The MoFo Top 100 Westerns: Countdown

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"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

Two chilly entries today.

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous filmmakers of all time and he often said The Gold Rush is the personal favorite of his features. His character The Tramp has made his way north - WAY north - to the Klondike as part of the gold rush. During a blizzard he becomes trapped in a cabin with an outlaw and another prospector. Once he survives and makes it back to town there's a girl - there's always a girl. It is full of some truly ingenious and influential gags. Hysterical and near perfect. Our first silent film thus far, it lands on the countdown of MoFo Westerns at #78 with four votes including a fifth placer.

André De Toth on the other hand is not a famous director, and unless you are a film buff you may have never heard of him. The Hungarian De Toth worked in Hollywood genre pictures in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Horror fans may know him from House of Wax starring Vincent Price in 3D and Film Noir fans may know him from Pitfall with Dick Powell and Lizabeth Scott. But he made a saddle bag full of Westerns, starting with the very Noirish Ramrod (1947) and finishing with Day of the Outlaw a dozen years later. In between he made nine other oaters, six of them starring Randolph Scott. But his farewell to the genre is probably the most memorable and influential of the bunch. It certainly influenced Sergio Corbucci and Quentin Tarantino as The Great Silence and The Hateful Eight are unabashedly both cut from this same cloth. Set in the snowy Wyoming mountains (stunningly filmed on Mount Bachelor, Oregon) Robert Ryan stars as a man hellbent on getting rid of his romantic rival in town so he might possess the woman he is obsessed with (Tina Louise) but instead he is sidetracked. A pack of dangerous men ride into town, lead by a former cavalry officer (Burl Ives). Tense, bleak, and as frigid as the snow-covered wilderness.

Day of the Outlaw was on five ballots including a third place vote. It was one of the last flicks I cut from my own ballot so I was very happy to see it make the countdown.

The Gold Rush was on TV multiple times when I was a kid and I've seen it several times. Even though that's a long time ago, I'm going to consider it properly seen as I even remember scenes from it. I've been planning to rewatch some Chaplins but there's never been a good time for that. I've never heard of Day of the Outlaw but it seems interesting (in other words, I watchlisted it).

Seen 6(+2)/24

My List  

Love The Gold Rush but for some odd reason I personally never really connect it with being a western and as such it was never considered for my ballot. On the other hand Day Of The Outlaw is the first off said ballot to make the countdown proper.

Seen: 13/24
My list:  

Faildictions (yee-haw version 1.01):
76. Heaven's Gate
75. The Ugly Ones
Pre-1930 Countdown

Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once

man i completely forgot the gold rush counted as a western, i probably would've included it at #15. meanwhile, day of the outlaw was another one of the last movies i watched before submitting and i found it wonderfully bleak enough to include it at #17 on my list.

my list so far:
5. warlock (edward dmytryk, 1959)
8. man of the west (anthony mann, 1958)
15. the naked spur (anthony mann. 1953)
17. day of the outlaw (andre de toth, 1959)
25. montana belle (allan dwan, 1952)
Most Biblical movies were long If I Recall.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

No points from me. The Gold Rush was the first Chaplin film lionized by international film critics and historians, and even if it's recently fallen a bit out of favor, it's still a terrific movie and a must-see as all of Chaplin's features are, at least up through Limelight (1952). It's crammed with awesome scenes, from the cabin teetering on the edge of a cliff, to the starving prospector who wants to eat Charlie because he thinks he's a chicken to the bear following the tramp, to eating the shoe to the memorable climax to this short and sweet dance of the rolls. Chaplin's films are full of the kind of imagination which seems to be in short supply nowadays.

Day of the Outlaw is mostly a washout for me, although I can't really argue with anything Holden says..In fact, here's a homemade "trailer" which emphasizes the tie-ins to later films.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Like Chypmunk and frightened inmate, I forgot The Gold Rush counted as a Western, but I do love that movie! It's a 5-star affair for me for sure.

I'd heard of Day of the Outlaw but not seen it. I should, as I have indeed heard of Andre De Toth and his Randolph Scott Westerns, and the fact that he directed the awesome House of Wax. Robert Ryan is always great, good guy or bad guy role, but he really excels at bad guy roles. Need to see this one!
"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."

The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Good to see some love for spaghettis, they are a huge part of my list!

Seen: 5/24

My list:

25. Lucky Luke: la Ballade des Daltons
14. Duck, You Sucker!
9. The Big Gundown
7. The Mercenary

My name is Nobody and The Gold Rush almost made the list!

The Gold Rush is the first from my list... I didn't expect any from my list to pop up that early, but then again it isn't your typical western so I'm sure a bunch of people didn't vote for it.

I had it at #6 on my partial of 17.

Paco the rodeo clown hires Kowalski (Franco Nero) to teach him how to spur a revolution. Tarantino looted the music for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004). Have The Mercenary, also called A Professional Gun, at #7.

Team Nostro

#7. The Mercenary (1968)
#2. Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)


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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible

Just because this is one of the best duel scenes in all the spaghetti genre. These 5 minutes alone place The Mercenary as one of the best non-Leone spaghetti westerns.

I didn't know The Gold Rush counted either... But it doesn't matter as there's no way I'd vote for it for, well, probably anything. I don't think I've seen The Three Amigos but there's two good reasons for that. The genre and the cast.

Confident I've not seen any of the others.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Oops. I also did not even consider the Gold Rush as a Western so I didn't watch it for the countdown. But I will probably watch and like it, since I absolutely love Chaplin.

Seen: 3/24
- Slow West (#95)
- The Big Gundown (#85)
- The Furies (#84)

My ballot:
Lists and Projects

Of the films from yesterday and today, I've only seen The Gold Rush. I remember it being pretty good, but not something I'd consider voting for (though I knew it was eligible).

Seen both...voted for neither. I liked Day of the Outlaw and had hoped to revisit it as it's been a long time since the first Western HoF where I saw it. I remember it had Robert Ryan, lots of snow and Tina Louise

The Gold Rush was one of the nominations in the 8th HoF...I loved it!

There's something joyous about looking back in time to an era so long gone. Silent films are a different form of artistry, the acting style is unique and so are the stories. Charles Chaplin once said that The Gold Rush was the one film that he wanted to be remembered for. I feel like it's important not to forget him or any of these great artist that were once so important to the world.

My full review of The Gold Rush

Seen both. If I had thought of Gold Rush when making my list it may have ended up on the back third.

I enjoy Westerns a lot but my list probably had 15 that I truly love and then a lot I like and respect fighting for those last 10 spots.