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September 06 2007

Serenity is "one of the best modern Westerns". That's according to Cinema Blend who place the movie at no. 5 in their list of top modern Westerns.


Now I personally would not have put Tombstone above Unforgiven, and only post-1990 leaves out Silverado. And of course if I could include TV then there's no way I'd leave off Deadwood.

But aside from all that, good list. ;)
Unforgiven should totally be number one. I've never even heard of the movie in the #3 spot. Kevin Costner? Yawn.
I'll be the first to admit, Unforgiven was the better movie, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Tombstone. I mean, Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday? Absolutely priceless.
Hey, check out the image in the logo.... I think I just got lucky 'cause it showed up on my first visit to the site; you may have to reload the page a few times to get it to cycle back around to Mal.
So shiny, I'm rejoicing the fact that my Serenity CE arrived in today's mail, like almost 5 days before earlier estimated date of arrival.
Re-watching the movie right now, with Joss and cast commentary.
Ahh! Took me many tries, but sure enough. There's Nathan as Mal with the likes of Clint Eastwood and Val Kilmer. :)
This article makes me very happy. I love Westerns, was raised watching them ( Shane still makes me cry. )
I have to say IMHO Tombstone deserves the #1 spot. It remains my all time favorite western. Val Kilmer's Doc Holiday is one of the finest performances I've ever seen.
I'm surprised and very pleased to see Serenity among them.
Even though I agree that they dialed back the Western elements for the movie, the lighting and the action, the bank heist and the "on the run" nature of it is all Western to me.
I'm kinda leery of a list of Westerns that has "Brokeback Mountain" as a runner-up to the rest. :^o
I'm going to have to watch Tombstone again. I don't think I would have ranked it that high, but maybe my memory has faded. It's been years. Still, I think Unforgiven would be hard to top. And I don't think I've ever heard of #3, either. But I'm delighted Serenity made the list.

(Shane still makes me cry, too.)
Open Range is actually an excellent western, see it, I own it.
I love each and every one of these movies. Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday is scary. He was riveting.

Brokeback Mountain was not a western, it was a love story.
Grew up watching Westerns with my Daddy (and cop shows--and those weird n' wonderful seventies' TV Westerns like Alias Smith and Jones or Kung Fu). Unforgiven was brilliant, a brutal yet loving deconstruction of the genre by the very man who, since the passing of John Wayne, was the face (and squint and seraped* embodiment) of that genre. Thus, while I love Serenity, I think it makes Browncoats look "all sorts a" ridiculous for Serenity to be far and away the lead in the site's poll. Sure, I love watching and rewatching Serenity, but in this case, it is the quirky ingenue, just happy to be nominated.

Never saw Tombstone because I kept confusing it with Costner's Wyatt Earp--and Costner makes me tired. Thanks for the head's up to check it out.

I have high hopes for Alan's 3:10 to Yuma.

God, I miss Al and Trixie and Jane and Doc and ole Dan Dority...

*Sure wish I knew how to put a tilde over that "e."

[ edited by narnia on 2007-09-07 03:32 ]

[ edited by narnia on 2007-09-07 03:51 ]
I LURVE Tombstone. I remember seeing it with a group of friends when it was released, and everyone came out of the theater in a GREAT mood. Awesome film. Classic storytelling, outstanding cast, excellent direction, setting, costumes... just so well done all the way around.

Tombstone is the only movie poster I have framed and hanging on an actual wall.

Unforgiven is a work of art, and it's a tough call between the top two for the #1 spot. Funny, but I always think of Unforgiven as Shakespeare in the Old West.

Tombstone is Old West down to the ground. But if a theatrical movie is ever made of Deadwood, it'll be a close race...
Funny, but I always think of Unforgiven as Shakespeare in the Old West.

A beautiful sentiment, and well deserved... but Deadwood really IS Shakespeare in the Old West.

I didn't mean to imply that I don't like Tombstone. I love it. Val as Doc is one of the greatest casting choices in modern film if ya ask me. Plus you've got the always underappreciated Bill Paxton. The outrageously cool Sam Elliot in all his gravelly-voiced glory. And of course Michael Biehn as a scurvy villain. (Hmm... Paxton and Biehn? It was like a mini-Aliens [or even Terminator] reunion.)

No, I love me some Tombstone. But there's no way it takes the top spot over Unforgiven. That's just crazy talk.
I can't be the only one here who thinks Tombstone is terrible? I mean, Val Kilmer rocks the casbah in it, there's no denying that, but apart from his performance, it's woefully cheesy and inept filmmaking; overblown, bombastic, and more than just a little silly.

I like Unforgiven, but think it's way overrated. Open Range was okay; I love Dances with Wolves.

