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Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 29th, 2021, 3:32 am
by blocho
Western Challenge

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Let us begin with an excerpt from Patty Limerick's field-defining work, The Legacy of Conquest:
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All but the smallest countries have regions. Few have a region of such historical and mythological import as the West does in the United States. No wonder, then, that the largest and most powerful film industry in the history of cinema developed a genre dedicated solely to the region. No wonder that this genre became America's most popular during its long mid-century heyday. Small wonder that the genre collapsed in on itself in the same era when the entire American project became attenuated and dubious. But of course, the film genre grew out of the literary and artistic genre. And yet, the West -- as a place, a concept, or a constellation in the social imaginary -- continues to beguile and intrigue us.

Goal:
Watch Westerns. Discuss them.

Rules:
- I leave eligibility up to the discretion of participants. I ask only for good-faith submissions. Please be mindful that not every movie set in a Western state or featuring some tropes typical of the Western is truly a Western.
- Challenge runs May 1, 2021 - May 31, 2021.
- A feature film (at least 40 minutes) counts as one point.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one point.
- Films must be watched one at a time, at single speed (not sped up), and in their entirety.
- Not a rule but a request: When you post what you have watched, please include your reaction or at least a rating so that other people can learn about movies they might not know about.

Stats & Formatting:
- Title (Year) is the preferred format.
- Don't edit posts to include new movies you've watched. Always make new posts.

Previous Editions:
2012 - Led by sushantv10 with 84 points.
2013 - Led by sushantv10 with 30 points.
2014 - Led by Kasparius with 46 points.
2015 - Led by Chemosh6969 with 57 points.
2016 - Led by PUNQ with 113 points.
2017 - Led by PUNQ with 189 points.
2018 - Led by RogerTheMovieManiac88 with 85 points.
2019 - Led by PUNQ with 157 points.
2020 - Led by PUNQ with 86 points.

Official Lists:
BFI's 100 Westerns
The Spaghetti Western Database's Essential Top 50 Films
IMDb's Western Top 50

Unofficial Lists
Westerns on ICM official lists
How The West Was Shot
100 Western Masterpieces
Sky Movies' Top 100 Westerns
Sol's Alternative Westerns (under 250 checks)
iCM Forum's Favourite Western Movies

Bonus Challenge - Blocho's Recommendations
See the following movies, all of which are available on youtube:
Hell's Hinges -- youtube link
Four Faces West -- youtube link
Terror in a Texas Town -- youtube link
From Hell to Texas -- youtube link
Gold -- youtube link (dubbed into English, unfortunately)



Participants
RankParticipant# of PointsBlocho's Recs
1PUNQ161---
2flavo500024---
3RogerTheMovieManiac8822---
4Bing14718---
5jdidaco16---
6sol15---
7Lammetje121
8blocho10---
9AB53781
10frbrown6---
11OldAle15---
11VincentPrice5---
13St. Gloede3---
13maxwelldeux3---
15ororama2---
15hurluberlu2---
17Cippenham1---
17DudeLanez1---
17klaus781---
17vortexsurfer1---

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 29th, 2021, 7:34 pm
by ororama
I got excited when I opened this topic and saw William S. Hart, one of my favorites. I never participated much in the Western Challenge in past years, since May is not ideal for this genre for me, but I will try to do better this year. It has already made me realize that I am past due for a re-watch of Hell's Hinges.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 11:46 am
by OldAle1
In for sure, don't know how many I'll be seeing but this is always one of my favorites. Likely concentrate on whittling down the spaghetti list and possibly more German westerns. And Audie Murphy.

