The MoFo Top 100 Westerns: Countdown

→ in

Been so long since I’ve seen Three Amigos. Like, 20+years or so. I laughed pretty hard. I wonder how well it’ll hold up on a rewatch decades later? 🤔

We all listen to Death Metal
The Three Amigos just barely made my list in the 25th spot. I should have at least replaced it with one of my contenders, but I was having a tough time deciding at the last minute. I'm not a fan of Siskel and Ebert. I don't like the way they talk about movies in general, and it's funny that I feel almost the complete opposite as them about The Three Amigos. I thought that campfire song was boring, but the jokes were solid and funny. Like when two girls are gossiping and one says, "I like the one that is not so smart." The other girl replies, "Which one is that?" Implying they are all idiots. The comedic timing was great. I've seen the movie a dozen times as a kid, so I had a sensation of being bored of it already. And that gave me the impression that it wasn't that funny to begin with. But when I rewatched it for the countdown, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and that it actually made me laugh.

"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 more Spaghetti Westerns enter the countdown, both belonging to subgenres of the subgenre.

The Mercenary is another Zapata Western. Everyone with even a passing knowledge of Spaghetti Westerns knows the name Sergio Leone, but for bigger fans Sergio Corbucci is regarded as the other Italian genius of the form. Corbucci had been making Westerns for a few years before Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars but he didn’t have big hits until ’66 through ’68 after Leone’s successes created an international market for them. One of those breakthroughs was The Mercenary starring Franco Nero, Tony Musante, and Jack Palance about friendships, betrayals, and some bloody shoot outs during and after the Mexican Revolution. It’s not as famous as Nero and Corbucci’s previous pairing, Django, but it may be the better film with some nice humor and even a touch of Fellini (the images of the rodeo clown shoot out are unforgettable). Here at MoFo The Mercenary got four votes, two of them a pair of seventh placers accounting for 38 of its 53 points.

My Name is Nobody is a parody of the Spaghetti Western, a comedy produced by Sergio Leone himself! Terrence Hill, who had starred in several Westerns including God Forgives...I Don't! and Ace High had his best successes in comedies paired with Bud Spencer, especially the Italian Western spoofs They Call Me Trinity and Trinity is Still My Name. From there it was an easy slide into the title role in My Name is Nobody playing an affable Man with No Name who is blazing fast on the draw but just as likely to slap his opponent, all with a big smile on his face. Henry Fonda, who had one of his all-time favorite roles in Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West, agreed to play Jack Beauregard, a legendary gunfighter looking to retire before he has one showdown too many. Nobody is an admirer and insists that if he does withdraw he make his exit in a blaze of glory that will secure his legendary status forever. The story idea was Leone’s, produced nine years after A Fistful of Dollars, and some fan rumors even speculate that he may have shadow-directed portions of the movie himself. However much influence Mr. Leone exerted on the production behind-the-scenes the result is a winner that is better than “just” a parody.

Yay, it's been a while since I can say I've watched the two revealed movies and I at least move back to a semi-respectable 50% seen now Both are decent, fun watches imo, personally I'd rank The Mercenary higher than My Name Is Nobody. Neither made my list though.

Seen: 11/22
My list:  

Faildictions (yee-haw version 1.01):
78. A Knife For The Ladies
77. The Outrage
Pre-1930 Countdown

Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once

My Name is Nobody was my lucky thirteenth pick. Back in the day it took me quite a while to track this one down. I had seen and enjoyed the Trinity movies as a kid and of course all the Leone pictures were favorites. I kept finding references to this Nobody flick but could never actually find it in my local rental haunts or catch it on TV. When I finally bought it on LaserDisc (a double feature package that also rather randomly included The Appaloosa starring Marlon Brando...which for the record does not really make a good double feature) it became an instant favorite. Terrence Hill is perfect at this brand of humor and Nobody became sort of his magnum opus, incorporating all the best pieces of what he had done on film up to that point into one great flick. Pairing him with Fonda is some kind of cinema magic. I go back and forth depending on the day, but this and Duck, You Sucker! may actually be my favorite of all of Morricone’s Western scores, more than the famous ones everyone can whistle. For all of the fun, and there is plenty of fun, what elevates this to the level of the movies it is poking fun at – which not only include Leone’s own four Westerns and the industry it spawned but also Sam Peckinpah and even Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai - is that ultimately it’s a smart deconstruction of the Western myth, and Hank Fonda is so very good at the center of it that he adds a level of poignancy that probably would not have been there otherwise.

That makes four from my list in these first twenty-two reveals.

7. The Ballad of Cable Hogue (#83)
13. My Name is Nobody (#79)
16. Hombre (#88)
25. Support Your Local Sheriff! (#89)

I was supposed to watch The Mercenary for this but never actually did. It's still on my watchlist. I'm not sure if I've seen My Name Is Nobody but if I have it's been ages ago. I do like Terence Hill, though.

Seen 5(+2)/22

My List  

To echo what everyone's said, @Holden Pike, you've done a super job on this list and the awesome graphics. Love it!

