one pictured above--one of my favorite ever!  It is soooo much fun.  (And no, I don't care that the costumes are historically inaccurate XD )

#7:  Rango (2011)

I admit, this is a very odd movie.  But honestly, that's part of the reason I like it--it is so extremely original.  I don't think I've ever watched a movie quite like it.  And, of course, it's funny:)

#6:  True Grit (2010)

You can read more of my thoughts on this movie here.

#5:  Hidalgo (2004)

*sniffle*  This movie, though…okay, so it's pushing the boundaries of being termed a Western, but  there is a definite Old West feel to several parts in the movie.  Plus, whether it's a hardcore Western or not, it's a dang good story about a cowboy.  

#4:  The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

This is one of the most adorable, hilarious movies I've ever watched.  But then again, I grew up with it, so I may be biased;)  If you'd care to read my review, here 't'is.

#3:  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

*clutches at heart*  Oh my word, peoples, do you know what I was wholly unprepared for when I watched this movie?  THE FEELS.  *sobs*  WHY, JIMMY?!  WHY DID YOU STEAL JOHNNY'S GIRL?!  I mean, I'm a great fan of James Stewart, but TOM WAS THERE FIRST!!!  And he loved her the whole time (Ranse didn't), and he was building her a house, and he saved Ranse's life, and he got his heart broken, and I was almost tearing up by the end.  There were so many feels!  I wasn't expecting them from a 60s' Western!  WHAT IS THIS LIFE?!  

Ahem.  Calming down.  

#2:  Spirit:  Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

This movie is like…perfection, captured in an animated film.  I'm not even kidding.  I love it so much.  AND THE MUSIC.  Don't even get me started...

And my absolute favorite Western IS…*drumroll*...

#1:  Broken Trail (2006)

I love how completely Western-y this picture is!

Forever and always.  <3 <3 <3  You can read my review here.  


  1. This is so much fun to read!

    Y'know what makes me really sad? My favorite Western story of all time, "A Distant Trumpet" by Paul Horgan, is an absolutely amazing novel, but it got made into a super-lame movie that didn't even try to follow the book's plot. It's so awful, because if it had only been made into a GOOD movie it would probably be one of the best Western films ever.

    Isn't it sooooo frustrating when they do that? "What might have been," etc. I guess it's not too late for a remake, though. :)

    1. Good! I'm glad you like it, Jessica!:D

      Oh, really? That is awful! But yes, there's always hope for a remake:)

    2. Yeah. I especially wish they'd do a remake because my blogging pseudonym, Jessica Prescott, comes from that novel and I would LOVE to see her portrayed really well on screen. It would be . . . awesomeness. That's all. Because she's an awesome character :)

    3. Really?! That's awesome! Well, then, yes, I hope they do a remake!! Whom would you like to play Jessica Prescott if they did a remake, just curious?:D

    4. Oh, man, I never really thought about that, so I don't have an answer lined up right away . . . I guess, thinking about it, I would have to say Diane Lane would be one of my top choices. I think she could do Jessica's combination of "delightful charm and iron will" very, very well. Elizabeth Banks looks a lot like Jessica ought to . . . but it'd be very different from what she usually does. Keeley Hawes might also be very good.

    5. Ohhhhh! Just realized I missed the obvious choice--Sandra Bullock! She'd be PERFECT.

    6. Oh, cool! All four of those actresses are lovely!:)

  2. Yay for the Apple Dumpling Gang! :D

  3. Seven Bride for Seven Brothers! That is an amazingly fun movie! :) And I love the Apple Dumpling Gang! It's such a cute and hilarious film! (I grew up on it, too!)

    ~Miss March

    1. Isn't it, though?! They're such awesome family movies, both of them:D

  4. Eeeeeek it's here, it's here, it's here!!!!

    Haha, yes, lengthy consultation indeed. ;-) I'm so glad you did a top ten list too!! You know, I wanted to make mine a count-down list, but I didn't think about it until I was practically finished, and I was too lazy to re-format everything. ;-P

    I LOVE the 'Home in the Meadow' song from How the West Was Won! Yes, all the different storylines wound together did get a little confusing, but in general I like it when there's a lot going on.

    I think I might have seen The Apple Dumpling Gang a very long time ago...though maybe that was some sequel movie Disney made. I don't remember. Is Don Knotts in it? Cause he was in the thing I watched.

    Whoa, so you really like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance! I must be missing out. ;-D

    At first I was surprised that you put Lonesome Dove #9, but now I get it. It has issues. But it's just...well...special to me. Lonesome Dove and I have been through a lot together, we have. I used to hate it, actually, but then I watched the whole thing and I liked it, and it gradually grew on me until I absolutely loved it. It really is an amazing story. The characters have such a dear place with me. :-)

    Haha. Rango. Whatever. ;-D

    That last picture made me fall helplessly in love with Tom all over again. Why do you do this to me, Olivia.

    Great list!!!

    1. YES!:D

      Of course! 'T'was a splendid idea, m'dear. Hahaha, yeah, I probably wouldn't have gone back and re-format either;-P

      Isn't it great?! It's all…shivery and nostalgic and old-timey-awesome. Yup, they did. But you're right, also--at least it didn't really drag;) My favorite storyline was the Gregory Peck/Debbie Reynolds one, of course;D

      Ooooh, you should watch it again! Yep, Don Knotts is in both the first and second Apple Dumpling Gangs. And he's awesome:)

      I do! It shot up REALLY high the first time I watched it (which, technically speaking, is the only time I've watched it). You definitely are! WATCH IT;)

      Yeah *sheepishly* Well, then, maybe I'll slowly fall in love with it, too! I do love parts of it, it's just that…as you said, it has issues;-P

      Heehee XD

      I KNOW RIGHT. Well, the Internet did it to me, so I'm just trying to spread the love;)


  5. I love reading favorite lists. I've seen six of these, and enjoyed those. (Haven't seen Broken Trail, Spirit, Apple Dumpling Gang, or True Grit.)

