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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Best to Worst Westerns of All Time



I will use this page in the future to document some of the Western films I have watched over the next year or so. A few years back in preparation for the teaching of Clint Eastwood’s film ‘Unforgiven’ and Shaeffer’s novel Shane, I watched in excess of 150 Western films. Now I will rate what I have seen from best to worst.


The Montana Kid (2010) is a Canadian film which was originally called ‘Gunless.’ It is a light-hearted spoof on American gun violence and traces the transformation to pacifism of the notorious gunman, Sean Rafferty (Paul Gross) who flees to Barclay’s Brush in British Columbia after his attempted hanging by ruthless bounty hunters.

After a brief confrontation with the huge local blacksmith, Jack Smith, the Montana Kid agrees to help a local, Miss Jane Taylor (Sienna Guillery), to build her windmill if she gives him a gun so he can have a duel with Jack.

This film is shot full of clichés and satirically but painfully parallels some of the scenes from the classic novel Shane, including the removal of the cumbersome tree stump.

The underlying message to throw away your guns is topical but naïve, particularly in view of the NRA’s cynical and uncompromising position on firearms. Redeeming features  of the film include the wonderful scenery from the Osoyoos in the interior of B.C. and the backing track from the top band Blue Rodeo.  

Rating: 6/10