Legends of Western Cinema Week || My Top Ten Favorite Westerns {Take 2}

We've been here before, but that list is fairly outdated now, as you'll see.  Thusly, the impetus for the second edition. ;)

Titles linked to my reviews where applicable.

(Also:  Some of these movies have what one might call "mature content."  If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to give a thorough rundown.)

#10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Westerns, movies/tv

This is sad and aching and good.

#9.  Hidalgo (2004)

Hildalgo. Incredible movie, even more incredible horse, and its a TRUE STORY.

Excellent movie, this.  A little bittersweet, and not necessarily in the way I like my bittersweet stories, but Viggo Mortensen is wonderful and the ending scene is really moving (bittersweet nature notwithstanding).  Exciting races, desert sands, beautiful horses, fun lines ("Men go maaaaad!").

#8.  The War Wagon (1967)

The War Wagon (1967) Movie Review & Film Summary | MHM Podcast Network

I love John Wayne's rapport with Kirk Douglas in this show.  Plus, it's just good, old-fashioned, low-stakes fun with quite decent storytelling.  I love the music, I love the humor, I love the various little relationships.

#7.  The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

The Apple Dumpling Gang

This movie is hilarious.  It is all kinds of fun, and it has major Childhood Nostalgia for me.  The romance isn't half bad either, and Theodore & Amos should be trademarked. ;)

#6.  Rango (2011)

Rango ref

I love how continuously clever this show is.  The animation is incredible, and the script is so thoughtful in its comedy ("I will blow that ugly right off your face!").  It's delightful.  I love it.

#5.  Quigley Down Under (1990)

Quigley Down Under 1990

So, so so good.  I wish there weren't so many uses of God's name in vain, but beyond that it's basically perfect.  The three main actors all play great characters very well, and I'm impressed by how the movie is able to execute both humor and grit so distinctly and so adeptly.

#4.  Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Movie of my childhood, container of fabulous animation and moving storytelling and well-nigh breathtaking music, I love you.  I think the only thing I'd change about you is the gooey love montage between Spirit and Rain.  Otherwise, stay you.

(SERIOUSLY YOUR CAPTURE/JOURNEY SCENES AND YOUR FIRE SCENE AND YOUR ESCAPE SCENES AND YOUR ENDING AND YOUR WHOLE TRIBUTE TO THE AMERICAN WEST.  YOU ARE A THING OF BEAUTY.)

#3.  The Big Country (1958)

Found on Bing from classic--movies.blogspot.com

I love that this is one of those movies that isn't afraid of silence.  It plays out over a sprawling landscape and explores the various consequences of the story with care and composure.  And Gregory Peck and Jean Simmons are wonderful.  I really, really like it.

#2.  The Magnificent Seven (1960)

"Only the farmers won. We lost. We always lose."⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 (John Sturges, 1960)  #themagnificentseven #yulbrynner…

Exquisite.  I love it.  Effortless, subtle execution of the story, an amazing cast, a realistic and meaningful ending, and a rollicking score.

#1.  Broken Trail (2006)

broken trail | Broken Trail on AllMovie
*inarticulate fangirl noises*

I have already raved about this movie several times, and yet if I wanted to I could probably dredge up a couple more posts.  It's layered and it's gritty and it's tasteful and it's a quietly impassioned defense of basic goodness.  I love it deeply.

What are your favorite Westerns?
Do we share any?

Comments

  1. Ahhh yes... Apple Dumpling. It's just so familiar and comfy, ain't it? <333

    Ditto on The Big Country and Mag7. (I mean, isn't that title just the most thrilling? "The Magnificent 7.")

    I hadn't heard of Quigley Down Under, but it looks good.

    And, I've known this for a very long while ;), but clearly I need to see The War Wagon and Broken Trail.

    (P.S. Also, pardon my ignorance, but just what IS Rango? I know you've mentioned/enjoyed it for years now... Is it little folk friendly? Ok, off to read your other post on it cause maybe you answer all my questions over there. ;D)

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    1. P.P.S. And I forgot!!! You HAVE TO SEE UNION PACIFIC ASAP. (Unless of course you've already seen it and didn't like it, in which case we have nothing more to say to one another. ;D) But seriously, I've seen both now and for all the heartachy sniffly reasons you deeply enjoy TMWSLV, I *think* you might really love it too. (Pleeease...? Just to make me happy?? ;D) If you haven't seen it yet I can't wait to have a proper squealy incoherencey session. <333

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    2. It really is. I love watching the opening, with the fun, old-timey font of the title and the chill music and Donovan riding slowly into the town. Great fun. <3

      The Magnificent Seven is an excellent title, indeed.

