Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MASTER LIST #3: The 101 Greatest Westerns

There are two types of westerns: the traditional (High Noon and such) and the revisionist (like Brokeback Mountain and Dances WIth Wolves). They are quite different from one another, making this genre a wide-ranging one. I would say there's a greater education about the western in store for me; there must be scores of great 30s, 40s, and 50s-era oaters I must see. Unfortunately, they are nearly impossible to catch, because the Western genre is all but economically dead and is therefore sorely unavailable for revisitation on DVD, unless you have Netflix (which I don't). Still, out of the ones I've seen, the best are ranked in terms of (1) quality, (2) relevance to genre, (3) popularity and influence. Here are the results:

1) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 66)
2) The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 69)
3) Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 92)
4) The Searchers (John Ford, 56)
5) Red River (Howard Hawks, 48)
6) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 62)
7) Stagecoach (John Ford, 39)
8) The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 76)
9) The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann, 53)
10) Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 69)
11) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 69)
12) Ride The High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 62)
13) High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 52)
14) The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
15) Winchester ’73 (Anthony Mann, 50)
16) Shane (George Stevens, 53)
17) My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 46)
18) Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 59)
19) The Long Riders (Walter Hill, 80)
20) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 48)
21) Day of the Outlaw (Andre De Toth, 59)
22) Lonesome Dove (Simon Wincer, 89)
23) The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 67)
24) Bad Company (Robert Benton, 72)
25) Yellow Sky (William A. Wellman, 48)
26) Fort Apache (John Ford, 48)
27) The Tin Star (Anthony Mann, 57)
28) No Country For Old Men (The Coen Brothers, 2007)
29) Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 54)
30) A Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone, 64)
31) For A Few Dollars More (Sergio Leone, 65)
32) High Plains Drifter (Clint Eastwood, 73)
33) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 49)
34) Colorado Territory (Raoul Walsh, 49)
35) The Tall T (Budd Boetticher, 57)
36) The Man From Laramie (Anthony Mann, 55)
37) The Shootist (Don Siegel, 76)
38) Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (Sam Peckinpah, 73)
39) Bend of the River (Anthony Mann, 52)
40) The Cowboys (Mark Rydell, 72)
41) Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, 59)
42) Bad Day At Black Rock (John Sturges, 55)
43) The Professionals (Richard Brooks, 66)
44) Ride in the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 65)
45) The Left-Handed Gun (Arthur Penn, 58)
46) Little Big Man (Arthur Penn, 70)
47) McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 71)
48) Hud (Martin Ritt, 63)
49) Broken Arrow (Delmer Daves, 50)
50) Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 95)
51) The Man From Snowy River (George Miller, 82)
52) Open Range (Kevin Costner, 2003)
53) Hombre (Martin Ritt, 67)
54) Jeremiah Johnson (Sydney Pollack, 72)
55) True Grit (Henry Hathaway, 69)
56) My Name is Nobody (Tonio Valerii, 73)
57) The Hired Hand (Peter Fonda, 71)
58) Silvarado (Laurence Kasdan, 85)
59) Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 74)
60) Valdez is Coming (Edwin Sherin, 71)
61) Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 80)
62) Giant (George Stevens, 56)
63) The Gunfighter (Henry King, 50)
64) Lonely Are The Brave (David Miller, 62)
65) Western Union (Fritz Lang, 41)
66) The Quick and the Dead (Sam Raimi, 95)
67) The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (Robert M. Young, 82)
68) Lone Star (John Sayles, 96)
69) Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
70) Bite The Bullet (Richard Brooks, 75)
71) The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter, 03)
72) The Westerner (William Wyler, 40)
73) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (John Sturges, 57)
74) China 9, Liberty 37 (Monte Hellman, 78)
75) Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (Abraham Polonsky, 69)
76) Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 39)
77) One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 61)
78) The Good Old Boys (Tommy Lee Jones, 95)
79) Heartland (Richard Pearce, 79)
80) Two Mules for Sister Sara (Don Siegel, 70)
81) Duel in the Sun (King Vidor, 46)
82) Ulzana’s Raid (Robert Aldrich, 72)
83) Django (Sergio Corbucci, 66)
84) The Ballad of Little Jo (Maggie Greenwald, 93)
85) The Valley of Gwangi (Jim O’Connelly, 69)
86) A Man Called Horse (Elliot Silverstein, 70)
87) Tombstone (George Pan Cosmatos, 93)
88) Wild Bill (Walter Hill, 95)
89) Dances With Wolves (Kevin Costner, 90)
90) Rio Grande (John Ford, 50)
91) Flaming Star (Don Siegel, 60)
92) Wyatt Earp (Laurence Kasdan, 94)
93) The Grey Fox (Philip Borsos, 82)
94) Barbarosa (Fred Schepisi, 82)
95) Calamity Jane (David Butler, 53)
96) They Call Me Trinity (Enzo Barnoni, 70)
97) Duck, You Sucker (Sergio Leone, 71)
98) Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (Richard Lester, 79)
99) The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend (Preston Sturges, 49)
100) Westworld (Michael Crichton, 73)
101) Sergeant Rutledge (John Ford, 60)

