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10 Amazing Western Movies That Don’t Star Clint Eastwood Or John Wayne – My Blog

The Western genre is full of great movies, even without the works of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. When considering which films deserve to be counted as the greatest Westerns of all time, it becomes clear that a rather significant portion of them featured either Eastwood or Wayne. The biggest Western actors of their respective eras, Eastwood and Wayne contributed much to the popularity of the genre and enjoyed top billing in a multitude of highly-respected Western films.While both Eastwood and Wayne have starred in their fair share of Western classics, they alone didn’t drive the success of the genre. When Westerns were at their peak, Hollywood had plenty of bankable stars capable of delivering critical and commercial hits. Randolph Scott, Burt Lancaster, James Stewart, Joel McCrea, and Glenn Ford were among the many names behind the most popular Western films, many of which being on par with the classics headlined by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Here’s ten amazing Western movies that didn’t need either of the genre’s two biggest stars.10Shane

Alan Ladd in Shane

Popular film noir star Alan Ladd starred as the titular protagonist of Shane, a 1953 Western centered on a mysterious, retired gunslinger who tries to start a new life in a crime-ridden town. He winds up having to lean on his experience as a gunfighter to deal with a cattle baron and his minions. While the plot is typical of a Western of its time, it stands out for epitomizing the ideal of what a great Western movie should be. Ladd’s appropriately stoic portrayal of the main character, combined with its relatable characters and supporting cast make it an outstanding entry in the genre.
9Dodge City

Errol Flynn Dodge City
Better known for playing daring and suave heroes in swashbuckling epics like Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood, Errol Flynn wasn’t an obvious fit for a Western movie. That said, the actor led one of the best Westerns of its era. An early installment in the genre, the 1939 film was an exciting story about a cowboy pushed into becoming the sheriff of the notoriously lawless frontier town, Dodge City. Supported by a likable cast and Flynn’s performance, Dodge City proved to be a massive success.
8The Big Country
Gregory Peck Charlton Heston and Carrol Baker in The Big Country
The Big Country amassed an impressive gathering of high-profile names by featuring Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Jean Simmons, Burl Ives, and Chuck Conners. But a star-studded cast wasn’t all the 1958 movie boasted; with its spectacular cinematography that showed off its beautiful landscapes, The Big Country was a Western on an epic scale, complete with vibrant characters who perfectly fit the time period and setting. Burl Ives won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his layered performance as a rancher whose feud with a rival turns him into a villain.
7The Magnificent Seven
James Coburn wearing a cowboy hat outside in The Magnificent Seven.
The Magnificent Seven has a well-earned reputation as one of the most influential Westerns of all time. Released in 1960, The Magnificent Seven assembled seven protagonists, all of which being characters who had their own uses to the group. Starring Yul Brynner as the leader of the Magnificent Seven, the movie was a Western driven by thrilling action sequences. Unlike some Westerns, where there was often a clear pathway to a happy ending, The Magnificent Seven kept the stakes high by gradually killing off most of its main characters.
6High Noon
Gary Cooper dressed as a cowboy in High Noon
Few Westerns have received more critical acclaim than 1952’s High Noon, a black-and-white film directed by Fred Zinnemann. The winner of four Academy Awards (and a nominee for three more), High Noon starred Western icon Gary Cooper as Will Kane, an idealistic marshall who resigns his position to enjoy married life with Grace Kelly’s Amy Fowler, but the return of an old enemy forces him to fight once more. The film’s handling of Kane’s internal struggle, as well as the action, made it a gripping story and a beloved Hollywood Western.
53:10 To Yuma
A posse riding in the desert on horses in 3:10 to Yuma
Improving on a Hollywood classic is never easy, but director James Mangold pulled off this incredibly difficult task with a 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma. With Christian Bale and Russell Crowe replacing the characters played by Van Heflin and Glenn Ford respectively, 3:10 to Yuma tells a story about a cowboy who has to escort a dangerous criminal to prison, but various events ultimately force a team-up between the unlikely duo. Without disrespecting the original, 3:10 to Yuma succeeds in bettering the formula of its predecessor by using dark and gritty elements that wouldn’t have worked in 1957.
4Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid take cover behind rocks in the titular Western film
Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the historical outlaws named in the title, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid thrived on the dynamic shared by its two stars. Their relationship, and the comedic beats that went with it, helped make the 1969 film a fan-favorite of the genre that’s still deeply loved today. It also contained a number of classic Western tropes, including exciting gun fights, a saloon brawl, a fight on a train, and a horseback chase scene.
3Winchester ‘73
James Stewart in Winchester 73
James Stewart is perhaps the only Hollywood actor who can come close to Eastwood and Wayne when it comes to the sheer number of iconic Western movies under their belt. He made several solid Westerns, one in particular being Winchester ’73. Released in 1950, the movie veered slightly from the standard Western formula by following a singular rifle and showcasing the various figures who came into its possession. In the film, Stewart plays against type as an outlaw determined to recover the highly sought-after gun.
2The Wild Bunch
The gang walk through a western town in The Wild Bunch
Directed by Sam Peckinpah, The Wild Bunch was a Western ensemble film that united William Holden and Robert Ryan, two veterans of the genre and long-time Hollywood A-listers. The 1969 movie was ahead of its time in regards to its grisly violence and grim undertones, but this approach matched the period depicted in the film. The movie explored the exploits of a band of outlaws, whose nuanced character arcs transformed The Wild Bunch into a staple of the Western genre.RELATED:Every Clint Eastwood Western, Ranked Worst To Best
1Blood on the Moon
Blood on the Moon
Although not as renowned as The Wild Bunch or High Noon, Blood on the Moon is a high-quality Western and an entertaining twist on the genre. Starring Hollywood “tough guy” actor Robert Mitchum, Blood on the Moon starts outs as a traditional Western tale where a heroic drifter gets hired to help a rancher deal with a threat to his lands. But as the story develops, it’s discovered that Mitchum’s character may actually be on the wrong side. By implementing this twist, the gunslinger’s dark journey was able to come across as a perfect blend of the film noir and Western genres.

