The MoFo Top 100 Westerns: Countdown

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I watched Pursued twice about 5 years ago, for the 40's countdown and then a 2nd time because, as Daniel said, Camo nominated it for something. I liked it but didn't vote for it.

I watched Alfredo Garcia for the 70's countdown but was indifferent towards it. It seemed like a movie that I should've loved so I always wanted to watch it again. I finally did for this and sure enough it's a new favorite. I never felt like I was watching a western though so I couldn't vote for it.



I adore Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia... but I don't consider it a Western, I consider it more of a Crime film than anything else that just so happens to take place in Mexico.
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One of Eastwoods biggest fans here but I just can't get into Pale Rider.

Pursued made my list, it was a very pleasant surprise. Watched it for a Western Hall of Fame on here.



We've gone on holiday by mistake
Damn only number 75, think it was top 3 on my list.

Last appearance of the fabled Man With No Name. I feel it deserves better.
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Once again seen neither.

Seen: 3/28
- Slow West (#95)
- The Big Gundown (#85)
- The Furies (#84)

My ballot:
None
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Seen Pursued but only thought it was fine. Barely remember it now.

Really need to watch more Peckinpah. If his stuff ever is readily available streaming I will dig in. Think I have only seen Wild Bunch at this point. Spoiler alert, it made my list. I am sure it made tons and we won't be seeing it till the final week.
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Seen Pursued, I was lukewarm to it. My review...


Pursued (Raoul Walsh, 1947)
*spoilers*

'She loves him, she really loves him, she hates him, really hates him, she marries him, she wants to kill him, wait a second...she loves him again!'

Poor Thor (Teresa Wright), she can't seem to make up her mind in this soap opera styled western. It's not Teresa Wright's fault, she actually turns in a good performance. The fault lies with an inept script that has the characters changing their mindsets as quickly as blowing sand.

Pursued seems like a movie that was rushed into production without a well fleshed out script. Missing are the little details that fills in the back story and gives the characters motivational credibility.

Point in case: Grant Callum (Dean Jagger), the one arm man who vows to kill all of the Rand family, thus prompting Mrs. Callum (Judith Anderson) to save the young boy and raise him as her own. OK so far so good. It even works when the one arm guy spots a 10 year old Rand and takes a pot shot at him. The confrontation that follows in the hotel room between Mrs Callum and Grant promises to be an emotional high light, instead it's played so low key that the film starts to lose credibility. Even worse is Grant, who's blood thirsty to kill Rand, has like another 15 years to do it, but can't seem to find the time! Grant has got to be the most unmotivated killer in any film.

At the end of the story it's funny when Grant and his gang of killers have Rand and Thor surrounded and are ready to lynch Rand. But wait, once Mrs Callum shoots Grant dead, the entire lynching is forgotten about. I guess the lynching mob didn't have any motivation either.

Robert Mitchum who's usually good, sleep walks his performance. I've never seen him look so bored. I don't know what the director Raul Walsh was thinking, but whatever he tried to achieve by having the actors act so deadpan, it didn't work.

James Wong Howe's cinematography and Max Steiner's music score are the films highlights.




Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Like Holden, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia would have EASILY hit a high ranking for me in my twenties as well. I still love it as a Peckinpah film, it didn't make my list

Pursued was introduced to me in my very first HoF, for the Forties when Camo nominated it.


Pursued

I really enjoyed this movie from the get-go. Having wanting very much to see it some weeks back when I first tried watching it with bad audio. Now, with a version from the local library I had a bonus with a short intro by Martin Scorsese who likened it to a Shakespearean tragedy. And as I watched it unfold I completely agree. There is a certain undeniable doom that refuses to give way as it circles and drags everyone into its whirlwind.
Scorsese also spoke of how this was rather new in the more darker tone of westerns of its time. Nothing and no one is strictly good or evil. On the side of Light or on the side of Dark. What there is, is a long standing hatred that simply overwhelms and eventually consumes those who allow it to rule them. Which is handled very well.
What is also handled, and can be misconstrued, when it comes to people's feelings is that this movie covers up to 20 years of life. From the time of Jeb, Thur and Adam being around 5, to grown adults. And then, two years with Jeb in the army, some six months after his return home, then another year, maybe more, after the first death.
In such an amount of time, feelings and emotions change, as do people, and this was addressed and, while it was not "explained" to the viewer; I do get it and appreciate it.
What I also appreciated was the camera work. It was incredible. One in particular I loved was at the end of Jeb and Adam's many fist fights.



