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