Howdy folks! The time has come-- what you've all been waiting for! Western Week is here!!!!! Dun-da-da-da!!! *cue The Magnificent Seven theme*
|Doesn't Frank look excited?|
Olivia and I have been soooo looking forward to this!! We're really excited to share with you all we've got planned for this week! And, we're interested to see what kinds of Western fun y'all come up with. (See This Post for official details about where to leave your own links so we can share everyone's posts at the end of the week.)
So last year, to kick off Western Week I did a list of my top five favorite westerns. This year I'm going to share my top ten, since now I've seen more westerns than I had back then and the order has switched around a little. Here we go!
#1 Lonesome Dove (1989)
That's right. I've bumped Lonesome Dove up to my favorite western of all time. It was bound to happen eventually. If you don't know the story, it's about two aging Texas Rangers-turned-cattlemen who decide to set out on one last adventure before they grow old. Their cattle drive from Texas up to Montana turns out to be a journey of a much grander-scale than either of them could have expected, with kidnappings, run-ins with old adversaries, and many trials and sorrows along the way. I love it to death. :-)
#2 True Grit (2010)
The simple but captivating tale of a girl's extraordinary grit and character, True Grit is one of my favorite stories ever. Mattie Ross inspires me, and Rooster Cogburn makes me groan and laugh at the same time. Now, admittedly I've never seen the old John Wayne version, but at this point I don't care to. The Cohen brothers' adaptation of the novel is, in my opinion, unbeatable.
#3 Hidalgo (2004)
|I apologize for all the intense feels this invokes in some of you. No I don't.|
When I first watched this movie, a twelve-year-old girl half in love with Viggo Mortensen, I was immediately drawn into the glory of the Old West and the people whose courage and character forged it. Even though it's not technically a 'western', Hidalgo will always be one to me, because it got me hooked on what is now one of my favorite movie genres and started my lifelong obsession with cowboys. Plus, it's just an amazing movie. And Viggo Mortensen as a cowboy...'nuff said.
#4 Wyatt Earp (1994)
Hurray for three-hour-long biodramas! :-) Kevin Costner blew me away in this one as Wyatt Earp, as well as did many of the supporting actors. I love the epic, widespread-ness of this movie, the gritty glory of the Old West and its legendary heroes. Apparently he movie got a bad rap against its competitor Tombstone (1993) (which I have not yet seen), but I personally loved it. AND THE MUSIC. Oh my.
#5 Silverado (1985)
The story of a misfit bunch of friends and how they work to bring justice to a small town with a corrupt sheriff, this movie is one of the most fun I've ever seen. The characters are unique and wacky, the score is lively and engaging, and the dialogue is SO quotable. It's just a rip-roaring good time.
#6 Broken Trail (2006)
The story of a man and his estranged nephew who set out to drive a herd of horses across the plains, and end up becoming the accidental guardians of five abused Chinese girls. I love how this movie is heartbreakingly real; while it depicts the desperately hard life of some women on the frontier, the main characters are genuinely good men with sound morals and the courage and stamina to do the right thing. It's about people helping other people. It's also Robert Duvall at his finest, in my opinion.
#7 Dances With Wolves (1990)
|Because KEVIN COSTNER.|
(Little Note: I haven't seen this in years, but I remember enough about it to know that I'd probably really like it if I watched it now, and I wanted to stick it on my list somewhere so I thought this would be a good place to put it. Okay.)
Kevin Costner's epic film about an accidental war hero-turned-frontier soldier disillusioned with life who befriends the Sioux Indians, and falls in love with a white woman who's lived with the Sioux since her childhood. It's classic drama, and lots of it.
#8 The Long Riders (1980)
Old, gritty western cinema about train robbers, family drama, western expansion? Yes, sir! Of all the movies made about the James-Younger gang, this is probably the most widely-acclaimed, and with good reason. James and Stacy Keach are wonderful as the James brothers, and John, Keith and Robert Carradine play the Youngers. This was one of the first real westerns I ever watched. It's pretty rough, with gobs of violence, but if you like this kind of thing -- it's a good 'un.
#9 The Man From Snowy River (1982)
The film takes place in Australia, but in my book this totally counts as a Western. It's got cowboys and horses and ranches and all that stuff. ;-) It's a little fluffy, yes. It's not the deepest story you're ever going to find. But it's absolutely darling, it's fun, it's beautiful, and it's a classic.
#10 The Good Old Boys (1995)
|Literally the only picture I could find from this movie.|
A rather unusual western, based on Elmer Kelton's famous novel, this story is set in 1906 and follows a rough-and-tumble bachelor named Hewey Calloway as he tries (unsuccessfully) to leave behind his roaming cowboy ways and settle down to a quiet farmer's life. Tommy Lee Jones is brilliant as Hewey, and Sissy Spacek is very sweet as Spring Renfro. The movie also stars a very young Matt Damon as Hewey's nephew, Cotton Calloway, who delivers one of the most classic lines in the movie: "You're a good old boy, Uncle Hewey." It's a funny little story, but I enjoy it. :-)
What are some of YOUR favorite westerns?