    And, woo! Rango! I really love that movie, and it is makes good use of classic Western elements. Such a fun film.

    1. So do I! Hmm, I think you'd quite enjoy Broken Trail and Spirit, especially, but I may be wrong.

      Finally! Another Rango person! It is so much fun, exactly! I just really like it a lot:D

    2. Spirit is a horse movie. I do not watch horse movies. Even animated ones, and I've Heard Things about this one. Horse movies stress me out and make me cry and cry. More than other animal movies, which I also tend to avoid. LOL! I have "The Silver Brumby" on DVD (cuz, young Russell Crowe!!!!), and I only made it about twenty minutes in and had to stop watching.

      (Oddly, though, I can read horse stories and animals stories, even stressful ones etc, with no problem whatsoever. I just usually can't do the movie versions!)

    3. Oh, haha. Well, then. P'raps not;) I definitely understand, though--I can't take animal movies that end SADLY. Those, just no. But since this one doesn't, I'm fine with it, heehee. But yeah, up to you:)

  6. Olivia,
    Ah... How The West Was Won. I have a sort of have a love-hate relationship with that one. I saw it years ago when I was just a child, so at the time I had no idea there were SO MANY famous actors in it!! Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart etc, so yes I really need to see it again. I do remember however absolutely loving Zeb (is that his name?) and the leader of the wagon train who I thought was just wonderful. :)

    The Apple Dumpling Gang!!! Hip, hip HOORAY! :)

    1. Haha, I understand. It's a strange one, for sure. I remember the name Zeb…I think he was Jimmy Stewart's son? And yeah, the wagon train leader was pretty cool--though I confess I'm much happier that Debbie Reynolds ended up with Gregory Peck:D

      YES! Love that movie;)

  7. I've actually seen a couple of these...How the West was Won (didn't like it at all...sorry. Although it did have a great cast), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Apple Dumpling Gang, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (actually we were just watching this the other night!), and Spirit. Out of those I'd have to say my favorite would be....hmm...perhaps one of those last three. ;)

    1. You were just watching The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance?!?! Oooh, what'd you think?! Tell me, tell me!!;)

    2. Heehee, well I don't think I enjoy it as much as you seem to, but it is very good. ;) I love how Ranse starts a school. And yes. Poor John Wayne. :( It's interesting seeing John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart in a movie together....I think it's the only one I've seen with both of them.

    3. They're also both in The Shootist. The only other movie they're both in is How the West Was Won, but they have no scenes together in it.

    4. Haha, that's okay;) I knoooooow...poor Johnny-boy:'(

      Yeah, you two are right, I guess TMWSLV and HTWWW are the only ones I've watched with the both of them.

    5. Oh! Thanks, Hamlette. I was wondering whether John Wayne was in HTWWW but I couldn't remember for sure.

    6. The Shootist is really sad for me because it's John Wayne's last movie, and he was dying of cancer while he made it, and it's about an aging gunfighter who's dying of cancer, so it's this meta and melancholy movie. Jimmy Stewart plays his doctor and best friend, and it makes me cry.

    7. Oh! Feels! The Shootist sounds extremely emotional:'(

  8. I have to admit. The only movie on this list that I have seen is Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. But I have seen other westerns like The Shadow Riders, Crossfire Trail, Magnificent Seven and The Sacketts.

    Have you seen Viggo Mortensen's first movie, The Witness with Harrison Ford? Viggo plays an Amish boy in it and for me (who has lived among the Amish) it is rather funny to see Viggo dressed as one!!!!

    1. Haha, that's okay, Bailey! Ooh, I really want to watch The Magnificent Seven--I've heard it's terrific!:)

      VIGGO PLAYED WITH HARRISON FORD?!?! I must lay hands on this movie immediately. Forthwith. Post-haste. Thanks for letting me know, Bailey!

    2. It is terrific!!! I have only watched it once, but I really need to watch it again.

      YEAH!!!!! You're welcome!!!

    3. Oh my goodness, it sounds SO awesome, and I haven't even the faintest idea what it's about!

    4. Hahaha!! I think that it is about a detective who has to go into the Amish community to protect an Amish girl because she saw a murder committed.

    5. That sounds pretty cool! I shall be on the look-out;D

  9. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance! I agree! Ahhhhh!

    1. Aaaaauuuuggghhh, it's so amazing! I think I might watch it again today (because I want to be sure to get a review in this week), and so I'll probably be reduced to a puddle of feels again;)

  10. So. Many. Favorites.

    How the West Was Won is sprawling and rambly, but delightful. 7 Brides is a fun romp, and so is The Apple Dumpling Gang. And isn't Rango just a wacky, wonderful exercise in hallucinatory hilarity? True Grit is great, and I dearly love The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. So serious and good. And, yes, full of feelsy feels.

    1. Yeeeeesssss:D

      "A wacky, wonderful exercise in hallucinatory hilarity"--that is a PERFECT description!:D I may quote you if I post a review;-P

      The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance...ohhhh myyyyy worrrrd. It is just SO amazingly feelsy.


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