The MoFo Top 100 Westerns: Countdown

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The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean This is a favorite of mine from the time I saw it on first release at the drive-in (twice) and have loved it ever since. The warped humor just keeps me coming back. But didn't make my list.

Pale Rider I saw this at the cinema at first release and was a little put-off at the time but the more 3watch it, the more I love it. Great film. Not on my list.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Awesome film and awesome Warren Oates film, which I don't consider a Western but love the stuffings out of. Not on my list.

Pursued Had heard of but never seen. Not on my list.

List so far:

Hombre Me: 13 List proper: 88
The Naked Spur Me: 25 List proper: 86
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Two great entries!

I'm a fan of Alfredo Garcia but it didn't make my list, it could probably do with a repeat viewing.

Pursued was very high on my list, in my top five. Camo introduced me to it on here for some sort of competition and I was blown away by it. I love Robert Mitchum but what really struck me was the visual imagery; the use of mise-en-scene and shadows to tell the story. To me, this is what cinematic storytelling is. Walsh's direction creates such a haunting atmosphere. I've seen it a few times now as it's sometimes on TV over here and I'm always so impressed by it.

Here's an excellent video about it from Tag Gallagher.

quite enjoyed that contemplative look at the director's style for Pursued, very cool. THANKS
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
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.

As if there was any other way to watch it properly lol



Pursued was on my watchlist for this countdown, but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to watch it before the deadline.

I have no interest in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia because it doesn't sound like my kind of movie.
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After two darker tales the next spot in the countdown is the fun, breezy big screen adaptation of Maverick, the character originated by Jim Garner on television in the 1950s. Maverick is a wise ass and a gambler who would much rather talk his way out of a confrontation than shoot his way out, or even better yet just leave town in the middle of the night before the showdown. Garner himself is along for the ride here, which not surprisingly is a little more action-oriented coming from Mad Mel and director Richard Donner, who helmed all four of the flicks in the Lethal Weapon franchise (look for Danny Glover’s cameo and the use of the Lethal Weapon theme). Jodie Foster is the other main character, a con artist and gambler who Maverick spends the entire movie flirting with without ever really trusting. All the characters are on their way to a big poker tournament on a river boat with plenty of chases and laughs along the way and an array of the genre’s familiar faces including James Coburn, Dub Taylor, Geoffrey Lewis, and Denver Pyle as well as some contemporary Country Music stars in cameos and Alfred Molina as the baddie. For fans of the series it misses the mark a bit in terms of tone, and for all of his charms Mel is no James Garner in his prime, but the resulting big budget ride is undeniably fun. Maverick finished with 61 points from six votes, including two top tens in a third and a ninth placer.

The Shooting is a micro-budgeted film from Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter), one of the pioneers of independent film, and the flick is often categorized as one of the first so-called Acid Westerns that incorporated some of the era's psychedelic influences and the younger generation's attitudes. It is a sparse revenge piece that really only features a handful of characters in the desert including Millie Perkins, Warren Oates, and Will Hutchins who seem to be shadowed by a lone figure in black (Jack Nicholson). The target of and reason for the female rider’s revenge remain a mystery until the very end. It is a stark, effective piece that Hellman shot at the same time as another Western, Ride in the Whirlwind (also starring Nicholson and Perkins). Due to some financial and legal disputes Hellman’s film was unreleased for a couple of years until he and Nicholson could buy it themselves, then it was briefly and sporadically shown without a major distributor. This led to an arthouse, underground fanbase for this hard-to-find flick co-starring a pre-Easy Rider Jack Nicholson. Five MoFos included it on their ballots including two big votes of 24 and 22 points (2nd and 4th placers) to get it to 63 points and the thirtieth reveal.



