Classic Movies - Westerns
'Once Upon a Time in the West'
An epic Western that upended Old West mythologies at the same time it recalled them, 'Once Upon a Time in the West' stands alongside some of the best films ever made in the genre. Featuring an all-star cast, the film also turned audience perceptions on their heads by turning heroic everyman Henry Fonda into one of the most ruthless killers ever to appear on screen. Directed by Sergio Leone, the film had a slow meditative pace, epic scope, and striking visuals that elevated a simple revenge story into an extraordinary Western that has influenced countless filmmakers.
‘The Wild Bunch’
A revisionist Western directed by Sam Peckinpah, 'The Wild Bunch' followed a group of aging outlaws struggling to stay ahead of both the law and the encroaching modern world which threatens their very existence. Some critics deplored its unrelenting violence, particularly in the now-famous ending shootout featuring hundreds of bullets and dozens of bodies flying across the screen in blood-soaked slow motion. But it was that ballet-like violence that elevated 'The Wild Bunch' and turned the myths of the Old West on its head, making it Sam Peckinpah’s undisputed masterpiece.
6 Classic Westerns Starring James Stewart
James Stewart has long been remembered for his work with Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Capra. But just as famous as 'Rear Window' and 'It's a Wonderful Life' were a series of Westerns he made in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly his image-changing films with Anthony Mann. Though not as identifiable with the genre as John Wayne or Clint Eastwood,...
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
At a time when the Western had all but run its course, an Italian director named Sergio Leone came along and resurrected the genre. The stylistic film starred Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach as three desperados in search of a cash box full of money. Allegiances shift, double-crosses ensue and the three resolve their conflict with...
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
It's a western like no other. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a buddy movie that mixes historical fact with a Oscar-winning screenplay, the look and feel of the Old West with the flower-child sensibilities of the 1960s, plus Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Funny, sad, irresistible!
'3:10 to Yuma' - A Tense Western Thriller
A serviceable western with a solid cast and a classic Old West storyline, the original '3:10 to Yuma' is a showcase for veteran actor Glenn Ford as a charming outlaw and Van Heflin as a stoic rancher caught in a tense conflict.
'The Searchers' - John Wayne's Finest Role
'The Searchers' is a classic American western, with John Wayne searching for a kidnapped niece in a bitter battle with a Comanche tribe across the wild scenery of Utah's Mounument Valley. Thought by many to be the first film to take on the racism underlying the culture clash between Indians and settlers on the frontier.
'Cat Ballou' - A Lady Outlaw and Her Gang
Pretty school marm 'Cat Ballou', a dastardly villain, a couple of rakish outlaws and a legendary gunslinger round out the western cliches in this great spoof. Lee Marvin won an Oscar for his double role in this classic movie.