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The greatest Westerns of all time – My Blog

The western is one of the most beloved genres of all.In recent years, it seems to have been making a comeback of sorts. Just a few years back, Chloé Zhao released her standout rodeo film The Rider, while in 2016, western heads had to contend with Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven. John Sturges’ ever-popular original was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic, Seven Samurai.Below is a reminder of some of the greatest entries in the western canon.

20. Ride Lonesome (Budd Boetticher, 1959)The pick of Boetticher and Randolph Scott’s superb seven-film collaboration follows stone-faced loner Scott’s obsessive quest to avenge his wife’s murder. Filmed entirely in breathtaking Sierra Nevada locations and also memorable for the classic Western line: “There are some things a man just can’t ride around.”19. Vera Cruz (Robert Aldrich, 1954)Double and triple crosses aplenty as mercenaries Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper team up in revolutionary Mexico to steal a cache of gold. Pretty much dismissed on its release, Vera Cruz can now be viewed as an exhilarating precursor to the spaghetti Westerns of the sixties.
18. Winchester ’73 (Anthony Mann, 1950)James Stewart showed that he could ride, shoot ‘em up and trade blows with the best of the Western icons in his episodic quest to retrieve his stolen fabled rifle. The great screen villain Dan Duryea almost steals the film as the sneering, sadistic Waco Johnnie Dean.17. One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 1961)

(Paramount Pictures)

Brando fell out with original director Stanley Kubrick, leaving the star to helm the only film he directed, a take on the Billy the Kid legend. One-Eyed Jacks became famous for Brando’s excesses with an original running time of over four hours, but is now viewed as a fascinating, brooding masterpiece, and thanks to its stunning Monterey and Big Sur locations, one of the most aesthetically beautiful Westerns ever made. A restored version was shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.16. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)John Wayne’s sheriff faces an army of bad guys with only a drunk, a young gunfighter and a crippled old man on his side. The interplay between Wayne, Dean Martin and Walter Brennan is a delight and Dino even gets to sing. Great fun all round.15. My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)A highly romanticised take on Wyatt Earp and the events at the OK Corral with Henry Fonda as Earp. Lyrical, poetic and with many iconic scenes that linger long in the memory such as Fonda lounging on a porch surveying the town, and his stiff legged dance with his “lady fair” at Tombstone’s new church’s dedication.14. The Ox-Bow Incident (William A Wellman, 1943)
(20th Century Fox)
Henry Fonda’s hero is powerless to intervene as three innocent men are lynched by a mob for a crime that never happened. Social commentary in a Western setting, given added poignancy and resonance by the knowledge that Fonda had witnessed a lynching as a youth.
13. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill, 1969)An Oscar-laden buddy movie trading on the wonderful chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Throw in William Goldman’s sparkling dialogue and Burt Bacharach’s famous soundtrack and we have an irresistible slice of late sixties cool, tempered with newfound revisionism.12. The Gunfighter (Henry King, 1950)With a theme resembling a Greek tragedy that evolved into one of the great Western clichés, ageing gunslinger Gregory Peck tries to put his bloody past behind him only to find that there’s always one more little squirt kid to outdraw.
11. Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 1962)An elegiac lament for the death of the old West and a perfect valedictory present for two genre stalwarts, Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott, as a pair of veteran lawmen who have outlived their usefulness.10. The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges, 1960)A great storyline, terrific cast, unforgettable music and a series of memorable vignettes including Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen’s opening hearse scene and James Coburn’s knife/gun duel. What more can you ask from a Western?
9. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)Epic Western from a master filmmaker that gave John Wayne the type of part in which he excelled, as the stubborn, driven rancher determined to see a cattle drive to the bitter end even if it means killing the foster son (Montgomery Clift) who takes his herd away from him.8. High Noon (Fred Zinnemann,1952)Famously regarded as an allegory of the McCarthy witch hunts in Hollywood, High Noon should first and foremost be enjoyed as a cracking Western set more or less in real time, with anguished lawman Gary Cooper deserted by his town as he faces the bad guys alone.7. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)Landmark Western that came to define the genre and made John Wayne a star. Part character study mixed with stirring action sequences courtesy of famed stuntman Yakima Canutt, with stunning use of Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border, the most single recognisable location in western movies.6. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
(Paramount Pictures)
Once audiences got over the shock of Henry Fonda as a cold-hearted killer, they witnessed a western full of astonishing imagery, and one that has never been matched in scale, scope and ambition. Leone referenced virtually the entire history of Westerns in this stunning epic about the coming of the railroad and the modernisation of the West. Ennio Morricone’s wonderfully evocative score has rarely been bettered.5. Shane (George Stevens, 1953)Beloved adaptation of Jack Schaefer’s wonderful novel, with Alan Ladd perfect as the buckskinned gunfighter trying to hang up his six shooter but finding that “There’s no living with a killing”. Memorable for so many reasons, from the Oscar-winning cinematography and Jack Palance’s gleeful bad guy to the lump in the throat ending which still resonates as little Joey implores “Come back, Shane!”4. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)A ruthless killer turned pig farmer reluctantly takes one last job, and carnage ensues. Eastwood deconstructs the myths and legends of the Western and the result is a revisionist masterpiece that deservedly won Oscars for best picture and best director3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966)The most famous spaghetti Western is a stylish, flamboyant, visual treat, with Ennio Morricone’s famous soundtrack at its core. Innovative and hugely influential, boasting several memorable set-pieces, including the authentic and moving civil war sequence.2. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
(Warner Bros.-Seven Arts)
On its release, Peckinpah’s visceral masterpiece provoked infamy for its level of violence, and even now the amount of blood and gore on show still shocks. But look beyond the balletic beauty of the slow motion carnage and it’s clear that Peckinpah holds true to his recurring themes of the death of the old West, and men out of step with the times facing their own imminent demise.1. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)The saga of a racist outsider’s search for his kidnapped niece still astounds in its dark power, beauty and all round magnificence. Complex, multi-layered and troubling, with a monumental performance from Wayne as the bigoted anti-hero, the film repays repeated viewing.

