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 (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.
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.
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.
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.