The MoFo Westerns List

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Howdy, Buckaroos and MoFos.


Some of the first images ever put to celluloid were of cowboys and bandits. From Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery (1903) and the Silent era Westerns to the advent of sound and the first master of the genre, John Ford, the Western has fueled the cinematic imagination. By the '40s and '50s Westerns had become a staple of Hollywood, even if too often they were thought of as B-movie fare by the Studio heads. When television hit pop culture Westerns were arguably the most popular genre on the airwaves, but rather than kill their cinematic predecessors it helped evolve the movie Western into something even grander. By the 1960s it was time for a Revisionist take on the now well-known themes, led by Sergio Leone in Europe and Sam Peckinpah in the U.S. of A. In the blockbuster era that began in the mid-'70s and exploded in the '80s Westerns were a genre that fell largely out of favor, but they endured, winning Best Picture Oscars and inviting every new generation of filmmaker and visionaries from all over the globe to make the genre their own. With larger than life movie stars from John Wayne and Randolph Scott to Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson, the heroes, villains, anti-heroes, and Native Americans, the gunfights, pioneers, lawmen, and the lawless, all against the expansive landscape of the American frontier, Westerns are an important and lasting part of cinema.

Time for a Westerns movie roundup, I reckon.



The subjects change, but the rules remain (mostly) the same:
  • Submit your ranked list of twenty-five titles, numbered 1-25 with no ties, to me via a private message with the title "[Your Username] - MoFo Westerns List".
  • Films will be awarded points as follows: 25 points for 1st place, 24 points for 2nd place, 23 for 3rd and so on, all the way down to one point for your 25th placed film.
  • Please include at least each title's year of release on your ballot to avoid confusion with similarly titled films or different versions of the same material.
  • New members can send in a list as long as they've been a member here for one month before the deadline. This measure is taken so that the list isn't jerry-rigged by people who have been here for a week and then disappear.
  • Films that are part of a series (as in Leone's Dollars trilogy) must be submitted as separate films.
  • TV mini-series, such as "Lonesome Dove" and "The Sacketts", are not eligible. Made-for-TV projects that are feature length are fair game. Shorts are eligible.
  • Films listed as the Western genre on IMDb are eligible for our list.*
  • Anyone who reveals their list before the countdown has ended will be disqualified. Don't make me come back there. I will turn this thing around, so help me!
  • The deadline for entries is May 15th, 2020. That's six full months. Plenty of time to review favorites, discover new ones, and order a list.

*new eligibility wrinkle
There is a change we are going to try for this list. Unlike release dates genres are arguable things, therefor the IMDb listing will not be the final word in eligibility. In the previous genre list for Horror movies, several canonical titles (including Jaws) were deemed ineligible simply because the IMDb didn't list them as Horror. In an attempt to if not eliminate then at least legislate this issue, any title you find that is either listed as a Western and you don't think should qualify or more likely titles you believe are Westerns but the IMDb has buried the lead, please either message me or post them here in this thread. This is intended to be a transparent process fueled by discussion. We'll see if it gets more contentious than a sack full of rattle snakes?

The IMDb ain't perfect. It's a tool, and as MoFos we can use it as we see fit. I would rather have informed discussions about what does and doesn't constitute genre than blindly follow a gigantic, sometimes flawed database.



The number of ballots and votes will determine if this list tops out at a hundred or fifty. So saddle up!
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Eligible
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Ineligible
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
The Beguiled (1971 & 2017)
No Country for Old Men (2007)

Currently Up for Debate
The General



The IMDb lists all of these next categories and titles as Westerns...

Western Comedies and Parodies ARE Eligible
Just because it's funny doesn't mean you can't vote for it. This includes titles such as but not limited to Blazing Saddles, Destry Rides Again, Cat Ballou,ˇThree Amigos!, Rustlers' Rhapsody, Goin’ South, McLintock!, Apple Dumpling Gang, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, Hot Lead and Cold Feet, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Paleface, Son of Paleface, Heller in Pink Tights, The Frisco Kid, Lightning Jack, "The Cherokee Kid", A Million Ways to Die in the West, The Ridiculous 6, Support Your Local Sheriff!, Support Your Local Gunfighter, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, My Name is Nobody, They Call Me Trinity, Trinity is Still My Name, Wagons East, Almost Heroes, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, Zorro: The Gay Blade, Lust in the Dust, The Villain, Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, Waterhole #3, Rango, City Slickers, and Carry On Cowboy.

Westerns Set Places Other than the United States ARE Eligible
Films that contain the same themes and tropes of the "American" Western but are set in parts of the world that did not become the U.S. of A. are fair game. These can include but are not limited to such titles as Quigley Down Under, Ned Kelly, Australia, The Castaway Cowboy, The Mask of Zorro, Bandidas, Duck, You Sucker/A Fistful of Dynamite, Viva Zapata!, El Topo, Hidalgo, The Proposition, Sukiyaki Western Django, The Man from Snowy River, Walker, Death Hunt and The Good, the Bad and the Weird.

