Sunday, August 22, 2010

DRECK OF THE WEST: Western Movies They Should Hang!

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Welcome to Stephen T. McCarthy's guide to Western movies. I'm Stephen T. McCarthy and I'll be your guide. (You smarter readers had probably already figured that out though, huh?)

What follows is a list of movies that I consider to be some of the worst in the Western genre. And believe me, I know what I'm yakkin' about here because no one - and I mean NO ONE! - knows more about Western movies than I do. (Other than those people who know more about Western movies than I do.)
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Within the next few days, I intend to continue this series by posting a list of what I consider to be the best Western movies ever made, followed by a list of little known little gems that too few people are aware of and which deserve a viewing by y'all.
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OK, enough yakking, let's get down to business. Hang on to your Stetsons cowboys and cowgirls, because this is gonna get U-G-L-Y. Here ya go, "The Worst Of The West". (Get a rope!)
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THE OUTLAW - 1943
Starring Jane Russell
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Hokey-Smoke and Hoo-wee,
This baby is B-A-D!
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Not just the worst full-budget Western ever made but one of the worst full-budget movies ever made in ANY genre! ("Was that full-budget or full-busted?")
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THE SHOOTING - 1972
Starring Jack Nicholson
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An utterly pointless movie with the most senseless ending I've ever seen. It wasted my time to such a degree that I actually became IRRITATED! Very competitive in the "Worst Movie Ever Made" category.
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THE QUICK AND THE DEAD - 1995
Starring Sharon Stone
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Sharon Stone plays a cheroot-smoking, Clint
Eastwood-mimicking 1800s gunslinger.
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Was there something else you needed to know?
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The Quick And The Dead, along with The Outlaw and The Shooting, truly represents "The Dreck Of The West".
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HEAVEN'S GATE - 1980
Starring Kris Kristofferson
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Could you make a shockingly poor and pretentious movie that moves slower than a line of people at the Department of Motor Vehicles for less than 36 million dollars? Well, Michael Cimino couldn't!
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BADMAN'S TERRITORY - 1946
Starring Randolph Scott
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Famous outlaws band together to do things that famous outlaws never did.
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When I was young, my Mother told me that if I can't say SOMETHING nice then I shouldn't say anything at all. And that's all I have to say.
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JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTHER - 1966
Starring no one you ever heard of.
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With a title like that, you might think that this could be one of those stupid but fun and campy movies. You'd be wrong. It's only stupid.
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THE OKLAHOMA KID - 1939
Starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart
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Cagney gives it a bit of life with his "Type A" personality, but if Cagney and Bogart are Western types, then Michael Jackson's a macho man, Madonna's an intellectual and Jane Fonda's a Constitutionalist!
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SAGEBRUSH TRAIL - 1933
Starring John Wayne
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What you have here is a three "B" Western: "B"ad acting; "B"ad writing; and "B"ad directing. This b-b-b-baby is b-b-b-bad!
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JESSE JAMES - 1939
Starring Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda
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What rhymes with "Pokey"?
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THE LEFT-HANDED GUN - 1958
Starring Paul Newman
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Well, I knew something wasn't "RIGHT" about it!
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LOVE ME TENDER - 1956
Starring Elvis Presley (who lives, but not in this picture!)
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This movie "ain't nothin' but a (hound) dog!"
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MAN WITHOUT A STAR - 1955
Starring Kirk Douglas
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Horrible acting and a script that is as cliche-riddled as The Dalton Gang was bullet-riddled. The putrid odor lingers in my nostrils still!
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WATERHOLE #3 - 1967
Starring James Coburn, aka Mr. T(eeth)
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Just plain inane.
Remember 1967, when everyone was on acid, and that included writers and directors?
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ACES AND EIGHTS - 1936
Starring Tim McCoy
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Hoo-wee! This is bad. Fascinatingly bad, but bad nonetheless.
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ARROWHEAD - 1953
Starring Charlton Heston
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Will Jack Palance be convincing as an Apache warrior? Yes. Will Charlton Heston be his usual heavy-handed, charmless self? Yes. Is it legal to make a movie this boring? Yes, but I don't know why.
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RETURN OF THE BAD MEN - 1948
Starring Randolph Scott
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I sure wish they'd STAYED!
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THE RETURN OF JOSEY WALES - 1986
Starring Michael Parks
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I sure wish he'd STAYED!
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BULLWHIP - 1958
Starring Guy Madison (People used to think my Pa looked a lot like him.)
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'Blazing Saddles' had a Jewish Indian chief; 'Bullwhip' has a Brooklyn cab driver in the role. The difference? Well, in 'Blazing Saddles' it's MEANT to be funny. The editing in this movie is not to be believed! (I love the movie poster though. :o)
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THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID - 1983
Starring Cliff Robertson
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Weak, Weak, Weak. . . . WEAK!
[Pay attention, because there will be a test.]
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GHOST TOWN - 1988
Starring nobody who wants to be associated with it now.
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All of the usual horror movie cliches tastelessly done.
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HANG 'EM HIGH - 1968
Starring Clint (No Expression) Eastwood
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No, hang it high!
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THE MAN FROM LARAMIE - 1955
Starring Uncle Jimmy Stewart
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Whodunits ain't no fun when you already know whodunit! Too simple a story to be meandering all around like it does. This is a Western soap opera.
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100 RIFLES - 1969
Starring Jim Brown, Raquel Welch and Burt Reynolds
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Starring Jim Brown, Raquel Welch and Burt Reynolds.
Know wot I mean?
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RIDE THE MAN DOWN - 1952
Starring Rod Cameron
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And once he's down, ride over him a few times to boot!
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HIGH NOON - 1952
Starring Gary Cooper
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No, it's not really amongst 'The Worst Of The West', but it IS the most highly overrated!
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MY DARLING CLEMENTINE - 1946
Starring Henry Fonda
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I know it's considered one of the Western classics, but it's really a sacred cow and a naked emperor. The second most highly overrated Western movie. (Eastwood's 'Unforgiven' probably gets the number 3 spot on my list of 'Most Overrated'.)
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OK, I warned you earlier that there would be a test.
And here it is.
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Check one only:
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'THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID' is . . .
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[] Great.
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[] Good.
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[] Weak.
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How'd ya do?
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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14 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I only knew 4 films and each of those I liked, of course Love Me Tender with Elvis I was bound to like. The Man from Laramie, I remember watching and enjoying that. Also High Noon.

