Monday, July 27, 2015

Legends of Western Cinema Week is HERE!!!! {& Top Ten Westerns}

     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)


       (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?


  1. Eeeeeeek it's here it's here it's here!!!!:D

    Gee, that Hidalgo--always teasing Frank;)

    *gasp* Doth mine eyes deceive me?! Is that Woodrow, SMILING?! What an unheard-of phenomenon;)

    True Grit. Amen and amen.

    Squeeeeee you SHOULD apologize. Like Twister said in Lark Rise to Candleford, "There will be tears. There will be 'earts broke." THAT ENDING.

    I really need to watch Silverado…

    BROKEN TRAIL! Love it SOSOSOSO much;) Yesterday I was watching the special feature for quotes about Bobby, and then I wanted to watch the whole thing again XD

    I haven't seen the rest of these, so…


    1. It's here!!!! Heehee. :-)

      Yeah, I think Woodrow smiles once about every five years. So it's a rare pleasure when he does.

      Yes! You need to watch Silverado. Have you watched the trailer? That pretty much says it all -- you MUST watch it! It's so. stinkin. hilarious. (And Kevin Costner is about 20, which is adorable.)

      The plan is to watch Broken Trail again this week. :-) I AM SO EXCITED.

      Off to comment on your top ten list! :-)

  2. Yay! It's finally started! :)

    I have seen very, VERY few Westerns, and the only one I truly love is The Magnificent Seven. I watched Hidalgo a long time ago, and I don't remember much of it, but I'd probably really enjoy it if I watched it sometime soon. But I haven't seen any of the other films on your list. :P Still, I enjoyed reading this post. Great job!

    1. Eva, Hidalgo is SO great!! I really recommend watching it again. I have yet to see The Magnificent Seven -- I'm looking forward to it!

  3. Emma,
    "Favorites" posts are so fun!

    That photo from Lonesome Dove is super cute. :)

    I had never heard of Broken Trail but wow does that sound like an original story-line!

    And one question: what movie is that screenshot in the upper left-hand corner of your header from? Unless of course it is an uncle and aunt dressed up in historical clothing- then who are they? :)

    Looking forward to the rest of the week!

    1. Eowyn, thanks! :-)

      Whoa, have you seen Lonesome Dove?! I'm always super excited when I talk to other people who've seen my favorite movies. (Unless you didn't like it, of course. ;-P Haha.)

      Broken Trail is indeed a VERY original story. It's actually based on several true accounts all rolled together. It's a very moving series.

      The picture is from Wyatt Earp (1994) -- another super good movie!

  4. Mmmmm, three Kevin Costner movies on your list! All three are outstanding! I watch Wyatt Earp a lot. The other two I kind of wore our years ago, so nowadays save them for special occasions.

    Really enjoying the kick off posts to this week!

    1. I'm just so tickled that I've found another Kevin Costner fan. :-) I know, aren't they?! I've actually only seen them all once; Dances With Wolves was several years ago, I watched Silverado last summer, and Wyatt Earp I saw this spring and LOVED it. Silverado was so much fun -- I'd really like to watch it again for this week. :-)

      Good! I'm glad. :-)

    2. Well, I was there in 1987 when The Untouchables came out. My sister and I went and saw that movie at least a dozen times in the theater. We still quote it all the time to this day (in fact I quoted it just last night!). I loved both Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia in that movie. One of the many reasons I love Kevin Costner's Westerns is because they're so beautiful. Because he doesn't wash out the colors and make it look old like some modern Westerns. There are sweeping, magnificent vistas of the West in full color.

      Have you seen Open Range? That one is also very good (but it is Rated R). Can't go wrong with Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner together in a Western.

    3. YES, I've seen Open Range!!! Just recently, in fact. Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner are two of my very favorites, so that was the main reason why I liked the movie. I've got a review coming this week, so watch out. :-)

      I want to see The Untouchables!! Lately I've been on a 'let's watch all the Kevin Costner movies' kick. ;-D

  5. "True Grit" is on my to-watch list. I have been wanting to see that for a while now.

    "Silverado" and "Hidalgo" have been intriguing me ever since I read your earlier posts on them.

    The plot for "Broken Trail" is defintely intriguing and original, but, based on your review of it and some other research, I have a feeling it would be a bit to intense for me.

    By the way, I am extremely excited for the rest of your posts! Oh, and you simply must sit down and watch "The Magnificent Seven". It is one of my favorites and has an incredible cast of scene stealers.

    1. Yeaaah...Broken Trail is extremely intense. And very tragic. And graphic. But it's a GOOD story. :-)

      Yay! I'm excited too. And yes, The Magnificent Seven is definitely on my to-see list!