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Interesting things happen at the “Duketober” celebration at the John Wayne museum . – My Blog

The enduring legacy of actor John Wayne, America’s ultimate cowboy, was celebrated last month, fittingly enough, by the Cowboy Channel in association with the John Wayne: An American Experience museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

The “Duketober” celebration is a month-long airing of classic John Wayne movies via broadcast and streaming. It will culminate with a 50th anniversary live panel discussion on Nov. 3 in remembrance of Big Jake, the 1971 movie that bought Wayne together with sons Ethan and Patrick, who will participate in a discussion about his films and career.Wayne’s legacy has taken a few hits in the last couple of years.

A 50-year-old Playboy magazine interview outlining some of his controversial views on race surfaced, sparking his USC alma mater to remove an exhibit on him. There’s also a movement to remove his name from the Orange County airport. So far, that action has failed to gain ground . But Wayne’s cinematic legacy, particularly his western movies, continue to rank among the finest ever produced by Hollywood. Such films as The Searchers, True Grit, Stagecoach and Rio Bravo are considered classics of the genre.

“The John Wayne: An American Experience (JWAAE) museum in the Fort Worth Stockyards has created a perfect synergy for the Cowboy Channel to highlight this incredible western film legend and showcase many of his classic films for our audience,” said Cowboy Channel CEO Raquel Koehler Gottsch.

“Our fans absolutely adore John Wayne, and we couldn’t be happier to have a great relationship with his family and be able to share his movies with our audience and dedicate an entire month to such a western star legend.”“He would be thrilled to learn that so many people still cherish his films after all these years and I know he’s smiling somewhere,” said son Ethan Wayne.

The Cowboy Channel will also feature a Halloween movie marathon of Wayne films, and fans can tune-in to such classics such as Rio Grande, Sand of Iwo Jima, and The Shootist.

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James Caan shares a memorable collaboration with John Wayne on the set of El Dorado. – My Blog

In 1997, James Caan joined The Late Show with David Letterman to starred on John Wayne after they alongside one another on the hit movie El Dorado.While Wayne portrayed the noble elder gunfighter Cole Thorton, Caan plays his loyal friend, Mississippi. Furthermore, the movie was directed by esteemed producer Howard Hawks.

