Thursday, August 4, 2016

Westerns I *didn't* like

     ...Because I'm not gonna sit here and lie to y'all, sometimes it's fun to be negative. Most westerns I've seen have been goodies, but once in a while you come across one that just doesn't sit right for one reason or another.

     If you really like any of these, don't take offense at whatever I am about to say -- I probably disliked it for some stupid reason and it may make no sense to you, it's just a personal preference on my part. If, however, you're like me and you don't like any of these either, well then, pour yourself some campfire coffee and take a seat and let's have a grand old time being spoilsports together!

Red River:

Red River (1949)

This was actually my first exposure to John Wayne....and I hated it. Heh. (Don't worry, I've since watched The Sons of Katie Elder and that brought the Duke back into my good graces.) I normally like cattle drive stories. But this one didn't work for me. The story is so slow and boring and oh, when will we get these cattle where they're supposed to be?! And John Wayne is an absolute creep! I didn't want to see him as a nasty character, I wanted to see him as a gallant hero, so that put me off. (And as he got meaner and meaner his hair got messier and messier until it was altogether quite disturbing.) Montgomery Clift, however, is an extremely beautiful human being and he seemed like a nice kid. But I flat-out hated Joanne Dru's character. When my folks and I watched this, we were almost to the end when the DVD screwed up and it froze on Joanne Dru pointing a gun at John Wayne on the ground; then it skipped ahead to the frame with THE END and we all thought, well, okay, that was awful.

Sorry, classic John-Wayne-western fans. I do not like Red River.

Sam Raimi's excellent western 'The Quick and the Dead' with Sharon Stone as a kick ass gunslinger! Ace.:

The Quick and the Dead (1995)

I was under the impression that this would be based on Louis L'Amour's novel of the same name, but it's not the same as the old version with Sam Elliot, it's completely different. This one just seemed too modern. The town is wacky, everybody swaggers around and talks like they're from the 1990's, and nobody seems like a good enough character to root for. (Except maaaybe Russell Crowe.) My dad and I were prepared to give the movie a chance, but when that slimy gunslinger guy walked by on the street and the saloon girls giggled to each other and one of them said, "He's so hot," I was like, NOPE! Uh-uh. Not happening.

My daddy said, "I can't do Sharon Stone as a gunslinger."

James Michener's Texas (1994)

(This isn't exactly a western, but oh well...I'm splitting hairs here.)

The main reason this failed is because John Schneider was Davy Crockett and his hair was amazing and he got shot and died after about five minutes of screen time and maybe two lines.


Also, there's more fluff than actual history. It started out as a drama about the settlement of Texas and ended up being a soap opera about a Mexican bandit named Benito. I thought it'd be super good because it has so many good actors in it, but it was just one big FLOP. You want to watch a good movie about Texas and the Alamo, watch The Alamo (2004). Now THERE's a good Davy Crockett....even if he's not John Schneider.

Kurt Russel and Val Kilmer as Wyatt and Doc. "I'll be your huckleberry"--this was his favorite line from the whole movie and he repeated it ALL the time. Miss hearing that come from him.:

Tombstone (1993)

Okay, I do like Tombstone a little bit. Tombstone's cool. It's got good parts. Still, it didn't do for me what I hoped it would, and that coupled with the amount of  gunplay and the lack of character depth didn't quite cut it. There was waaaay too much violence and not enough meat. And while Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday is absolutely irresistable, Wyatt let me down. I can't give a good reason -- I just don't like it.

cowboys in the movies | Photo: We love Doc Holliday in "Tombstone!"For more on the movie and a ...:

But, granted, Doc Holliday is pretty near perfect.

...And that about does it. For all the loads I've seen in all my life, that's not many! Mostly, if it's got horses and cowboys and wide open plains and little towns and sheriffs and outlaws and good actors, I'm gonna like it.