And of course there's Serenity, which, for my money, is far and away the best flick on the list.
Tombstone is cheesy, overblown, bombastic gold! It's most definitely not the pinnacle of filmmaking, but it's got an over-the-top charm that makes it fun to watch.

Still haven't seen Open Range so I can't comment on that one.

However, saying Unforgiven is overrated? Them's fightin' words, boyo. ;)
Hey...I still like, the ending rocks.
narnia: "*Sure wish I knew how to put a tilde over that 'e.' "

Here, narn, have one of mine: יייייייייייייייייייייי

(Did I do it? Did I do it? Did/does html support that? I mean, I can see it, but can you, Ms. narnia?)
I like Unforgiven, but think it's way overrated.

For possibly the first time ever, UnpluggedCrazy lives up to his name ;-).

'Tombstone' is bombastic (does Kurt Russell even do subtle anymore ?) but it's a good film, elevated above its station by Val Kilmer as John H "Doc" Holliday to approaching "great" status (it's really a hell of a cast all round - for a western anyway). The "Latin-off" between him and Michael "Johnny Ringo" Biehn is worth the price of admision by itself IMO. I agree that it's never better than 'Unforgiven' though (which was also blessed by an amazing cast).

Not sure about "Open Range", I liked it and (seemingly against the flow) have a soft spot for Kevin Costner (c'mon, the guy was in 'Bull Durham' FFS !) but it doesn't really feel like top 3 material - though I guess pickings since 1990 are pretty thin, you never know, maybe '3:10 To Yuma' will change that. Quite liked his "Wyatt Earp" too even if it didn't really need to be so long.

'The Missing' wasn't mentioned but I thought it had some meat to it. Tommy Lee Jones is basically made for Westerns and there aren't enough featuring women in a central role (have to watch "Three Burials" at some point).

And nominated but didn't make it "The Wild Wild West" ? Was that nominated by Will Smith's Mum by any chance ? Not a great film, on any level and that's even given it's got Salma Hayek in it.
Really interesting because in general I dislike westerns intesely and intensely squared if they feature Clint Eastwood, who should IMO stick to directing. But two of the half dozen or so westerns I really love are on this list, Tombstone and Dances with Wolves.
I would have to give DwW the #1 spot, it's one of the best films of any genre I've ever seem, but totally breaks my heart to the point that I never re-watch it anymore.

And while adding to the Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday love, can I just say that this man is possibly the most underrated American actor on the planet? I don't think I've ever seen him make a false move in anything I've ever seen him in. He should have had three or four Oscar noms by now.
As for Serenity .... one more big "Yay team". Although the western aspect was so down-played compared to Firefly, I'm not sure if anyone who wasn't a Firefly fan would have thought of it that way.

Running away now to duck flying objects, especially from Haunt :)
Unfortunately you can't actually throw anything on the ol' interwebs... except invectives of course. ;)

Just kidding. Different strokes and all that bollocks. Just because you don't like Clint Eastwood westerns doesn't mean you're "wrong". Well... okay, so yes it does. But that's okay. The world needs wrong people to make those of us who are right feel better about themselves. lol

I kid, I kid.
*pokes head out from under covers*

I have to admit it. I didn't vote for Serenity on the poll at the bottom of the page.

*hides from flying projectiles*

I'm sorry, it's just that the film wasn't really a western. It has elements of such, but that doesn't really count. Tombstone and Unforgiven rate much higher in that regard, I think.

And I just had to vote for Doc Holiday. ;)
WOW! That's a great list of movies... I agree with ya'll that are saying Unforgiven over Tombstone. If you haven't seen Open Range you sould see it THIS WEEKEND! don't wait any longer - It's really, really great!! Oh and way to go Serenity!
Whilst Serenity is one of my favourite films ever, it really didn't seem like a Western overall. For me, the definitive sci-fi western is Outland which is a joy to watch.
Simon you maniac, even Big Sean can't save 'Outland', too slow, too static, too an exact copy of 'High Noon'.

Ahem. Err, IMO ;-).

(and in fairness, it's not a bad idea, just not well done - again, IMO)

Just because you don't like Clint Eastwood westerns doesn't mean you're "wrong". Well... okay, so yes it does.

Yep, s'true. I think there's actually an exemption on the whole liberal "live and let live" thing with Clint's Westerns. Shey, it's like they somehow found a block of pure wrong and then carved you out of it. ;-).

Except for "Joe Kidd".
While we're here, I'd like to branch out from the modern western thing and say that The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Once Upon a Time in the West, and For a Few Dollars More are the three best westerns ever.

