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Messages - Moorman

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I missed this vote. I would have had For a Few Dollars more ranked higher than The Good , The Bad and The Ugly.   I feel its the better film...

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Off-Topic Discussion / Name your Top 20 Westerns of All Time
« on: March 01, 2019, 08:46:26 AM »
Here is a list i compiled a couple of years ago on the Sergio Leone Forum.  I intentionally left off westerns made after 1970.  High Plains drifter, Unforgiven and a few others i really like).  Feel free to name Westerns after 1970 if you wish.  I personally prefer classic films before 1970.  If i included films after that period the aftersaid films High Plains Drifter, High Plains Drifter, Hangem High and Pale Rider would make my list somewhere.

 

1. The Great Silence.  Just edges out OUTITW.   The rawness and the ending are what give it the edge.

2. Once Upon a Time in the West.  One of the all time best movies across any genre.

3. The Oxbow Incident.  Another masterpiece.  Subject matter keeps this movie low profile.

4. My Darling Clementine.  A movie i didn't particularly care about at first. Then i watched it a second time.  A masterpiece.

5. High Noon.  The simplicity of the plot. The tension. The cinematography.  The music.  My favorite Gary Cooper performance.

6. For A Few Dollars More.  Captain Mortimer. Indio.  My favorite of the 3 Eastwood sphagetti's made with Leone.

7. The Wild Bunch.  The realism of the action in this movie seperates it from every western ever made.

8.  3:10 to Yuma. (1957). My favorite performances from Van Heflin and Glenn Ford. A excellent plot and cinematography make this a masterpiece.

9. Red River.  The cattle drive. John Wayne. Walter Brennan. Montgomery Cliff. The cinematography.  Another masterpiece.

10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  I love the different moral lessons touched upon in this movie. Great performances from Wayne, Stewart, Strode and Marvin.

11. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.  Great western. Great performances. Felt it was too long and had some implausible moments.

12. The Westerner.  Walter Brennan as a bad heavy was impressive in this one. I loved Cooper in this also. Great ending.

13. Stagecoach. A masterpiece. What else needs to be said?

14. Rawhide.  A greatly underrated western.  Probably the best western that shows how the old stagecoach stages worked.  My favorite Jack Elam western.  Very well done.

15. Death Rides a Horse.  This is the 2nd best non Leone sphagetti western i have seen thus far. ( behind the Great Silence).   The tone and everything matched up with the Leone Films. If Eastwood had played the part that John Phillip Law did, I'm certain this would have been considered a greater film than it already is.

16. The Gunfighter.  My favorite Gregory Peck film.  I love simple plots. Another great tension film.

17.  Shane.  I initially didn't like this film.  I was half asleep and thought that Shane was trying to run off with Starrett's wife and kid, lol.   I rewatched it and found out that me and Shane are cool, lol.  GREAT film.  It deserves its reputation.  I found out the violent ( though limited) gunplay was the first of its kind in a western.

18. The Big Gundown.  I didn't particularly like Tuco in GBU, but if Eli Wallach had played Tomia's part ( I like Milan though), this one would have been a more well known western).

19. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. If not for the 3rd wheel romance that i felt bogged the middle of the movie down, this could've been a top 10 western.

20. Ride the High Country.  I may be rating this lower on my list than i should. This is the ONLY Randolph Scott western i like. Joel McCrea was good here too.


Honorable Mention:

The Big Country.  Peck, Ives, Connors, Heston. This was a epic western that was pretty good.

The Fastest Gun Alive.  A plot very similar to The Gunfighter. A great western.

A Fist Full of Dollars.  Leone was learning with this one. Still a great movie.

Barquero.  This movie might need to be higher on my list.  One of Warren Oate's best films.  Reminds me of High Plains Drifter.

The Professionals.  This movie might need to be higher on  my list.

Winchester 73.  A very well done western.  One of the two westerns i like that Stewart made.

Gunman's walk. I liked this western. Another underrated one.

The Man from Laramie. Very good western by stewart.

Yellow Sky.  ( haven't finished watching this one, but it has signs of maybe pushing into my top 20).

Day of the Outlaw.  A very good western featuring Robert Ryan and Burl Ives.  I may be ranking this lower than I should.

Sabatha.  Take the Wild West West stuff out of this film and replace it with a more straight forward tone and this would've been a great Van Cleef film.

The Baron of Arizona.  Saw the last few scenes. I know this will be higher once i get to review the whole film.

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Yes, Antonis is right. I really don't think this scene is in an Eastwood film. The hanging resembles "Hang Em High," but Clint wasn't a young boy and there was no father theme in that film. I haven't seen "Once Upon a Time in the West."
   You haven't seen THAT film?  What are you waiting on? lol.   I currently have it ranked as my number 2 Western of ever on a list I did over at the Sergio Leone forum.  I'm gonna post that list in the General Discussions forum.

