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Westerns Top 100 List Sucks: Shane Number One

by Anne Thompson
July 2, 2008 7:31 AM
1 Comment
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Check out this list of top 100 westerns of all time from the Western Writers of America. They should be ashamed of themselves for these woeful rankings.

Here's the Top Ten:
1. Shane
2. High Noon
3. The Searchers
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
5. Dances with Wolves
6. The Wild Bunch
7. Red River
8. Tombstone
9. The Magnificent Seven
10. Open Range

Where are Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone, to name a few? (Farther down the list.)

Shane and High Noon are middle-of-the-road westerns that many people seem to love and I have never found interesting. I don't hate them. They're just not as resonant and well-made as so many others. John Ford's The Searchers is great (although I have to admit that the comedy sections aren't aging well). Howard Hawks' intense father-son drama Red River, which is devoid of sentimentality, holds up better. Many other Ford westerns are stronger than The Searchers, from Stagecoach to My Darling Clementine.

Butch Cassidy and Dances with Wolves were both entertaining, commercial products of their time. But not among the top ten best westerns! Unforgiven is down at number 16. Once Upon a Time in the West is at 37.

I'd be fine if Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch was number one. This movie changed the face of cinema. It's one of the best movies ever made, period.

1993's Tombstone is an underrated western, and was far superior to Lawrence Kasdan's competing Wyatt Earp. But it does not belong in the top ten. Is it that much better than Gunfight at the OK Corral, which is way down on the list? The Magnificent Seven is fine. But there are so many others that are even better. Same with Open Range.

Follow the rest of the list on the jump and you will find scattered throughout great movies like the Eastwood and Leone westerns, other Fords, other Peckinpahs and Hawks, and the wonderful films of Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher. Lonely Are the Brave is a great movie. So is the silent film The Wind. But Bend in the River and McCabe and Mrs. Miller are relegated to the 90s? Give me a break.

My alternative top ten westerns list? More like this:

1. The Wild Bunch
2. My Darling Clementine
3. Red River
4. Once Upon a Time in the West
5. Unforgiven
6. Bend in the River
7. Stagecoach
8. Ride the High Country
9. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
10. The Tall T

The rest of the Western Writers Top 100 follows.

11. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
12. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
13. True Grit
14. The Shootist
15. Stagecoach (1939)
16. Unforgiven
17. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
18. The Outlaw Josey Wales
19. Ride the High Country
20. Jeremiah Johnson
21. The Cowboys
22. My Darling Clementine
23. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
24. Rio Bravo
25. The Ox-Bow Incident
26. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
27. Lonely are the Brave
28. Will Penny
29. Hud
30. Winchester '73
31. Little Big Man <
32. 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
33. The Grey Fox
34. The Alamo (1960)
35. Silverado
36. Ulzana's Raid
37. Once upon a Time in the West
38. Rio Grande
39. The Rounders
40. The Big Country
41. The Hi-Lo Country
42. Duel in the Sun
43. Fort Apache
44. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
45. The Last Picture Show
46. The Grapes of Wrath
47. Bad Day at Black Rock
48. The Long Riders
49. The Tall T
50. Cat Ballou
51. Tumbleweeds
52. The Iron Horse
53. Man of the West
54. Seven Men from Now
55. The Big Trail
56. Three Godfathers
57. Hell's Hinges
58. The Wind (1928)
59. The Westerner
60. Support Your Local Sheriff
61. They Died with Their Boots On
62. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
63. The Professionals
64. The Cheyenne Social Club
65. El Dorado
66. Thunderheart
67. The Virginian (1929)
68. A Man Called Horse
69. Hombre
70. Barbarosa
71. Chisum
72. The Big Sky
73. Young Guns
74. Destry Rides Again
75. Junior Bonner
76. Angel and the Badman
77. Warlock
78. The Misfits
79. No Country for Old Men
80. Monte Walsh
81. Four Faces West
82. The Naked Spur
83. The Gunfighter
84. High Plains Drifter
85. Devil's Doorway
86. Law and Order (1932)
87. Coroner Creek
88. Valdez is Coming
89. Hondo
90. The Man from Laramie
91. The Unforgiven (1960)
92. Broken Arrow
93. Bend of the River
94. Giant
95. Blazing Saddles
96. The Culpepper Cattle Company
97. Three Bad Men
98. Pursued
99. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
100. The Great Train Robbery (1903)

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

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More: Directors, Genres, Lists, Clint Eastwood, Western

1 Comment

  • Sean McNerney | August 6, 2013 5:55 AMReply

    Hi Anne, just a quick question, if you completed the Western Top 100, where would you have The Searchers?

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