1. Une corde, un colt... / Cemetery Without Crosses (Robert Hossein, 1969)
2. Oh, Susanna! (Joseph Kane, 1936)
3. Heritage of the Desert (Henry Hathaway, 1932)
4. The Thundering Herd (Henry Hathaway, 1933)
5. The Last Sunset (Robert Aldrich, 1961)
6. Il ritorno di Ringo / The Return of Ringo (Duccio Tessari, 1965)
7. The Squaw Man (Cecil B. De Mille/Oscar Apfel, 1914)
8. Deputy Marshall (William Berke, 1949)
9. Great Day in the Morning (Jacques Tourneur, 1956)
10. Posse From Hell
(Herbert Coleman, 1961)
An exciting opening, as a bunch of escaped convicts hold a saloon hostage after killing a few people and mortally wounding the sheriff; escaping from town, the group (which includes future star Lee Van Cleef) is soon tracked by the man who was to be the new deputy, Banner Cole (Audie Murphy) and a small posse that includes tenderfoot Seymour Kern (John Saxon). Most of the film involves the chase, with both the posse and the bandit group slowly whittled down by shootouts or desertions. Zohra Lampert plays a woman taken by the outlaws as hostage and clearly raped repeatedly (this being 1961 you have to infer it, but it's more obvious than in most films of the time), and much of what makes this film a cut above most b-westerns of the time is the way in which the cold, hard Murphy softens - but just gradually - under the influences of both Lampert and Saxon, who while not used to the western life has more guts and personal morality than most of the other posse riders. The find of this challenge so far for me; I usually like Murphy's westerns but few are as good as this and probably No Name on the Bullet
is the only film that might exceed it.
11. Lone Wolf McQuade
(Steve Carver, 1983) (re-watch)
A modern western-cop story with Chuck Norris as the Texas Ranger out to avenge his partner's death, keep his own family safe, and of course beat up and then kill the bad guys headed by David Carradine who are smuggling US Army weapons to terrorists. Filmed in Texas with a fair amount of local flavor and a solid supporting cast including Leon Isaac Kennedy and Robert Beltran as Norris' eventual, very young partners, Barbara Carrera and stalwart L.Q. Jones, the guy you got when Sam Elliott wasn't available. While Chuck is his usual void of charisma and acting talent, and this is quite predictable and needlessly cataclysmic at the end, it's still pretty easily among Chuck's best few films, and pending a re-watch of Code of Silence
I'd say it probably is the best. Take that for what it's worth.
12. Una pistola per Ringo / A Pistol for Ringo
(Duccio Tessari, 1965)
The first of the two "Ringo" films from 1965 with this director and star Giuliano Gemma, and roughly on the same quality level as the "sequel" (not really) Il ritorno di Ringo
. In this one Ringo's an easy-going kinda-bad-guy in jail for something relatively minor, but given a release to go after the REALLY bad bandits holed up in a well-fortified ranch who have knocked over the bank and killed a bunch of folks. This is easier-going than the second film but feels like it moves a little better and the action sequences are maybe slightly more fun, but as I said, on much the same level overall. Morricone's score isn't one of his most memorable.
13. The Undefeated
(Andrew V. McLaglen, 1969)
I had only two postwar John Wayne westerns left to go (the other is The Fighting Kentuckian
and now I have one. Wasn't looking forward to this really because it's McLaglen, and I was right to be apprehensive, though it's certainly not the worst film from director or star by a long shot. It's mostly just dull and filled with predictable huge and pointless time-wasting brawls which you get in all the Wayne/McLaglen films, and it's more than a little pathetic in it's handling of race, with a heroic slaveowner (Rock Hudson) perfectly ok that his daughter might be falling for an Indian. Not to mention the very casual way in which our boys in Blue and Gray seem to forget their differences over the course of a couple of battles with Indians and Mexicans. Hey, killing somebody else brings us all together! On the plus side we have a bunch of great western regulars like Ben Johnson, Dub Taylor, Royal Dano and Harry Carey Jr. Meh.