I've seen 3 of blocho's recs - Hell's Hinges, Terror in a Texas Town, From Hell to Texas - and would be on board recommending all of them myself, though I barely remember the first of them, probably saw that in the early 00s. Four Faces West has been on my to-see list for a long time so maybe I'll get to that; dunno about watching Gold dubbed though.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 12:14 pm
by Onderhond
A bit uncommon to quote someone from another thread, but since this is about Westerns and not Japanese cinema I'll just put this here
OldAle1 wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:04 pm One interesting project would be to see westerns (or at least films tagged such by IMDb :yucky: ) from as many different countries as possible.
Tears of the Black Tiger is definitely worth seeking out, if you haven't seen that already. Thai Western that is super-colorful. Oddball film, don't expect a typical of course, but good fun nonetheless :)

Also not sure how far the definition of Western stretches, but China has some fun "desert" films. Hao Ning's No Man's Land is quite fun, has a bit of a Coens vibe (dark comedy) to it.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 12:31 pm
by OldAle1
Onderhond wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:14 pm A bit uncommon to quote someone from another thread, but since this is about Westerns and not Japanese cinema I'll just put this here
OldAle1 wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:04 pm One interesting project would be to see westerns (or at least films tagged such by IMDb :yucky: ) from as many different countries as possible.
Tears of the Black Tiger is definitely worth seeking out, if you haven't seen that already. Thai Western that is super-colorful. Oddball film, don't expect a typical of course, but good fun nonetheless :)

Also not sure how far the definition of Western stretches, but China has some fun "desert" films. Hao Ning's No Man's Land is quite fun, has a bit of a Coens vibe (dark comedy) to it.
Yeah I've seen Tears of the Black Tiger, and along those lines (Asian westerns) I've also seen The Good, the Bad and the Weird from South Korea. I'm aware of some Chinese and Russian films listed as westerns and will probably get to some at some point though likely not for this challenge. Quite a few Indian westerns as well but I don't know how much interest I have there - I mean if Sholay is the top of the line in that area, uhh, count me out for more.

One area nobody seems to have explored much is Mexican westerns - IMDb lists 586 titles, four more than Italy, so Mexico is in second place for total number produced in the genre. Of course a lot of them are American co-productions, but a lot of the "Italian" films are really German, Spanish or French too, so realistic numbers are probably significantly lower. Still a lot any way you slice it, but the Mexican films are much lower on the radar, and I think quite a lot of them are probably unavailable or at least unavailable subbed, and unlike most of the Italian westerns, they weren't prepared dubbed.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 3:11 pm
by Knaldskalle
I'm in. It'll probably mostly be rewatches from my shelf and probably not a lot.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 3:51 pm
by blocho
OldAle1 wrote: April 30th, 2021, 11:46 am dunno about watching Gold dubbed though.
Indeed! I personally can't stand watching dubbed movies (spaghettis excepted), but I figured any link was better than none. Perhaps someone in these parts has access to an undubbed version of Gold and wouldn't mind sharing? :whistling: :whistling:

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 3:59 pm
by OldAle1
blocho wrote: April 30th, 2021, 3:51 pm
OldAle1 wrote: April 30th, 2021, 11:46 am dunno about watching Gold dubbed though.
Indeed! I personally can't stand watching dubbed movies (spaghettis excepted), but I figured any link was better than none. Perhaps someone in these parts has access to an undubbed version of Gold and wouldn't mind sharing? :whistling: :whistling:
I thought I had it actually, I remember reading about it when it came out, but it turns out that the Gold I have is a 1934 sci-fi film (also German). Turns out there's a shit-ton of films titled Gold, who knew? Just a boring yellow metal.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: April 30th, 2021, 7:40 pm
by flavo5000
OldAle1 wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:31 pm
Onderhond wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:14 pm A bit uncommon to quote someone from another thread, but since this is about Westerns and not Japanese cinema I'll just put this here
OldAle1 wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:04 pm One interesting project would be to see westerns (or at least films tagged such by IMDb :yucky: ) from as many different countries as possible.
Tears of the Black Tiger is definitely worth seeking out, if you haven't seen that already. Thai Western that is super-colorful. Oddball film, don't expect a typical of course, but good fun nonetheless :)

Also not sure how far the definition of Western stretches, but China has some fun "desert" films. Hao Ning's No Man's Land is quite fun, has a bit of a Coens vibe (dark comedy) to it.
Yeah I've seen Tears of the Black Tiger, and along those lines (Asian westerns) I've also seen The Good, the Bad and the Weird from South Korea. I'm aware of some Chinese and Russian films listed as westerns and will probably get to some at some point though likely not for this challenge. Quite a few Indian westerns as well but I don't know how much interest I have there - I mean if Sholay is the top of the line in that area, uhh, count me out for more.

