The more than 600 members of the Western Writers of America just picked their top 100 movie westerns of all time. Shane from 1953 sits in the top spot.
Being the disagreeable person that I am, take exception to their pick. Though Shane is a great movie, I might not even put it in my top 10.
And speaking of top 10—here they are:
2. High Noon: Gary Cooper won an Academy Award for this 1952 classic.
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3. The Searchers: I just saw this on a movie channel a week or so ago. Great movie.
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: I worked as a projectionist at a drive-in the year it opened. We kept the film for over a year and I showed it more than 400 times. To this day I still love the movie.
5. Dances with Wolves: Gorgeous movie. Great story. But is this a western?
6. The Wild Bunch: Incredible cast, terrific story. Everybody dies violently and in slow motion. Now you’re talking.
7. Red River: Don’t remember much about it.
8. Tombstone: Hmmmm. Great performances. Fascinating piece of American history. Val Kilmer was the best he’s ever been. But a top 10 pick? Nah.
9. The Magnificent Seven: The Wild Bunch minus the gore. Though it is stolen from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai the ensemble cast did one of the best westerns ever.
10. Open Range: I will say Kevin Costner’s only niche is westerns, that is assuming Dances with Wolves is a western.
No one puts a list like this together without generating some controversy. How can you not put The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on the top 10 list? Or Eastwood’s Unforgiven?
And I cannot remember loving a western more than I loved James Garner’s Support Your Local Sheriff.Talk about great casts and wonderful sitcom-like writing. Funny, funny movie.
You probably disagree, too.
Many of you aren’t aware, but you can comment on this or any other posting on this Web site but just scrolling to the bottom of the article and clicking on the "comment" section.
I look forward to your comments on this one.
By the way, to get more information go to www.westernwriters.org.