The angling was powerful and raw. There so many great shots along with this, including the scene in the alleyway as well.

And, as with any good western, the outside shots of New Mexico and the cloudy skies were simply brilliant. In regards to camera work, the film was painted with a masterfully creative hand.

What was also masterful was the soundtrack. Which, at times was like a cataclysmic storm. Pelting you without mercy. Much like the unrelenting doom that hounds the story's characters. The music is epic and at many times - intense. It's ebb and flow and crashing crescendos were entities unto themselves. [email protected] magnificent.

Pursued is a solid western with - echoing Scorsese - Shakespearean undertones.
Very happy to see it make the Countdown


Movies Watched 14 out of 28 (50%)
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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
I've only seen two of the last however many, Gold Rush, which I didn't really think of as a Western, and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia which I didn't like at all.



Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is one of those films which is so dirty I often feel compelled to take a thorough scrub in a hot shower after watching it...



I tried watching Bring Me The Head... about 30 years ago and couldn't get into it, so I don't really know if I like it or not. But as the only Peckinpah film I've seen and liked is Convoy, I doubt it.

Not seen Pursued, but I don't like Robert Mitchum, so I don't know if I'd get on with that either.
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...Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia which I didn't like at all.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia is one of those films which is so dirty I often feel compelled to take a thorough scrub in a hot shower after watching it...
I tried watching Bring Me The Head... about 30 years ago and couldn't get into it, so I don't really know if I like it or not. But as the only Peckinpah film I've seen and liked is Convoy, I doubt it...
OK, I'm thinking I wouldn't like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia either. Never seen it of course, but it doesn't sound like my kind of film.



OK, I'm thinking I wouldn't like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia either. Never seen it of course, but it doesn't sound like my kind of film.
I used to say when I recommended the flick to people in my younger days - and it was definitely one of my litmus test movies back then - I would say while perhaps a tad irresponsible I suggest, for full effect, you should definitely watch it alone, late at night, in an uncomfortably warm room, wearing clothes with the stink of at least a few days on 'em, while steadily downing cheap tequila on an otherwise empty stomach. If you weren't chuckling to yourself by the time he starts talking to the severed head, rotting in a burlap sack full of flies, you were never going to get it. Which probably made you a decent human being, but not somebody I want to watch movies with until dawn.

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I used to say when I recommended the flick to people in my younger days - and it was definitely one of my litmus test movies back then - I would say while perhaps a tad irresponsible I suggest, for full effect, you should definitely watch it alone, late at night, in an uncomfortably warm room, wearing clothes with the stink of at least a few days on 'em, while steadily downing cheap tequila on an otherwise empty stomach. If you weren't chuckling to yourself by the time he starts talking to the severed head, rotting in a burlap sack full of flies, you were never going to get it. Which probably made you a decent human being, but not somebody I want to watch movies with until dawn.

Challenge Accepted



Challenge Accepted
Well this part, "wearing clothes with the stink of at least a few days on 'em, while steadily downing cheap tequila" is already how most of us have been handing the COVID quarantine, yes? Not much of a challenge.

Maybe that's just my house?



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Neither made my list.

Things I like about Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia include: Warren Oates (I always like him); Isela Vega (who wouldn't?); the opening scene, which begins idyllically and also it seems like you're watching a 19th-century western, and then they edit to all the cars and planes (my vote for best editing in the film); Jerry Fielding's score (although not up there with Straw Dogs); the fact that Bennie and the Head get along so well, the fact that a "loser" goes out a "winner", the mention of Fred C. Dobbs, the title. There are more, but we can discuss those.

Things I dislike about it are: I think half of the film shouldn't even be in the film (scenes which go on and on which should have been blue-penciled); Peckinpah's trademark slo-mo balletic violence just doesn't work here; the two motorcyclists!!!; the ease with which our hero (and I consider him a hero) accomplishes things; technical flubs (now, I could be wrong, but it seemed clear to me that their tire blew out when the truck almost ran head-on into them, but no problem in the story concerning the tire; then a half-hour later, they have to fix a flat tire from out of nowhere); all the other hitmen/"entrepreneurs"/well, damn everybody but Bennie and Elita, were stick figures.

Anyhow, I'm not trying to rebut or fight anybody. I know I'm in the minority around here, but at least, that skims the tip of the iceberg.

Pursued.has awesome photography and locations but the actual story is just too obvious.
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I made room for one neo-western and the choice was among three different films, one of them being Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. I ended up choosing a different film, and I'm thinking I'm the only one who did choose it.
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