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Top 10 Westerns, if you ask the French

rio bravo directed by Howard Hawks
 
Are you a fan of the American Western? How do you think your taste might match a survey of French film critics? Though we mock their high regard for Jerry Lewis, let’s allow that France has a film history that predates ours, and a legacy of critical journals beyond the reach of our Hollywood shills. Besides which, the golden age of the movie western lies well between the brothers Lumiére and the Nouvelle Vague. Perusing John Cawelti’s The Six-Gun Mystique published in 1976, I found a list of the TOP TEN GREATEST WESTERNS. Think any of your favorites made the list?

Your odds improve because ties were listed as individual ranks, so the entire top ten comprises almost 100 titles. The survey excludes works made after the early seventies obviously.

Joan Crawford stars in Johnny GuitarTOP TEN WESTERNS

1. Johnny Guitar — Nicholas Ray

2. Rio Bravo — Howard Hawks

3. The Big Sky — Howard Hawks, w. AB Guthrie

4. (tie)
The Naked Spur — Anthony Mann
Rancho Notorious — Fritz Lang
Man Without a Star — King Vidor

5. (tie)
My Darling Clementine — John Ford
The Left-Handed Gun — Arthur Penn, w. Gore Vidal
The Searchers –John Ford
Ride the High County — Sam Peckenpah

6. (tie)
Silver Lode — Allan Dwan
Red River — Howard Hawks
Duel in the Sun — King Vidor
The Hanging Tree — Delmer Daves
Run of the Arrow — Sam Fuller
Seven Men From Now — Budd Boetticher

7. (tie)
The Last Hunt — Richard Brooks
The Far Country — Anthony Mann
Colorado Territory — Raoul Walsh
Wagonmaster –John Ford
The Unforgiven — John Huston
Man of the West — Anthony Mann
Heller in Pink Tights — George Cukor, w. Louis L’Amour

8. (tie)
Man From Laramie — Anthony Mann
The Plainsman — Cecil B. DeMille
Western Union — Fritz Lang
Winchester 73 — Anthony Mann
Warlock — Edward Dmytryk
They Died with their Boots On — Raoul Walsh
The Last Frontier — Anthony Mann
The Last Wagon — Delmer Daves
River of No Return — Otto Preminger

9. (tie)
Stagecoach — John Ford, w. Ernest Haycock
The Outlaw — Howard Hughes, w. Ben Hecht
Billy the Kid — King Vidor
Comanche Station — Budd Boetticher
The Wonderful Country — Robert Parrish, w. Tom Lea
Wichita — Jacques Tourneur
3:10 to Yuma — Delmer Daves, w. Elmore Leonard
The Magnificent Seven — John Sturges, w. Akira Kurosawa
Gunfight at the OK Corral — John Sturges, w. Leon Uris
Tennessee’s Partner — Allan Dwan, w. Bret Harte

10. (Another 45 titles, including)
Shane — George Stevens
The Misfits — John Huston, w. Arthur Miller
Major Dundee — Sam Peckinpah
One Eyed Jacks — Marlon Brando
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre — John Huston, w. B. Traven
The Gold Rush — Charlie Chaplin
Go West — Buster Keaton
Fort Bravo — John Sturges

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Comments

Comment from Henery Schaffer   (IP: 174.132.225.204)
Time: August 23, 2009, 8:54 pm

A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

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