      Quigley Down Under was a recent recommendation from a friend, and it blew me away. It's amazing. (Be forewarned, however, that there is non-sexual nudity throughout and a good bit of language as well.)

      Yaaaaaasss. Do it. ;) (Ditto--on content--for Broken Trail, but it's SO WORTH IT, UGH.)

      (I'm glad you enjoyed the review! As for its little-folk friendliness . . . well, I guess it all depends on your personal standards for wee ones. There's a tiny bit of language, typical of any Western but always a little jarring--for me, at least--in an animated movie. :-P There are a few sly jokes/implications that would probably go right over children's heads, but beyond that, I think it's fine. :) Though, again, it is a little "odd," so I don't know how appealing it would be to kids.)

      OKAY I WILL HAVE TO LOOK INTO THIS. I will say, I don't love TMWSLV quite as much anymore as I did when I first watched it, but I still appreciate it very much, so I would probably appreciate UP, too, even if I don't love it to bitsy bits. So, yes. I will try to investigate this, and then we can Chat. ;D <3

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  2. The Apple Dumpling Gang! Memories!!!! I loved that movie as a kid. Broken Trail was excellent. Very dark and rough and real.

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    1. Same!! I'm so glad you enjoyed Broken Trail.

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  3. I have yet to catch up with Rango. Must do that.

    I will confess here that it took me years to grow into The Magnificent Seven. I thought it was a movie that lived and died on its score. Then I finally saw Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Then I understood the inspiration and the aspiration. Then I started cutting "Magnificent" some slack, and then - only then came my appreciation. It's been a journey.

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    1. It's a total blast. I hope you love it!

      Interesting! I can't relate to that with Mag7 specifically, but looooots of movies have had to grow on me, too. And I sort of feel like classics, especially, aren't always instant hits for me.

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  4. Mmmm, so lovely. I still need to see Broken Trail, Spirit, and Hidalgo, but I'm right there with you on the others. Magnificent Seven and Apple Dumpling Gang are high on my all-time favorites list.

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    1. Ooh, I'll be fascinated to see what you think of all three of those. I suspect that you'll quite enjoy Hidalgo, but I could be wrong.

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    2. I looked for Broken Trail and Hidalgo at the used book store yesterday, but they didn't have either one :-( One day!

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  5. HIDALGO = ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES EVER!!

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  6. Ack yes, I adore Hidalgo and The Apple Dumpling Gang. <333

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  7. SAME THO ABOUT SPIRIT. Why that weird "romantic" montage?? THEY'RE HORSES. CHILL.

    Big Country is soooo good. *heart eyes* And I think I like The Mag. 7 more every time I watch it and I want to watch it again soon. Especially since I've been on a Steve McQueen kick lately. xD

    I WISH WE WATCHED BROKEN TRAIL UGHHH. I need to, soon.

    PS. Okay but about Hidalgo...does it still count as a Western if it doesn't take place in the West?? That movie confuzzles me, though I did like it. :P

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    1. "THEY'RE HORSES." Haha, me, with any animal romance ever, pretty much. XD

      Yes to all. <3

      I DO TOOOOOO. Next time. We shall have to do it next time, whether we feel like it or no. ;) (Unless, of course, you watch it before then.)

      P.S. Welllll . . . you'll get different answers to that. ;) I count it as a basically-Western, since it does explore Western themes and it's literally about a down-and-out cowboy, which seems about as Western as you can get, but others might not agree. :-P

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  8. Ok, so I'm not the biggest western fan out there (my two older sisters were crazy into them when I was growing up, which kind of turned me off them even more :P) BUT there are a couple movies on this list that I identify with and really love. That would be Hidalgo and The Magnificent Seven. The former because I think it's such a unique, precious movie and the latter because it's what I consider to be the epitome of a good western. And the cast is quite pleasing to watch also. ;D

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