Old West Shootout


Cover of

We had an old fashioned shootout here recently, discussing western movies, their stories and characters, and so, I’ve endeavored to see some of the movies recommended to me by some of you.

I finally saw The Good, The Bad and The Ugly end-to-end as commended by WIGSF and GoodBadandUgly2.  They both claim it’s the best western ever; GBU2 goes so far as to say it’s her favorite movie of all time (could you tell?).  My beloved liked Silverado, and recommended that one.  I, myself, got her to sit with me through High Plains Drifter, one of my favorite all-time westerns, and if I can ever find it unedited and without commercials I’ll make her wade through Unforgiven.  On the horizon is The Outlaw Josey Wales, someday, when I run across it.  And how can I forget Pale Rider for westerns??  Come on, TCM!  Or AMC, whichever.  Show ‘em.

So far, for me, Unforgiven is the undefeated champ of western movies.  High Plains Drifter pulls a close second.  Both were excellent, fun movies, and I loved the supernatural twist of HPD.  But The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was a decent movie.  For my tastes, it was too long.  Some of the stuff they included either dragged on too long or could’ve been left on the cutting room floor without hurting the story at all, and the pace would’ve been better.  Still, there were some good moments, and the overall story was sort of cool, too.  Not that there’s anything unique or original about three shady-ish characters hunting for hidden gold, but the movie was well-done for the most part.  And if anyone knows what the other two parts of that trilogy are called, shout out; I’d be interested in seeing ‘em.

I didn’t like Silverado quite as much as my first two choices, but it certainly moved along much faster and had a lot more action than a lot of them.  Same guy wrote the script who wrote Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark, so that figures.  The bad guys were slimy and despicable, as should be.  The good guys were sort of caricatures, as is typical.  But the acting was decent and some of the scenes were fun, and in this western, they had to reload the guns.  Ha!  Nice touch!  A nice romp, really, but lacked the depth of some of the others.  Still, I agree with my wife: a fun movie.

I never thought I’d be a cowboy movie fan, but I’m getting there.  Thanks to The Dark Tower, I’ve reconnected with my love of cowboys and things western.  I even sat through Charles Bronson acting for The White Buffalo, which my son enjoyed with me.  (I didn’t really enjoy it, but it was okay.)

Now, I need to find a way to stop myself from watching cowboy movies and comparing hats to find the coolest one.

What genres of movies have surprised you?  What sorts of movies took you by surprise, made you enjoy them despite your insistence that you don’t like those kinds of movies?  Let me know, and tomorrow, we’ll get back to some “horror” movies I saw recently.

God bless, all.

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

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13 thoughts on “Old West Shootout

  1. I like some of the non-gritty westerns, like Support your Local Sheriff and it’s “sequel” Support your Local Gunfighter.

    Never heard of those. Non-gritty doesn’t sound as fun, but then again, I’m sort of new to this western thing.

  2. I’m sorry I don’t have anything to add. Westerns give me the creeps.

    Really? Interesting. Veeerrrry interesting.

  3. Have you ever seen a western called EVIL ROY SLADE?

    Never heard of that one.

    Also I wish they had more flims combining the Western and Horror.

    Well, a recent visitor to my blog has pointed out that gunfighter-meets-vampire isn’t a new idea. I bet there are others. Google is your friend.

  4. It IS my favorite movie! 🙂

    So I’ve noticed. 😉

    Thanks for all the well wishes. Thank goodness the move is over….now to move at work. Seriously, the moving gods hate me.

    That’s why I only believe in the ONE (true) God. He doesn’t hate us. Doesn’t always make things easier, but He doesn’t hate us either. 😉 Glad the worst is over.

  5. I am by no means a movie buff, in fact, I barely watch them unless they are epic, historical stuff. That stuff gets me. (Elizabeth, Braveheart–you know what I’m talking about)…

    I’m not a buff either, because I usually rip the writing and plot to shreds and figure it out before the end, but these lately have been a lot of fun. 🙂

    That said, one movie I really loved was 3:10 to Yuma. Thought I would hate it, and I only watched it to be kind to my darling hubby. Surprise, surprise–loved it! Now I suppose it didn’t hurt that I adore Russell Crowe, but I can honestly say I’d watch it again–for the plot 😉

    Riiiight, right … the PLOT. Like porn movies … I watch ’em for the PLOT. And the amazing acting, of course. 😉 (J/K.) 3:10 to Yuma w/Russell Crowe … got it. That’s a remake, isn’t it? I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

  6. Why waste time in telling you the 1st two on the trilogy if you thought GB and U was DECENT…its one of the ten best of all time up there withe Ben hur..Godfather…Gone with Wind…geez i think all this downtime has melted was left of your brainmatter…the first two are

    Fist Full Of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More…geez louise…Zman sends with sadness concerning your review

    Thanks for the movie names, Zman! Sorry you don’t like my assessment, but hey — I guess that’s why they make chocolate AND vanilla. Not everyone likes the same stuff, and I bet plenty of movies I think are the bee’s knees aren’t worth the celluloid they’re printed on to someone else.

  7. If you don’t think The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the greatest movie of all time, then you won’t care too much for Once Upon a Time in the West.

