Skip to comments.Good Westerns. John Wayne and James Arness Were Never Replaced. Are Westerns Dead in America?
Posted on 01/11/2010 11:34:55 AM PST by stillafreemind
Not only are there no stand outs as far as actors go, but writers don't seem to be able to come up with an interesting western story line without nudity, extreme violence and horrible language. Why is that? How did Gunsmoke last those many years without nudity? A shy grin, wink and a nod between Matt Dillon and Kitty was sufficient and somehow much more palatable than seeing them rip clothes off and get down to business.
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Yes. And Gene Hackman killed them.
I used to love westerns, but it seems (to me) that real heroes like that became unpopular. I think maybe it had to do with the whole idea that America was not particularly good.
Outlaw Josey Wells?
Shane, The Searchers, Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Josey Wales......could go on forever...
The remake of 3:10 to Yuma was extremely good. It was kinda violent ... but then, so was the old west. I don’t recall nudity in it — but, I’m very pro-naked, so I wouldn’t see that as much of a downside.
Perhaps the settings will change from one frontier, the old American West, to another, namely space settlements. The 1979 (?) film “Outland” was a fairly close homage to “High Noon.”
Writers spew out the mindless trash today becaue they have no background in honest to goodness writing. Nor do they have the historical (dumbed down school, history etc). What they do write reflects their own lifestyle, and that ain’t pretty.
The Left wasn't going to make any progress at all if society held to those values -- so they spent a few decades sweeping it all away.
And here we are.
I understand your list. But the Eastwood ones are pretty bad when it comes to just violence for violence sake. I do enjoy the Lonesome Dove series though.
You have presented a very “clear case”! I so agree.
The best Western I’ve seen lately is the remake of 3:10 to Yuma with Aussie Cowboy Russell Crowe.
Clint Eastwood...Unforgiven. Open Range. Lonesome Dove.
I thought Lonesome Dove was awesome too. I’d like to add Tombstone with Kurt Russell, Silverado and Unforgiven.
My all time favorite Western:
Loved Lee Marvin!!! That guy was a blue ribbon bad a#@!!
“Silverado” was wonderful — but that was 1985.
Open Range...best gun fight finale, ever!
I think the decline of westerns is partially due to the rise of insidious political correctness. No longer is it OK to use words like “Indian”, “Injun”, “Chinamen”, etc and it’s certainly not PC to show women in being little more than servants or prostitutes (the occasional Annie Oakley aside). Hearing Wayne complain about ‘Native Americans who only want to peacefully co-exist’ just isn’t quite the same thing, ya know?
Plus, the whole thing about how politically-incorrect and damaging to little Tommy and Janey a good old-fashioned GUNFIGHT at high noon is. Oh no!! A gun!!
I cannot emphasize how much I hate “PC” and am just trying to help answer your question.
Maybe they should play Cowboys & Muslims?
Turn on speakers
I thought they were playing the Vikings.
Now THAT'S funny
Kind of a very far south western.
Quigley Down Under.
Josey Wells is violent - but justifiable because of the gruesome way his family died.
The movie tells a good story of what was happening to the north and south (and thise caught between the two).
It was not, IMO, violence for violence sakes - no more than The Patriot, Saving Pvt. Ryan, We were Soliders or Braveheart (to name a few) were.
The Western was killed by revisionist directors who wanted to make movies about how evil America was and is. It’s hard to watch that great American icon, the cowboy, turned into a venal, hate-filled monster.
I love the series Bonanza. In fact my wife and I went to the 50th anniversary convention at Lake Tahoe this past summer.
I agree with you and think you hit the PC button on the head. We live in a SMALL and RURAL area. At Halloween, our neighbor boy dressed up as a cowboy. Hat, boots and little six shooters. Home he was sent. His mother said there was no way that they could get him to understand why they sent him home.
Never did like pretty boys like Montgomery Cliff. A face with character that doesn't have baby butt soft skin looks is a man. not a girly man..
Clint Eastwood..........spaghetti western king
Outland was great, but Sean Connerly is one of those men that are not girly men..
I have often wondered why the western genre has dissappeared, and my opinion is the western is dead because today’s Hollywood leading men all look like boys not like men. I can easily believe a western storyline when watching John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Jack Pallance, Jimmy Stewart, Hank Fonda, et.al, but put a Johnny Depp, Leonardo DeCaprio, Mark Wahlberg or Brad Pitt in one and it would become a farce. My impression is the male leads of the 1940s through late 1960s looked like men and could believeably play “cowboys, cavalrymen, and bank robbers”. Today, with the exception of Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall, most actors seem like pretty pussies.
Tom Selleck and Robert Duvall are about as close as you’ll come to John Wayne I think.
Last Stand at Saber River
Quigley Down Under - same director as Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove - all-time favorite
Open Range? liberal crap
Well... excuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!
“Are Westerns Dead in America?”
The sixties, drugs, hippies and their generations of offspring have answered that for us!
The old westerns soon to be even remembered by only a very small remnant of old American dinosaurs...
Agreed. Remake of “3:10 to Yuma” was a really good movie.
There are actually a few guys-guy actors still out there — Russell Crowe, Bruce Willis, Gerard Butler, Christian Bale, Mel Gibson. Check out 3:10 to Yuma (with Crowe and Bale) ... best modern Western I’ve seen in a while.
Believe it or not — Leonardo DiCaprio has actually been in some really good guys-guy (not girly/metrosexual), roles lately (The Departed, Blood Diamond, Body of Lies, etc.) DiCaprio is one of those actors I want to dislike ... but he keeps doing reasonably good movies.
The writer of this article is a maroon to not recognize that Eastwood carried the Banner for excellent Western movies after John Wayne and James Arness. I know if a good Western comes on (i.e. any old John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movie) it is a guarantee that my butt is parked for the next 2 or 3 hours. The Searchers and The Outlaw Joesy Wales remain my favorite westerns of all time.
Te big question is....Who will keep the Western tradition and follow in Clint’s footsteps.
I have to put in a word for Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead. Yes, it’s over the top and a bit cartoony, but I can’t take my eyes off it whenever it’s on the tube. For the type of movie it is, it’s perfectly made.
One could argue that “Avatar” is simply a western wherein the peace-loving, educated, socially-advanced Indians are blue and the cowboys are psychotic, drooling murderers a la “Little Big Man,” surely one of the most loathsome attacks upon the U.S. ever to slither out from a Hollywood studio.
Are Westerns Dead in America? For sure!
Brokeback Mountain is what the West has become.
Indeed. You'd see it as more of a backside.
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