The others I have never heard of but I haven't been to the cinema in years.

Great post.

Yvonne.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>> Great post.

YVONNE, how great could it have been if you have only seen 4 of the movies on this list but you LIKED all four?

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McStetson

arlee bird said...

Well I'll take your word for most of this since about half I've never heard of and most I've never seen. I guess I've not been a big western movie watcher. I seem to remember liking all of Clint's old spaghetti westerns, but it's been a long time since I've seen Hang Em High and now when I watch a lot of movies from the late 60s and early 70s that I thought I liked I'm thinking what was I on when I saw that and liked it. So maybe you're right about that one.

I was glad to see Good, Bad, & Ugly was not on your list since for me it's kind of a Western version of Apocalypse Now.

I must say though that I think High Noon and The Unforgiven are excellent pictures the deserve the accolades, along with Shane. They were all kind of non-traditional westerns that I thought had good stories and well portrayed characterizations.

Good list series. I look forward to hearing the best and the specials to see if there is anything I've seen. At least now I know some to avoid.

Lee
Tossing It Out

DiscConnected said...

Stephen-

(1) If it's got Sharon Stone in it, it can't be all bad (she is a beauty)

(2) If it's got Clint in it, by definition, it is a Western classic. Period. No discussion.

I am a little surprised you'd have even watched "Return Of Josey Wales" since you did not have much to say about the original. Which is a classic (see #2 above).

And finally, (3) I thought we were done with lists?

LC (and I'm wearin' a black hat)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

LEE & L.C. ~
Computer was in the shop all day Monday, so I'm bluffing with a pair of twos. But replies to your comments are coming soon to a comment section near you.

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

arlee bird said...

L.C. -- Whadya mean done with lists? We're never done with lists. Coming soon to my blog will be a list of the best lists that I've seen in Blogworld and a list of reasons why bloggers should make lists for their blogs.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

r-LEE-b ~

>> I was glad to see Good, Bad, & Ugly was not on your list since for me it's kind of a Western version of Apocalypse Now.

“The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” was the only one of Eastwood’s “Spaghetti Westerns” that I enjoyed. And really, it was Eli Wallach’s performance that made that movie for me. I graded that one a B+.

>> I must say though that I think High Noon and The Unforgiven are excellent pictures the deserve the accolades, along with Shane.

Well, I’ve actually written a full-length review (or half-length essay) on what makes “High Noon” just a glorified “B” Western. It’s suspenseful enough, and not really a “bad” movie, but extremely overrated when one examines it carefully point-by-point. I’ll probably never post my full-length review/half-length essay of it here, however, as I doubt there would be much interest in it.

“The Unforgiven” – well, let’s face it, Clint Eastwood could pee into a swimming pool and most Americans would declare it a masterpiece. Here’s “The Unforgiven” in a nutshell: An old Western killer declares repeatedly for 60 minutes that he’s now a peaceful man. (Gee, I wonder what’s gonna happen?!) And at the first sign of trouble, he immediately reverts to his violent ways. End of story.

