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Western movie - help... need DVD recommendation

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Well-Known Member

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    I am not a very big Western movie fan and only have a couple that I wouldn't exactly call westerns ("Frank and Jessie" and "The Wild Wild West"). I like to have something on hand for every taste so...

    If I was to own only ONE western, what would be "the" one DVD to get? What would rank up as the best of the best?

    Thanks!
    Eric
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Dear God, only one? [​IMG] Flip a coin between The Searchers, The Wild Bunch and Once Upon a Time in The West (and then choose The Searchers...)
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    The Searchers. It will change any preconcieved notion you have of John Wayne.

    - Steve
     
  4. Jay E

    Jay E Well-Known Member

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    For me it would be Once Upon a Time in the West.

    The Searchers, The Wild Bunch and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly would follow.
     
  5. Fabien Renelli

    Fabien Renelli Well-Known Member

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    Clint Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN !
     
  6. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Well-Known Member

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    At Least give us Top 5
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

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    For shear great-movieness, "The Searchers" is a good choice.

    For shear entertainment with high rewatchability, "Rio Bravo" is tough to beat.

    For epic 60s spaghetti western greatness, flip a coin between "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

    I may change my mind on the above at any moment, though. Heck, I'd have a hard timing choosing just one Wyatt Earp movie, let alone one western. [​IMG]

    Regards,
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Supporter

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    I couldn't possibly pick just one, but my top five choices (in no particular order) would probably be:

    The Wild Bunch
    Once Upon A Time In The West
    The Searchers
    The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
     
  9. Charles H

    Charles H Well-Known Member

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    ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST is heartbreakingly beautiful....It trumps the others by virtue of the Morricone score alone (and Fonda's finest hour). Three Fonda westerns that WB should bring out: BIG HAND FOR A LITTLE LADY, THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN, WELCOME TO HARD TIMES.
     
  10. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    The Searchers is the only answer to an unfair question.

    Avoid the Italian westerns. Entertaining though they are, they don't represent what the real western is all about. The Italian westerns -- Once Upon In the West and so on -- are a different thing altogether, an kind of European art film of what they think the American west is about. To lump Italian westerns together with American westerns isn't fair to either. Better to ask "What's the best Italian western?" in a separate thread.

    Isn't that right, John.
     
  11. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    My two favorites are Ford's "The Searchers" & Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West".

    That said, I would go with the later because WB is planning a new 2-disc set of "The Searchers" for later this year. OUATITW already has a great two-disc set for very cheap. I think it can be had for around $10

    My top five would round out with:
    Rio Bravo - Howard Hawks
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - John Ford
    Red River - Howard Hawks

    Some alternate favorites:
    High Plains Drifter - Clint Eastwood
    7 Men From Now - Budd Boetticher w/ Randolph Scott
    Ride The High Country - Sam Peckinpah
     
  12. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Well-Known Member

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    Silverado and Tombstone are both fun.


    Andy
     
  13. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Well-Known Member

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    Duplicate Post
     
  14. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    I completely disagree with many of the recs, but that's the problem with this question - we don't know your taste in general.

    You really need to bite the bullet and watch 3 or 4 westerns to see what kind you like and don't like.

    Watch The Searchers, The Magnificent Seven, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and The Wild Bunch.

    Depending on which you like, you can get further guidance. If you like The Searchers and The Wild Bunch, then I can't help you, but many others could. If you prefer the other two, I could make numerous other recommendations.
     
  15. Chad R

    Chad R Well-Known Member

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    If you have to choose just one, choose "The Searchers." But, hopefully after you see that you'll open your mind to westerns and give others a try.
     
  16. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    You can't go wrong with a John Ford or a Sam Peckinpah western.

    The best cavalry epic on DVD is Ford's celebratory She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949, WB DVD) followed by The Horse Soldiers (1959, MGM DVD). Robert Aldrich stands the sub-genre on its head in the amazing Ulzana's Raid (1972) with an authentic and deeply felt performance from Burt Lancaster. The only way to see it in anamorphic widescreen and with an excellent picture is on the region 2 DVD. Two horse falls are censored but that's a small thing. It could never have been thought up or realized by an Italian.

    Howard Hawks' Red River is generally regarded as the best cattle drive film. It's a stunning piece of work with a lean mean performance from John Wayne. On the other side of the ledger, Mark Rydell's The Cowboys (1972, WB DVD) is a more modern classic.

    The best Wyatt Earp movie is Ford's My Darling Clementine(1946, Fox DVD), a kind of low-key tone poem in monochrome with a subtle story and some stunning visuals (like the sun rising on Ike Clanton's face -- his last day). I also like John Sturges' relentless Hour of the Gun (1967, MGM DVD) with an atypical performance by James Garner as a steely-eyed, humorless Wyatt Earp on a vengeance trail. Everybody loves Tombstone (1993, Vista), and particularly Val Kilmer's Doc, but political correctness takes the fun out of it for me.

    Fred Zinneman's High Noon (1951) is justifiably famous for its premise and real-time exposition and a great ballad by Tex Ritter. The sight of Gary Cooper's walking down the street remains one of the great iconic moments in cinema. The other side of the coin is Delmer Daves' under-rated masterpiece 3:10 To Yuma (1957, Columbia DVD), with Glen Ford as a charming killer up against Van Heflin as a drought-stricken rancher with a lot to prove to his family.

    The definitive gunfighter ballad is George Stevens' Shane (1953, Paramount DVD), followed by Peckinpah's tragic elegy Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973, WB DVD), and Don Siegel's The Shootist (1976, Paramount DVD).

    Two vastly under-rated westerns are Marlon Brando's One-Eyed Jacks (1961) and John Huston's The Unforgiven (1960, MGM DVD).

    Michael Curtz's DODGE CITY (1939, WB DVD) is still a great entertainment.
     
  17. David Grove

    David Grove Well-Known Member

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    Consider High Noon

    Played out in near real-time, it examines how an individual's moral conviction may transcend the pragmatic, and how others respond.
     
  18. Leroy Williams

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    There are several westerns that I like. I will just give you a few that I think you would enjoy.

    100 Rifles
    Take a Hard Ride
    Rio Conchos
    Day of Anger
    Buck and the Preacher
     
  19. John Hodson

    John Hodson Well-Known Member

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    Quite agree, to a point. When it comes to Italian westerns, I think there's Leone...and then there are the rest. Part of the fun of OUATIW is spotting all the tributes to the great western classics, from a director whose love for Hollywood westerns knew no bounds.

    Come June, we'll be getting that lip-smacking Ford/Wayne set from Warners, looking forward to them all, but Fort Apache in particular.
     
  20. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Before I forget, I never met anyone who couldn't enjoy Richard Brook's bouyant The Professionals (1966, MGM DVD). Not only is it a great western, it's also one of the best action films ever made. A perfect movie.

    There's also John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1961, Paramount DVD), the western as social commentary. This was the first film to postulate the theory that to settle the west is also to close it, and what's the sense in doing that? Thematically it aims higher than any western before or since.

    Anthony Mann and James Stewart changed the western forever in five collaborations during the 1950s. The best of these is the bounty hunter classic The Naked Spur (1953) which is still awaiting DVD release. In the meantime, Bend of the River (1951, Paramount DVD), The Far Country (1954, Paramount DVD) and The Man From Laramie (1955 CinemaScope, Paramount DVD) are realistic and entertaining outdoor western adventures noted for their spectacular location shooting.
     

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