The Western List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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Lighthouse
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:12 am

Re: The Western List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Proje

#926 Post by Lighthouse » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:11 pm

Oww, fuck, forgot to vote. I thought it was the end of March. It would have changed the list a lot with these few voters.

Nonetheless, my top 20:

The Wild Bunch

Once Upon a Time in the West
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Little Big Man
The Mercenary
Hombre
Yellow Sky
The Great Silence
High Noon

Major Dundee
The Shooting
Cemetery Without Crosses
My Name is Nobody
El Puro
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
3:10 to Yuma
One Eyed Jacks
My Darling Clementine
Ulzana's Raid

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: The Western List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Project)

#927 Post by Drucker » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:59 am

A few recent Warner Archive blu-rays I watched that I wanted to comment on.

The Law and Jake Wade by Sturges seriously delivered. There's a thread somewhere on this forum which comments on Widmark's superb sarcasm and it definitely delivers. The film is very economical in its storytelling and delivers plenty of surprises. Taylor, the protagonist, has several superb escape attempts foiled by Widmark. A great film that gets right to the point and the Warner Blu-ray is one of the best I've seen of a color-western (easily looks as good, as say, Man From Laramie.) Despite all of this, it doesn't seem like the film gets a lot of love on this Western list.

More perplexing to me is the affection apparently shown for Ballad of Cable Hogue which I found to be a very frustrating film. The film starts promisingly, with Hogue trying to survive in the desert without water or supplies, sabotaged by fellow men. Once he survives and sets up shop, however, the movie takes a bad turn into parody territory, with godawful attempts at humor. The folksy charm of Hogue quickly wears off and the film seems to needlessly meander. Is Hogue actually trying to start a business? If not, what exactly is he doing in this "ballad" style movie? The movie spends time showing us Hogue isn't too bright, but then seems to contradict himself as he realizes the Reverend can't be trusted and Hildy is bound to leave.

The last quarter of the movie gets good again. He gets to have a real showdown with his initial rivals, and the film does a perfect job of ending on this "ballad" style note. Hogue finally becomes the folksy hero he should have always been, and the psychedelic tone of history passing him by in the last few scenes does an amazing job of showing how Peckinpah could do more than bloody revenge films. But it's too litlte too late for this ridiculously uneven film.

Anybody here a big admirer of the film? Would love to read a good defense of it.

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ando
Bringing Out El Duende
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Re: The Western List Discussion and Suggestions (Genre Proje

#928 Post by ando » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:46 am

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:44 pm
Gettysburg (Ronald F Maxwell 1993) I dutifully watched all four and a half hours of this in one sitting, and despite critic and advertising claims to the contrary, I'd estimate maybe twenty minutes of that is devoted to actual battle scenes. The rest is filled with name actors in stage beards taking turns belting out "insightful" monologues that are so toothless and safe that the only impression one takes away from the time is that everyone was a perfect little would-be hero. Four and a half hours with a bunch of scruffy Mary Sues is a lot to take, and I kept hoping any of these real life characters would exhibit a personality trait beyond excessive angelic resolve. No such luck. Claims on the film's accuracy are a joke. What this movie really does is make all the Civil War fetishists dreams come true by presenting a sanitized vision of war that reinforces every noble idea fans of the era already hold. Points awarded to the producers for knowing their audience, but this is pretty weak for the rest of us.
Well, that's discouraging (though unsurprising). Looks like it falls into the Glory of The Civil War category. Too bad. Nothing glorious about that tragedy.

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