Western : Westerns


The Good the Bad and the Ugly?
Once upon a Time in the West?

Anybody want to talk about classic westerns?

Or just hot girls

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Re: Westerns

How about Stagecoach, the John Ford Mad Max? I like that one. Of the two you mentioned, I prefer The Good the Bad and the Ugly to Once upon a Time in the West even though the latter had hot girl Claudia Cardinale and Charles Bronson's virtuoso harmonica playing. I think Henry Fonda is a boring actor and The Good et al. seemed to have a lot more going on, what with the back stories to the characters, the bridge scene, and whatnot. It tied up nicer as well.

This post has reminded me of a movie that has been lingering on my Netflix queue, Lemonade Joe, an "Ostern", aka Commie Western. I just bumped it to number one but sadly White Sun of the Desert is still unavailable which I am most eager to see because Cosmonauts ritually watch it before they blast off.

Re: Westerns

Stagecoach is great. What about Red River; Lonesome Dove; Magnificent 7 (original); I prefer TGTBATU too. So many great Westerns. Seems that Sci-fi has taken over from them. What used to take place on the prairie, now takes place in space. Going back to Westerns; How about Shane? 3.10 to Yuma - both versions great. Paul Newman made some good ones..Hud, Hombre, Cool Hand Luke. Since asking the original question, I feel like re-watching a whole heap of my old faves!! Thanks for the couple you mentioned - haven't seen either.

Re: Westerns

Should have mentioned The Gunfighter ; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; and High Noon. - all old classics

Re: Westerns

Once Upon a time in the West is one of my all time favorites


Pale Rider 1985

★★★★★ Added 18 Feb, 2017

Say what you will about the man or his methods of storytelling, Clint Eastwood is a master at his own particular kind of style. It's so subtle that it's called easily as conventional, but there's something there, something very dark in his style that has come out in many of the films he's directed (and sometimes starred in). In fact, in one way or another to greater or lessor digress all of his directed/acted westerns (High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven) run a streak of the bleak in them, and only once in a while become resolved in light of a happy ending or something decent. They're still (usually) traditional stories, only stripped away of all of the BS that John Wayne had to carry with him like an insecure badge of masculine honor.

Pale Rider is one of the 'happier' ones, by proxy that a) Eastwood, in a rare outing, plays something that is actually more-so the hero than an anti-hero, only anti in that he doesn't quite play by the law (then again, neither do the law in the film- the six or seven "deputies"), and b) there is something of an actual happy ending, different from Fistful of Dollars only inasmuch that, again, the Preacher is a true good-guy Man-with-no-name. This doesn't necessarily make Eastwood's character any less of a bad-ass than usual, or how he plays him by proxy, which makes it even more interesting. There's moments of insatiable one-liner-type wit, or just a couple of laugh-out-loud bits of real "grit" that we come to love from Eastwood in these kinds of roles. What makes it work as something nearing the wholesome (if not entirely PG-rated) is the conscience of the Preacher- who, actually, hints at not being a preacher at all in a wonderful scene with Sarah Wheeler- and the spirit of the small-townies vs. the big money-barons like Coy LaHood.

The story, perhaps, isn't quite original. Even without having seen Shane (or, for that matter as a slightly opposite but relevant comparison, the Seven Samurai), I can tell there are used parts here, not least of which the last scene with the girl crying out for the Preaher on horseback. And there are some scenes that just ring as corny with the dialog or not all there performance-wise - sadly by this I mean the two principle female characters played by Carrie Songress and Sydney Penny, the latter having usually excruciatingly delivered lines like her miracle-plea. Maybe some will dig that part of the sub-plot, and while I didn't it did not detract from the overall entertainment value of Pale Rider.

It's mostly a lean, effective and fun/dark/absorbing thriller with killer climax and meaty male stock characters (i.e. Richard Kiel's mute Club, a serious parody of the parody Mongo from Blazing Saddles) that reveals the psychology behind the director while going for what works, simply, for the mainstream crowd.

Re: Westerns

High Plains Drifter 1973

★★★★★ Added 18 Feb, 2017

Clint Eastwood's follow-up to his immensely promising directorial debut (Play Misty For Me) also marks the first of his numerous outings as director into the western genre; it also sets up the dark tone that would reach its peak in his Oscar-winning masterpiece, Unforgiven (1992). Following in the tradition of Sergio Leone's classic "Man With No Name" trilogy (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly), High Plains Drifter (1973) is the story of a mysterious stranger who wanders into a small town expecting a drink and a hot bath, but ends up having to protect the citizens from three soon-to-be-released gunfighters who had threatened to return and avenge their arrest. While the plot isn't original per se, its development and its characters set it apart from the myriad of similar features that came before it: instead of being a mere conflict between good and evil, Eastwood blurs this line and delivers a bleak film about human nature that stands as a prime example of the film renaissance of the 70's. Clint Eastwood plays the stranger not as a hero, but as an anti-hero; instead of reprising the John Wayne role of town savior, he more closely embodies the character of David in Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs. While some of the things he does appear to be good-natured – example: using his unlimited credit in the town to buy blankets for penniless Indians –, there is nothing in his introduction that remotely resembles virtue: within the first 20 minutes of the film, he has murdered three men and raped a woman. And yet this is the character we end up rooting for – which is exactly the type of avant-garde techniques that were popularized in this era of film. The screenplay by Ernest Tidyman (who won an Academy Award two years prior for The French Connection) is a seamless combination of the dry humor of the 60's westerns and the upcoming gloominess of the 70's; while there are plenty light moments to ease the overall heavy tone of the picture, he doesn't tie every loose end at the conclusion, leaving us a little to think about as we walk away. There are a number of unanswered questions, such as: is the drifter REALLY a stranger to this town? If so, why does he have a dream of events that took place there BEFORE he arrived? While I think I've solved these puzzles now, I'll leave it up to you to make up your own mind. As for the production itself, High Plains Drifter excels in every department: performances, direction, and writing are all top-of-the-line. There are even subtle references to fascism and dictatorship – a good example of how even the most unlikely picture could still have political meaning if made in the 70's. High Plains Drifter is not without its flaws, but its originality and unusual depth more than make up for them. In preparation for the town's invaders, the stranger (literally) paints the town red and sarcastically writes "Hell" over the city sign; by the end of the movie, in which Eastwood is whipping a man to death in the middle of the street as flames lick the town up in the background, this is hardly a joke anymore. Because in the end, the townspeople have just traded three violent invaders for one.