06 February 2009

Wild West Magazine's Greatest Westerns

The editors of Wild West Magazine have compiled their list of the 100 Greatest Westerns.  Click here to view their official page.  The top ten, for those who want to know, are as follows:
  1. High Noon
  2. The Ox-Bow Incident
  3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  4. Ride the High Country
  5. Rio Bravo
  6. Seven Men from Now
  7. The Searchers
  8. Shane
  9. Tombstone
  10. Red River
I've only seen two from the list: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Tombstone.  I'm hardly a great fan of the genre, though I've enjoyed several Westerns over the years, but it seems to me that any list that recognizes those two films has some credibility.  I know it's common for "true cinemaphiles" to bash Tombstone as a Hollywood movie and not a believable portrayal of the period, but as someone whose college degree was earned in history I think sometimes we worry too much about authenticity.  All I know about Tombstone is that there's not a bad performance in the lot, there are a ton of quotable lines of dialogue and several genuinely applause-worthy moments.

As for Liberty Valance, it's a distillation of the entire Western mythology--and perhaps a microcosm of its own era, as well.  If anyone wants to ever get at the heart of why we even tell stories of the Old West, this is the place to start.  Perhaps it's that context in which I can completely just enjoy Tombstone.

Then again, they ranked Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid #37.  What do they know about Westerns?

No comments:

Post a Comment