Westerns Musicals or Animated Westerns ARE Eligible
Singing and dancing or animation aimed primarily at children are not excluded from the genre. Some of the qualifying titles include Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, Calamity Jane, Paint Your Wagon, The Harvey Girls, Love Me Tender, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, Rango, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Home on the Range, and An American Tail: Fivel Goes West.

Westerns Set in the Modern Day ARE Eligible
Potentially debatable in genre terms to purists, but films set in the 20th or 21st century that have the same themes, archetypes, structure, and settings are potentially Westerns. For some examples, the IMDb lists all of these as Westerns: Giant, Hud, Junior Bonner, The Misfits, The Lusty Men, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 8 Seconds, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, Lonely Are the Brave, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Rider, Little Woods, Old Yeller, Coogan's Bluff, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Comes a Horseman, The Electric Horseman, Extreme Prejudice, Thunderheart, Wanda Nevada, All the Pretty Horses, Billy Jack, Bronco Billy, The Hi-Lo Country, Hell or High Water, Pocket Money, and El Camino Christmas.

Genre Benders Including Western Elements ARE Eligible
This will be the most debatable subset, but films that blend multiple genres including Science Fiction may be included if one of those genres is very clearly the Western. For example the IMDb lists these titles as Westerns: Cowboys & Aliens, Back to the Future Part III, Westworld, The Dark Tower, Dust Devil, Jonah Hex, and Wild Wild West. Unless or until any title is debated and discussed, they should be considered eligible.


The genre merits of individual titles are always up for debate, but in general it should be understood that comic, foreign, musical, and modern day Westerns are eligible. Whether you choose to include them on your ballot or not is a matter of personal taste, not eligibility.

If you have a question about a specific film you don't see listed above that you think warrants inclusion, either message Holden Pike privately or post it in this thread. But for the sake of brevity and sanity, let's not debate titles for the sake of debating them. If you have a title you want on your ballot that you are unclear whether or not it is eligible, please bring it forward. If you're only asking for the sake of argument and it's nothing you would even want to vote for let's just leave it be, Pilgrims.



Kewl.
One question - where do you find the primary genres for a fillum on IMDb?
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Kewl.
One question - where do you find the primary genres for a fillum on IMDb?

On the app, its a few lines below 'Storyline' section. Its also usually right under the title.
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Kewl.
One question - where do you find the primary genres for a fillum on IMDb?
For the actual website though, you have to scroll down for the full list. Kind of confusing I didn’t know until Citizen Rules pointes it out to me.



On the app, its a few lines below 'Storyline' section. Its also usually right under the title.
Thanks but I don't use the app just the website and I only ever recall seeing the genres in alphabetical order so the three under the title for me are just the first three in the alphabet (e.g. for Star Wars they are listed as "Action, Adventure, Fantasy" whereas the full list under Genres is "Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi" or Rio Lobo which has "Adventure, Romance, War" under the title and "Adventure, Romance, War, Western" under Genres).

I don't recall ever seeing anything that stipulated what the top three genres are for a film on the website



With a full 6 month watch period, I'd like to see us do a bunch of Western HoFs. Maybe even done by eras like Siddon did with the Comedy HoFs. That would be fun AND help support this Countdown!



With a full 6 month watch period, I'd like to see us do a bunch of Western HoFs. Maybe even done by eras like Siddon did with the Comedy HoFs. That would be fun AND help support this Countdown!
For sure, just brought that up in the thread.



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
I see a few already on IMDB that say Western, but might be questionable. Would it be easier to send you a list of over 25, that way you can disqualify one, and have a replacement?


Even when I use the "Advanced" IMDB search, and click "Western" filter, some movies don't even have "Western" in the genre, but might be considered one.



Kewl.
One question - where do you find the primary genres for a fillum on IMDb?
On the desktop version of IMDb it's under the title, next to the running time.



If you scroll further down the page you'll find all the genres the IMDb currently has it listed as, after the cast list and between Tagline and Motion Picture Rating.



I see a few already on IMDB that say Western, but might be questionable. Would it be easier to send you a list of over 25, that way you can disqualify one, and have a replacement?
However you prefer. Send questionable titles to me directly or post them here.



I see a few already on IMDB that say Western, but might be questionable. Would it be easier to send you a list of over 25, that way you can disqualify one, and have a replacement?
Why would you do that? Then you're allowing someone else to choose for you. Why not just ask the host if a certain movie qualifies and if it doesn't then you pick another one.



On the desktop version of IMDb it's under the title, next to the running time.



If you scroll further down the page you'll find all the genres the IMDb currently has it listed as, after the cast list and between Tagline and Motion Picture Rating.
The three under the title are just the first three from the Genres tag which is in alphabetical order though. That's always been my assumption anyway - as far as I know they're not indicative of the primary genres of the film? Happy to be proved wrong if you have a quick example that differs from what I've said even if that does rule out films like Rio Lobo or Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.



Hype! I'm gonna try to make a special point to catch up on a lot of Westerns, because I really like the genre.

Loving the art style for this countdown already, too.
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I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
Why would you do that? Then you're allowing someone else to choose for you. Why not just ask the host if a certain movie qualifies and if it doesn't then you pick another one.
He wouldn't be choosing - I listed all of them in order.