Westerns: A Favorites List

As I mentioned in the last post, I love westerns. So, I decided to compile a list of those I’ve enjoyed watching. I’m sure I’ll remember many more after I post this, but here are a few you might enjoy when you feel in the mood for action and western scenery. Also see below for a chance to win Robin Lee Hatcher’s new book Betrayal.

Singing Cowboy Westerns and Other Saturday Matinee Westerns

The Zane Grey Classic Western Collection with Randolph Scott, Russell Hayden, and George O’Brien. Particularly enjoyed: Dude Ranger, Wagon Wheels, Knights of the Range, Arizona Raiders (with Flash Gordon actor Buster Crabbe). Haven’t read the books, but they were quite popular.

Gene Autry (especially those with Smiley Burnette as Frog Millhouse) Whirlwind, Gaucho Serenade, and most of the rest, except Phantom Empire, which has a strange fantasy twist to it

Roy Rogers

The Three Mesquites

Hopalong Cassidy

I have watched one Lone Ranger and didn’t care for it (everybody died except him), so I’m not recommending them.

Jimmy Stewart

The Far Country, Bend in the River, Rarebreed

Worth mentioning though not my favorites: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (also with John Wayne) and Winchester ‘73

John Wayne

Red River, Rio Bravo, Rio Grande, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Lobo, McClintock, True Grit, The Cowboys, Stagecoach, Angel and the Badman, North to Alaska

Didn’t like: The Searchers, 3 Godfathers

Tyrone Power

Mark of Zorro It’s set in California, so it counts, right?

Rawhide Forced by stagecoach line owner father to work at a lonely stagecoach stop, Power’s only desire is to return to civilization until four escaped prisoners take over the stop and Power has to keep himself and stranded traveler Susan Hayward alive.


Westward the Women  Robert Taylor grudgingly takes a group of brides out west, including former girl-of-ill-repute Denise Darcel

The Hanging Tree Gary Cooper is a doctor with a secret in gold rush territory.

The Big Country This is a great Gregory Peck western, but don’t waste your time on Mackenna’s Gold

Four Faces West Joel McCrea steals $2000 from a bank in order to save his father’s ranch. He leaves an I.O.U note, works to pay the money back, and tries to stay out of jail without having to use his pistols. The nurse who tended to his rattlesnake bite encourages him to give himself up. Joel McCrea is said to be a star of many westerns, but this is the only one I recall seeing him in.

Ride ‘Em Cowboy and The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap Two fun Abbot and Costello westerns.

Can’t Help Singing An amusing western with singing star Deanna Durbin as a spoiled society girl running away to marry a soldier in California

Audie Murphy The Duel at Silvercreek

Cat Ballou Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin. Not my favorite, but it’s funny in parts. I’ve never seen a horse and rider lean against a wall like that before.

Note: You may have noticed a lack of Clint Eastwood movies. I’ve only seen part of Paint Your Wagon, and the only thing I liked about it was the music.

About the book giveaway

In exchange for a review, Zondervan sent me a copy of Robin Lee Hatcher’s new book Betrayal and the previous book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Belonging, to read and a copy to give away.

These inspirational Christian fiction romances are very enjoyable and are set out west, so it seems fitting that to enter to win the books, you must, in the comments section, either tell me your favorite western(s) or tell me why you want to win the books.

How will the winner be decided? By the tried and true method of drawing a commenter’s name from a hat.

If you want your name in the hat more than once: Subscribe to the blog and tell me you did in the comments section (or that you already have subscribed), follow me on twitter (@e_kitchens), or remind me of a great western (as in one that I enjoyed) but I forgot to mention.

I will post my review of Betrayal tomorrow. A post on The Big Country and an announcement of the winner will follow next week.


Westerns: McClintock

I (Liz) love westerns. I guess it’s the combination of action, romance, good music, beautiful (or at least different) scenery, and, of course, horses. It was difficult to choose only a couple to post on, but since you can’t talk about westerns without mentioning John Wayne, we decided to feature a John Wayne movie—McClintock.

