So… I saw this event starting up and couldn’t resist at least filling out the tag. 🤠 I have a fondness for Westerns, ever since watching Gary Cooper in Along Came Jones (yeah, the comedy) and having my expectations turned upside down. The rest, as they say, is history!
1) Western movies or western TV shows? – Both but probably TV shows a bit more. My favorite is The Virginian, and I also enjoyed Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, and some of those other oldies.
2) Funny westerns or dramatic westerns? – There’s really nothing more epic than a dramatic Western… but I really love a good funny one. Or a serious Western with well-written comic relief. Let’s just say funny, to keep it simple.
3) Westerns that focus on loners or westerns that focus on families? – I’m a sucker for the loner plotlines a la John Wayne, but I’d have to give the edge to families. Recently I rewatched The Searchers, and while the story was a bit too depressing, I thought the family relationships were interestingly complex. I also loved the father-daughter dynamic in News of the World. In general, I appreciate stories that feature families.
4) Male-centric westerns or female-centric westerns? – I haven’t heard of many female-centric Westerns… any recommendations?!
5) 1930s to 1960s westerns or 1970s to 2020s westerns? – 30s to 60s for sure!
6) Westerns that take place in America or westerns that take place internationally? – Others have mentioned The Magnificent Seven (1960, Mexico), which I enjoyed. I also really liked Nostromo (1996), a Western-like adaptation of the Joseph Conrad novel that takes place in South America. Overall, though, I’d have to say America.
7) Family-friendly Westerns or edgier Westerns? – I’ve seen a couple of Clint Eastwood classics…while I respect what he did for the Western genre, it’s not really my cuppa. 😆 I want to like edgy Westerns, I just haven’t seen one I enjoyed yet.
8) Straightforward good guy or conflicted hero? – I have a thing for conflicted characters, like Ryker from The Virginian, whose life seems to be a series of moral dilemmas (not least of which, deciding which side of the law he wants to be on).
9) Historically accurate Westerns or Westerns that aren’t afraid to take some creative liberties? – Hm, I’m going to say “both”… I think the Western is a vast genre that doesn’t have to be written off as archaic, but ought to be continued with nuanced stories and respectful representations of minorities. If written well, this could bridge the gap of both historical accuracy and creative liberty.
10) Bittersweet or happily-ever-after endings? – Probably bittersweet, like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
Gonna HAVE to steal that idea [grin]. The Western genre is definitely among my favourites – probably by 3rd after Sci-Fi and Film Noir. ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (original!) is one of my Top Ten films of all time…. [grin] I think it’s an (almost) perfect film and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it so far.
Would love to read your answers!
I recently discovered Hoopla has The Magnificent Seven for free, so I will probably rewatch it this week. 😀
*One* of the things I really LOVE about ‘Magnificent 7’ is when they go back to the village. It’s practically over and Eli Wallach, the main bad guy, is dying with Yul Brynner looking down at him. Wallach/Calvera looks stunned. “You came back” he keeps repeating, completely confused. “Why” he asks….. And Brynner/Chris **doesn’t answer him**….. because he knows that Calvera wouldn’t understand the idea of personal honour. After watching the movie multiple times I realised that this is the core of the movie and a major reason why I love it so much.
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Count me on the couch with the classic TV westerns as well.
Scroll down for some female-centric recommendations on my post: https://www.caftanwoman.com/2021/07/legends-of-western-cinema-week-2021.html
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after watching all the Hopalong Cassidy movies we could find, several months ago, i started reading a couple of the books by Clarence Mulford, which were startling. lots of shooting and horses, but it got boring after a while… worth a look, tho…
I’ll look it up!
Have you seen the series Godless? It was on Netflix recently. It features a female cast trying to protect their town against and outlaw gang. I really enjoyed it
I haven’t, interesting concept!
I’m with you on Clint Eastwood. Someone I used to work with loved him and loaned me some of his movies, but I . . . didn’t care for them. 😆
There aren’t many female-centric Westerns, that’s for sure! I recently watched one of them [Jane Got a Gun (2015)] expressly for the purposes of reviewing it for this blog party (my post went up yesterday). It’s not an outstanding film, but I did end up enjoying it.
Thanks, Olivia! It might be a bit gritty for me but I added it to my watchlist tentatively 🙂
The Virginian is probably my favorite TV Western too! It doesn’t seem to get quite as much attention as some other classic shows, so it’s always neat to see somebody pick it as a favorite.
There is one Western that I haven’t seen yet, but keep meaning to because I’ve heard such enthusiastic recommendations of it, which definitely sounds female-centric: Westward the Women. The fact that it’s directed by William Wellman is one point in its favor for me; I’ll have to see if I like the story…
Along Came Jones is so funny! I only just saw it for the first time a couple years ago, and I had to rewatch it in short order because it pleased me so much.
Mmmmm, The Virginian is so good.
For female-centric westerns, I like Westward the Women, The Rare Breed, Cat Ballou, and The Quick and the Dead (the 1995 one with Sharon Stone and Russell Crowe, not the 1987 Sam Elliot movie).
Thanks for joining our shindig 🙂
I’ll look those up, thanks Rachel!
Ever see “Lancer” – the short lived series that ran from 1968-1970. My all time favorite, although “The Virginian” comes in a close second. 50+ years later and there are a couple of Facebook groups that are dedicated to Lancer – we Lancer ladies still talk about it today, and there is fanfic galore. I even have my own blog dedicated to the show. Now, if you are interested in something a little more recent, then I highly recommend “Godless” on Netflix. A great western with a cast of mostly women, and it’s very well done.
Lancer sounds familiar, not sure if I’ve seen it though. Thanks for the rec!
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