Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cowboy Action Pizza - Movie Night

Well, since I'm tired but still on call, hanging out at the crash pad, dinner is going to be simple. Pizza. Not the kind from a box but one put together at home. Meat Lovers Pizza with Ale Infused Dough with sage laden sausage, pepperoni, a dash of garlic and herbs,  a mix of smoked cheddar and mozzarella, shaved fresh and thick, not those puny little shards o'cheese you see on most pizzas. And black olives.  LOTS of black olives.
Then it's time for something to curl up and watch a movie. I have a nifty collection of sci fi as well as Westerns. Tonight, a Western.  I grew up watching old Westerns. Most weren't original, having been out for years, and seen in reruns. I loved Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, Palladin, anything with John Wayne. The good guys were known, the bad guys obvious. The heroes rode a landscape of the lever action, the name of their firearm more than a forgotten name, their duty and honor more than a shout of defiance but an honor scratched into every weapon they held. The weapons would show the marks of their courage, etched into the very wood and steel of what they carried, not casually, but with the hurt and pride and grief with which men long since unremembered had died for.
So, for your Thursday and Friday evenings, here are the Range's 50 Favorite Westerns, in no particular order.  Some you'll recognize, some you just haven't been acquainted with and I'm sure there are some great ones I just haven't seen yet.  But it's worth exploring some old and new ones, for like pizza, once you've savored a good one, the rest seem kind of bland.

1.The Shootist - (1976) (John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart)
2. High Noon - (1952) (Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges)
3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - (1948) (Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston)
4. The Magnificent Seven - (1960) (Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson)
5. Stagecoach - (1939) (John Wayne, Claire Trevor, John Carradine)
6. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - (1966) (Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach)
7. The Searchers - (1956) (John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter)
8. Rio Grande - (1950) (John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara)
9. The Outlaw Josey Wales - (1976) (Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke)

"You gonna pull them pistols, or whistle ‘Dixie’?”

10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - (1962) (John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles)
11. Unforgiven - (1992) (Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman)
12. The Wild Bunch (1969) (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan)
13. High Plains Drifter - (1973) (Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom)
14. Ride the High Country (1962( John Anderson, R.G. Armstrong.)
15. Tombstone - (1993) (Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer)
16. McLintock! - (1963) (John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara)
17. The Professionals (1966) ( Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan_
18. The Alamo - (1960) (John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey)
19. 3:10 to Yuma - (2007)

Marshal Weatherss: "They're probably just running late, Mr. Butterfield."
Butterfield: "Pinkertons don't run late. That's why they're paid eighteen dollars a day."

20. The Gunfighter - (1950) (Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott)
21. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - (1957) (Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas)
22. A Fistful of Dollars - (1964) (Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch)
22. Lonesome Dove - OK not a movie - but a mini series. (Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones)
23. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson)
24. True Grit - (1969) (John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby)
25. No Country for Old Men (2007) (Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin)
26.  Rooster Cogburn (1975)  (John Wayne, Katherine Hepburn)
27.  Pale Rider (1985), (Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress)
28.  Quigley Down Under (1990) (Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman)
Major Ashley-Pitt: "In our experience, Americans are uncouth misfits
who should be run out of their own barbaric country." 
Matthew Quigley: "Well, Lieutenant..."
Major Ashley-Pitt:  "Major."
Matthew Quigley: "Major. We already run the misfits outta our country.
 We sent 'em back to England."
29.  Tom Horn (1980) (Steve McQueen, Linda Evans)
30.  Chisum (1970) (John Wayne, Forrest Tucker)
31.  Rio  Lobo (1970)  (John Wayne, Jack Elam)
32.  Rio Bravo (1959)  (John Wayne, Dean Martin)
34.  Shane (1953)  (Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur)
35.  Winchester '73 (1950) (James Stewart, Shelly Winters)
36.  Big Jake (1971) (John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne)
37.  Open Range (2003) (Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall)
38.  Monte Walsh (1970) (Lee Marvin, Jeanne Moreau, Jack Palance)
39.  Red River (1948) ( John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan)

Cherry:  "There are only two things more beautiful than a good gun:
a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. Ever had a good... Swiss watch?"

