Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What To Do When The World Series Is Over

I hate guns.  I'm scared of horses.  As a city person, I am not particularly drawn to landscapes.  And I abhor racist stereotyping.  But I love Westerns.  They've got everything:  life vs. death, good vs. evil, love vs. loss, wilderness vs. civilization, old ways vs. modern times, natural law vs. man-made law, all in a riveting action-filled package.

The New Yorker's Richard Brody said "the Western is intrinsically the most political movie genre, because . . .it is concerned with the founding of cities, and because it depicts the various abstract functions of government as direct, physical actions."

I love the John Ford-directed John Wayne Westerns (especially The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), the Spaghetti Westerns, and the more cynical Westerns of the 60's-70's.  Most of all, I am drawn to the Westerns of the 1950s, from directors such as Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher.  They are more nuanced and complex than the earlier films, and have been described as bringing a noir sensibility to the conventional Western form.  Here are some of my favorites:

1.  Bend of the River (1952)  Anthony Mann. Starring James Stewart.
2.  The Naked Spur (1953) Anthony Mann. Starring James Stewart
3.  The Man from Laramie (1955) Anthony Mann. Starring James Stewart
4.  The Tin Star (1957) Anthony Mann. Starring Henry Fonda & Anthony Perkins
5.  Man of the West (1958) Anthony Mann. Starring Gary Cooper
6.  The Tall T (1957) Budd Boetticher. Starring Randolph Scott
7.  Ride Lonesome (1959) Budd Boetticher. Starring Randolph Scott.
8.  3:10 to Yuma (1957) Delmar Daves. Starring Glenn Ford & Van Heflin
9.  Blood on the Moon (1948) Robert Wise. Starring Robert Mitchum
10. Ride the High Country (1962) Sam Peckinpah. Starring Randolph Scott & Joel McCrea

When the Series is over, check them out.


Tim Z said...

Hmm, you left off The Far Country (1954) and The Furies (1950). And what about Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)? And if you're really in the mood for a great western, don't forget that late classic, Barbarosa (1982, d. Fred Schepisi), but you won't find a good DVD of it -- only pan-and-scan.

Lovechilde said...

Those are great ones too!

Rob Corn said...

How is this possible, I never see you watching TV! And what about the Western you starred in, "Streets of Fire" (1984), Walter Hill?

Lovechilde said...

I like to keep you guessing. And as for "my" movie, I'm not sure I would call that a Western. I did like Hill's The Long Riders a lot.

Ethan Corn said...

i didnt realize anyone was actually watching the world series (really? the giants?! ughhh)

for my storytelling class, we watch a different genre each week. for western week we watched ford's "the searchers" (only movie i've ever seen where the lead is named ethan..interersting experience) teacher had an interesting take on it, analyzing the deeper ideas ford hid in the film. i also learned an interesting tidbit about "taxi driver" - that it is actually inspired by the idea of setting a western in nyc (i certainly didn't know that, maybe you did..)

Lovechilde said...

Taxi Driver. Really not a great first date movie as I vividly recall.

Rob Corn said...

Excuse me, but Streets of Fire was one of Walter's great westerns. Girl kidnapped by bad guy, good guy has showdown on Main Street with bad guy to win the girl back. Good guy can't stay because no one woman can tie him down. Motorcyles = horses........

Lovechilde said...

Sorry, I was just focused on my scenes.

Rob Corn said...

Spoken like a true, me, me, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, me, me, me, bullshit..........

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