Having reached adulthood in the 1990s, I am required by law to adore certain films: ‘Clerks’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, and ‘Terminator 2’ among them.  In addition to that Mount Rushmore of Clinton-era wonder, I have always enjoyed the revisionist western stylings of ‘Young Guns’ and ‘Young Guns II’ (which I preferred due to the presence of my spirit totem, Christian Slater).  Having grown up in a small redneck town in the middle of the reddest of red states, I had long had an aversion to westerns (as well as country music and Louis L’Amour novels), but Young Guns provided a gateway into the world of cowboy pictures that meshed well with my mulletry and general slackerhood.  Indeed, even though I have an appreciation for the likes of ‘Hondo’ and ‘Fire Creek’, I still number both movies among my fave-raves and will watch ’em whenever I encounter ’em on cable, which begs today’s gun-slingin’ query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) also rather enjoyed Marvel’s revisionist Westerns from around 2000 or so, even the ones that were painfully self-conscious in themselves, asking: What’s your favorite historical or pseudo-historical western tale?

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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10 Comments

  1. Neckbeard
    April 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm — Reply

    I really like the AMC show “Hell on Wheels”. It takes place just after the civil war and explores life on the frontier while building the transcontinental railroads.

  2. Russ Catt
    April 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm — Reply

    I think I will always have a soft spot for Tombstone.
    Val Kilmer was awesome as Doc Holiday.

  3. April 9, 2014 at 5:05 pm — Reply

    I’m torn between the original “Kung Fu” series and the 2010 version of “True Grit”.

  4. April 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm — Reply

    Tom Selleck in “Quigley Down Under.” To be honest, I am not sure if this is a genuinely good film, or if it is the nostalgia it inspires. It was the only VHS my grandfather had at his cabin, and as it was located in the deep woods, and would not pick up any TV stations, you either had to go outside, or watch this movie.

  5. April 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm — Reply

    Wild Wild West, Jim West, desperado, rough rider. No you don’t want nada. None of this, gun in this, brotha runnin this,
    Buffalo soldier, look it’s like I told ya. Any damsel that’s in distress be out of that dress when she meet Jim West.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s10XIDC1bUs

  6. Oldcomicfan
    April 10, 2014 at 7:38 am — Reply

    That’s a hard one because I love western movies, but the ones I re-watch most frequently are High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven, True Grit (2010), and the Searchers. These are backstopped by John Ford’s Cavalry Trilogy: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Fort Apache and Rio Grande. Not all westerns are created equal, however.

    One I absolutely detest is Kansas Pacific, which is supposedly set in Pre-Civil War Kansas, but the locomotives and freight cars in the movies date from the 1920s, the actors are all carrying Colt Peacemakers, which didn’t exist until well over a decade after the Civil War, instead of ball-and-cap pistols and everybody is wearing cowboy hats, which also weren’t common before the Civil War. Also, it was obviously filmed in the foothills of California, which doesn’t look a thing like Kansas. It was very common in the 50s, 60s and 70s for western movie makers to use the wrong vintage of guns, but these movie makers didn’t bother to try to get one single thing right. Sigh. In fact, it wasn’t until the 70s until I saw any western film set in the 1850s-1860s when they used the right vintage of guns and I almost shouted hosannas!

    The funniest western I ever saw was a German cavalry movie from the 50s – it turns out that Germans are nuts about the American West and German studios have also cranked out a lot of westerns. I don’t even remember the title of the thing, but seeing Cavalry officers and teutonic Indians speaking at each other in German was surreal, but the real hoot came during the climax of the movie when the cavalry chased the rampaging Indians across the very same Alpine meadow where that famous scene from Sound of Music was filmed. I fell out of my chair laughing!

  7. April 10, 2014 at 8:56 am — Reply

    My favorite Western since childhood has been The Magnificent Seven. Seeing the robot from “Westworld” team up with Bulllitt, the guy from Deathwish, and the Man from UNCLE among others take on Eli Wallach just cannot be topped, well, except for maybe “Blazing Saddles”. But other than that, it’s the original Magnificent Seven for me. They even made a short-lived CBS series with Michael Beihn and Ron Perlman!

  8. April 10, 2014 at 10:16 am — Reply

    Young Guns and Young Guns II.

    Fact: I wrote a senior history paper based entirely on the script of Young Guns II and got an A+.

  9. April 10, 2014 at 11:49 am — Reply

    The Outlaw Josie Wales is anything but a traditional western, but is far and away my favorite ‘Western’.

  10. April 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm — Reply

    Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such.

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