The MoFo Top 100 Westerns: Countdown

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I saw the Big Gundown, and liked it quite a bit! In fact, it would have made #26 on my list, and at the last minute I had to make room. Good movie though, and I’m glad it placed.*

Seen: 2/16
- Slow West (#95)
- The Big Gundown (#85)

My ballot:

Movie Forums: There's Just No Accounting For Taste
Funny thing about that poster or posters in general, Janet Leigh is dressed nothing like that in the film.

I haven’t seen either and I generally dislike Jimmy Stewart (his voice bugs me) so I’m in no hurry to watch The Naked Spur.
Well if his voice bothers you, I'm sorry. This is my favorite James Stewart role.

The Big Gundown (1966)...I seen it for the Western HoF, not on my list. This is what I wrote in brief:
This was pretty good as far as spaghetti westerns go, though I don't actually care for spaghetti westerns. I guess with the in your face tropes and dubbed dialogue they remind me of Tarantino's films and I'm not a fan of his. So I'm not surprised to learn that The Big Gundown is actually one of Quentin Tarentino's favorite spaghetti westerns. He'll probably remake it someday.

The Naked Spur
...Yes! another from my list
I had The Naked Spur at #10 I'm a huge fan of Anthony Mann thanks to this countdown Previously I had seen some of his films including The Naked Spur and Winchester '73 but wasn't really aware of his contributions to the western genre.

This is from my review a couple years ago.

The Naked Spur (1953)

Director: Anthony Mann
Writers: Sam Rolfe, Harold Jack Bloom
Cast: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell
Genre: Western, Action-Thriller

"A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers."

The Naked Spur is one damn good western! It's intelligent, exciting and it kept me on my toes. It reminded a bit of Treasure of the Sierra Madre in just how desperate people can get, when huge sums of money are involved. The on-location shooting in the wilderness of Colorado does wonders for the film. I mean the trees and mountains should get an acting credit! The film has a rugged beauty that amplifies the story at hand.

Speaking of actors, hot damn! this has got a talented bunch. That's Robert Ryan as the free wheelin' hombre with a price on his head. And that little filly with the dirty face is none other than Janet Leigh, before she took that infamous shower at the Bates Motel.

And the grisly looking prospector is played to flamboyant perfection by Millard Mitchell. He's quite colorful and so is Ralph Meeker in a slimy way...He's an ex soldier with a dubious past and a dishonorable discharge. Oh, and the man with the gun, is the bounty hunter played by legendary James Stewart. Who's not as nearly as kindly as you might think.

This is properly called an action-thriller-western. The scenes of climbing the cliff side and later of trying to cross a raging river (no not that river, it's a BIG one!)...those scenes rival in excitement anything I've seen in any western.

Duck you Sucker is the first film from my list, it's surprisingly low!

It's my #13, it's not as good as other Leone (but better then others) in my view. The flashback scenes with James Coburn are both a little cliché and memorable, even if it's been years since I saw the film I remember them clearly, not many scenes from western are this memorable. I also really like the ending, the relationship between John and Juan overall is memorable.

The only negative I have about it is that sometimes there is some raw, unpleasant violent scenes. For instance, I remember a scene where Juan basically rapes a woman and Leone didn't seem to condemn him, after that scene I had a harder time to emphasize with Juan.
I do not speak english perfectly so expect some mistakes here and there in my messages

I haven't seen any of the last 4 films to be revealed.

For those in the UK who are interested, Slow West is on Film4 tonight at 12:40am.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
The Naked Spur is a strong combo of action-adventure and cat-and-mouse psychological thriller.all in spectacular nature - very close to making my list. The Big Gundown is an OK epic with Van Cleef at his best. Never considered it - this video should give you a good taste.

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
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The Naked Spur was one of the westerns I watched for this countdown and I'm glad I did, because it's a solid western all around, and Jimmy Stewart is excellent, and i had it on my list at #19.
I may go back to hating you. It was more fun.

Stop eating my sesame cake!

MoFo's #95, Slow West, is on Film4 tonight in the UK for any UK MoFo's who fancy watching it for free

Starts at 00:40 till 02:20am.

Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

I thought I'd pinned Hombre to the tail-end of my ballot, but guess not. It was one of several westerns in contention for the last couple spots on my list. Depending on which way the whim blows, it could easily make the cut any other day. Great movie that feels like a gritty, cynical update to Stagecoach. Wonderful dialogue (no surprise given that it's an Elmore Leonard adaptation) and an excellent love-to-hate him villainous performance by Richard Boone. Pretty sure I nominated the film for one of those movie tournaments we did in the past.

The Unforgiven is the only other western to appear so far that was in contention for my list. It's a strange movie (Audrey Hepburn, though very good in the role, is a distracting choice to play a Native American; the racism message feels muddled and hypocritical, likely from production tug-of-wars; and I'm unsure how audiences are expected to react to the bizarre incestuous love angle), but I found the movie enormously entertaining. In a sense, the "flaws" only make it more interesting and memorable.

Shirley MacLaine makes Two Mules for Sister Sara worthwhile. (I still chuckle anytime I think of the reveal regarding her true profession.) Not too impressed with Siegel as a director, however, and he lacks the stylish chops to successfully pull off the spaghetti imitation. Surprised this made the countdown at all considering it's likely Eastwood's least popular western.

Once I got over the disappointment of not seeing any actual sorcery in Warlock, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, as I'm a big fan of Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Richard Widmark. It'd likely play better for me on a re-watch, as I felt like the movie perhaps tried to juggle too many storylines and themes at once. Slow West looks pretty and has a very strong last act, but overall I thought the film felt too episodic, both in plot and tone. Also felt to me like a western made by people who don't like westerns. It's easily my least favorite of the entries so far.

The Misfits is in dire need of a re-watch. Remember liking it, but don't recall many details. Saw it over ten years ago, before I was well acquainted with Gable, Monroe or Clift. Might've even been my first John Huston, who seems to ascend the ranks of my favorite directors with every new film from him I watch. Duck, You Sucker! is another in need of reappraisal. Enjoyed it, but was underwhelmed at the time considering how much I revere Leone's other films (minus The Colossus of Rhodes, of course). Support Your Local Sheriff! was consistently amusing, and I appreciate that the humor isn't so broad and silly to overrule everything else, as is the case with most western parodies. The Hanging Tree and The Naked Spur are both very good films, though neither was in consideration for my list. The former boasts one of the best opening tunes of the genre, while the latter is my second favorite of the many Mann/Stewart collaborations.

Seen: 10/16.

So far I’ve unsurprisingly seen 0 of the entries...

And I could say the same for the one-pointers if it wasn’t for the maybe-a-western Brokeback Mountain, which I have seen.

Oh well. Here’s hoping something I’ve seen and perhaps even voted for shows up soon.

Don't t worry dude. I don't expect any of mine to even show up before #30. At least #50.
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Naked Spur was on my list of attempts to watch before I put in my list.

So I watched it today. Surprised to see how they jump right into it. Though I imagine that action-paced song during the opening credits should have been clue one that things were going to be hopping from the get go.
Very happy to have seen it,
WARNING: "though" spoilers below
and maybe it's just me, but, he should have taken the body back for the bounty

The Big Gundown was an excellent surprise in the latest Western III HoF, reaching second place in my voting. Truly wish I had the room for it on my Ballot.

