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Best Western. No, Not The Hotel.

Poll #1123993 Best Western

What is the best modern Western ever?


If you chose "Other", what were you thinking? What modern Western is better than "Unforgiven"?

What is the best classic Western ever?


If you chose "Other", what were you thinking? What classic Western is better than "Shane"?


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
Between those two, I couldn't decide.
Jan. 19th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Good runners-up, but they're no "Unforgiven."
Jan. 19th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, I have a penchant for comedic westerns and even more so those featuring John Wayne. I suspect this is from growing up watching them with my father... and not necessarily based on their own cinematic merit.

By the way, I'm not sure I ever introduced myself. I saw you on several journals belonging to LJ friends and added you because of your talk of biking/running... I'm always interested in what others have to say about biking and running because I am trying to get back to doing both of them regularly after years of using my job as exercise.

Nice to meet you!
Jan. 20th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
Welcome to my LJ! I've enjoyed reading your LJ, too. I took a bit of a break from running, but I'm working to get back into it again. Once I get a running habit established, a biking habit won't be too far behind....

Yeah, I'm using my job as an excuse, too. ;-)
Jan. 19th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
I've decided not to answer your poll.

I'll tell you this: I really really enjoy the following movies:
Silverado, Tombstone, Rio Bravo, Rio Lobo, and probably many others.
I was in the right mood to enjoy Wyatt Earp recently, though it was related to our recent vacation.

But I have no idea which movies might be the "Best". Probably the ones you suggest.
Jan. 20th, 2008 07:15 am (UTC)
"Unforgiven" is excellent, but I'm not sold. I really enjoyed the remake of "3:10 To Yuma". "Tombstone" and "The Quick and The Dead" also come to mind, although I think I'd ultimately pick "3:10" over either one of those. I'll have to think on this one.
Jan. 20th, 2008 08:59 am (UTC)
We may have a difficulty with definitions here.

Neither "Shane" (which you named) nor "High Noon" (which named) are really "classic" westerns. But since you named Shane,I took your question to be purely chronological with you defining anything made more than a couple of decades ago to be "classic." Actually, both these films are regarded as modern revisonist westerns and therefore properly placed in the same category as "Unforgiven"
Jan. 20th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
Teach me what a classic western is.

I almost picked "High Noon" as my pick for a classic western, but decided to go with "Shane." "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" was actually my second runner-up.
Jan. 20th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
The classic Western begins in 1903 with the Great Train Robbery and continued through the 1950's when the modern revisionist Western was introduced with 1952's High Noon. Not all Westerns after 1952 are revisionist of course and westerns in the classic style continued to be produced.

What distinguishes the Classic from the Modern Western is the classic's positive view of the world in which the protagonist is almost always good, close to perfect, and self confident. He is often shy and diffident around women and tends to seem closer to his horse than the invariably beautiful and faithful but chaste heroine. The people with whom he either interacts are either purely good (and these are the great majority) or purely evil. He does not question his role but, secure in his rightness, fights evil to a successful conclusion and happy ending.

Contrast this with High Noon wherein the protagonist is ready to retire as a lawman and become a shopkeeper. When he learns the bad guy is coming to town to seek revenge he first flees. When, after struggling with his fear and his Quaker wife's revulsion at violence, he chooses to return and face the villain he finds himself deserted by the cowardly citizens of the town. He eventually prevails against the villain and this three henchmen but leaves the town anyway after expressing his disgust and contempt for his fellow citizens.
Jan. 20th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
Gotcha. Thanks for the education, that makes a lot of sense. My view of "classic" vs. "modern" was obviously not nearly as well thought out.

I guess now I'm going to have to put a bunch of classic westerns on my Netflix queue to help solidify my understanding. ;-)
Jan. 20th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
...hey! Wait a minute. In the poll, you said "High Noon" was the best classic western, but here you're indicating that "High Noon" is modern.

Also, I guess that if we agree films like "Shane" and "High Noon" are modern westerns, I think we need another designation (post-modern?) for something like "Unforgiven." Or am I taking it too far?
Jan. 20th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, High Noon IS modern but I was answering the question in the terms that you stated.

Since you classed Shane as "classic" (even tho it is modern) I placed High Noon, made a year before, in the same category. i.e. I took your question to define "classic" and "modern" by chronology only.
Jan. 20th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
In case I didn't make it clear, Shane is also considered "modern"
Jan. 20th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Right, based on your earlier explanation, I easily see how both "Shane" and "High Noon" are "modern."

...and it points out that I probably have very little exposure to the "classic" western.
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
Tough call --- I will admit that the remake of 3:10 to Yuma was pretty good, but having recently purchased the 2-DVD Unforgiven set --- I still like it.

(I won't use the word classic) --- but as for the "older" westerns, I really like The Searchers. Maybe it's Natalie Wood --- maybe it's Jeffrey (Captain "Jesus" Pike) Hunter ---naw, it's John Wayne. (Or is it John Ford?)

I really wanted to list a Sergio Leone film, but I couldn't pick just one. I'm also a huge fan of Morricone (and the Kurosawa source material), so it was tough not to name one of those.

Jan. 21st, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Can I get away with liking Dances With Wolves, even though it has Costner in it?
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
In my LJ, absolutely.

Personally, I like just about everything Costner has touched. Especially The Postman.
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
Loved the book for The Postman --- I'm afraid to watch the film and expect to be disappointed. Maybe you've changed that.
Jan. 21st, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
I've never read the book, so I can't tell you if you're be disappointed or not. Going into the movie, I knew nothing about it, and I just let it unfold the story before me. And I loved it.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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