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Restoration of John Wayne’s ‘The Searchers’ to Premiere at 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival – My Blog

John Wayne’s 1956 Western “The Searchers” will debut a new restoration as part of the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival in April.This marks the second Wayne film to receive a premiere of a restored print at the yearly event that takes place on Hollywood Boulevard. Last year’s opening night feature was a 4K restoration of Wayne’s 1959 film “Rio Bravo.”This year’s festival theme is “Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film.” Alongside “The Searchers,” TCM announced that Frank Capra’s 1934 film “It Happened One Night,” Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” and the 1974 musical documentary “That’s Entertainment!” will also screen as part of the four-day festival in April.It’s unknown if “The Searchers” will be the film’s opening night movie, though considering “Rio Bravo” was also a restoration last year it would make sense that Warner Bros. would continue to debut new 4K prints of their films as part of the event’s opening night.This year’s TCM Classic Film Festival marks the return of the event after the classic film network underwent significant changes behind the scenes this year. In June, TCM’s senior vice president of programming and content strategy Charles Tabesh, vice president of studio production Anne Wilson, vice president of marketing and creative Dexter Fedor and TCM Enterprises vice president Genevieve McGillicuddy were all laid off, alongside TCM’s general manager Pola Chagnon leaving the company after 25 years.From there, stories started to tumble out that the network was in the crosshairs of a series of cost-cutting measures implemented by Warner Bros. Discovery. In the wake of widespread outcry from fans, both Tabesh and McGuillicuddy were offered their positions back. It was also announced soon after that Warner Bros. Pictures heads Pamela Abdy and Michael De Luca would be overseeing the network, with input from world-class directors including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.The TCM Classic Film Festival enters its 15th year in 2024 and will also take place during the network’s 30th anniversary.The TCM Classic Film Festival will take place in Hollywood April 18-21.

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John Wayne’s spanking of co-star ‘so authentic she had bruises for a week’ – My Blog

Back in 1963, John Wayne starred in a Western comedy loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.Duke played an ageing rancher called George Washington McLintock, a wealthy self-made man facing a number of issues.High-ranking government officials, his own sons and local Native Americans all want a piece of his huge farmstead.Meanwhile, his wife (played by regular collaborator Maureen O’Hara) who separated from him two years prior, is back on the scene demanding custody of their daughter.McLintock! celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, as celebrated by the John Wayne estate on Instagram.A recent post read: “Did you know? Although often seen as simply a knockabout comedy, John Wayne also intended the film to be a statement on his disapproval of the negative representation of Native Americans in previous westerns he had no creative-control over, and his disapproval of wife-beating and marital abuse from either spouse.”A film of its time, McLintock famously has a scene, as captured on its poster, of Wayne’s George publicly spanking his wife played by O’Hara.According to his co-star’s autobiography, this scene was “completely authentic” with Duke carrying it out with “such gusto”, that she “had bruises for a week.”

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Martin Scorsese’s Favorite John Wayne Western – My Blog


 Martin Scorsese considers John Wayne’s The Searchers to be the best Western ever made, describing it as a masterpiece with a deeply painful core. The Searchers has had a significant influence on Scorsese’s movies, inspiring scenes and characters in films like Taxi Driver and Mean Streets. The Searchers is also a favorite among the “movie brats,” a group of influential directors including Spielberg and Lucas, who cited it as a major influence.