One area nobody seems to have explored much is Mexican westerns - IMDb lists 586 titles, four more than Italy, so Mexico is in second place for total number produced in the genre. Of course a lot of them are American co-productions, but a lot of the "Italian" films are really German, Spanish or French too, so realistic numbers are probably significantly lower. Still a lot any way you slice it, but the Mexican films are much lower on the radar, and I think quite a lot of them are probably unavailable or at least unavailable subbed, and unlike most of the Italian westerns, they weren't prepared dubbed.
Millionaire Express from Hong Kong would count as a western. It's a pretty fun movie form Sammo Hung. As far as Mexican westerns, you could always watch the Will Ferrell Mexican western Casa de mi Padre. :D

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 3:55 pm
by sol
It starts! First in. :D

1. News of the World (2020)

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Both lead performers have their fair share of strong moments here and while their eventual bonding is predictable as anything, their gradual cooperation when being shot at on a rocky mountain leads to one of the film's most intense and emotionally charged scenes. The biggest drawback of the film (beyond the too-obvious character arcs) is the fact that Hanks has such an interesting and unusual occupation, very rarely depicted on film, and I wanted more of it.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 8:35 pm
by VincentPrice
1. My Darling Clementine-1946: 10/10

Among the best Westerns of all time and easily one of Ford's best.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 8:54 pm
by Cippenham
I would like be part of this. So started with a classic Clark Gable, a trapper not a cowboy but has a lot of action and interaction with the Blackfoot in

1. Across the Wide Missouri 1951

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 9:56 pm
by blocho
1. Buffalo Soldiers (1997)
This was a TNT TV movie, and it looks like it. The camerawork, editing, and scoring is subpar. The acting is better, featuring Danny Glover and supporting actor favorites like Bob Gunton, Timothy Busfield, and Glynn Turman. Most intriguing is the story, that of one regiment of Buffalo Soldiers (the informal term for the all-black units in the segregated U.S. Army) and their conflict with Mescalero Apaches during Victorio's War in the 1880s. This was a situation loaded with historical irony -- a long-oppressed people (black Americans) who join the military in hopes of a better life but chafe under the misrule of white officers and then are sent to fight another long-oppressed people (American Indians). Unfortunately, some of the dramatic turns are unrealistic and misguided.

2. The Legend of Nigger Charley (1972)
A blaxploitation Western is an intriguing concept, but the movie sucks.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 9:59 pm
by PUNQ
I haven't been very active on social media this year, but I had to make a return for the Western Challenge! Barely any of the challenges so far this year suited my viewing habits, but this one I'm prepared for. Saved-up all my 1947 westerns to get this started with a bang. 14 films on opening day! Seen so few westerns of late, so they're easy to digest. Well, not ass impressive if I say those 14 films only equals little over 13 hours in total. Also includes 13 of the 14 films hack director Ray Taylor did that year. Only missing Eddie Dean's West to Glory (1947), which I couldn't find.


1. Wild Country (1947, Ray Taylor) - 2/10
--- Starting Western Month with a stinker. One of Eddie Dean's lackluster efforts. This one had no redeeming qualities except Dean's easy singing voice, but that singing cowboy fad had long since run its course by the time Wild Country (1947) was released, so not even that could be counted as a plus here.


2. Range Beyond the Blue (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- At least Range Beyond the Blue (1947) was more action-packed than Wild Country (1947), but Eddie Dean still remains a unremarkable screen cowboy with a soothing singing voice.


3. Black Hills (1947, Ray Taylor) - 2/10
--- Not even matching Eddie Dean with pretty women gave him the charisma needed to elevate this weak plotted western.


4. Shadow Valley (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- Another unremarkable Eddie Dean western. While he had some initial success, by 1947 his screen career was nearing its end, and it was very clear to see why. With less focus on the singing, he didn't even have the personality to get noticed on screen in films he was the sole star of.