LIST BREAKDOWNS:
BREAKDOWN BY FILMMAKER:

EIGHT FILMS:
John Ford:
The Searchers (4), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (6), Stagecoach (7), My Darling Clementine (17), Fort Apache (26), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (33), Rio Grande (90), Sergeant Rutledge (101)
FIVE FILMS EACH:
Anthony Mann:
The Naked Spur (9), Winchester ’73 (15), The Tin Star (27), The Man From Laramie (36), Bend of the River (39)
Sergio Leone: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1), Once Upon A Time In The West (10), A Fistful of Dollars (30), For A Few Dollars More (31), Duck, You Sucker (97)
THREE FILMS EACH:
Sam Peckinpah:
The Wild Bunch (2), Ride The High Country (12), Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (38)
Clint Eastwood: Unforgiven (3), The Outlaw Josey Wales (8), High Plains Drifter (32)
Monte Hellman: The Shooting (22), Ride in the Whirlwind (44), China 9, Liberty 37 (74)
Don Siegel: The Shootist (37), Two Mules for Sister Sara (80), Flaming Star (91)
TWO FILMS EACH:
Howard Hawks:
Red River (5), Rio Bravo (18)
George Stevens: Shane (16), Giant (62)
Walter Hill: The Long Riders (19), Wild Bill (88)
Budd Boetticher: The Tall T (35), Ride Lonesome (41)
John Sturges: Bad Day At Black Rock (42), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (73)
Richard Brooks: The Professionals (43), Bite The Bullet (70)
Arthur Penn: The Left-Handed Gun (45), Little Big Man (46)
Martin Ritt: Hud (48), Hombre (53)
Laurence Kasdan: Silvarado (58), Wyatt Earp (92)
Kevin Costner: Open Range (52), Dances With Wolves (89)

BREAKDOWN BY DECADE:
PRE 1950s (3): 1903:
The Great Train Robbery (71); 1939: Stagecoach (7), Destry Rides Again (76)

1940s (11): 1940: The Westerner (71); 1941: Western Union (65); 1946: My Darling Clementine (17); Duel in the Sun (81); 1948 (OFFICIALLY THE FIRST GREAT YEAR FOR WESTERNS): Red River (5), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (20), Yellow Sky (25), Fort Apache (26); 1949: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (33); Colorado Territory (34); The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend (99)

1950s (21): 1950: Winchester ’73 (15), Broken Arrow (49), The Gunfighter (63), Rio Grande (90); 1952: High Noon (13), Bend of the River (39); 1953: The Naked Spur (9), Shane (16), Calamity Jane (95): 1954: Johnny Guitar (29); 1955: The Man From Laramie (36), Bad Day At Black Rock (42); 1956: The Searchers (4), Giant (62); 1957: The Tin Star (27), The Tall T (35), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (73); 1958: The Left-Handed Gun (45); 1959 (AN INCREDIBLE TRIO): Rio Bravo (18), Day of the Outlaw (21), Ride Lonesome (41)

1960s (21) (OFFICIALLY. QUALITY-WISE, THE BEST DECADE FOR WESTERNS): 1960: Flaming Star (91); Sergeant Rutledge (101); One-Eyed Jacks (77); 1962: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (6); Ride The High Country (12), Lonely Are The Brave (64); 1963: Hud (48); 1964: A Fistful of Dollars (30); 1965: For A Few Dollars More (31), Ride in the Whirlwind (44); 1966: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1), The Professionals (43), Django (83); 1967: The Shooting (23), Hombre (53); 1969 (OFFICIALLY THE BEST YEAR FOR WESTERNS): The Wild Bunch (2), Once Upon A Time In The West (10), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (11), True Grit (55), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (75), The Valley of Gwangi (85)