40.  The Westerner (1940) (Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan Doris Davenport)
41.  Warlock  (1959)  (Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn)
42.  Silverado (1985 ) )Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner)
43.  The Bravados (1958) (Gregory Peck, Joan Collins)
44.  Nevada Smith (1966) (Steve McQueen, Karl Malden)
45.  Hour of the Gun (1967) (James Garner, Jason Robards)
46.  Dallas (1959) (Gary Cooper, Ruth Roman)
47.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross)
48.  The Assassination of Jesse James (2007) (Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck)
49.  Appaloosa (2008) (Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen)
50.  Big Country (1958) (Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons)


  1. Any western with John Wayne is great. I could live on pizza, hot or cold.

    OK any John Wayne movie.

  2. Fantastic list indeed! Gotta add a couple though.
    Bend of the River (1952) james stewart, Rock Hudson.

    "Emerson Cole: I'll be seeing you, Glyn.

    Glyn McLyntock (Stewart): You'll be seeing me. You'll be seeing me. Everytime you bed down for the night, you'll look back to the darkness and wonder if I'm there. And some night, I will be. You'll be seeing me!"

    The Last Wagon (1956) Richard Widmark

    The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) John Wayne, Oliver Hardy (yep, of Laurel and Hardy fame)

  3. some pizza,
    a bottle of single malt
    movie marathon

  4. Out 0f those 50 movies I have watched all of them more than once, except for #29 TOM HORN Don't know how I missed that one, but I have never heard of it will have to look it up.

  5. Good list. One question -- I have a copy of "Ride the High Country" with a very young Mariette Hartley, the mighty Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea.

    I think it is a Peckinpah movie. Is there another one?

  6. Ever the one to get sidetracked by beautiful artistic craftsmanship, those are just amazing. - I didn't miss the (main) point, LOL. My fav is Tombstone and anything with Sam Elliot in it. He seems to get in many western movies, bonus!

  7. So Glad you had #1, 10, 15, 36, 42.
    I missed seeing Wyatt Earp (Costner, Hackman)
    And honorable mention: The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday (just as it's Lee Marvin!)


  8. My ordering would be different but yeah I like them all :)

  9. I don't see "The Cowboys" on your list.

    However, Bravo for having Monte Walsh!

  10. Guess I have some work to do. Not looking to get dirty glances here, but I'm not the biggest John Wayne guy...don't dislike him, just don't go out of my way to watch his movies. Feel old-fashioned.

    My top 5 (in some order)are all on your list: Unforgiven, Good, Bad and Ugly, Josie Wales, Tombstone and Open Range.

  11. I put Rooster Cogburn above all of them- though they're all grand- because of this line by Kate:

    "Reuben, I have to say it. Livin' with you has been an adventure any woman would relish for the rest o' time. I look at cha, with your burned out face and your big belly and your bear-like paws and your shining eye, and I have to say you're a credit to the whole male sex, and I'm proud to have ya for my friend."

    That moment, which Kate delivers with such conviction you know it was heartfelt- is a moment of movie magic I don't think will be equalled in my lifetime.

  12. For a different but enyoable western experience there's a documentary about the making of the Magnificent Seven (it can be found on Youtube)


  13. Another documentary about the making of The Wild Bunch is pretty good

  14. Will Penny
    The Cheyenne Social Club
    The Sackets
    Cowboy - Jack Lemon

  15. What? No "Red Dwarf: Gunmen of the Apocalypse"?

    Find a copy of "Rango" and watch with your granddaughter. As is the case with many of the better kiddie movies these days, a lot more is going on than clever animation, and the creative people know the Western genre inside and out.


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