James Caan notes that the first big-name he worked with in Hollywood was John Wayne. Wayne was 33 years older than Caan and already had boomed success in the industry, so naturally, James Caan admired the Duke.“He was great because he could intimidate you,” explains Caan. “He’d stay on you forever, and you’d just crumble. I mean, he’d just try you.”However, on the set of El Dorado, James Caan recalls getting directions from Howard Hawks, also known as Coach.

“So this one night I remember I was between he and Mitchum and Howard Hawks was about 72 at the time, and we’re outside in this old Tucson. This big old western town and Hawks comes up and says, ‘now look, Kid, when you say that line, here’s what’s going to happen. Duke, you go down the middle of the road right down the center because we are going to surround this bar. Mitchum, you go around that way, and Kid, you go around.’ I said, ‘alright, Coach.’ because that’s what we called him, Coach.’

“He was coach,” notes Letterman. “John Wayne was Duke, and you’re the Kid.” After Hawk gave the instructions, he began walking back to the cameras. James Caan, who does a perfect John Wayne impression, reflected on when Wayne tried to offer the then-youngster a few tips.“So now he has to walk back up 50 yards back to the camera. There’s all kinds of extras, and he’s walking back, and the dude looks at me and goes, ‘now look, Kid.’ He says, ‘when you say that there line, I want you to turn around and give me that look you give me.’

“Give Me That Look That You Give Me.”The men begin to laugh hysterically because Jame Caan has no idea what John Wayne is talking about. Regardless, Caan still gave it a try.“I have no idea what he’s talking about. But the truth is that Mitchum explains me that I was laughing at him all the time. Every time he talked because you had to. How can you take him seriously? That ‘why did you do it’ look. So he said, ‘give me that look that you give me.’ I said, ‘alright. Alright Duke.’

At this point, it isn’t Wayne who is mad about Cann’s performance. It is Hawks. However, the Duke still offered his advice. James Caan must.“He gets behind the camera everything starts going, and they go ‘ACTION!’ and I send my one line and I take a step, and I turn around. Coach goes ‘CUT’. Comes running up, and he goes, ‘look, when you take the step. Don’t take the step. I want you to say the line and go. Just go!’ He starts to walk back to the camera, and Wayne goes, ‘now look, Kid. Don’t take a whole step, take a half a step and then turn around and give me that look you give me.’

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John Wayne’s words to his daughter before taking his last breath . – My Blog

John Wayne was in around 170 movies during his long career in the acting world. It’s hard to determine exactly how many because he had starred in so many early on in his career that was considered more obscure.

By the time he was done acting, fans heard him deliver hundreds of thousands of lines to the cameraWhile his acting career was the life he projected, Wayne also had a life outside of the set. He was married three times and divorced twice. In total, John Wayne had seven children during his life. Wayne will always be remembered as the epitome of the Western genre. The tough, macho man behind countless iconic films. He was in movies like “True Grit,” “The Shootist,” “The Cowboys,” and “El Dorado.”

John Wayne’s Last Words : When he was lying in his death bed, however, he wasn’t talking about the Old West or old-fashioned violence. Instead, family was his main concern. According to a Neatorama post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen, Wayne spent his last days in a hospital bed in-and-out of consciousness. He passed away on June 11, 1979, surrounded by many family members.

His daughter, Aissa Wayne (born March 31, 1956) was at his bedside. She held his hand and asked if he knew who she was. He responded with his very last words ever, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

Wayne passed away from stomach cancer. He had been suffering from poor health for several years at this point. Deezen described Wayne on the set of his last movie, “The Shootist” by saying he was often irritable and missed days on set due to poor health. He even had an oxygen tank on set.

Beyond the stomach cancer, John Wayne also had heart issues. He had a long life of smoking, drinking, and a questionable diet. He actually had a pig valve put into his heart. His last appearance would be at the 1979 Academy Awards where he was notably thinner and very sick. He even had a wetsuit on underneath his outfit to make him look bigger.

According to Mental Floss his grave in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach reads, “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

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