As a teen, I had a great and terrible hatred for anything “country”, be it cowboy boots, Randy Travis music or movies with a western theme.  While clearly a snapback rebellion against the tiny little towns in which I grew up, it was an attitude that didn’t start to waver until my mid-twenties, and the release of “Young Guns II.”  In the ensuing couple of decades, I’ve grown to appreciate a good cowboy picture, and have in recent years followed several western series in my comic book pull lists, but there are still times when my fourteen-year-old self raises his acne-ridden head and snarls derision out of my face (usually due to hearing a Marty Robbins song.)  Still, we live at a time in which genre fictions are indistinguishable from what was once “mainstream” pop culture, which means it’s time to say damn the teenager inside, and consider today’s query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) got shot…

…DOOOOWWWNNNN inna blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaze o’ gloooreeee, asking: What is the best movie western of all time?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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14 Comments

  1. January 23, 2014 at 11:35 am — Reply

    Does “Back to the Future 3” count?

    • January 23, 2014 at 11:41 am — Reply

      Yes it does :) However, my personal favorite is Tombstone. There are so many quotable lines, great action, and Sam Eliot, who immediately makes any film awesome. I also have a soft spot for The Quick and the Dead.

  2. January 23, 2014 at 11:48 am — Reply

    The Magnificent Seven, an adaptation of an equally awesome Akira Kurosawa epic, which is responsible for Yul Brynner’s robot cowboy in “Westworld” and also features Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, James Coburn and Charles friggin’ Bronson. It doesn’t get any better than that in my book. Kurosawa actually sent the director a samurai sword as a token of appreciation!

  3. Jared
    January 23, 2014 at 11:53 am — Reply

    I know I’ll get flack for this one, but with a love for the Tremors series, I would pick any of them, though the first 3 my not be considered western I will stick with 4 as it actually takes place in that time period.

  4. January 23, 2014 at 1:03 pm — Reply

    The first stop in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

    -c

  5. Jeremy
    January 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm — Reply

    Wow! So many good ones out there. The original True Grit ranks high as does the new one. I’ll have to go with Tombstone just because I’m still quoting it in my day to day life. Not authentic but a fun Hollywood western.

  6. Kirby
    January 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm — Reply

    The Outlaw Josey Wales, or as I imagine it, the real Jonah Hex movie.

    • January 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm — Reply

      Seconded. This is sitting on my DVR right now, waiting for a rewatch. I really need to buy a copy…

  7. January 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    Tie between the aforementioned “Outlaw Josey Wales where Clint perfects that quiet nihilistic Cowboy & “The Searchers” .

  8. Mike
    January 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm — Reply

    Wait, you mean BESIDES Tombstone?

    ….this is a trick question, right?

  9. Hirimno
    January 24, 2014 at 12:02 am — Reply

    I really like The Good, the Bad, and the Weird.

  10. Rob
    January 24, 2014 at 2:07 am — Reply

    Clint Easrwood’s magnum opuus Unforgiven a densely lared and truly epic film featuring career best performances from or the main cast.

    Or Blazing Saddles.

  11. Hannah Jones
    January 24, 2014 at 5:51 pm — Reply

    Silverado. Seriously, if you haven’t seen this movie, watch it. Now. Such great characters and it’s so endlessly quotable. Not to mention the stellar cast: Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Scott Glen, and Kevin Costner. John Cleese even has a bit-part in the film.

  12. salla
    January 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm — Reply

    Not a movie, but I love the western play of Firefly. Thr ruggedly independent settlers against the authority of encroaching civilization. Awesome.

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