  1. Haha! Fortunately, I haven't seen any of these, and therefore I don't love any of these, so consequently no hard feelings between us ;) (Not that there would have been anyway…) This allows me to be Excessively Diverted by your "spoilsporting" :D

    Ach, what a shame that your first exposure to Johnny was in a bad role… From what you describe, I don't think I'd like it either, and I am quite fond of him, as you know.

    In a movie that claims to be a historical Western, one of the saloon girls actually used the term 'hot' in that context? Ugh. WATCH A PERIOD DRAMA, PEOPLE *bashes the makers over the head with Wives and Daughters *

    "The main reason this failed is because John Schneider was Davy Crockett and his hair was amazing and he got shot and died after about five minutes of screen time and maybe two lines. No." BAHAHAHAHA. Oh, you adorable girl! ;D That was funny.

  2. Haha! "He's so hot." Ermm, I don't know much about Westerns, but I do know my history, and I REALLY don't think girls talked like that back then. :P

  3. I disliked my first (and only) exposure to John Wayne. It was Hondo which is based on a Louis L'Amour and I love the book, but they just didn't have the right actors for the movie. I think it was Geraldine Page who was acting opposite him.

  4. I couldn't bear John Wayne for ages, then I started to (grudgingly) like him and now I think he's all right, still not my favorite, but a fairly solid fella. However, Red River...!!!! I haven't seen it but from what I've read of the story your sentiments are mine completely, including (ahem) how neat Montgomery Cliff looks; yes I could not agree more! :) As for Joanne Dru, however, I tried to like her in the one movie I've seen her in, but I just couldn't, not saying my feeling will never change but as for now... Besides which, I strongly disapprove of what she does/offers to do in here! I have nothing against heroines who have made mistakes or come from really tough situations, but she just seems to go way too far. To finish though, that is one very nice poster you chose for it; it's just plain BEAUTIFUL!

    I haven't seen any of the others (and now am most unlikely to :)) but your description of John Schneider's part as Davy Crockett, is perfect. It reminded me of once when I watched much of a movie only because I wanted to see one of the Union soldiers who was played by one of my favorite people ever, and then he was scarcely shown and was shot before my very eyes at the edge of the screen during an Indian attack. It broke me up terribly.

  5. Whoops. Guess you're not going to be too keen on my contribution to Western Week, then—I just did a long detailed analysis of the musical score to Red River. :) But the music's good, anyway!

    No, I like Red River well enough, but I do agree it has a couple big flaws, including A) the ending, and B) Joanne Dru's character. I'm not crazy about the lead characters myself; I like the supporting cast and the cattle drive. There's a nice realistic feel to the costumes and the setting and atmosphere that not every 1940s Western manages (except the women's hairstyles, but I'm afraid Westerns of all decades plead guilty there!). I suppose I could write a post sometime all about the flaws in the script that could have been fixed, but for now I'm sticking to the music. :)

  6. Too true: Val Kilmer stole the show in Tombstone.

  7. Well this was amusing, I must say. :D

    *grabs pot of coffee* *realizes I'm not allowed coffee yet* *sadly puts it back*

    Eww... Red River doesn't look very nice. I'm sure it's not absolutely HORRIBLE, but *I* wouldn't care for it. Also. John Wayne. :P

    OH IT'S MY LEONARDO DICAPRIO AND RUSSEL CROWE!!! But dear me, they look WAAAYYY too modern for that kind of movie. ('Tis a pity, how that happens. There's this new "Ben-Hur" movie coming out but I'm already put off, because the characters just look way. too. modern.) What a shame. But oh well. I'll stick with my Inception for Leonardo, and my many wonderful movies with Russel Crowe. :D

    Ohh... James Michener's Texas does NOT look appealing.

    Yeeaahh... I don't know. Doc Holiday was a huge saving part for Tombstone. ;) Like I've said, I'd watch it just for him. But it's certainly not a favourite movie of mine, that's for sure!

    I know I've got lots of westerns I don't really like, but right now I can't think of anything except "Almost Every Western That John Wayne Has Played In". Ahem. :P

    ~Miss Meg


    ~Miss Meg


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