  6. Oh, this most made me squeal. :-D Even though I'm not a huge western fan (my elder sisters are however, so I see plenty anyhow) I do enjoy a good one every now and then. True Grit - I am STILL waiting for the right time to watch it, but I am super excited to see it sometime. The John Wayne was great, and if you think this one is unbeatable, then I am VERY eager to watch it. ;-)
    And yes, can I just stop and squeal that I love Hidalgo! It's so adorable. I really like Viggo Mortensen too. :-D Now don't do that, Emma, I've got too many feels going on with that gif. ;-) I want to watch it again now (and I totally consider it a western!).
    We have the movie Dances with Wolves but I thought it looked a little...boring. We haven't seen it yet, as our Daddy had to make sure it was suitable first. :-)
    The Man from Snowy River is DEFINITELY a classic. Boy oh boy, I was brought up on them. (And I still don't like Jessica anymore than I did when I was five. Strange, that.) I think Jimmy is so cute. :-P
    Oh, you HAVE to see The Magnificent Seven. I'm not even going to suggest any others because it's the best. (I'm a little biased, I know.) Steve McQueen, Yul Brunner, James Coburn, Charles Bronson...yeah, it's pretty epic. (By the way, speaking of Steve McQueen, you HAVE seen the Great Escape? I know it's not a western *cough* but I just wanted to make sure. :-P)
    Rather excited for your next posts. :-)
    ~Miss Meg March

    1. Miss Meg, I'm pleased to have made you squeal! :-) And you love Hidalgo too!!! *high five*

      Well, I can see how Dances With Wolves would be a touch boring, if you're not into that sort of thing. But it's a really good movie.

      Well, it looks like I really have to watch The Magnificent Seven before I even consider doing anything else! Actually, no, I haven't seen The Great Escape. I'm sadly under-watched in old movies! It's good then, I take it?

      Thanks! I'm excited too. :-)

    2. Haha, well, that's just *my* opinion, but I just HIGHLY recommend it. ;-D
      Yes, The Great Escape is one of my favourite movies. And that's saying a lot, y'know. ;-) Would definitely recommend it! (It's also got Charles Bronson and James Coburn and Steve McQueen in it, plus other well-known actors. Off to read your other posts!
      ~Miss Meg March

  7. Ah!! Magnificent Seven and The Man From Snowy River. Those are the only two that I have seen, but I really, really, really want to see Hidalgo! And what movie is the picture of Jane Seymour in your header from?

    1. Yes, watch Hidalgo! Haha, I've been telling that to so many people lately -- but it's true! :-D

      The picture is from the TV show Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman that aired in the 90's. It's my favorite show. :-)

    2. Yeah the more I hear you girls talk about it, the more I want to watch it!!! And I love the gif at the beginning of this post!!

      I was pretty sure that that was where it came from. I know her the best from the 1982 The Scarlet Pimpernel opposite Anthony Andrews.

    3. Butterfly Bailey, I ADORE the 1982 TSP!!! Jane Seymour is my favorite actress. :-)

  8. Mmmmmmmmm, such a good list! As you know, The Man from Snowy River is my all-time favorite movie ever. So delighted to see it on your list!!! And I dearly love Silverado too.

    I finally saw The Long Riders, did I tell you that? While I didn't love it as a whole, I did love the acting and the attention to historical details. Stacy Keach in a cowboy hat on a horse -- I could handle a lot more of that :-D

    I liked Dances of Wolves okay, and I quite like True Grit and want to see it again one of these days.

    And you have LOTS on your list that I want to see: Hidalgo and Lonesome Dove and Wyatt Earp and The Good Old Boys.

    One quick question: this is Legends of Western *Cinema* Week, but you have Dr. Quinn in your header and a button... so are western TV shows fair game too? Because I'd love to do a list of my 10 favorites of those this week...

    1. Yes, you did tell me you'd seen The Long Riders! Haha, I know, Stacy Keach needs to be a cowboy more often. :-) I think the main reason why I love the movie so much is because of the actors; they're all like old friends. I often quote Cole Younger's line, "Move along, squarehead." ;-)

      I still find it difficult to believe that you love westerns so much, and yet have not seen Lonesome Dove!!! It's the best, in my opinion. Wyatt Earp and Hidalgo are also amazing. The Good Old Boys is, as I said, a little...what's the word?...well, unusual, I guess. But Tommy Lee Jones is wonderful (when is he not???) and I enjoyed it.

      Sure, you can do something about TV shows if you want. I'm not being very specific. The name isn't exclusive; I just like the sound of it. ;-P

    2. There is hope! I found LD at the thrift store for $3 earlier this month. So now the odds of me seeing it are a lot greater than they were, since my library didn't have it :-D It's been added to my TBW shelves, and I'll get to it eventually. Because, Tommy Lee Jones! As you say, when is he not wonderful?

      If I have time, I will do a post about TV shows too, then :-)

  9. This comment is really late, but I can't just NOT comment. B-)

    I've seen 'Lonesome Dove' YEARS ago...and it wasn't a favorite. It just wasn't. It was 'alright' at first but when Gus (I think that was his name. Correct me if I'm wrong:)) died....*dramatic sob* Yeah, that kinda turned me off to it.

    YOU HAVENT SAW THE JOHN WAYNE VERSION OF TRUE GRIT??? Well, I haven't saw the other so I can't talk... :)

    'Silverado' is great and 'The Man From Snowy River' is THE BEST!! ;-)

    Thanks for hosting this Emma! I had such fun!!! ;D

    1. Ha. Sometimes Lonesome Dove takes a while to grow on you. :-) I hated it at first, but when I took the time to watch the whole thing (I was older at that point too) I absolutely LOVED it. You definitely need to be emotionally ready for it.

      No, I haven't! A friend told me not to bother with it if I'm not a John Wayne fan, which I'm it's not priority. But I think the new one is AMAZING. And so is the book.

      Yay for Silverado love! :-)

      You're welcome, Faith! I'm glad you had fun. :-D


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