1970s (22)(OFFICIALLY, QUALITY-WISE, THE 2nd BEST DECADE FOR WESTERNS): 1970:
Little Big Man (46); Two Mules for Sister Sara (80); A Man Called Horse (86); They Call Me Trinity (96); 1971: McCabe and Mrs. Miller (47), The Hired Hand (57), Valdez is Coming (60), Duck, You Sucker (97); 1974: Bad Company (24), The Cowboys (40), Jeremiah Johnson (54), Ulzana’s Raid (82); 1973: High Plains Drifter (32), My Name is Nobody (56), Westworld (100); 1974: Blazing Saddles (59); 1975: Bite The Bullet (70); 1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales (8), The Shootist (37); 1978: China 9, Liberty 37 (74); 1979: Heartland (79), Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (98)

1980s (8): 1980: The Long Riders (19), Heaven’s Gate (61); 1982: The Man From Snowy River (51), The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (67), The Grey Fox (93), Barbarosa (94); 1985: Silvarado (58); 1989: Lonesome Dove (22)

1990s (10): 1990: Dances With Wolves (89); 1992: Unforgiven (3); 1993: The Ballad of Little Jo (84), Tombstone (87); 1994: Wyatt Earp (92); 1995 (THE BEST RECENT YEAR FOR WESTERNS): Dead Man (50), The Quick and the Dead (66), The Good Old Boys (78), Wild Bill (88); 1996: Lone Star (68)

2000s (4): Open Range (52); Brokeback Mountain (69); The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (14); No Country For Old Men (28)

6 comments:

Kotto said...

you wouldn't classify 2 Lane Blacktop as a revisionist western would you?

Dean Treadway said...

The more adventurous side of me would, however not for the purposes of this list.

Kotto said...

i'm surprised the proposition didn't make your list.

Dean Treadway said...

I saw THE PROPOSITION recently and hated it. Pretentious, boring bullshit. Sorry.

Kotto said...

lol. couldn't disagree with me you more.

the other post-modern western a lot of others are calling pretentious and boring was one of my 3 favorite films in 2007 and is #14 on your list.

i'm kind of surprised you could love that one and hate this one.

Anonymous said...