Okay, let's see...of the One-Pointers, I've only seen Buffalo Bill & the Indians or: Sitting Bull's History Lesson, and I thought it was a crashing bore. Onto the list proper:

Only two off the list were movies that I counted for mine, but commenting on the list, there are quite a few I've seen because I love me some Westerns!

The Sons of Katie Elder is a fine John Wayne Western. I loved the supporting cast, especially Dean Martin as the ne'er-do-well brother who is not above tricking somebody out of their money. Take the great scene where he sells chances to a g[/b]ullible Strother Martin (one of my favorite character actors, especially in Westerns) for a chance at Martin's "glass eye." But the action is fine and it's a solid flick.

Geronimo: An American Legend I saw this when it was released to the cinema and I remembered liking it, but I was reading about Geronimo at the time and was disappointed that they didn't delve deep enough into his life. His character was pretty much a supporting player in his own movie, so I didn't include it here even though it's entertaining.

Two Mules For Sister Sister I've seen this many times over the years and get a kick out of it. For some reason, the scene where MacClaine has to drive the arrow through Eastwood's shoulder comes to my mind whenever I hear this title mentioned but it's all good.

Warlock Sad to say I haven't seen this but have known of it for years. Will catch it some day.

North to Alaska A fun, comedic John Wayne movie, with the support cast all doing great work. The big fight sequence in the muddy streets of Nome that closes the movie is a real winner! Watch this one quite a bit.

Slow West Had not heard of this film till seeing it mentioned here.

The Unforgiven Love this movie and thought about putting it on the list, but there were so many I love that eventually I had to cut this one. I thought Audie Murphy gave his finest performance ever here as the prejudiced brother who is forced to face his bigotry. And Joseph Wiseman (Dr. No himself!) is super as the grizzled old man who is stalking Lancaster's family and holds a big mystery that affects everyone in the movie. One of my favorite Huston films.

The Misfits I really like this movie and I thought everyone here did a great job, especially Marilyn Monroe. The black and white photography is aces.

The Dark Valley Had never heard of it till now.

Oklahoma! I vaguely remember seeing this as a kid, and I liked Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones together but I remember their other musical together, the non-Western Carousel.

Duck, You Sucker! I really enjoyed this Leone movie. Sure, it's a bit whack-a-doodle but the combo of the great James Coburn and Rod Steiger guarantees a good time.

Support Your Local Sheriff! Love this movie! Garner is so much in his element here and this movie just fits him like a glove or is it the other way around? I don't know but it is aces and the supporting cast, especially Bruce Dern, is fine. And the often-forgotten Joan Hackett is fine as a local woman who sets her cap for Garner.

Hombre At last, one from my list! This is a great movie. Some may found it slow-moving but I don't. I love ever tiny bit of this film, especially the dialogue, then Newman's anti-hero role that he so excelled at playing, plus the great Richard Boone, who would go on to play a similar role in Big Jake with John Wayne. Again with the dialogue, when a woman berates John Russell (Newman) for not helping out a soldier who was cheated out of his stage ticket by Grimes (Boone): " If it's alright with you, lady, I just didn't feel like bleeding for him. And even if it isn't alright with you." Also, when Russell is sitting in the dark at a decrepit way-station, a woman, Jessie (Diane Cilento) comes in and starts to remove her petticoat and other undergarments:

Russell: "Lady, if you don't stop now, I'm going to know everything there is to know about you."
Jessie: "Well, you could have at least cleared your throat."
Russell: "I would have but my heart was in it."

The Hanging Tree I saw this long ago as a kid and haven't seen it since, but I want to. Still, it didn't make the cut.

The Naked Spur Another one that made my list. Stewart is my favorite actor and his Westerns are among my favorites so I'm pretty sure more of his will show up, along with Anthony Mann and Delmer Daves, who've both already got at least one film on this list so far.

The Big Gundown Had not heard of this one till now, but I love Van Cleef so I'll have to look out for this one.

The Furies As mentioned, a film by Mann. I've heard of this one a lot but haven't seen it. Will have to rectify that. The stars are great, but I like co-star Wendell Corey a lot. Need to see!

The Ballad of Cable Hogue Love this movie so much. As stated previously here, a different mood from Peckinpah and a very well-done one. I'm with Holden Pike in that it's my favorite Robards performance also. This was a role he born to play. Stevens is lovely, no doubt but Warner is super funny as the lech of a preacher. Also great are my man Strother Martin and great character actor L.Q. Jones as the riding buddies of Robards who betray him and get theirs when they meet again. The scene with the rattlesnakes is hilarious!

¡Three Amigos! Love this as a comedy but never really seriously considered it for the list.

The Bravados Gregory Peck is fine as the revenge-driven man, as is Henry Silva as one of his prey, but I didn't consider it for the list.

The Mercenary Had never heard of this, but it looks like a great time.

My Name is Nobody I love this movie. The wife and I watch this every chance we get. Terrance Hill as the unbeatable but somewhat innocent Nobody is hilarious and Henry Fonda is fine as the wistful gunfighter looking for a way out. But Hill is the real show, with his comedy and way of outdrawing, beating the crap out of, and basically humiliating any bad guy that crosses his path. I thought about including this but, again, to many favorites coming up, hopefully, that also made my list.

