Westerns: Shows, movies, books

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UOK
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Stemming from our other thread, I figured we could talk about Western media. I love me some Westerns.

Western movies I recommend:
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  • High Noon (1952)
  • Shane (1953)
  • The Searchers (1956)
  • The Dollars Trilogy (1964/65/66)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Dances With Wolves (1990)
  • Unforgiven (1992)
  • Maverick (1994)
  • Tombstone (1995)
  • The Quick & the Dead (1995)
  • 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
  • No Country For Old Men (2007)
  • True Grit (2010)
  • Bone Tomahawk (2015)
  • The Revenant (2015)
  • Hell or High Water (2016)
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
  • Hostiles (2018)
If you haven't seen Bone Tomahawk, be aware that it has one of the most fucked-up murders of another human being you'll ever see in cinema. It's absolutely brutal. Hell or High Water and No Country For Old Men are more on the 'neo-western' side of things, but Westerns nonetheless. There are a ton of classic Westerns that I'm forgetting, but Once Upon A Time in the West sucked. I'm sorry. I didn't care for it.

Western shows I recommend:
  • Lonesome Dove (1989 miniseries)
  • Deadwood (2004-06)
  • Hell on Wheels (2011-2016)
  • The Son (2017-19)
Western books I recommend:
  • Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy, 1985
  • The Saloon Lawyer by CJ Petit, 2021
  • In The Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson, 2017
  • The Long Way North by Jim Bosworth, 2020
  • The Rogue Lawman series by Peter Brandvold, 2019-2020
  • All Things Left Wild by James Wade, 2020
Brandvold and Petit are each insanely hard-working authors that pump out Westerns by the pile. Petit has said that Saloon Lawyer will be his last. As far as I know, Brandvold is onto his, like, 13th series of Western action books. All of the above books besides Blood Meridian I've found and read on my Kindle, and all of them were $3 or less, even free in some cases.
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AZ_Bearfan
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That's a great list. I'd add City Slickers and Django to the movies list. Deadwood was an absolute masterpiece. Shout out to John Marston from Red Dead Redemption for being the best video game cowboy of all time.
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I haven’t seen City Slickers in years - gonna watch this weekend for sure. Django is great.
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Xee
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Great list! Is Longmire technically a Western? I remember binging it a while back and thought it was pretty good.

Also @UOK, I highly recommend watching Justified if you haven't. One of my favorite shows and the main character wears a cowboy hat so maybe it qualifies as a Western.

Another strange amalgamation that might qualify is Firefly, which is a sci-fi western.

Finally, I seem to remember watching, or starting to watch, something years ago called "Into the West" but I honestly don't remember anything about it. I think there was talk that it was pretty good. Might need to look it up.
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I don’t know how I feel about sci-fi meeting westerns. Westworld, for example, I don’t consider a true western. It’s so varied and diverse in its settings that the western part of it feels like an afterthought.
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The Marshall Plan
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You need to read Empire Of The Summer Moon.

It's a nonfiction book about the Comanche Empire and their fights with settlers. Very transparent and brutal book about what both sides would do to each other.

Also, I highly recommend Pale Rider with Clint Eastwood and Michael Moriarty. (This was the first R rated movie I saw in a theater. My dad and my brother took me when I was a little kid.) Not to ruin the plot, but it's Clint Eastwood, a bunch of gold miners, and then the bad guys show up. It's great.

I saw you put the 2010 version of True Grit with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, but you really need to see the OG version with John Wayne. It's a classic.

Try Silverado as well. Fucking amazing ensemble cast. Kevin Costner. Scott Glenn, Danny Glover. Kevin Kline. Brian Dennehy.

The Magnificent Seven needs to be on that list too. Basically the American version of Seven Samurai.

Open Range with Costner and Robert Duvall.

Bonus points to you for putting No Country For Old Men on that list. Yes, that movie is a western.


In terms of the greatest westerns I've ever seen. For me, Unforgiven is the gold standard. Then The Searchers is just great. It's a hopeless movie at times. A real gut punch, but it's a great. John Wayne's True Grit would be my 3rd place.
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I'll add in these movies:

The Wild Bunch
Paint Your Wagon
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Little Big Man

Thanks, all, lots of goodviewing ahead!
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I am a JOhn Wayne westernaholic. I like the original True Grit while admitting the remake was quite good. The Cowboys was classic. My son who was about 6 when he sat and watched it with me, cried like a baby when Bruce Dern was kicking the shit out of the Duke. He started screaming, "Turn it off, turn it off!". He had never seen the Duke take a beating. We had to pause it and I had to explain how the "boys" would get Dern back.