Liz on McClintock

One of the fun things about watching movies is recognizing actors/actresses from other films or shows. Besides John Wayne, you might recognize his frequent and much-liked companion Chill Wills, the fiery red head Maureen O’Hara (his love interest in a number of films), Mrs. Munster actress Yvonne De Carlo, and Jerry Van Dyke. Also of note is Patrick Wayne—John Wayne’s real life son—who plays the handsome Dev Warren who wins the heart of McClintock’s daughter.

Favorite scenes or Quotes:

“I don’t give jobs. I hire men.” McClintock

“Everyone works for someone. I work for everyone who’s ever ordered a steak.” (Paraphrase) McClintock

The fight where almost everyone ends up in a mud pit. I don’t know why watching someone get knocked into a mud pit, climb out, and then get knocked in again is amusing, but it is.

Dev spanking McClintock’s daughter with help from McClintock

Dev and McClintock taking up for Davy’s right to ask the girl he likes to dance

“Yes, I know I’m an Indian. But I’m also the fastest runner in town. I’ve got a college education and I’m also the railroad telegrapher. But does anybody say ‘Hello, Runner’ or ‘Hello, College Man’ or ‘Hello, Telegrapher’? No! Not even ‘Hello, Knothead’! It’s always ‘Let the Indian do it.'” I like Jake and Davy and their father/son type relationship. And can’t you connect with Davy’s frustration? At some point, I’m sure most of us have felt like we’ve been turned into a 1-D(escription) character, whether it’s by race, hair-color, talent, or something else.

The movie would be improved by: sobering McClintock, leaving out the Comanche raid, and having Mrs. McClintock better dressed during the last scene.

G.W. McClintock isn’t a sterling character by any means, but he’s likeable, fair, and a pretty good judge of people, and the movie, it’s just fun. Well, actually I guess that depends on what flaws you tend to overlook or be piqued by, as illustrated by Jaz’s comments.

Jaz on McClintock

Note: this film reflects popular viewpoints at the time of its release. As George Washington McLintock said, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion.

This is mine.

Dear creators of McLintock!: Your film is a racist, sexist production with only occasional splatterings of humor.

Don’t pretend to be all for Native American rights if you’re not. You almost had me fooled, especially with this quote:

“Yes, I know I’m an Indian. But I’m also the fastest runner in town. I’ve got a college education and I’m also the railroad telegrapher. But does anybody say ‘Hello, Runner’ or ‘Hello, College Man’ or ‘Hello, Telegrapher’? No! Not even ‘Hello, Knothead’! It’s always ‘Let the Indian do it.'” *

*By “Indian,” they mean Native American.

And then you had to go and ruin it at the end by having the Comanche tribe raid a gun stash and shoot up the town like crazed hooligans.

Here’s an idea: if you were truly in favor of Native American equality, you would have designated the runner-telegrapher-college man as Becky McLintock’s love interest. Not the recently hired ranch hand who had to drop out of college and who spanked the heroine – using an iron coal shovel – for kissing her boyfriend. This when he barely knew her. WHAT THE HECK.

In addition to more uses for coal shovels, please enlighten me as to how exactly such suggestive and sexist contact is superior to a chaperoned kiss.

And as for McLintock chasing his underwear-clad wife all over town and then spanking her with that same iron coal shovel in front of the cheering, laughing townsfolk …

There are no words.

Perhaps she overreacted as you suggest. But if a husband caroused at bars inhabited by scantily clad females, got drunk, then returned with a lipstick-stained collar and absolutely no explanation, how would a wife react?

Oh honey, forget it! Now have another slice of my apple pie while I trade these pumps and pearls for a silk nightie.

I don’t think so.

I liked and didn’t like Maureen O’Hara in this role. Her performance was forced, although you gave her character spunk (up until that idiotic spanking scene) and some good lines. Like the day after she fought in the big brawl:

Mrs. Warren: McLintock give you that black eye?

Kate (O’Hara): No! Nobody gave it to me! I WON it!

I will hand you this: the mud fight scene was funny. But not funny enough to make up for everything else.