5. Raiders of the South (1947, Lambert Hillyer) - 3/10
--- Johnny Mack Brown hadn't really made a exciting western for five years when Raiders of the South (1947) was released, and this one didn't change that trend. I guess that's why people don't rush-out to make these widely available, as this was the only one of his nine(!!!) Monogram westerns he made that year I was able to find on my initial watch-through of 1947.


6. Law of the Lash (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
--- Introducing Lash La Rue. He had made a few appearances in Eddie Dean westerns the previous two years, but here in Law of the Lash (1947) he gets the top spot, basically replacing Buster Crabbe in these low budget PRC westerns, getting his sidekick "Fuzzy" Al St. John in a clear sign they just swapped for a less expensive actor for their streamlined wild west production unit. Had a different kind of chemistry with Fuzzy than Buster. Not as fun on in the first attempt, but La Rue was fine in his lead debut. Wasn't like he was going to change and magically turn these poverty row westerns into anything great. They are what they are, and he fit in alright.


7. Border Feud (1947, Ray Taylor) - 4/10
--- They really played-up Lash La Rue resemblance to Humphrey Bogart in Border Feud (1947). You couldn't miss it, with the way he talked, the way he posed. It was clear PRC was transforming him into a poverty row Bogey. And I felt it worked. Gave La Rue more personality and confidence carrying this low budget affair. Not that the material or production was anything to brag about, but at least there was some sort of focus to distinguish their star from the other cowboy heroes at the time.


8. Pioneer Justice (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
--- The production of these PRC westerns feels like relics from a time passed. In 1947, westerns wasn't yet a priority for the big Hollywood studios, but the small studios were flooding the market with these low effort pieces like it was still the 1930s. Everything about Pioneer Justice (1947) is simple. The plot, the acting, the staging. All as basic as it gets. Thankfully, the Lash La Rue & Al St. John duo kept me awake.


9. Ghost Town Renegades (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
--- Simply not enough Al 'Fuzzy' St. John in-a-ghost-town antics to live-up to expectations....


10. Return of the Lash (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
--- To fight Kirby and his gang, Tom Grant sends for Cheyenne Davis. To get money the ranchers need, Davis brings in wanted outlaws and sends Fuzzy to collect the rewards. But Fuzzy is waylaid on the return and loses his memory. Now neither Cheyenne or the outlaws know where the money is.


11. The Fighting Vigilantes (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
--- After half-a-dozen films together, I'm not feeling the Lash La Rue & Al "Fuzzy" St. John partnership is evolving much. At least with Buster Crabbe & Fuzzy there was genuinely funny films in the pile of stinkers, but with Lash & Fuzzy, it's more bland than it needs to be. The Fighting Vigilantes (1947) was a typical cheap affair. Some decent action and laugh or two from Fuzzy, but little that makes it stand-out among the 7 films they did together in '47.


12. Cheyenne Takes Over (1947, Ray Taylor) - 2/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- The 7th and last Lash La Rue & Al St. John co-lab of '47, and probable the most boring of them all. They would continue their partnership until Fuzzy left the movie industry in 1952, so I'm sure I'll be able to laugh and doze-off at their movies for a few more years, but I hope they get more inspired material to work with than this.


13. Michigan Kid (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- In 1947, B-movie adventure stud Jon Hall tried to revive his career as a western hero when newly formed/merged Universal-International was restarting their western division. This was the first western they'd release. But besides having bigger stars on-hand, there was little that separated this from a random poverty row western. It even shared its director Ray Taylor with low budget operation PRC, so it was hardly a surprise that the quality wasn't better with that name attached.


