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)
11. Lone Wolf McQuade (Steve Carver, 1983) (re-watch)
12. Una pistola per Ringo / A Pistol for Ringo (Duccio Tessari, 1965)
13. The Undefeated (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1969)
14. Navajo Joe
(Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
Early Burt Reynolds starring vehicle with the (supposedly) part-Cherokee actor playing the eponymous character, who involves himself in saving a town's money for the ulterior motive of revenge on the robbers, who had massacred his whole tribe in the opening scene. This has some good action sequences, particularly Joe's single-handed takeover of the train from a dozen bandits, the usual fine music from maestro Morricone, and Reynolds' charisma, but it doesn't quite add up to anything beyond decent-to-good, mostly because the plotting is fairly silly and there aren't any characters to speak of. Which I guess makes it fairly typical, but I expected a little more out of Corbucci.
15. Gunfight at Comanche Creek
(Frank McDonald, 1963)
Interesting concept - unknown bandits break recognizable criminals out of jails, use them as fronts for new crimes, then kill them for the reward money when it gets high enough. And a good cast - Audie Murphy as our hero, a US government agent out to avenge a friend's death and do justice, DeForest Kelley as the vicious leader of the bandits and Colleen Miller as a saloon keeper who may or may not be on the up-and-up. It's also really nicely shot by Joseph Biroc, and it all plays out fairly well but never quite hits the level of Murphy's best work - a bit too repetitive in both the storyline and the visuals as this was a backlot affair and it seems to cry out for a little more spectacle. Still worthwhile for Murphy fans for sure.
16. Rocky Mountain Mystery
(Joseph Barton, 1935)
Randolph Scott is a mining engineer sucked into a crime story involving a radium mine and various killings around it. This plays a bit like a western Charlie Chan type film with Scott slowly uncovering a dastardly plot that - well, I figured it out before he did, and you probably will too. Chic Sale as the old deputy is about the only interesting element here; overall the weakest of Scott's pre-war westerns that I've seen.
(Ferdinando Baldi, 1971)
Tony Anthony is the eponymous character, a blind gunman no doubt created to cash in on the popularity of the Japanese Zatoichi films - Italian genre filmmakers never let a popular series or idea go un-ripped-off. It's an amusing concept but unfortunately it's played straight here, and without explanation - Blindman is just able to shoot better than most sighted persons, for some reason, and that's supposed to be enough to make a movie. Well, it is a movie, but not a good one; even the presence of Ringo Starr as one of the main bad guys doesn't do much to enliven this rather dull piece of pasta. It doesn't even have a Morricone score!
18. Rio Conchos
(Gordon Douglas, 1964)
Pretty solid post-Civil War western involving ex-Confederate officer Richard Boone teaming up against his will with a Union troupe led by Stuart Whitman to stop a shipment of repeating rifles from getting to Apache raiders - Boone wants revenge on the Apaches for killing his family, of course. You've also got Jim Brown and Tony Franciosa on hand to help out, and an Apache warrior woman, Wende Wagner, and a huge explosive finale. Brown doesn't get much to do in this, his first major role, but Boone is as great as always and Whitman is pretty solid, and the tension between the two of them, and Franciosa, really enlivens things.
19. Prega il morto e ammazza il vivo / Renegade Gun / Shoot the Living and Pray for the Dead
(Giuseppe Vari, 1971)
Sometimes the titles are the best things about spaghettis; in this case while the film doesn't quite live up to the coolness of it's name, we have a pretty solid and vicious two-part western. The first half is all closed-in, an isolated telegraph station where outlaws and innocent stage passengers gather, with the vicious Dan Hogan (Klaus Kinski) keeping everyone under his thumb - for most of the time. He needs to get across the border into Mexico, but he needs to find the right pass, and it turns out that only John Webb (Paolo Casella) can help him - but Webb has ulterior motives. Once the group get going it becomes a chase/survival western, with desert, quicksand, and an Army contingent all threatening the band of outlaws and captives, which slowly gets whittled down. It's ultimately a little more conventional than it promises at first sight but this is solid enough work and Kinski, the Nic Cage of his day, is as wild and crazy as usual.
20. Friendly Persuasion
(William Wyler, 1956)
One of those films that is a western in the broadest sense of the term, but might be best described as a Civil War-era rural family drama. Gary Cooper is the patriarch of a Quaker family in southern Indiana, near the border with Kentucky, in 1862, trying to keep out of trouble, live the word of God as they see it, and not get involved in the war. That's pretty much it. It's a decent film, but this is one of those cases where the Production Code really inhibits any sense of realism in a story that maybe could have used more of it; I think the idyllic farm life with the pet goose and the kids getting in trouble and all would have contrasted much more powerfully with a more real wartime sense - when Rebels come to the farm and there are just a couple of women there and a boy, we know they would have done much worse than what we see. On the other hand, there's a surprisingly obvious sexual suggestiveness in the night that Cooper spends with his wife (Dorothy McGuire) in the barn - so a mixed bag in terms of the politics and sex, as are so many 50s American films. I certainly enjoyed it overall, but it's pretty far from a great or "classic" work to me.