The pacifist turned butcher has been done before (“Straw Dogs” comes immediately to mind, and I’m sure I could think of several others if I took the time). I’ve always felt that anyone who loves Clint’s “The Unforgiven” probably hasn’t seen a great deal of Westerns, because it’s hardly the major movie that it was made out to be. (I don’t know if what I’ve said applies to you or not, but… if the cowboy boot fits, wear it. :o)

“Shane”. Never heard of it. It’s worth seeing?

~ “Lonesome Dogg” McStetson

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

DISCDUDE ~

>> (1) If it's got Sharon Stone in it, it can't be all bad (she is a beauty)

Try thinkin’ with the one that’s immediately under yer Stetson.

>> (2) If it's got Clint in it, by definition, it is a Western classic. Period. No discussion.

No discussion? Well, poop! ‘Cause I felt I had a lot to say about that.

>> I am a little surprised you'd have even watched "Return Of Josey Wales" since you did not have much to say about the original. Which is a classic (see #2 above).

Let’s review.
The title of this blog bit is “DRECK OF THE WEST: Western Movies They Should Hang!”

Now axe yerself, would you really have wanted to see me addressing the original “Outlaw Josey Wales” in a blog bit with THIS title? I get the feeling you would much prefer me to address the orginal “Josey Wales” in a future blog bit titled something like… oh, I dunno, maybe “THE BEST OF THE WEST”.

Now I’m not necessarily sayin’ that “Josey” is gonna make my “Best Of The West” list, but isn’t that where you’d rather see it, than here on “Dreck Of The West”?

>> And finally, (3) I thought we were done with lists?

Well, I thought we were too. But then I got to thinkin’: Maybe I’m just done participating in other people’s lists. Then I changed my mind and thought: Well, maybe I’m not done makin’ lists at all. Just call me “the Brett Favre of bloggers”.

I fear that Lee may be right and that “We're never done with lists”, no matter how much we might wish we were.

~ “Lonesome Dogg” McStetson
[Just say “No!” to Eastwood. Driftwood is more expressive!]

DiscConnected said...

What I meant on "Return Of Josey Wales" is that I am surprised you watched the sequel since you did not seem to like the original.

And, who says I don't wear a Stetson on the down low?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>> And, who says I don't wear a Stetson on the down low?

DOH!!!

~ “Lonesome Dogg” McStetson

Anonymous said...

As I worked my way down your list I was wondering when ol'Clint was gonna pop up. Of course he finally did, but surprisingly only once. Glad to see there are a few other Clint fans among your friends. We still love ya inspite of this obvious flaw you posess.

At least you were able to find a place for that John Wayne guy? For that I commend you, even though I've never seen that particular movie of his. I'm sure it sucked. HA!

C-ya buddy,

WP

arlee bird said...

LC -- I think I may have actually inspired myself to actually do those lists I joked about--someday.
Maybe after the top 12 blogs I should do someday.

Stephen -- Are you just joshin' me about Shane? Surely, you've seen it (sorry for calling you "surely"). Rated as AFI's #3 top rated western starring Alan Ladd and Van Heflin, with a cast that includes a young Jack Palance and Ben Johnson, it was nominated for several Academy Awards. It's another ex-gunslinger turned pacifist film, but I think it's a pretty darn good Western. I'd recommend it for sure, but then I liked High Noon and The Unforgiven.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Howdy, MR. BREEZE II ~

Glad to see there are a few other Clint fans among your friends.

I'd cut ya all loose... if I could afford to lose a few friends. Which I can't.

We still love ya inspite of this obvious flaw you posess.

Well, I never said I was perfect, just "Forgiven". (Or should that be "Unforgiven"?)

At least you were able to find a place for that John Wayne guy?

The Duke: Greatest cowboy of 'em all.
But yeah, you're right, this movie SUCKED! It was just sooo old and creaky. However, he was in some of the greatest Westerns ever made, and so he atoned for this one many times over.

The Duke ROCKS!
The Duke RULES!
The Duke ROCKS 'N' RULES!

OK, I better go.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McStetson

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>> Stephen -- Are you just joshin' me about Shane? Surely, you've seen it (sorry for calling you "surely").

HA!
Well, I'll overlook it. ...This time.

>> Shane... Rated as AFI's #3 top rated western starring Alan Ladd and Van Heflin,

What were the AFI's #1 and #2 rated Westerns starring Alan Ladd and Van Heflin?
;o)

Hmmm... Didn't even know there was an AFI list of top-rated Westerns. Guess I'll have to Google it and check that out to see how much I disagree with it and whose ass I'm gonna have to kick. (Where'd I leave my spurs?)

As for SHANE... nope, never heard of it.

"Come back, Lee! Come back!"
;o)

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McStetson