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Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re: Hang' Em High is highly underrated...
« on: March 01, 2019, 08:37:00 AM »
You know, when I read this thread my first thought was "Hang em high? Whatever!!" I really in my mind dismissed it, initially.

But when I REMEMBERED how impacting the movie was, I had to take a breath and respond to this.

As far as western movies go, Hang em High was a top five movie of ALL of them, even if I don't rate it a top five of Clint Eastwood westerns.

It humanized capital punishment, which was a scary thing. It is easy when you believe bad guys get what they deserve, its different when you hear someone whimpering in fear because the hood has been put over their head by the hangman.

Or the scene where the brother says goodbye to the other one before they are hung...JESUS that still gives me chills.


Thats regarding the message of the movie, getting into the gristle of the movie is a seperate critique.

This was really Clints first walk away from the "Man with no name" type character he was used to playing, and it was a little awkward for me seeing him that way. Clean shaven, highly moraled, non ambiguous. I didnt really think it was a character he was made to play. Quite a bit of his western personas arent about what you see, or what he says, its about what you DONT see and what he DOESNT say.
All of that to basically say, I wasnt really comfortable with Clint being the "white hat" good guy, even if he did play it well for the movie, it wasnt really..."him"...at least to me.


For me this movie was made by an outstanding supporting cast that took away the notion that you were watching Clint out of his element...and it was very well cast.


The storyline in itself is worth praise, high praise. That frontier justice was often very cruel and unjust, and that good people died at the hands of a madman judge, like real life judge Roy Bean who was called "The hanging judge" because that was his solution to everything, no matter how slight or small the infraction.


Clear message, challenging premise, moral dilemma, strong cast....definitely a GRADE A western, above many, IMO.

Very good write up.  It IS a impactful film.  I also agree its one of the better CAST Westerns.  One more thing.  You said that this is a western with Clint acting out of his normal bad guy element as a white hat.  I kinda disagree.  Though he played "bad" characters in the Leone films, he was still considered the hero or at least the least bad of the bad, lol.

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Moorman, you might be interested in some of the earlier discussions we've had on this Board about Hang 'em High. It's a pity the board has been so slow lately, and a lot of these good Eastwood fans don't come around any more.

We used to have "Formal Film DIscussions" where the Moderators would pose a number of (mostly) standard questions about specific films, and members would post their opinions. These were broken up into separate threads for each question, and the threads were closed afterwards so as to keep them in order. The discussion for Hang 'em High starts here:

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?board=16.540

If you see anything there that you'd like to discuss further, please feel free to quote it in this thread. This is an especially insightful post by Matt, comparing Hang 'em High and Unforgiven:

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=487.msg8754#msg8754

We also used to have "Movie Nights," where as many members as could join us at a given time would watch a film together and chat about it. The "Movie Night" thread for Hang 'em High is here:

http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=8068.0

I'm gonna rewatch it sometime in the next few days and make comments that fit the threads above...

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I think I'd rank it the same as you, KC.

I'm wondering Moorman, why would you rank it higher than "Pale Rider" or "The Outlaw Josey Wales?" What is it that Hang 'Em High offers that makes it superior to those two to you?

Good question.  I rank it higher than Pale Rider because it FEELS shorter and more fitting to Clint's style he developed with Leone.  Pale Rider also has some dull moments in it to me, specifically the scenes where he is courting Sarah. It seemed to drag the film.  Hang' Em had more action.  Now, my take on The Outlaw Josey Wales.  I don't particularly like it for the same reason that I don't like parts of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.  First, I don't like Westerns that are mixed with the Civil War.  Second, both films felt too long also.  Hang'Em High felt more like the first two Dollars Films.  In fact, you could call it a American Spaghetti Western.

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I think I would put it above the other non-Clint directed westerns, except for the Leones ... that is, higher than Joe Kidd or Two Mules for Sister Sara. That would put it at eighth. But that is higher than a lot of Eastwood fans place it.

That's just based on overall "feeling." Truth is, I'd rather re-watch it than a few of the others that I "know" are better films.

Thats a fair ranking.  Pale Rider is pretty good also but I still rank Hang' Em high above that one also.

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Yes, very good points. Clint's liking for The Ox-Bow Incident is very well known.

How would you rank this film among Clint's ten Westerns?

I rank Hang' Em High at about 5th.  Only The Good,  the Bad, and the Ugly, For a Few Dollars More, High Plains Drifter and Unforgiven rank higher in my opinion...