    And for the record, I too believe it is the greatest film ever made. And why do I think such thoughts. Here’s why.
    First off, tremendous story. Three men in search of a cache of money. One man knows which property holds the money but not where in the property. One man knows where in the property is the money but not where the property is. One man knows who put it there. But in the meantime, these three men have to deal with this pesky little thing called The Civil War.

    Three guys searching for a treasure. And this is brilliant as a story how? C’mon, no dice on the story. Not original. Not unique.

    Once a great story was in place, it was cast brilliantly. Clint Eastwood plays the calm, cool, collected quite man Blondie. Lee Van Cleef plays the relentless and just plain evil Angel Eyes and Eli Wallach steals the show with his bubbly performance of Tuco.

    Casting wasn’t bad. Eastwood as a cowboy’s NEVER a bad idea, especially then. And the other guys weren’t bad at all either. So we agree there.

    The camera shows us the brutality of all the old west in this movie. We see the harsh terrain, the dirt, the grime, the dust. We see the wide shots of the landscape and we it contrasted with intense closeups. It would have been rather difficult to keep clean back in the old west and camera shows us this. The characters look bedraggled and beaten and worn down throughout the film. (We see Lee Van Cleef’s partially severed finger every chance possible.)

    Well, I know how expensive it would’ve been to film here in America for a foreign film maker, so I SUPPOSE he should get marks for TRYING to create the “Old West” in Europe somewhere. I guess.

    “More feeling!” And then there’s the musical score. Ennio Morricone put together some compositions and arrangements that captured the mood of the film perfectly. The score was not the typical movie score. Through a blend of orchestral symphonics, Mexican mariachi and avant garde jazz, we the listener experience the emotions of the film through our aural senses. Outside the character of Tuco, there is little to no speech. Our eyes are left wanting and that want is satisfied through the score.

    Why am I not surprised the music is on your list of things to love about the film? The music was fun at times, and I walked around whistling that theme song for a couple of hours after the movie. Heh.

    And that twist at the ending, magnifique!

    See, I don’t agree. He just did the same thing he’d always done with that little creep. What’s the twist?

    Okay, my GBU lust is now satisfied. But I would like to share a funny little story about the making of the film. For the bridge scene, the filmmakers constructed a dam in order to create a river and a bridge over that river so that they could blow up this bridge. It would have been wrong to blow up an actual functioning bridge in Spain, wouldn’t it? In order to do all of that, the Spanish Army was involved and they were given the “pleasure” of detonating the bridge. But of course, the Spanish colonel in charge of the procedure knew nothing of filmmaking so when all the actors were cleared from the bridge set, he hit the switch and the bridge blew up. He did not tell the filmmakers he was preparing to hit the switch, he just hit it. The cameras were not ready and were not filming the explosion. The colonel felt so bad when he ruined the shot, he ordered his men to spend the next two weeks rebuilding the bridge so that the filmmakers could do the shot properly.

    Great story! Thanks for sharing it. I still don’t think it’s the best movie ever made and you’ll never convince me. NEVER!!

  8. I don’t watch westerns. Most of these movies I haven’t seen. I did see Unforgiven. It was great. I could tell. But I didn’t love it. You know, love isn’t the same thing as greatness. A person can be amazing and wonderful and have everything you ever thought you wanted, but you can still end up actually in love with the flawed person on the other side of the room.

    I just saw Unforgiven again last night. I loved it even more, and saw it with new appreciation. Brilliant movie; not just for a western, but as a movie of any genre. And yeah, I know what you mean about admiring greatness without having to love it. And I’m ALWAYS the flawed person on the other side of the room.

    Like I’ve mentioned, I don’t watch horror movies. But I loved Silence of the Lambs in spite of myself. Do you count that as horror? What is a horror movie to you anyway? That movie Pan’s Labyrinth is tagged horror–and it did horrify me–but I loved that movie. Even if I cried all the way home after leaving the theater. I couldn’t even talk about it for a few days.

    Okay, NOW I’ve got to pick up Pan’s Labyrinth. Oh man. I classify horror just as you did — something that horrifies or evokes horror. But Silence of the Lambs — one of my top 10 movies of all time, by the way — would probably be considered a thriller. Horror movies have fallen into that clap-trap of slasher movies and gore-fests, which is too bad. But Deliverance was a horror movie too … redneck horror. And it was a doozy.

    • Pan’s Labyrinth has been in my Netflix queue for weeks, but it keeps getting bumped for my husband’s choices. I’m moving it to the top today.

      I’ve got to check this out now.

  9. There is no arguing with Knyt cause

    Not on my blog, no. This is MY house. All First Amendment rights to free speech cease at my door. In my house, my rules. I don’t mind arguing facts, but for subjective material? Nope … no arguing with Knyt.

    He doesnt get the Lee Van Cleef was one of the best people to cast as a bad guy and the an extremely honoray person in real life

    And not only did I not know, I didn’t care. I’m just talking about the movie here. And I didn’t think it was one of the best ever made. Didn’t. Don’t. Won’t.

    And there is nothing cooler then eli wallach and eastwood gunning down bad guys and blowing up a bridge

    I think Eastwood gunning down baddies is fine … saw him do it plenty the last few days. Just didn’t think all that much of GB&U. PERIOD.

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