In the few years between Star Wars making him known overnight and The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark securing him as a superstar Harrison Ford was a working actor who hadn’t yet secured his legacy. He starred in the WWII action piece Force 10 from Navarone, the WWII romance Hanover Street, and a comedic Western with Gene Wilder. Since the back-to-back 1974 Mel Brooks hits Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein Wilder had been looking for similar successes without Mel. The Hitchcockian comedy Silver Streak (his first pairing with Richard Pryor) was a big hit, but The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and The World’s Greatest Lover, both written and directed by Gene, were not. The Frisco Kid script, about a Rabbi pairing with a gunslinger, had been bouncing around town for years and at one point John Wayne was going to play the Harrison Ford role. Wilder did an uncredited rewrite and signed on. Robert Aldrich, best known for The Dirty Dozen and who helmed five other Westerns over his career including Vera Cruz and Ulzana’s Raid with Burt Lancaster, came onto the project very late. Comedy was not really his forte and he would make only one more movie. It ain’t Blazing Saddles and the tone shifts here and there, but The Frisco Kid somehow endures with enough laughs and two likeable stars to carry it. It only got three MoFo votes but they were all top tens: second place, fifth place, and seventh. 24+21+19 = 64.

To say Westworld now evokes the slick, ambitious current HBO series. But the central idea of a futuristic playground where you can fu*k or fight humanoid robots who then turn on their masters to become killing machines was Michael Crichton’s. Richard Benjamin and James Brolin star as two customers of the park who sign up to try out their boyhood fantasies and live inside a Western movie, complete with all of the characters you’d expect: the beautiful dance hall girls, the surly bartender, and of course the gunslinger in black (Yul Brenner). But the game is rigged, the guests always win, and after each day the broken chairs and robots are reset to start all over again. Until the robots decide they’ve had quite enough and even the odds. Crichton’s blending of Sci-Fi and the Western is still a fun, clever ride and Westworld landed on six ballots, including second and seventh place votes. By appearing on twice as many ballots as The Frisco Kid its 64 points settles it one spot higher on the countdown.




i watched pale rider back when i first joined this place in preparation for the 80s countdown and it made my list then and it made it to #19 on my list this time. really cool movie.

the only other one i’ve seen from the last handful is the frisco kid, which i watched after gene wilder died and found it likable enough because of the two leads but overall it’s fairly middling. i recall detecting some interesting homoerotic subtext though.
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Neither Maverick nor The Frisco Kid featured in my plans for revisits and memories of both are so vague I'll not even count them as 'seen'. Westworld was another I didn't get to revisit but in contrast is a film I didn't really need to and for a while was in with a shout of making the lower echelons of my list.

I did however watch The Shooting for this and liked it well enough but it was never in contention for receiving a vote from me.


Seen: 17/32
My list:  

Faildictions (yee-haw version 1.01):
68. 800 Bullets
67. Angel And The Badman (1947)
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Out of these four, I've only seen one and that's Maverick. I remember it being quite entertaining, but sadly it didn't pop into my head until its appearance on this list so it was never in consideration (had I remembered it, I might have rewatched it for this).

The Shooting I added to my watchlist after the reviews in western HoF but never got it done in time. The Frisco Kid seems vaguely familiar but I don't think I've seen it (and I'm not too interested to change that). The concept of Westworld isn't too appealing either despite the fact that the HBO show's been mostly fine (still haven't seen the 3rd season though).

Seen 9(+2)/32

My List  
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Westworld was my #9. Great fun. Surprisingly good even to this day. I only saw it for the first time a few years back. It worked really well for me.



I watched a little over half of Westworld and turned it off. I found the movie extremely boring and devoid of any meaningful content. Almost all of the dialogue felt like bland filler. The action wasn't exciting. The acting was unimpressive. The characters were shallow. I can understand why people like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, even though I don't. But I don't get what people like about Westworld at all.



I didn't watch any of these for this countdown because I had seen them already. I like all of them, especially Maverick and The Shooting, but no votes from me.



Maverick was a movie I used to watch every now and then as a kid. I probably saw it five or six times at least. I don't particularly like it anymore though, and wouldn't want to watch it again.

The Shooting was #4 on my list. I watched for one of the Western HoF's and really loved it.



Leben findet einen weg...
Almost voted for Maverick. Good movie.


Westworld was my #18.
Makes 2 for me now

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11. The Sons Of Katie Elder - 100th
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18. Wesworld - 69th
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Seen 5/32

My list so far:
13. Pursued

And like I said, Gold Rush would have made my list but I don't consider it a Western. But had I known it would make the list I would've voted for it to get it higher.