14. The Vigilantes Return (1947, Ray Taylor) - 5/10
--- After a all-day western marathon, finally something that resembled a good western! Helped that it was shot in color. Not Texhnicolor, but the cheaper brand Cinecolor, and that worked fine in this wild west environment. Jon Hall in dual roles wasn't that interesting, but the plot, though a little confusing, managed to create its share of excitement and Margaret Lindsay as the saloon girl gave this some attitude. At the very least this was a lively western.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 11:22 pm
by maxwelldeux
1. Run, Man, Run (1968, Italy) 4/10

I mean, there was some action and shooting and that was fun enough, but there were just too many weird tropes and anomalies in this for it to be really enjoyable.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 1st, 2021, 11:23 pm
by blocho
PUNQ wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:59 pm I haven't been very active on social media this year, but I had to make a return for the Western Challenge!
Yes! I was hoping we could lure you back. Just not a Western challenge without Punq.

But holy hell! Fourteen movies in one day. Is that a forum record? Or at least a challenge record?

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 12:11 am
by Lammetje
1. The Salvation (2014): 6/10

Mads Mikkelsen was good and I liked the shooting scenes. Still, the movie left me with a bit of an empty feeling.

Seen
1. The Salvation (2014)

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 12:16 am
by Lammetje
Maybe this challenge isn't for me after all. :(
Spoiler
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Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 2:22 am
by frbrown
1. Born to the West (1937)

AKA Hell Town

Starting off the challenge with John Wayne, early in his career. Solid hour-long B movie.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 am
by flavo5000
Lammetje wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 12:16 am Maybe this challenge isn't for me after all. :(
Spoiler
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Maybe try at least one or two more?

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 3:28 am
by sol
flavo5000 wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 am
Lammetje wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 12:16 am Maybe this challenge isn't for me after all. :(
Spoiler
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Maybe try at least one or two more?
How can he? :shrug:

You looked...
Spoiler
...under the spoiler tag, right?

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 3:33 am
by sol
How the West Was Won
1. News of the World (2020)
2. Comanche Station (1960)

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The last of the five westerns that Randolph Scott made with Boetticher and arguably the weakest. The whole thing is certainly very watchable with a great dialogue-free first five minutes that focus on Amerindian/cowboy interactions beyond words. So electric just two years earlier in Buchanan Rides Alone, Scott seems old and tired to me though, while the dilemmas at hand are not especially juicy and lead to far more talk than atmosphere or action.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 10:49 am
by hurluberlu
1. Hostiles (Scott Cooper, 2017) 6+

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Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 11:06 am
by hurluberlu
blocho wrote: May 1st, 2021, 11:23 pm
PUNQ wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:59 pm I haven't been very active on social media this year, but I had to make a return for the Western Challenge!
Yes! I was hoping we could lure you back. Just not a Western challenge without Punq.

But holy hell! Fourteen movies in one day. Is that a forum record? Or at least a challenge record?
but also 13 hours of films rated 3/10 on average, what a day it must have been

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Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 2:04 pm
by yllow
14 films wow, as much as I like westerns I can’t imagine that

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm
by OldAle1
1. Sukiyaki Western Django (Takashi Miike 2007)

A stranger walks into town... I guess this is the perfect film to start off the challenge this time, since it fits two of them, and since there's plenty of correlation between both American and Italian westerns, and Japanese genre films. Another in a long tradition of cross-cultural fertilization that probably began before John Sturges remade Kurosawa in the early 60s, followed by Leone also taking on the Japanese master a few years later... and so on, and so on. I'm not sure there's any single film that this is referencing in particular, though the Django song played at the end is an obvious homage, and the stranger at one point says he's not Yojimbo - though his function in the film obviously is, pitting the Reds and the Whites who view for control of the town and some mysterious missing gold. There's not much of interest here plot-wise and I think the appeal will mostly be for those wanting yet another twist on postmodern riffs of the spaghetti era, Miike's fanbase, and those who, like me, are tired of the desaturated and dull colors so prevalent in films of most countries and genres over the past couple of decades who are bound to to be delighted by the super-saturated dense color palette on display here, especially in the framing sequences featuring Quentin Tarantino

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I really do feel like Miike made a mistake in shooting this in English - though this does allow for QT maybe not being the worst actor in the film for once; I'm not sure any of the Japanese actors here are both fluent in the language and capable of acting smoothly while speaking it. Not sure why, given the clear influence of Italian westerns - and for that matter, of John Woo in a couple of places - he didn't just shoot it silent and post-dub it in several languages, the way both Western European genre films and Hong Kong films were done for many years. Of course it's not a film about the acting or performances for the most part, but even so the stilted dialogue detracts.

