Western Movies

crackerjack

Well-known member
Just watched The Searchers for the first time.

Not as good as I was expecting.


Wayne's mad racism is good, but the family stuff is one big yawn.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Currently on a mild western binge as Alison has to teach some stuff about them soon. Any recommendations for classic lawmen? We've done High Noon...
 

mister matthew

Active member
Wyatt Earp is the most classic lawman of all, and there's quite a few pictures with or about him. Of those My Darling Clementine is the original badboy.
 

catalog

Well-known member
the wild bunch is great cos theres lots of killing in it. high noon is amazing, its about being a man. very important. once upon a time in the west is bettter than anything in the world. thats a proper film. the searchers is incredible, she wore a yellow ribbon, the spaggetti westerns with eastwood are all fun but not on the level of the ones i just mentioned, great though, plus morricone music, good the bad and the ugly etc. if you don't love those your mentally wrong in the head. josey wales, thats fun, how can you not like that.
i saw the great silence recently, the corbucci one with kinski. actually preferred it to the leone ones. he's a bit more nihilist i suppose. although leone is undoubtedly the better filmmaker. also love how its set in the snow, like mccabe
 

catalog

Well-known member
Henry S: and movies like The Wild Bunch and The Unforgiven are great precisely because they critique the western narrative...

Eastwood's Unforgiven ostensibly critiques it only to viscerally, sadistically reinforce it in its violently revenge-deadlocked denouement.

Mister Matthew: yes i think henry s is right, there's a good quote from Warshow, westerns are "an art form for connoisseurs, where the spectator derives his pleasure from the appreciation of minor variations within the working out of a pre-established order"

Yes, but its the exceptions to such lazy genre re-affirmations that ultimately prove the most interesting, connoisseurs 'an all ...

As to the Hat as master-narrative signifier:

Its either him
or her


But as cowboys and their headcovers go, this one, The Cowboy, is the most ominous:




Be very afraid, he's a close friend/agent of Tony Blair, and George Bush, and ...
this is a different padraig right? this is the one who was the most controversial dissensian of all time?
 

catalog

Well-known member
what makes a western a "western"?...is it the hats?...the tumbleweeds?...the narrative?...'cos, John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 is a western in all but setting, essentially a remake of Rio Bravo...and movies like The Wild Bunch and The Unforgiven are great precisely because they critique the western narrative...
love assault, and love rio bravo. prefer rio bravo.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I think it's very hard to watch Westerns now. They seem to speak to and from a different era in history.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
your job means you think about what films mean though. the rest of us just watch them.
 

catalog

Well-known member
and of course they're visually stunning. its story telling on an almost mythical level. nothing in cinema comes close.
i cant remember who it was who said it, but westerns are basically the quintessential movie. cos of the mythic frontier thing, but also cos of aesthetics, it was the best way to make films, very stable light out in the desert, so it made the process easier.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i suppose outer space gives you the same grandeur, the same sweep and sense of scale
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
your job means you think about what films mean though. the rest of us just watch them.
That's not a sentiment I'm 100% convinced of, just seemed right. I could be persuaded otherwise.
Hard to think of a Western that'd speak about current anxieties though.
 

catalog

Well-known member
BTW - My favourite western is probably 'High Plains Drifter'... I love the moral (and physical) sense of desolation as the town descends into a hell of its own making... plus it provides inspiration for this kind of thing...
i love all the eastwood westerns. josey wales, pale rider, dollars ones. all gold
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
That's not a sentiment I'm 100% convinced of, just seemed right. I could be persuaded otherwise.
Hard to think of a Western that'd speak about current anxieties though.
but maybe the wrongness of it would actually mean its particulalry relevant? doesnt it depend on your own angle of approach?
 

catalog

Well-known member
those landscapes are what cinema screens were invented for
yeah, and i guess by then it was about recreation in the studio. a lot of filmmaking is getting it done, in terms of production. anything that makes the process easier means the film can focus on the acting, directing, so you don't need to worry about locking off pedestrians or whatever. but certainly a huge part of western appeal is the scope of the landscape. representational of so much more than story.
 
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