Hateful Eight - loved that movie
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Death Hunt - Bronson

Any Randolph Scott western.
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@UOK

You mentioned Blood Meridian which is supposed to be one of the greatest books ever written. That's on my already crowded, but productive, reading list now.

Have you tried The Road by McCarthy? That book is great.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 6:31 am @UOK

You mentioned Blood Meridian which is supposed to be one of the greatest books ever written. That's on my already crowded, but productive, reading list now.

Have you tried The Road by McCarthy? That book is great.
Blood Merdian was such a weird book. I'd never read a McCarthy novel before, so the lack of quotation marks and the bizarre, ethereal nature of what was happening at any given time was jarring. It's definitely a book that will have a hard time being made into a film, both for the violence and the abstractness of the story. Great read, though.

The Road I have not read, but I have seen the film, and it's one of the bleakest, most depressing flicks I've watched. Well done flick, though.

No Country For Old Men is a classic, and from what I understand that movie was very faithful to McCarthy's novel.
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AZ_Bearfan wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:05 pm That's a great list. I'd add City Slickers and Django to the movies list. Deadwood was an absolute masterpiece. Shout out to John Marston from Red Dead Redemption for being the best video game cowboy of all time.

agree on all points made ... and yeah, Marston was the real deal for best video game cowboy of all time ... I may have to fire up Red Dead II for a new play through
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wab
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Awesome list.

Godless on Netflix is definitely a series worth a watch.
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Re-watching 'Dancing With Wolves' this a.m., just spectacular.

Left kind of cold with 'Deadwood'. Not too many sympathetic characters, couldn't stand Calamity Jane's character, and the ending sucked. I know they had prodution issues and the series was cut short but the movie wasn't really a resolution of any kind.
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Started watching 1883 last night. It's a bit...dark, showing some stark reality. Going to take it slow and absorb it.

Jeremiah Johnson is a pseudo Survival/Adventure that can loosely fit into the Western genre.

The Outlaw Josey Wales is an enjoyable Eastwood classic
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Atkins&Rebel wrote: Sun Feb 27, 2022 8:44 pm Started watching 1883 last night. It's a bit...dark, showing some stark reality. Going to take it slow and absorb it.

Jeremiah Johnson is a pseudo Survival/Adventure that can loosely fit into the Western genre.

The Outlaw Josey Wales is an enjoyable Eastwood classic
Really like 1883, the season finale aired last night. Gritty and brutal, seems pretty realistic with great characters.
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Grizzled wrote: Sun Feb 27, 2022 9:35 am Left kind of cold with 'Deadwood'. Not too many sympathetic characters, couldn't stand Calamity Jane's character, and the ending sucked. I know they had prodution issues and the series was cut short but the movie wasn't really a resolution of any kind.
Deadwood definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a western in theme only, and is mostly wrapped up in the town and characters interacting.

The writer, David Milch of NYPD Blue fame, was a compulsive gambler, and the movie being made at all was a triumph, as much of the original cast had expanded their careers, plus Milch was aggressively wasting away to Alzheimer’s disease.

The intrigue of Deadwood to me is largely personal, and watching and re-watching the series, particularly the first season, feels strangely familial.
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I signed up for Paramount+ the other day because I like to rotate some of my streaming services to try new things.

They have the Eastwood Man With No Name movies. Gonna need to give those a go.
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wab wrote: Mon Feb 14, 2022 9:04 am Awesome list.

Godless on Netflix is definitely a series worth a watch.
I looked this up and apparently I watched it already but I had almost no recollection. Just finished watching it "again" and while dark, it was a great series.

I've since looked up northern New Mexico (where it was filmed) and the weather seems like a milder version of Chicago weather. I now have an itch to have a vacation there just to see those wide open plains, mountains, and endless sky.
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Just got through 1883. For the first half of the season I loved it; I'm not sure how historically accurate it was but it was awesome seeing the perspective of what it was like heading out on the Oregon Trail.

The last 2-3 episodes though . . . Elsa's long-winded narrations started getting to me and it seemed the writers wanted us to see her as an old soul, wise beyond her years, when I just saw a naive/idealistic kid.

I'm thinking of watching Yellowstone since I know 1883 was a prequel but when I read the summary it just reminded me of the Bundy saga from a few years back. If that's the case, I'm not really interested in investing time in watching it.
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