Martin Scorsese’s favorite Western starring John Wayne has had a big influence on his career. Scorsese hasn’t made his passion for cinema or filmmaking a secret, and he is essentially a living archive of the medium’s history. He loves everything from the trashiest B-movie to the most highbrow drama, which is something that’s reflected in Martin Scorsese’s own movies. He has helmed everything from gangster epics to psychological horrors to biopics and everything in between.
One genre he hasn’t really dipped a toe into is a Western, which is likely down to the decline of the genre itself than Scorsese avoiding the genre. About the closest he’s come is his 2023 epic Killers of the Flower Moon, though far from being a black-and-white adventure about cowboys righting wrongs, it’s a devastating true-life drama. Scorsese has professed his admiration for a few classic Westerns (via Far Out) such as Ride the High Country or Marlon Brando’s sole directorial outing One-Eyed Jacks, but there’s one that holds a truly special place in his heart.Scorsese Believes John Wayne’s The Searchers Is The Best Western Ever Made
In 2013, Scorsese guest-reviewed a book about John Wayne Western The Searchers for THR, where he proclaimed it a masterpiece but that “Like all great works of art, it’s uncomfortable. The core of the movie is deeply painful.” The premise of the movie sees Wayne’s Civil War vet Ethan Edwards and his nephew Martin (Jeffrey Hunter) setting out to rescue his kidnapped niece. It might sound like the setup for a classic Western adventure, but John Ford’s The Searchers deals with some dark themes, with Wayne portraying the most ruthless character of his career as the deeply prejudiced and revenge-addicted Ethan.
Scorsese has often called The Searchers one of his favorite Westerns, in addition to being one of the greatest movies of all time, period. From the gorgeous cinematography, the evergreen themes and Wayne’s haunting central turn, it’s a film the director finds himself coming back to decades after he first watched it. The Searcher’s ending has been much discussed among film scholars too, with Scorsese himself feeling the shot of Ethan turning and leaving through the door turns it into a “ghost story;” the character has fulfilled his purpose but is now doomed to wander the deserts alone, like a spirit.The Searchers Inspired Scorsese’s Own Movies
Travis Bickle at the movies in Taxi Driver
The film made a major impression on Scorsese when he saw it as a boy, and its influence can be spotted in his own work. His debut Who’s That Knocking at My Door features a scene where protagonist J.R. (Harvey Keitel) talks about both John Wayne and The Searchers in great detail, while the Ford movie appears again in Scorsese’s crime drama Mean Streets from 1973. The Searchers was a direct influence on Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, with the journey of Robert De Niro’s Travis being a mirror of Ethan’s. He’s another loner filled with anger and hatred, looking to rescue a young girl in Jodie Foster’s Iris.The movie ends with Travis rescuing Iris in the bloodiest manner possible, and like Ethan, the movie leaves him on an ambiguous note. The influence of The Searchers can also be felt in the director’s attraction to anti-heroes and flawed protagonists, who may see themselves as fundamentally good men or heroic, despite the appalling acts of violence they commit or the selfishness they display.The Searchers Is A Favorite Of The “Movie Brats”
Steven Spielberg leaning against a camera with George Lucas standing beside him on the cover of Indiana Jones bonus material DVD
The Searchers was well-received upon its initial release, but it soon came to be recognized as an American classic. The late ’60s and ’70s saw the rise of the so-called “movie brats,” who were a group of talented young directors who were also nerds for the medium. Members of this group include Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, John Milius, Paul Schrader and many more. What’s notable about this group is how many of them cited The Searchers as a favorite.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan also cited The Searchers as a major influence on Breaking Bad’s finale.
According to The Telegraph, Spielberg claims he rewatches The Searchers before starting work on a new movie, while Milius and Schrader – who penned Taxi Driver – have also sung its praises. The movie was a huge influence on Lucas’ Star Wars, which can be found in its basic promise – a young man and older mentor set out to rescue a young woman – its desert vistas and the sequence where Luke (Mark Hamill) discovers his burnt-out family homestead. Star Wars was a mash-up of many influences from samurai epics to movie serials, but Westerns like The Searchers played a particularly large role in the movie.
Source: Far Out, THR, The Telegraph
the searchers poster
The SearchersRelease Date:1956-03-13Director:John FordCast:John WayneRating:pg-13Runtime:119minutesGenres:Western, DramaWriters:John FordBudget:$3.75millionStudio(s):Warner Bros. PicturesDistributor(s):Warner Bros. Pictures

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