I watched the 98 minute theatrical release; I'm sure I'll watch the longer cut someday since I have the BD, but I'd appreciate anyone's comments as to how it might be better or worse.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm
by frbrown
sol wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 3:33 am 2. Comanche Station (1960)

The last of the five westerns that Randolph Scott made with Boetticher
They made 7 westerns together

https://www.cowboysindians.com/2015/10/ ... oetticher/

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 4:32 pm
by frbrown
OldAle1 wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm 1. Sukiyaki Western Django (Takashi Miike 2007)

A stranger walks into town...
Walks? Is this a western without horses?

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 4:32 pm
by Lammetje
flavo5000 wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 am
Lammetje wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 12:16 am Maybe this challenge isn't for me after all. :(
Spoiler
Image
Maybe try at least one or two more?
I'll be around for a while, pardner. Y'all ain't gettin' rid of me that easily. :cowbow:

2. Silverado (1985): 8/10

Fun movie, really enjoyed it. John Cleese in a western was... unexpected. :D He should have had more screen time!

Seen
1. The Salvation (2014)
2. Silverado (1985)

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 4:35 pm
by OldAle1
frbrown wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 4:32 pm
OldAle1 wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm 1. Sukiyaki Western Django (Takashi Miike 2007)

A stranger walks into town...
Walks? Is this a western without horses?
No, there are some horses, and actually he does ride into town, though he's walking when he first confronts the two opposing bands of gunslingers. Bit less horse-riding than usual though I think.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 7:51 pm
by flavo5000
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1. Arizona Colt a.k.a. Man from Nowhere (1966)

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2. The Lady of the Dugout (1918)

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3. Daisy Town (1971)
DRAW!
1. Arizona Colt a.k.a. Man from Nowhere (1966)
2. The Lady of the Dugout (1918)
3. Daisy Town (1971)

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 8:11 pm
by maxwelldeux
More like the adwest-ern challenge...
1. Run, Man, Run (1968, Italy)
2. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) 6/10

This is actually the first film that's given me some sort of clue as to what was actually going on at the OK Corral gunfight. I don't particularly care about this historical moment, but this film did a nice job of actually developing the plot so I could understand it. Some OK-ish action scenes and really nice vistas, but the sets in town seemed boring and cliched, so overall the film didn't do much for me beyond just a "fair" rating.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 9:01 pm
by PUNQ
hurluberlu wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 11:06 am
blocho wrote: May 1st, 2021, 11:23 pm
PUNQ wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:59 pm I haven't been very active on social media this year, but I had to make a return for the Western Challenge!
Yes! I was hoping we could lure you back. Just not a Western challenge without Punq.

But holy hell! Fourteen movies in one day. Is that a forum record? Or at least a challenge record?
but also 13 hours of films rated 3/10 on average, what a day it must have been

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Well, I've probable seen around a 1,000 of those kinds of westerns at this point. I have a soft spot for them, almost in a underdog way. They have no chance of being good, yet the quirky simple nature appeal to me and the regular cast that worked these kinds of films almost become family as its the same guys over and over.

Today I "only" managed 11 films, but probable an hour or two more of watching. Stayed up all night watching Durango Kid films. God, they made a lot of those! And after a 5 hour nap I did a couple of short-ish serials.


15. Last of the Redmen (1947, George Sherman) - 4/10
--- A corny rework of The Last of the Mohicans. I guess they tried with what they had, is the best thing I can say about it. Jon Hall was the leading man and he had seen better days, but it sure what some sight seeing Buster Crabbe with that mohawk!


16. South of the Chisholm Trail (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- Not the worst Durango Kid outing one could pick, but South of the Chisholm Trail (1947) lacked that key moment to elevate it from that standard routine. Charles Starrett & Smiley Burnette still did their business well.


17. The Lone Hand Texan (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 4/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- Mary Newton as the scheming middle-aged lady trying to sabotage the local oil drilling made this episode of Durango Kid. Didn't hurt to have Smiley Burnette head-over-heels for her. And him singing with "Mustard and Gravy" there was a bunch of fun songs as well. The only other thing needed was for Charles Starrett to act the hero, and he did that. Sure, visually there wasn't much to brag about, but those involved made the most of the simple production.


18. West of Dodge City (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 4/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- The addition of Mustard and Gravy to Smiley Burnette comedy and music bits makes those parts a lot of fun. Almost like a trio of Smileys. The ending was perhaps a little too generic, but I found West of Dodge City (1947) entertaining here and there.


19. Law of the Canyon (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- This one of Durango Kid wasn't anything special. You do get your Smiley Burnette moments and Charles Starrett carries himself well as the hero, but this was more a generic episode than one that had anything specific to offer.


20. Prairie Raiders (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- There just wasn't enough Smiley Burnette shenanigans....


21. The Stranger from Ponca City (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- As I plow myself through these 1947 Durango Kid films I'm noticing them changing-up the format, adding more guest stars for musical interludes. Much like TV would later do. And it's turning into the best thing about these films. Not because they are exceptional or anything, but for it feels like their putting less effort into the actual plots. Very generic stuff, without utilizing the gimmicks of its regulars.


22. Riders of the Lone Star (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 4/10
--- I will enjoy any film where Smiley Burnette gets hypnotized!


23. Last Days of Boot Hill (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 2/10 - FIRST CHECK!
--- Apparently this one uses A LOT of stock footage from previous Durango Kid films. Becomes half-way a flashback entry, but with a brand new story clumsily patched together. Definitely feels like a off-episode in the series.


24. Jesse James Rides Again (1947, Fred C. Brannon & Thomas Carr) - 5/10
--- Jesse James Rides Again (1947) was a good enough serial. The chapters were shorter than usual, resulting in focus being directly on the action. Each episode flew by with its high pace. And they sure had something going on in the explosive department! Those boats and barns blew-up like they were packed with dynamite! Hardly a deeper look into the life Jesse James, but they really had the cliffhanger moments down. Plus there was very little filler and unnecessary padding to the story, which is often the case with these serials.


25. Son of Zorro (1947, Spencer Gordon Bennet & Fred C. Brannon) - 4/10
--- That was a bastardized Zorro, if I've ever saw one!


Spoiler
1. Wild Country (1947, Ray Taylor) - 2/10
2. Range Beyond the Blue (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
3. Black Hills (1947, Ray Taylor) - 2/10
4. Shadow Valley (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
5. Raiders of the South (1947, Lambert Hillyer) - 3/10
6. Law of the Lash (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
7. Border Feud (1947, Ray Taylor) - 4/10
8. Pioneer Justice (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
9. Ghost Town Renegades (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
10. Return of the Lash (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
11. The Fighting Vigilantes (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10
12. Cheyenne Takes Over (1947, Ray Taylor) - 2/10 - FIRST CHECK!
13. Michigan Kid (1947, Ray Taylor) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
14. The Vigilantes Return (1947, Ray Taylor) - 5/10
15. Last of the Redmen (1947, George Sherman) - 4/10
16. South of the Chisholm Trail (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
17. The Lone Hand Texan (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 4/10 - FIRST CHECK!
18. West of Dodge City (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 4/10 - FIRST CHECK!
19. Law of the Canyon (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
20. Prairie Raiders (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
21. The Stranger from Ponca City (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 3/10 - FIRST CHECK!
22. Riders of the Lone Star (1947, Derwin Abrahams) - 4/10
23. Last Days of Boot Hill (1947, Ray Nazarro) - 2/10 - FIRST CHECK!
24. Jesse James Rides Again (1947, Fred C. Brannon & Thomas Carr) - 5/10
25. Son of Zorro (1947, Spencer Gordon Bennet & Fred C. Brannon) - 4/10

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 9:15 pm
by VincentPrice
2. Barquero-1970: 8/10

Lee Van Cleef vs Warren Oates, it's all you need really.
Spoiler
1. My Darling Clementine-1946: 10/10

