The Western is one of the greatest and most quintessential American film genres to ever exist, and its influence can be felt throughout our culture to this day. These five films are some of my all-time favorite Westerns.

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  1. Dr.Guido Member

    Except for the locale, how about Dr. Zhivago ? (I am serious)

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  2. Taras Coolidge

    Interesting that Klavan is still promoting liberal Westerns, even though he has left liberalism behind in most aspects of his life.

    It’s an especially good giveaway when John Wayne turned down a role, like the sheriff in High Noon.  This is a heavy-handed allegory about the Hollywood anti-Communist blacklist*, in which the liberal director complains that other Hollywood liberals (symbolized by the townsfolk) didn’t support him when he tried to oppose the blacklist.  Wayne found the scene in which the sheriff grinds his own badge into the dirt particularly objectionable:  if that’s your attitude, why did you just risk your life to uphold the law?

    Shane is another one I found uninteresting.  Shane (Alan Ladd at his most boring) kills the evil gunslinger (Jack Palance) and rides away.  And what happens when the next evil gunslinger comes along?  Sooner or later the settlers will have to learn to defend themselves.

    Klavan garbles the story of what is often regarded as the greatest Western of all time, John Ford’s The Searchers; and he never mentions another of the greatest Westerns, Howard Hawks’ Red River.

    *As opposed to the current, anti-conservative blacklist that has been going on for at least half a century.

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