Average Joe's Top Ten WesternsOct 17, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
When I decided to make a Western Top Ten list I had the difficult task of figuring out which ones would make the list. I was thinking I would have a long list, but after 30 minutes of thought I only had 10 listed. I was going to research the film genre and make sure I didn't leave any worthy films off my list. That's when I realized that why should I do that. These 10 movies that I was able to come up with must be my favorite 10. Please be advised that these are my personal Top Ten choices and may not be popular choices to everybody. Without any further delays here is my list.
10. Pale Rider
You knew Clint Eastwood had to make the list. I was never a fan of the spaghetti westerns so I had to choose only his newer westerns. This was an entertaining movie and I really liked the premise. This movie has the typical western plot. A small group of squatters is being run off by the mean rich guy. The stranger (Clint of course) shows up out of nowhere and defends the town. No surprises with this movie, but it is good and deserves a spot on my list.
9. Young Guns I&II
You have to love these two movies. They have great young actors and are good adrenaline pumping westerns. I loved the choice of Jack Palance as the villian in the first movie. I liked the first one better than the sequel but I had to add them both because several friends I know would have a riot if I didn't. These movies are both purely for entertainment with no real historical facts. Both revolve around Billy the Kid but are fiction. If you just want to see a good rootin' tootin' shootin' western, then these are great choices.
8. The Wild Bunch
I haven't seen this movie in 20 years but it still sticks in my head so it had to make the list. I do remember that it was very violent and full of action. I know it was a Sam Peckinpah film and starred several aging actors from that time. I know it was good because it had to be to stick in my head for this long. I think the movie was about a gang of criminals getting ready to call it quits. They were getting old and ready to retire to Mexico. They encounter many troubles and there were lots of gunfights. If I am way off base please leave a comment and I will correct myself. I will go rent this movie so I can refresh my memory.
7. Wyatt Earp
Kevin Costner's depiction of the legendary lawman. This movie was very good and tried to show the true Wyatt Earp. He wasn't necessarily the nice guy that people thought he was. This is a long movie but it had to be to tell the story the way it needed to be told. Don't let the length of this movie discourage you from watching it. It is very entertaining and the movie moves along well. Good choice to add to your collection.
6. Outlaw Josey Wales
Clint makes the list again. This should be no surprise. I love the scene in this movie where Clint is crossing the river on the ferry and the salesman approaches him. He tries to sell his magic elixir to Clint who promptly proceeds to spit on the guy's white suit. That was a classic moment. Clint spits on the stray dog throughout the whole movie. This movie depicts my exact image of what the Clint Eastwood cowboy is. If you haven't seen this film you are missing out.
I have seen this movie at least 10 times. Very few westerns have as much action as this one. The actors list is top of the line. This movie stars Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Brian Dennehy, Jeff Goldblum, and even a younger Kevin Costner. How can a movie go wrong with that cast? This movie is full of action and covers several characters storylines. I guarantee that if you watch this movie you won't be disappointed.
4. The Sons of Katie Elder
The only John Wayne movie to make my list. I loved this movie when I was younger and I still do. This movie has action and comedy. It costars Dean Martin who was actually a good actor in the old westerns. He adds a lot to this movie. If you haven't seen this movie you are definitely missing out. This is by far the best John Wayne movie I have ever watched.
I could watch this movie everyday just to see and hear Val Kilmer say " I'm your huckleberry." That was the best showdown scene ever. This movie is another good depiction of Wyatt Earp. It is nowhere near as long as Kevin Costner's film but the actors are better. Val Kilmer was most impressive as Doc Holliday. Kurt Russell made a much meaner Wyatt Earp than Kevin could. This movie has a great cast and is a definite Top Ten. If this isn't in your collection you had better get busy.
2. Dances With Wolves
Have you figured it out yet? Kevin Costner needs to stick to this genre of movie. He could have been the John Wayne or Clint Eastwood of my generation. This epic is just a great movie all around. Not too many action scenes, but it has the great story. This movie will give you a good perspective on the American Indian Natives and their plight in this country. Costner made an excellent movie and deserved all the recognition he received for this film. Please watch this movie if you haven't. You will learn something from it about the American Indians heritage and the pride involved.
Wouldn't you know Clint would top the list? This is the best western ever without a doubt. Clint did a superb job making this movie and he deserves credit. Having Morgan Freeman in your supporting cast can't hurt. This has the best shootout finale in the history of the western. No spaghetti style here. Just great plot, great acting and excellent directing. If you ignore the rest of this list that is okay, but please don't ignore this movie.
Okay those are the fortunate few that made my Average Joe's list. I hope you decide to watch every movie on this list and enjoy many hours of pure western entertainment.
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