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S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
DVDBeaver LOVE WESTERNS. I've made a, personal, listing of my 100 favorite westerns that are on Blu-ray. We've added review/comparison, purchase links plus some Recommended Reading.
Westerns often deal with the pioneering of the 19th century American Old West, with conquest of the wilderness, interaction with Native Americans and/or the adventures of a nomadic wanderer, a drifting, mysterious, stranger - as part of the narrative. However, the most common primary focus was on morality and codes of honor in the pursuit of vengeance. With minimal, or compromised, law enforcement - personal retribution became key to the protagonist(s) seeking justice - often through violent means.
So this is not a complete list of my 'all-time' favorite westerns because they must be on Blu-ray to be included. Over time we will make additions and deletions. Absent are films such as Hud (1963), Budd Boetticher - Randolph Scott westerns Decision at Sundown (1957), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), The Tall T (1957) and Ride Lonesome (1959) plus a handful of Anthony Mann westerns like The Tin Star (1957), The Furies (1950) - come on Criterion!, The Naked Spur (1953), and, of course, Winchester '73 (1950). There are so many others still not on 1080P yet including Vengeance is Mine aka "Per 100.000 dollari t'ammazzo" (1968), John Sayles's excellent Lone Star (1996), Gregory Peck as aging gunslinger Johnny Ringo in The Gunfighter (1950), Delmer Daves' The Hanging Tree (1959), John Ford gems Sergeant Rutledge (1960) and Cheyenne Autumn (1965), to name, only, a few that are conspicuous by their absence on Blu-ray.
These are really just my favorites listed. My rationale would be that my memory limits the order - and positioning is largely dependant on how recently I've seen the film. In some cases it may be over a decade . To raise it higher on the list, I'd only need to see it again (prime example would be The Searchers - which might be number 1 on many individual's lists!)
This listing has at least one Noir western (Johnny Guitar), a Silent era (3 Bad Men), only one comedy-element western; Destry Rides Again (1939) although I could have added Cat Ballou (1965), and the hilarious A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014). There are plenty of 'pasta westerns' but 'B' productions have little representation. As they are on Blu-ray I could have added titles like The Night Riders, Byron Haskin's Silver City with Edmond O'Brien and Yvonne De Carlo, Showdown at Boot Hill starring a young Charles Bronson, the 56-minute John Wayne 'B' western Red River Range and Frontier Horizon (the final Wayne 'Mesquiteers' film). I've added a few relatively modern and certainly many revisionist westerns. I've been enamored with The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2006) for years and was very, recently, impressed with The Revenant (2015) and was, also, blown away by Meek’s Cutoff (2010). I really enjoyed the dialogue and intensity of Bone Tomahawk (2015), which has horror elements. I was keen on Tarantino's The Hateful Eight (2015) but should watch it a couple of more times before deciding upon inclusion. Of course, there are John Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Sergio Leone films but they don't totally dominate the list although it would be easy to make case that they deserve to. Just as there are debatable westerns from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954) to the Coen's No Country for Old Men (2007).
DVDBeaver are huge believers in time and that quality eventually rises to the top (most of my favorites are over 50-years old). Criteria encourages that I should have seen the film at least four or five times. Another example of qualifying a selection is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which my father took me to, theatrically, as a young boy and I have very fond memories of attending that matinee with my Dad. I hope this identifies just how subjective this list is.
There is no defense of why I have film 'X' ahead of film 'Y', although there may be omissions as I don't claim to have seen every western ever made. I'm always interested in suggestions. Thanks for any, constructive, input. 'Yippee Ki-Yay'!
NOTE: These are IN ORDER (favorites first)!
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