Top Ten Westerns According to Dad – Part 2


#5 – Dodge City, 1939

Director: Michael Curtiz
Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan
[ IMDB Link ]
Dad’s Comments: I chose this movie for the interesting plot, stirring musical score, and great action sequences. The barroom brawl is considered one of the best.

#4 – The Iron Horse 1924

Director: John Ford
Cast: George O’Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull
[ IMDB Link ]
Dad’s Comments: I chose this movie for the plot, the wonderful locations, and great action sequences such as the Indian attack on the train.


#3 – The Searchers, 1956

Director: John Ford
Cast: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood
[ IMDB Link ]
Dad’s Comments: I picked this movie for great musical score, beautiful scenes of canyons and plains, intriguing plot, and acting of Wayne and Hunter
My Comments: I found this western fascinating because John Wayne’s character Ethan is so much more complex than some of his more fun but superficial roles. As a child I found Ethan scary; I was confused as to why he was searching for Debbie as he seemed to both love and hate her at the same time.

#2 – Stagecoach, 1939

Director: John Ford
Cast: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
[ IMDB Link ]
Dad’s Comments: Film features excellent cinematography and score. I picked this movie because it made Wayne a star and had a very interesting group of characters.

Claire Trevor & John Wayne

Claire Trevor & John Wayne

#1 – High Noon, 1952

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Cast: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell
[ IMDB Link ]
Dad’s Comments: This western has the western triple threat: cinematography, score and plot. I picked this movie because of Cooper’s wonderful acting and exciting editing. One example: continuous shots of the clock, emphasizing how little time Cooper has before outlaws arrive. Finally, it’s important to note that the non-stereotype role of Helen Ramirez, a strong and competent Hispanic businesswoman (well played by Katy Jurado) was a rarity in 1950s Hollywood!


[ Check our Part 1 – Top 10 – 6 Westerns ]


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