The Big Gundown aka La resa dei conti

It's always a great pleasure to get a surprise gem on the finale of an HoF List and, yes, my friends, this Taranito Spaghetti Western favorite is such a pleasure.
In these past Western films, I have seen Lee Van Cleef scowl from the background time and again. Most times without uttering a word. Though he did get to open a film (High Noon). But this is the very first time I get to seem him in full control of the leading role and the man DOES NOT disappoint. Not that there would have been a doubt - this was truly ideal vehicle for him to be in. His callous means to an end demeanor mixed with a proficient hunter's patience was [email protected] awesome to experience.
Nor does the film itself. With several colorful characters; such as the old gunslinger monk to the Austrian Baron that is fascinated with American Western "quick draw".
Oh, and, Oh mymymymymy,
The Widow (Nieves Navarro)

There are some great cat and mouse scenes and showdowns in this. Serious kudos to a film that has a man bring a knife to a gunfight -- what a helluva great shot. A totally "Holy sh#t that was awesome!" moment.
A very serious popcorn muncher, late-night drive-in feature, to be sure.

I'm very glad I watched the full 110 min version. Even though, initially, when I was looking for a good link for this film, the serious mix of English and Italian was a putoff. Now, I'm not a stranger to having multiple languages in a film. This is the first one with such a heavy ratio without any subtitles. I do appreciate and enjoy, "when" they'd switch to Italian when what was said had more of a gravitas/intimate inclination. Giving the unknown dialogue a kind of mystique. One exchange I'd love to learn of was Van Cleef's Corbett saying good-bye to The Widow, inside her home. It seems like there were some very cool witticisms going on between the two.

Movies Watched 6 out of 16 (37.5%)
They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran

"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra

Director Anthony Mann is back on the list again already with The Furies, and Sam Peckinpah’s first appearance on the countdown comes at #83 with The Ballad of Cable Hogue.

The Furies stars Walter Huston (his last film role) as an ambitious cattle baron and Barbara Stanwyk as his equally ambitious daughter. She has an admirer she doesn’t particularly like and a secret love affair going with one of the Mexicans squatting on their land. Her father intends to remarry somebody his daughter doesn’t approve of and these romantic entanglements blow up to the point where father and daughter hate each other and vengeance becomes the driving force for Stanwyk. The Furies is an odd and compelling mix of melodrama and a pinch of Noir in Western clothing.

Peckinpah’s follow up to the triumph of The Wild Bunch was a completely different tone with almost zero violence. Jason Robards is double crossed by his partners and left to die in the desert, but he happens upon a spring which he decides to stake a claim on and turn into a stagecoach stop where horses and people can wet their whistles. He winds up tied to a lascivious fallen preacher (David Warner) and the genre’s hooker with a heart of gold (Stella Stevens). Following the thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammo expended in The Wild Bunch’s ballets of death we barely get any shots fired by this comic entrepreneur of the sagebrush, a side of Peckinpah he didn’t often commit to celluloid.

The Furies had five votes, including an eighth placer, while The Ballad of Cable Hogue hits the 50-point mark appearing on six ballots, its highest being a seventh place nod.

I was the one who had The Ballad of Cable Hogue at number seven. The Wild Bunch made Sam’s career but The Ballad of Cable Hogue almost derailed it just as quickly. It ran over budget and the brass at Warner Brothers didn’t like what was turned in as they wanted another Wild Bunch, so they didn't spend much time or money marketing it, unceremoniously dumped it into a handful of theaters, and abruptly ended Peckinpah’s tenure at the Studio. But l love this movie. Along with A Thousand Clowns it is my very favorite Jason Robards performance, full of the brand of humor, wit, and pathos he does best. As much as I adore and appreciate the nihilistic side of Peckinpah I wish Cable Hogue had been successful enough for him to make other oddball, gentle love stories. But at least I can always revisit Cable Springs and spend some butterfly mornings and wild flower afternoons there with Hogue and Hildy.

7. The Ballad of Cable Hogue (#83)
16. Hombre (#88)
25. Support Your Local Sheriff! (#89)

I haven't seen either of the previous two (though there's a small chance I've actually seen Peckinpah's film as it's been on TV several times but the last airing appears to be from 2000 and I don't remember a thing so I'll count it as no).

Seen 4(+2)/18

My List