You gunna skin that Smoke Wagon, ur just stand there and bleed ?

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Aug 9, 2001 (Updated Mar 7, 2006)


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The Bottom Line Ten fine western's that anyone would enjoy and then some...

It's hard to sit down and pick just ten good westerns! I wrote down the first twenty that came to mind, then made my picks. You will see that I am a John Wayne and Clint Eastwood fan right off! It's hard to find a decent western without having one of these two fine gentlemen in the cast.

Also I couldn't have a western write up without mentioning Gun Smoke, Bonanza, and Big Valley. These television shows were all top notch westerns and viewed by millions of folks.


1. Lonesome Dove (1989)

No other western compares to Lonesome Dove . This movie was a mini-series that aired on CBS in 1989.

Set in the late 1800's in west Texas. Captain Woodrow F. Call (Tommy Lee Jones) and Augustus McCrae (Robert Duvall)
are retired Texas Rangers. They went into the cattle business, The Hat Creek Cattle Company near the small town of Lonesome Dove. An old friend Jake Spoon (Robert Urich)who was also a former Texas Ranger rides into town. He had just left Arkansas in a hurry! He had a small problem with the law in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He had accidentally shot the town Mayor, while settling a gambling dispute. The bullet wasn't meant for the mayor but he was killed by Spoon anyway you look at it. Jake Spoon didn't hang a around for a trial. He tells Captain Call and Agustus (known as Gus)about his mishap. Then he tells them about the cattleman's paradise to be had in the state of Montana.
Well they take off for Montana and you get a movie you will not soon forget!
Feel free to have a look at my full review of Lonesome Dove


2. John Wayne, The Cowboys (1972)

Will Anderson (John Wayne) is a rugged old Rancher who has to get his cattle to Belfuch. The drive is over 400 miles and his ranch hands had all struck out on a gold strike up north. His only option was to humble himself and go ask the local school boys to lend a hand as a summer job. Bruce Dern plays a thief just out of prison looking for work. He ask Will Anderson for a job but lied when asked about his references. Anderson had no use for a liar and turned him away. Anderson strikes out with a herd of cattle, a bunch of school boys and an old cook. That ex-con (Bruce Dern) has different plans for those cattle. This may quite possibly be John Wayne and Bruce Dern's best acting performance's.


3. Tombstone (1993)

You will not find a better cast anywhere!
Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his two brother's Virgil(Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton)decide to settle down and start their own business out west in Tombstone Arizona. Upon their arrival they run in to their old friend Doc Holiday (Val Kilmer). The town is lousy with outlaws and a bunch that went by the name the Cowboys. It became clear that these men had to be dealt with sooner or later. They end up at the OK Coral at the climax of the movie. A Grand performance by all involved!

Quotes from the movie

Wyatt after he has just slapped knots on this guys head faster then he could scratch em...hoping he'd pull his gun

Wyatt: You gunna skin that Smoke Wagon, ur just stand there and bleed?


4. True Grit (1969)

Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) is an ornery ol U.S. Marshal who has a name for always getting his man and drinking a bit. Mattie Ross (kim Darby) was in need of just such a man. Her father was outright murdered by a ruthless outlaw. This outlaw was being tracked by a Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) for another murder he'd committed in Texas. When the three of them team up to hunt this murderer down, you get True Grit

Quotes from the movie

Rooster: Fill your hands you son's a b*tches

Ned Pepper: That's pretty bold talk for a one eyed fat man


5. Dances With Wolves (1990)

Now this is a movie that everyone likes! This Flick won every award you can think of and then some! I'd list them but it would take up a half a page, seriously!

Directed by and starring Kevin Costner.
Lt. Dunbar, (Kevin Costner) fresh out of the Civil War is given orders to head to a very isolated post out on the high plains. He gets there and the post has been abandoned. Being a dutiful officer he sets up camp and awaits further orders. The Lakota Sioux Indians had taken note of his presence there and were very curious about this lone soldier. Over a lot of time and testing each other there become very close friends. Lt. Dunbar is given the Indian name Dances with wolves by the Lakota Sioux.
If you have not had the pleasure of seeing this movie, by all means go rent it :)

The score was an extra treat!
Take some time to watch this one it's a three hour movie


6. Magnificent Seven (1960)

Another Outstanding Cast to say the least.
Yul Brynner-Steve McQueen-Charles Bronson-Robert Vaughan-James Coburn-Brad Dexter-Horst Buchholz

A small Mexican village was robbed by a band of thugs. They would ride and demand food from their harvest. There was nothing the villagers could do, but surrender their goods. They decided to pool what little money, gold and jewelry they had in order to hire some gun fighters. That band of thug's gets a little surprise when they come back...


7. The Alamo (1960)

The Alamo is filled with fiction but is based on the true story of the Alamo and the 187 men that died fighting Santa Ana there. For 1960 and considering this was John wayne's directing debut, it's a hell of a good flick ! John Wayne, Texas and War always makes for a great movie! Remember The Alamo!
Feel free to have a look at my Top ten War movie's review


8. Quigley Down Under (1990)

An extremely underrated movie! This flick was directed by Simon Wincer, director of Lonesome Dove. I enjoy watching this movie time and time again.
Quigley (Tom Selleck) answered an ad he had seen, Expert Sharpshooter Wanted. This American cowboy was deadly with his 50 caliber rifle at unheard of ranges. He got the job and headed for Australia. Until he arrived in Australia, he wasn't exactly sure what the details of the job were. After a week of riding in the back of a buck board wagon he finally arrives at the ranch. He goes off the deep end when the owner tells him that he'll be shooting the aborigines who seemed to stay out of range of their shooting men and their rifles.

Then you see the ranch owner fly out of his own front room window!
He intended on killing this American cowboy for his trouble!
A great movie!


9. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) was a simple Missouri Sod buster. He was tending to his farm and family when the union's Terrill's cavalry rode in and killed his family and burnt his house down, for no good reason! Josey Wales took that a little personal, and set out to hunt down and kill them for what they did!

Quotes from the movie

Josey: When I get to liking someone, they ain't around long

Watie: I noticed when you get to disliking someone, they ain't around for long neither!


10. Unforgiven (1992)

Little Bill is the sheriff in Big whiskey. A quiet little town in the mountains of Wyoming (set in the late 1800's).
That is until a couple a hell raising cow hands show up for a good time at the local brothel. The inexperienced young prostitute gave a little giggle at the cowboy's tally whacker. So the cowboy and his partner cut her face up for her trouble! Seems these cowboys cut up the wrong women, they pooled their savings and put a $1,000 reward out on the two of them to be shot dead!

William Munny was going through some tuff times himself down in Missouri. When he heard news of the reward and what they had done, he saddled up to head for Big Whiskey...
Feel free to have a look at my full review of Unforgiven


There are a lot of older westerns that I have not seen. So forgive me if they are not on my honorable mention list :)

Honorable Mention

Stage Coach
High Noon
Pale Rider
Gettysburg
High Plains Drifter
Good Bad and the Ugly

Good Westerns That Were Made After My List Was Compiled

Open Range
Johnson County War


Westerns with a twist of comedy

Young Guns
My Name is Nobody
They call me Trinity


Thanks for the read...

~Mac

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