THE TOP TWELVE WESTERNS OF ALL TIME

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According to the man pictured above:

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The Searchers

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Wagon Master

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True Grit (2010)

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Ride the High Country

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Comanche Station

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The Naked Spur

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3 Bad Men

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

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Rio Grande

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Unforgiven

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Rio Bravo

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Lonesome Dove (television mini-series)

11 thoughts on “THE TOP TWELVE WESTERNS OF ALL TIME

  1. very good selection …. although the handsome devil in the picture at the top isn’t showing a sidearm … audiences the world over will conjecture that he may have left it under the barmaid’s pillow back at that motel in mexican hat

  2. What are your thoughts on RED RIVER, SHANE and HIGH NOON? I’m happy LONESOME DOVE made the list. A mighty work. From the “modern” era, I would make arguments for PALE RIDER, SILVERADO and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE OUTLAW ROBERT FORD. Also for me, the oft overlooked (in terms of these lists) BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. And, of course, BLAZING SADDLES!

    • “Red River”, “Pale Rider”, “Butch Cassidy” and “High Noon” are second-tier Westerns for me — enjoyable but not great. I dislike “Silverado” and really, really dislike “The Assassination Of Jesse James”. I hate cynical and/or revisionist Westerns. “Blazing Saddles” is sui generis!

  3. Pingback: Reading List | Uncouth Reflections

  4. Love the list, Lloydie. No Leone? Dead Man? Tombstone (if not for Val Kilmer’s performance alone)? Damn it, man get some Mitchum in there!

    • Hey, Doc — how are you doing? These were choices of the heart — not an attempt to get a selection representative of the genre as a whole.

  5. Great list! One I would add, that I think is better than any of the Manns, Boettichers, or Peckinpahs (though I love those, too) is De Toth’s “Day of the Outlaw”: probably my favorite Robert Ryan performance, along with Burl Ives, against type, I guess, as one of the greatest of all western bad guys.

    • De Toth Westerns are always interesting — he had a great eye for the movement of horses through a landscape — and I’m a big fan of “Day Of the Outlaw”, but for me it’s not better than most of the Manns or Boettichers. Just a personal thing. I recently watched “Ramrod” for the first time — its narrative is kind of messy but it has some sublime visual arias in it.

  6. Lloyd, first – I love the blog! Have been following for a few years now and decided to comment. Great list; a few I need to see as they are new to me. Maybe not on ‘The Best’ list, but I also really enjoy: “My Name is Nobody,” “Cat Ballou,” and “The Wild Bunch.”
    As an aside, I came across your blog because of my friendship with PZ. He has been a mentor of mine.
    Peace!

    • Hey, Malone — glad you enjoy the blog and thanks for leaving a comment! I’ve never seen “My Name Is Nobody” — need to take a look at it — and haven’t seen “Cat Ballou” since it came out. Loved it then — I should take another look. I have mixed feelings about “The Wild Bunch”, though it has some amazing scenes in it.

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