So, my tally:
Hombre 88 My list: 13
The Naked Spur 86 My list: 25
"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."

Haven't heard of either of these.

Seen: 3/22
- Slow West (#95)
- The Big Gundown (#85)
- The Furies (#84)

My ballot:
Lists and Projects

I just want to hug (your FACE)!
rofl. Three Amigos? I admit I had forgotten about that but I doubt it would have made my list anyway. Not that I didn't love it as a kid (and I've always been a Chase fan, you heathens). I remember staying the weekend at my grandparents and them taking me to the video rental store (VHS). I suggested this movie because it was a comedy/western. My Papa was a western nut, so I figured he'd love it.


Needless to say, they didn't laugh once and I totally cringed at the, "You can kiss me on the veranda." "On the lips will be fine." joke. But OMG I'm still recalling so many one-liners from that movie anytime someone says something that I can even remotely associate it with. Usually, I just say something ridiculous like just the punchline, "Didn't you see its lil balls?" or I'll break out into song and dance (in office) with, "You... and I will settle down a cottage built for TWOOOO-ooooooooh! DEAR lil buttercup, SWEET lil buttercup (in the slow, Mexican accent), I ... LOVE .... you! doo-beh-dee doo-pah-doop!" Yes. I sing that string of notes on the end.

Also, I think it was the singing bush. This isn't Moses we're talking about

Re-reading this post has started to clue me in as to why I'm still single.
"My Dionne Warwick understanding of your dream indicates that you are ambivalent on how you want life to eventually screw you."
- Joel

"Ever try to forcibly pin down a house cat? It's not easy."
- Captain Steel

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
It tore me apart to omit My Name is Nobody, and i can't really justify it. When it first showed at the theatre, I saw it at least six times. The Mercenary is also very good but it doesn't have any real personal meaning for me.

My Name is Nobody is a great spaghetti western with the "team" of old man Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) who just wants to to quietly retire and sail to Europe and a young Nobody (Terence Hill) who looks up to him to become a hero worthy of the history books so others will have someone to positively influence them. The cinematography is beautiful and Ennio Morricone's score has many memorable themes as well as weird la-la backing vocals and a synthesized take on "Ride of the Valkyries" as well as a lift from what sounds like "My Way". The plot isn't especially important but the set-pieces are terrific. It does have ample comedy but I don't really think it's a spoof of the genre. It works itself up a few times to things resembling a Biblical saga and to a real feeling of warmth between the two lead characters.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Back in '95, Assassins came out with Antonio Banderas and Sylvester Stalone and Juliane Moore tells a Sparrow Story that I have always loved and know by heart.

Now, I had scarcely remembered My Name is Nobody from childhood and it was on a rewatch some 5 or more years ago that the origin of that story, (told very differently) as well as minor plot points, comes from this clever, comedic western with Henry Fonda and Terence Hill where Hill, the new blood, wants a taste of the old blood, or rather, give him an equally glorious end to a glorious career.
Great film that, like so many others, did not make the list.

Have not heard of The Mercenary

Movies Watched 9 out of 22 (45%)
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

i watched three amigos as a kid because i loved the three leads, but i didn't end up liking the movie very much, even though i remember thinking the water scene that holden posted was one of the funniest things i'd ever seen and it still kills me.

the mercenary was one of the last movies i checked out before submitting and it definitely had plenty of cool stuff but i couldn't really get into it. i believe the other movie i was considering watching that day was in fact my name is nobody, but that one cost a few bucks while ironically the mercenary was free so that's what i went with.
Most Biblical movies were long If I Recall.

I haven't seen The Ballad of Cable Hogue, but it sounds interesting, so I added it to my watchlist.
I would take an estimated guess of upwards of 70% you'd like it.
I'll second that...and add that my mom really liked it too.
Halfway through and I like it, but I don't think she will unless there's a change in the second half.

I watched The Ballad of Cable Hogue, and it was pretty good, but it wouldn't have made my list even if I saw it before the countdown. The movie was a bit too slow for me. I like both Jason Robards and David Warner, but it wasn't my favorite movie for either of them, and it was kind of strange watching David Warner in this because I'm used to seeing him as the bad guy in movies like Time After Time, Time Bandits, and Tron.
If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.

I'm generally not a fan of revenge movies, but I thought The Bravados was one of the best I've seen. I think the ending is what brought it all the way up to #13 on my list.

My Name is Nobody is one of the few Spaghetti Westerns that I liked. It was fun, and very clever. (However, I couldn't help picturing Terrence Hill as the goofy cop from Super Fuzz. )

I almost didn't watch ¡Three Amigos! because I'm not a big fan of any of the three stars, (although I liked Chevy Chase back when he was on "Saturday Night Live", and in a couple of movies), but it wasn't as dumb as I thought it was going to be. It still wasn't good enough to make my list, but at least I didn't hate it.

I haven't heard of The Mercenary.

My list so far:
1) Oklahoma! (1955)
6) Support Your Local Sheriff (1969)
12) North to Alaska (1960)
13) The Bravados (1958)
17) The Hanging Tree (1959)
25) Incredible Rocky Mountain Race (TV Movie - 1977)