MOVIEFONE: 57 GREATEST WESTERNS

Moviefone, the ubiqiutous movie info and streaming site, decided to rank the 57 greatest westerns of all time and to its credit, three Lee Marvin classics are on the list.

Original poster to SEVEN MEN FROM NOW with 3rd billed Lee Marvin.

Poster to THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE.

Poster art for THE PROFESSIONALS.




I came across the Moviefone list by chance only recently as it was posted back in 2017. I mention this since it was posted in honor of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood’s mutual birthdate of May 31st. Eastwood is now an amazing 91 years old!
  Personally, I’ve never been a fan of “Best Of….” lists, especially since there are bound to be some obvious omissions. This list is no exception, despite the inclusion of three Lee Marvin films, the single best of his westerns was indeed omitted. The full list can be read here
Upon reading it it’s seems to be rather weak on any Gary Cooper classics, save for High Noon, which belongs on any list of great westerns. Where is The Westerner (1940) or Along Came Jones (1945) or The Virginian (1929)? 
 Also, if you’re going to include such western comedies as Way Out West and Destry Rides Again, why not Support Your Local Sheriff and of course, Cat Ballou? Also missing are such personal favorites How the West Was Won (1962) as well as Tom Horn (1980) and the string of 1972 greats of The Cowboys, When Legends Die, Bad Company, and The Culpepper Cattle Company
Okay, enough griping…well, what the hell is TV-movie mini-series Lonesome Dove doing on the list? Okay, griping over. As to the reason this is even posted in a blog dedicated to the life and career of Lee Marvin, author Gary Susman did have the presence of mind to include the three Lee Marvin films, all good choices but once again, left out the best of the bunch. No, not the aforementioned Cat Ballou
It’s not only one of Lee’s best films and performances, it’s one of the best westerns ever made. Any guesses? 
Of course, any more info needed or wondered about can be found in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank. Until then, in the immortal words of Bruce Willis, “yippie-kay-ay, mutha….”
 – Dwayne Epstein

Monte Walsh, 1970

 

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5 thoughts on “MOVIEFONE: 57 GREATEST WESTERNS

  1. Hi Dwayne,
    I suppose “The Stranger Wore A Gun” would never make that list, but it does hold the honor of Lee wearing the most beautiful cobalt blue shirt ever seen on the screen, which he wore in his interior scenes only.

  2. Hi Dwayne,
    I noticed that Hang ‘Em High was excluded. I haven’t seen it in decades, so maybe it’s not as great as I thought. The Comancheros was not there, but the only scene I think is interesting is the one at the table where Lee barks at Stuart Whitman. Is that why he was offered Liberty Valance? For A Few Dollars More isn’t there. It’s interesting for the casting of Klaus Kinski – What a revealing and dirty autobiography he wrote near the end of his life!

    Arguably, for me, I think The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly should be #1. Eli Wallach’s performance never gets boring, even if you’ve seen the movie a 1,000 times. The interest in the authenticity of the equipment, uniforms, etc. later influenced the Civil War reenactment groups that started in the 80’s. I played a field hospital nurse in one club between ‘98-‘03. The guys loved collecting all that equipment you see in the movie.

    My favorite Randy/Lee is Hangman’s Knot. The first time I ever saw him was about age 9 in his entry on page 128 in a book called “Movie Greats” which was published around 1969, and included a popular Hangman’s photo of Randy, Lee, and Donna.

    • Hi Shawn,
      I’ve never seen any of the Eastwood Spaghetti westerns but certainly believe Eli Wallach stole the show as he is a class A number 1 thief when it comes to scene stealing. I am a big fan of Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West, though, and have seen it countless times.
      Is the book you mentioned, Move Greats, authored by David Shipman?

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