“Top 10 Westerns” by Leader K

Leader K

Top 10 Westerns! 

Westerns as a whole are my favorite Genre of film. Blah, blah, blhaaaa….here is a top 10.

10. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 

A fictional yet realistic retelling of the famous outlaw. It feels more along the lines of a play than a film, and because of that it shouldn’t be hard to guess that the acting is easily the best part of the entire show. This movie was overlooked when it it first came out but i now order you to see it. Now!

9.The Proposition

Another modern western. Violent, ruff, dirty, this movie has it all. More accurate to real life in that in the real old west there was human excrement all over the floor, and sexually assaulting someone was a crime that went unpunished if you weren’t white and rich. Despite this The Proposition is a refreshing experience to a western fan like myself and defiantly needs to be seen by more people. 

8. Tombstone 

This movie is corny. But if corny was ever a good it’s here. All of the actors in this film are genre actors and holy hell does it show. Almost everything in the film (except the occasions where it is actually appropriate) is seeping with over-dramafication, and there is little to no historical accuracy, but man O man is it fun. Most notable would have to be Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday who gives a performance so astounding that he could never make another movie worth remembering and I would still have nothing bad to say about him, don’t take my word for it, just take a look at the rest of his career. 

7. The Man who Shot Liberty Valance 

If you’ve ever read a top ten for westerns before no doubt you have seen this film on pretty much every single one. For good reason, it was called an instant classic when it first came out, decades later people have only come to respect it more. It is one of John Ford’s most creative stories, and as such more negative in attitude than any of his other films. Many have imitated as the years have gone on, but none are as good as the original. 

6. For a Few Dollars More

As opposed to the more famous “A Fistful of Dollars” which i see as little more than a carbon copy of the original “Yojimbo” from Akira Kurosawa, the sequel “For a few Dollars More” really brought to life the greatness that is Sergio Leone. The story, the cinematography, the music of this film are all good enough reasons by themselves to like this movie, but all of them combined creates a whirlwind of epic that turns like into love and left me is awe on more than one occasion. The fire that wasn’t in “A fistful of Dollars” blazes from this movie that is more of a re-take than a sequel.  

5. The Searchers 

John Wayne and John Ford’s greatest masterpiece. Ford’s direction shows what a classic western was all about, and Wayne never gave a better performance for the rest of his life. There is good reason for why The Searchers is on every single Top 10 featuring westerns in the world. It’s just that damn good. 

4. No Country for Old Men 

The existentialist western, easily the most unique of all the films on the list. This Genre busting film by the Coen brothers in 2006 took film critics by storm for its dark humor and brutal message. No Country is the cold, quite and far more realistic than any other film on this list and in many ways feels like a horror movie rather than a western or drama. The romanticism of hero, villain, anti-hero, anti-villain are thrown out the door. Our hero is completely incapable of remedying the situation he has put himself in, the villains motivations are arbitrary by even his own account and yet he relentlessly purses his goal out of what the audience can only guess to be a hidden vindictiveness, and the second hero who in any other movie would save the day turns out to be absolutely useless to reaffirm to the audience that there was nothing the power of storytelling and happy ending could have done to chain the ultimate outcome. It is the smartest film on this list.

3. Little Big Man 

Of all the films where the white man sides with the native-american metaphor against the American military metaphor this one is by and far the best. Forget Avatar, or Dances with Wolves, because everything they try to do Little Big Man does with better acting, humor, and better characterization. This movie even does Forest Gump Better that Forrest Gump could. Watch this forgotten Western epic and you will not be disappointed. 

2. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 

I have already said before that this film in one of my all time favorites, (top 5) and is easily one of the most important films ever made. Damn right. When Clint Eastwood is the least interesting character in a movie starring Clint Eastwood than you know you’re in for an awesome show. Sergio Leone is an Italian God! 

1. Once upon a Time in the West 

What do you know another Sergio Leone film. This movie and my number two pick can be considered interchangeable, but reason i put “Once upon a time in the west” as number one is the difficulty going in. It’s easy to like “The Dollars Trilogy” time has treated them very well, but the same cannot be said for this film. For some reason this movie often goes less mentioned than its brothers. This is a masterpiece that must be seen by any fan of film westerns or not! 


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