Combustible Celluloid - Great Westerns
Combustible Celluloid

The Great Westerns

James Stewart and Walter Brennan in The Far Country

Horse Operas

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I've always loved Westerns. It's such a troubled genre, always so dangerously old-fashioned and just about ready to vanish from existence. But of course, that mirrors the wild west itself, and the genre's appeal; it, too, was always ready to vanish as boring old civilization encroached.

I guess I also love the genre because I grew up in a small town that had been the location of many Western films, ranging from High Noon to Pale Rider and Back to the Future Part III. So now this is a list of the best, and my favorites, that I have seen and reviewed over the years. If there is no link to a review, that means I simply haven't reviewed it yet, but hope to get to it someday.

For this list, I decided to leave off hybrids of the genre, such as the sci-fi/Western (the aforementioned Back to the Future Part III, Cowboys vs. Aliens, etc.), animated Westerns (Rango, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West), or anything that strayed too close to the war genre (Major Dundee) or modern times (Bad Day at Black Rock, Junior Bonner, No Country for Old Men, Hell or High Water, etc.).

If you're interested in the great American genre, I hope you get some use out of this list. Please keep checking back, as I will hopefully update from time to time.

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