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 10:39 pm
by Lammetje
Punq, you are a madman! :wacko:

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 2nd, 2021, 10:59 pm
by VincentPrice
3. Billy Two Hats-1974: 7/10
Spoiler
1. My Darling Clementine-1946: 10/10
2. Barquero-1970: 8/10

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 3rd, 2021, 1:31 am
by frbrown
2. The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

Following up John Wayne with John Ford, without Wayne. This one is more of a "Southern" than Western. Touching, but boy, is there a lot of Stepin Fetchit here :ermm:

Spoiler
1. Born to the West (1937)
2. The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 3rd, 2021, 2:48 am
by blocho
3. Dances with Wolves (1990)
The history of the "noble savage" stereotype is almost as long as the history of colonial encounters between Europeans and indigenous Americans. It's a long history with episodes scattered from the novels of Karl May to the paintings of George Catlin. The stereotype may have reached its peak in the 1970s, when the American Indian Movement arose and many non-native Americans were feeling alienated from their own society because of (take your pick) pollution, Vietnam, Watergate, modernity, consumer capitalism, etc. Looking for an alternative, they alighted on Native Americans, taking theirs for a more authentic experience. Though born of good intentions, the noble savage stereotype is ultimately just as stupid as the savage stereotype. It reduces eliminates individuality, nuance, and context from history and ultimately says more about the person holding/propagating the stereotype than it does about the peoples being stereotyped.

That's the sort of milieu that produced A Man Called Horse in 1970. By 1990, people should have known better. But I guess they didn't. Dances with Wolves has great scenery and good intentions. But by the time Costner's possibly post-traumatic cavalry lieutenant --his past is a great tabula rasa, a perplexing absence the movie fails to address -- starts waxing rhapsodic about the noble Sioux (see below), it's all become faintly embarrassing.

I hope movies are a little different today. In Woman Walks Ahead, an otherwise mediocre Western from 2017, the naive protagonist spots an Indian on a train and asks him if he is Sioux. He replies, "The Sioux hunted my people like rabbits, cut out their hearts, and fed them to the dogs." Yeah, no shit. There were very, very few noble people in the 19th century American West. Just different levels of cruelty and suffering.

But in many ways, movies aren't different. Costner's pablum about the greatness of the Sioux is little different from Tom Cruise's in The Last Samurai or Sam Worthington's in Avatar. Americans always gaze imaginatively at exotic peoples in order to find something salvageable within their own hearts.

Image

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 3rd, 2021, 9:07 am
by sol
frbrown wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm
sol wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 3:33 am 2. Comanche Station (1960)

The last of the five westerns that Randolph Scott made with Boetticher
They made 7 westerns together

https://www.cowboysindians.com/2015/10/ ... oetticher/
I don't know where I got five from. That's bizarre. Will need to alter my Letterboxd review. :facepalm: As it turns out, I've only seen six of them, but I'd still stand by Comanche Station being the weakest of what I've seen.

Re: Western Challenge (Official, May 2021)

Posted: May 3rd, 2021, 1:05 pm
by OldAle1
sol wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 9:07 am
frbrown wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 4:28 pm
sol wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 3:33 am 2. Comanche Station (1960)

The last of the five westerns that Randolph Scott made with Boetticher
They made 7 westerns together

https://www.cowboysindians.com/2015/10/ ... oetticher/
I don't know where I got five from. That's bizarre. Will need to alter my Letterboxd review. :facepalm: As it turns out, I've only seen six of them, but I'd still stand by Comanche Station being the weakest of what I've seen.
That's my favorite (u)

Rankings:

Comanche Station
Ride Lonesome
The Tall T
Seven Men From Now
Buchanan Rides Alone
Decision at Sundown
Westbound

The first three are on my all-time favorites list and all but Westbound (which is not a bad film at all, just weak in comparison) are on my favorite westerns list. Gotta credit Scott/Boetticher for really getting me (back) into westerns around 2007 or so. I think I've seen all but the last at least twice now, and I think I may re-watch one of them at least this month.