The Art of Manliness today has a list of the 17 best Western movies. Note that there are 193 comments already, since everyone has an opinion about this. (Also note that an article about Westerns is a sure way to pad your web traffic stats.)
Having written a book on this topic, which therefore makes my half-baked opinions about Westerns indisputable, I can say authoritatively that this list is pretty good, except for the tired and ridiculous inclusion of Shane and Red River. Shane. Really? Who can forget Shane in which an unemployable drifter lectures a frontierswoman about guns, since settler women, according to half-wits in 1950s Hollywood, were apparently afraid of icky guns. Yep, that’s believable.
And Red River. This is a movie that possibly employs the most boring, unconvincing, and unsatisfying conclusion in the history of cinema. All that after watching a sociopath murder his employees and then be remembered as a “hero” by John Wayne fans across the land.
It’s progress, by the way, that none of the horrible old John Ford cavalry Westerns (i.e. Fort Apache) made the list. Not even fans of Westerns can stomach such a huge dose of pro-government propaganda these days.
On the other hand, you can never go wrong with a Clint Eastwood Western, which include possibly the greatest anti-killing speech in film: