I think of Westerns as a "Desert Island Disc" situation, and as such, I can't limit it to just 5 because there are about 8-10 fantastic ones that all bring something special to the table and need
to be watched for the punching of your MAN CARD.
3:10 to Yuma
. Either one, as I have seen them both and they both rock. They both will stand up to the test of time, but the remake had some BEAUTIFUL weapons and those Schoffields that Charlie Prince carries are worth drooling over everytime.
This came out at a time when there weren't any westerns in production and I remember sitting in the theater saying "This is going to launch a whole new round of Westerns because of how great it is". I wasn't wrong.
The Magnificent Seven.
This was a direct rip off of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. But if you watch both, you will LOVE both. They both share brilliant storytelling and great camera angles. And they both could have been shorter in my opinion as there is a lot of "fluff" in each. But, for all the fluff, you get those "I was aiming at the horse" moments that make you go "Wow!, what great writing".
No doubt the superior of the two films that came out that year and Val Kilmer hit a home run as Doc Holliday. I never wanted to be a dentist, or a gambler, except for about 30 minutes during this film.
When Costner gets it right, you get Open Range. When Costner goes Costner, you get The Postman. Open Range is an epic tale of revenge that has a deep, dark secret of who "Big Money" picked on when they chose to apply pressure to "some free grazers". Great movie I can watch once a week FOR-EVAH!
The Quick & The Dead.
You're kidding right? Sam Raimi.? Sharon Stone.? Russell Crowe.? Gene Hackman.? And an early Leonardo DiCaprio?? This movie is a MUST SEE for anyone who loves a Western. Sam Raimi is the film-maker who MADE Bruce Campbell and the Evil Dead Films. Absolutely EPIC camera work.
When people speak of stars of yesteryear and their "teaming" with future stars their own age you hear about The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, SCREAM, True Romance. Sleepers. Young Guns is of that same "ERA" quality of film-making.
The Outlaw Josey Wales.
This is NOT an easy film to watch from beginning to end. This film IS an epic piece of Americana and should be in every collection.
Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, an early Kevin Kline AND an early Kevin Costner? Just a well played movie from start to finish. Some great looking weapons in this one too.