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The script wasn't an idea of Clint's. Leonard Freeman wrote it, and it was brought to Clint's attention by his business manager, Irving Leonard. However, Clint did turn down a role in a much larger-scale production, Mackenna's Gold, in favor of this project, because the themes appealed to him and (he thought) it challenged him as an actor. From Richard Schickel's Clint Eastwood (page 186):

So, Moorman, thank you for an excellent post. I too enjoy this film, I believe more than many of my fellow Eastwood fans, for some of the reasons outlined above. Also, it has an ambiguous ending, and Clint's character does not complete his mission of vengeance, and in one case tempers it with mercy. Altogether, a much more interesting film than many give it credit for.

Yes, Freeman wrote it but Clint jumped at the chance to do it because of his affinity for The Oxbow Incident.  He looked at Hang' Em High as a continuation of the main theme of The Oxbow Incident.  That fact is mentioned in numerous places including Eastwood's biography.  Maybe Leonard KNEW Clint loved the earlier film and wrote it for that reason?  Who knows but the fact remains that Clint wanted to do the film because of it.


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Clint Eastwood Westerns / Hang' Em High is highly underrated...
« on: July 13, 2018, 02:59:34 PM »
This film is hardly ever mentioned when people talk about great Eastwood westerns.  I think its one of his best.  I would rank this in his top 5 westerns.  Two things stick out about this film.  First,  the whole premise of this film was off the charts.  Eastwood's character is hung western style without a jury because of circumstantial evidence.  I'm almost positive that Eastwood got the idea for this script because of his love for The Oxbow Incident, which he said is his favorite western.  Clint basically did The Oxbow Incident but gave the victim in this case,  justice by the victim being rescued and allowed to avenge the hanging.  Its a superb twist he did and it turned into a great film.  It should be held in just about the same esteem as High Plains Drifter.   They are pretty close in my opinion...

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Totally agree Matt... I love em all.. I love the simplicity of the first and just how different it is/was from the American westerns of the day.. As a kid I couldn't stand John Wayne and hardly ever seemed to see my dads fave Gary Cooper on tv.. When these films showed up they blew me away, they seemed so fresh and modern in a way.... Seeing it again recently that the impact of this film hasn't  diminished at all..

The second takes it it all up a couple of notches and I love the relationship between Eastwood and Van Cleef's characters.. and that ending WOW !!

The third... Perfection.. Tarentino was once quoted as saying his aim was to at least equal The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.. That just aint gonna happen..

They were great films, but Leone's best film was Once Upon A Time in the West  O0   I will say this:  Without the previous 3 films, there would have been no Once Upon A time in the West...

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The three Man With No Name films are all so perfect that I'd rate each of them a 10/10. For Clint to travel halfway across the world to make a severely low budget western in Italy, and transition from the Rowdy Yates character (a wide-eyed naive cowplunk sidekick on a TV western), to perhaps the most iconic figure ever created on film, is remarkable. Where'd that come from? Leone didn't envision Manco that way -- we know this since Clint took the script and removed most of his dialogue, and put together the iconic wardrobe himself. A Fistful of Dollars is lean, making every moment count. The score -- woah. It was magic.  Eastwood, Leone and Morricone would come from virtual obscurity to be among the world's greatest actors, directors, and composers by creating this monumental film that's as significant as A Trip to the Moon, and the first talkies.

Then, they take the magic to the next level....  For a Few Dollars More.  They add in another second complex anti-hero in Mortimer.  It's another epic film, just slightly more epic than the last.  The hat scene not only provides some comic relief, but it builds the mythology between these two characters, and their scenes would inspire films for the next 60+ years. But it's not enough to have two iconic characters in one film, they needed a villain.  So they bring in Indio... how can they make evil look so cool?  How are they able to create a shred of sympathy over a rapist murderer?  Had Westerns ever provided so much character development prior to this film?

But... when we get to the third film ... there's no other explanation.  In God-time, 1966 was the 8th day, and He brought us The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  God saw the script, and wanting to add a little dash of His humor (He had just had a bit of fun creating Giraffes and Squid and was still in a humorous state of mind), He added this:


And then He saw it was good, and Earth was complete.  If you mute GBU anywhere along the course of the film, and you strain hard enough, you can hear a heavenly choir singing Hallelujah. God is Great.

So I have to go with God on this one... the best Leone film is obviously The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly8)

Excellent write up. I almost hate to disagree because your review was soo good.  I disagree that they were perfect films. I AGREE that each was iconic for different reasons.  All three were huge films and rewrote in their own way the art of making westerns. 

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For a Few Dollars More.  Mortimer and Indio take this one to another level.   I've stated on the Sergio Leone Board that i feel its better than The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.  Tighter and a better script...

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Count me in on that and its not even close.  High Plains Drifter is a vastly underrated western...

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Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re: The secrets of High Plains Drifter
« on: April 20, 2018, 05:23:13 PM »
I believe this is one of Clint's best westerns.  Highly underrated. 

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