Some favorite scenes in these films



1) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 66) - The Showdown
2) The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 69) - The Scene in the bordello when Holden looks at the others and says "Let's go,"
3) Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 92) - When Eastwood walks into the Saloon and takes out Hackman
4) The Searchers (John Ford, 56) - When Wayne lifts Natalie Wood up towards the sky
5) Red River (Howard Hawks, 48) - When Wayne calls out Clift
6) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 62) - When Wayne burns down the house he was building
7) Stagecoach (John Ford, 39) - When Wayne first looks doe eyed at Claire Trever
8) The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 76) - When Eastwood is relaxing on the hill watching his newly formed family family of outsiders enjoy themselves below
9) The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann, 53) - When Janet Leigh stops Stewert from bringing back the body by telling him she loves him
10) Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 69)
11) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 69) - When you see all the Soldiers and realize their numbers up
12) Ride The High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 62) - final shots of McCrea dying
13) High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 52)
14) The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
15) Winchester ’73 (Anthony Mann, 50) - The shooting contest scenes
16) Shane (George Stevens, 53) - Scene where Palance shoots down the farmer on the muddy town street
17) My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 46) - Fonda dancing with Cathey Downs at the unfinished church
18) Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 59) - Wayne and a hungover Martin go to the saloon to take in the killer
19) The Long Riders (Walter Hill, 80) Carridine calling his girlfriend a whore
20) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 48) - Walter Houston laughing when he realizes the gold is lost forever
21) Day of the Outlaw (Andre De Toth, 59) - When Burl Ives shows up
22) Lonesome Dove (Simon Wincer, 89) -
23) The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 67)
24) Bad Company (Robert Benton, 72)
25) Yellow Sky (William A. Wellman, 48) - When Peck grabs Baxter and get's a part in his hair
26) Fort Apache (John Ford, 48) - Fonda and Wayne ride out to negotiate with Cochise
27) The Tin Star (Anthony Mann, 57)
28) No Country For Old Men (The Coen Brothers, 2007)
29) Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 54) - Scene by the well where Haydon tries to start up his relationship with Crowford again
30) A Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone, 64)
31) For A Few Dollars More (Sergio Leone, 65)
32) High Plains Drifter (Clint Eastwood, 73)
33) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 49) - Lightening on the plains as the column advances
34) Colorado Territory (Raoul Walsh, 49) - The shot of the hands at the ending
35) The Tall T (Budd Boetticher, 57) - Scott romancing O'sullivan in the cave
36) The Man From Laramie (Anthony Mann, 55) - Stewart getting punished for taking salt
37) The Shootist (Don Siegel, 76) - The ending
38) Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (Sam Peckinpah, 73)
39) Bend of the River (Anthony Mann, 52)
40) The Cowboys (Mark Rydell, 72)
41) Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, 59)
42) Bad Day At Black Rock (John Sturges, 55)
43) The Professionals (Richard Brooks, 66)
44) Ride in the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 65)
45) The Left-Handed Gun (Arthur Penn, 58)
46) Little Big Man (Arthur Penn, 70)
47) McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 71)
48) Hud (Martin Ritt, 63)
49) Broken Arrow (Delmer Daves, 50)
50) Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 95)
51) The Man From Snowy River (George Miller, 82)
52) Open Range (Kevin Costner, 2003)
53) Hombre (Martin Ritt, 67)
54) Jeremiah Johnson (Sydney Pollack, 72) - Redford looking at the indian on horseback in the snow drifts
55) True Grit (Henry Hathaway, 69)
56) My Name is Nobody (Tonio Valerii, 73)
57) The Hired Hand (Peter Fonda, 71)
58) Silvarado (Laurence Kasdan, 85)
59) Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 74)
60) Valdez is Coming (Edwin Sherin, 71)
61) Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 80) - The dance sequence
62) Giant (George Stevens, 56)
63) The Gunfighter (Henry King, 50)
64) Lonely Are The Brave (David Miller, 62)
65) Western Union (Fritz Lang, 41)
66) The Quick and the Dead (Sam Raimi, 95)
67) The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (Robert M. Young, 82)
68) Lone Star (John Sayles, 96)
69) Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
70) Bite The Bullet (Richard Brooks, 75)
71) The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter, 03)
72) The Westerner (William Wyler, 40)
73) Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (John Sturges, 57)
74) China 9, Liberty 37 (Monte Hellman, 78)
75) Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (Abraham Polonsky, 69)
76) Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 39)
77) One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 61) - Malden gives Brando a whipping
78) The Good Old Boys (Tommy Lee Jones, 95)
79) Heartland (Richard Pearce, 79)
80) Two Mules for Sister Sara (Don Siegel, 70)
81) Duel in the Sun (King Vidor, 46) Peck watching Jones cleaning house
82) Ulzana’s Raid (Robert Aldrich, 72) - Attack on settlers - taking of the boy
83) Django (Sergio Corbucci, 66)
84) The Ballad of Little Jo (Maggie Greenwald, 93)
85) The Valley of Gwangi (Jim O’Connelly, 69)
86) A Man Called Horse (Elliot Silverstein, 70) - the torture scene
87) Tombstone (George Pan Cosmatos, 93)
88) Wild Bill (Walter Hill, 95) - In the opium den
89) Dances With Wolves (Kevin Costner, 90)
90) Rio Grande (John Ford, 50) - Wayne walking alone by the river
91) Flaming Star (Don Siegel, 60)
92) Wyatt Earp (Laurence Kasdan, 94)
93) The Grey Fox (Philip Borsos, 82) Richard Farnsworth' eyes as he first meets Jackie Burroughs
94) Goin’ South (Jack Nicholson, 78)
95) Calamity Jane (David Butler, 53)
96) They Call Me Trinity (Enzo Barnoni, 70)
97) Duck, You Sucker (Sergio Leone, 71)
98) Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (Richard Lester, 79)
99) The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend (Preston Stuges, 49) - The guy falling off the roof repeatedly during the shootout
100) Westworld (Michael Crichton, 73) - When we first see Yul Brenner
101) Sergeant Rutledge (John Ford, 60) - Constance Towers being grabbed by Woody Strode as she flees the crime scene