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