sun 20/08/2017

westerns

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.A Ghost Story ★★★★ Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star, but director...

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Blu-ray: Terror in a Texas Town

Many of the best Westerns, that quintessentially American genre, are rooted in a Christian view of the world: the dark forces of Satan pitted against angels, saints and the figure of Christ the Redeemer. In Terror in a Texas Town, Joseph H Lewis's...

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DVD/Blu-ray: One-Eyed Jacks

One-Eyed Jacks, the only film Marlon Brando ever directed, is a masterpiece by any reckoning, a classic western about love and treachery, as well as a startling and boundary-breaking re-invention of the genre.The tragedy unfolds, through many twists...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Two Rode Together

Two Rode Together (1961) depicts the humanising of Guthrie McCabe (James Stewart), a corrupt, mercenary border town marshal, as it builds to a denunciation of white racism. John Ford, who made the film as a favour to Columbia Pictures (and for a $...

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The Magnificent Seven

As we know, Hollywood loves a remake, and John Sturges's original Magnificent Seven from 1960 is now venerable enough to be a complete blank to contemporary yoof. But while Sturges's tale of mercenaries defending a Mexican village from bandits had...

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DVD: My Darling Clementine

In John Ford’s rueful 1946 allegory about the human cost of America’s new role as global peacekeeper, Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) agrees to clean up Tombstone, Arizona, as a pretext for revenging his teenage brother's murder by Old Man Clanton (Walter...

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DVD: Cemetery Without Crosses

This must be one of the year’s most remarkable archive exhumations: it may well become the re-release of 2015. A French take on the western released in 1969, Cemetery Without Crosses was explicitly made in the style of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti...

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DVD: Forty Guns

Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford camped it up superbly as 1950s Western matriarchs in Rancho Notorious and Johnny Guitar respectively. Yet they were outflanked by the steelier Barbara Stanwyck, an actress passionate about the genre. She carved a...

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DVD: Man of the West

The 19 films directed by Anthony Mann between 1950 and 1960 included all 11 of his Westerns – five of them psychologically nuanced vehicles for James Stewart as an irascible loner scourged or mutilated for his obsessive pursuit of some goal. The...

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Heaven's Gate

Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate is the most Melvillean of modern Westerns. It is the American conquest tragedy allegorised in a sprawling semi-fictional account of the 1892 Johnson County range war, in which the big ranchers of the Wyoming Stock...

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Cowboys & Aliens

The title is the film. In a new low point for high concepts, producers Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg only needed to see the cover of the titular, unfinished comic book to give Cowboys & Aliens the green light. Iron Man’s director Jon Favreau,...

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DVD: Meek's Cutoff

Spare, slow and beautiful, Kelly Reichardt’s revisionist Western is an effective allegory about bad leadership in America, but it’s as a minimalist tribute to women pioneers that it excels.Inspired by the worst disaster to take place on the Oregon...

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