I've become obsessed with Western movies. Anybody that has been within earshot of me in the last couple of weeks has been forced to hear me drone on about it...and for that I apologize.
Two weeks ago I walked into the same library that I went to as a kid. It was just as I had remembered it...same layout, same smell, probably the same librarians behind the counters and the same drifters slouched in the chairs soaking up the free a/c. I went in looking for something. Fuel for some hunger I had. I walked up and down the aisles reading titles but the books just weren't cuttin' it. Dude...(sad face).
I got pissed when I remembered this scenario from past inspiration quests. When desperately seeking out an answer 99.9% of the time the answer will not surface immediately upon request. Oh no, you are on their time. And you need answers so you just have to bite your lip and try not to be a pushy a-hole. Answers like to sneak up on you like a predatory beast and startle the bejesus out of you when your guard is down.
And that is just what played out on this day at the library. Every book I manhandled scurried away like a skittish woodland creature. Hope for the guidance I craved was quickly swirling down the toilet. Then BAM!!! The Western DVD section jumped out from around the corner like a goddamn den of angry snakes. Instantly I knew I had to ingest as many Westerns as possible. I had no understanding of why, all I knew was that it had to be done.
The Shootist (1976) John Wayne
On a 5 bullet rating scale with 5 being the most awesome, I give this one 4.5 bullets. The .5 is for the tears it made me cry. Why did you have to go to gunslinger heaven JB Brooks?
Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) James Garner
Dude, on a scale of 0-awesome, SYLG reached mega stellar status. Jimmy Garner was amazing as was every single individual that played a part in the film. High-five and thanks for the laughs.
True Grit (1969) John Wayne
You rocked my socks. My first born, be it man child or of the female persuasion, will indeed be named Rooster Cogburn. (Side note to future husband: thank you for understanding the nameth of our babe). And oh yeah...this quote goes on my headstone: "Well, it's the real article! Genuine, double-rectified bust head. Aged in the keg".
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) Humphrey Bogart
The T of the S.M. stretches the classification of a 'western'. This film is also classified as an Action and/or Drama. Note to self on what makes a Western a Western in the case of this flick: shoot out with banditos, train ambush, Mexico, gold prospectors, bar brawl, and a gila monster. And I quote..."We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges"...end quote. (Originally from B. Travern's 1927 novel of the same title and later parodied in Blazing Saddles).
3 Godfathers (1948) John Wayne
Robert William Pedro Hightower is a silly name for a baby. The movie was trite with a lot of flashing around of the bible. As with most good Westerns it included a moral message but I could have done with a lot more gun-slingin' and way less baby-holdin'.
Shane (1953) Alan Ladd
Hands down...rad. Best flick on the planet. All other movies, Western and otherwise, can jump in a lake.
Stagecoach (1939) John Wayne
Kick ass. Major commentary on morals and society. Badass outlaw meets ousted prostitute and they live happily ever after. As it should be.
Shenandoah (1965) James Stewart
I hate war. I love this movie.
Fistful of Dollars (1964) Clint Eastwood
Possibly the best intro music ever. The movie itself...not so much but Eastwood did indeed single-handedly manipulate and collapse two warring dirtbag outfits. He burned that cesspool of a town to the ground.
The Baron of Arizona (1950) Vincent Price
V. Price's booming white-man voice and highly manicured facial hair can only translate into a shady creepster character of some sort in any film. The BofA was no exception. The Baron was a code red d-bag from the get go but some how he comes out on top in the end. All in all this flick gets 2 pistols down.
The Furies (1950) Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston
The first spawn of my Western-movie-watchin' extravaganza is Robo Wagon which can be seen in-progress below. It is an embroidery piece done on muslin soaked in coffee grounds. I have many more flicks to watch. The beauty of it now is that I can sew while soaking up some Western movie eye candy. Multi-tasking just got awesome.