If we're going back before 1990, Silverado's got to be on the list. Kevin Kline, Scott Glen, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Jeff Goldblum, John Cleese... about the only thing BAD aboud Silverado is that it was Kevin Costner's big break... (ducking from objects thrown by the Dances-With-Wolves lovers)
*throws object*

After he'd ducked ? That's either incredibly optimistic or very sporting. Or possibly just drunk ;).

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Once Upon a Time in the West, and For a Few Dollars More are the three best westerns ever.

I'd give you those UpC though i'm not sure they'd be my top three but that's because, probably of all genres, Westerns make it hardest for me to even pick a top three. Just so many great films ...

For me 'The Searchers' would probably have to be in there. Maybe 'The Wild Bunch' and then 'Once Upon a Time ...'. I do rate 'For a Few Dollars More' though, it's probably my favourite Spaghetti Western. Second tier, I love 'The Professionals', great cast, great script, nicely shot, Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Claudia Cardinale. What's not to love ? I might count it as the last traditional Western but maybe it's too self-aware.

(films like 'True Grit' or 'The Shootist' were traditional in tone but they were all about looking back, sort of post-Westerns, whereas 'The Professionals' was set in the real West, albeit a changing one - the novel of 'True Grit' is a bit of a classic BTW, told in the voice of Mattie Ross so that the book is very much hers whereas the film is definitely Rooster's/John Wayne's)

'The Gunfighter' with Gregory peck is good and he's also pretty decent (in every way ;) in 'The Big Country' which has a big soundtrack too.

If I have to pick just three (and this is 'best', not necessarily 'favourite') 'The Searchers', 'Once Upon a Time ...' and 'Shane'. For sheer fun i'd probably have 'The Professionals', 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'True Grit'.
The Searchers is all right, I've never been a very big fan. The ending was great. And I'm glad you mentioned The Shootist, because that movie always gets overlooked. John Wayne's last hurrah.

Now for controversy:

The Wild Bunch sucks.
Them's fightin' words, boy. Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch is brilliant, but I also loved Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.
The Wild Bunch is an elegy to the end of an era,
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid was the best telling of that story I've ever seen.
As long as we're on this subject, I'm really, REALLY looking forward to 3:10 to Yuma (probably seeing it tomorrow). Also can't wait for The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.
Yep, it's out next week over here. Probably have to go it alone cos NO-ONE I know likes Westerns. Bloody Philistines ;).

(and yeah 'Assassination ...' sounds like it's gonna have something to it - I also think Brad Pitt is a much better actor than he needs to be considering how he looks, should be good)

The Wild Bunch is an elegy to the end of an era, ...

Absolutely, and chock-full of potent, haunting imagery and bravura performances from yet another amazing cast (and how about this for a tagline: "The land had changed. They hadn't. The earth had cooled. They couldn't." - Wow. Evocative much ?).

'The Shootist' is actually fairly similar thematically but obviously much gentler and less ambiguous. Wayne's last hurrah and one of his best too IMO (and in fact it's surprising how early the whole "end of an era" thing started in Westerns, you'd think it'd run parallel to the end of the Westerns era but films like 'Warlock' from 1959 are already talking about how the world moved on, leaving some men behind - there're probably earlier examples still).
3:10 to Yuma's a pretty good flick. Nothing great, but solid and enjoyable. And it's always nice to see Alan onscreen again, though I'm with Joss that he deserves to get meatier parts than the funny sidekick, no matter how well he plays it.
Nothing great ...

Is that in the same way that 'The Wild Bunch' sucks ? Cos we may be in for a treat in that case ;-).
"It's like they somehow found a block of pure wrong and carved you out of it.
LOL .... Saje, that may be the most creative insult I've ever received :)
So many great Westerns mentioned. *sigh* Makes me want to get my DVDs out and have a marathon.
Speaking of movies that reflected the end of the Western era, what about Tom Horn with Steve McQueen?
That hanging scene still makes my heart stop.
Y'know, I never realized I had such divisive opinions on westerns.
You have divisive opinions on a lot of things, UPC. I respect that. ;)
Yep, if we all followed the same drummer the walk would get dull.

It's just that where 'The Wild Bunch' is concerned UpC, you accidentally followed a back-firing car ;).
If we all followed the same drummer, we'd end up sounding like the same band, and then if he's playing for all of us he's gonna get awfully strung out and harried and then we'd all sound like the same shitty band (that is, if we even sounded good in the first place) and the drummer would then most likely collapse from exhaustion or have a heart attack or spontaneously explode like a Spinal Tap drummer, and then who would we all follow? The bass guitarist?

...And if you want to see me follow more backfiring cars, just bring up A Clockwork Orange or Fight Club or the Rolling Stones. Or, preferably, not.

P.S.: Haunt, you do not know how much I respect you for your differing opinions, and even more so your eloquent reasoning.

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