Last week I watched Will Penny for the first time. Ever seen it?
It stars Charlton Heston as an ageing cowhand who comes to the aid of a damsel in distress and her young son. By the way, if the kid looks familiar that’s because he also played Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. True story! Shout out to David Lambert for that piece of trivia.
When I was young the only westerns I watched were those readily available, which meant they were the ones that aired on TNT or AMC. Needless to say Lonesome Dove, Rio Bravo, the Sons of Katie Elder, and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon were all on a steady rotation.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those movies. I have a deep love for John Wayne flicks (The Shootist is my favorite) and I still consider Lonesome Dove to be the greatest story ever told.
That said, I have finally begun to expand my horizons and it turns out there are a ton of great, lesser-known (lesser-known to me at least) westerns out there!
In just the past year I’ve also had the pleasure of watching The Culpepper Cattle Co, Johnny Guitar, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller. All three were excellent movies - released decades ago - that I had never before laid eyes on. I wasn’t even aware of McCabe and Mrs. Miller until a listener emailed me the recommendation.
So my question to you is - what’s your favorite lesser-known western and what should I watch next? Let me know in the comments!
In case you missed it, part 4 in the series on Billy the Kid was released this week and The Wild West Extravaganza merchandise is now available.
I love you.
Quick and the Dead is great fun
Just watch all of Sam's movies before 1980 their all westerns. Wild Bunch is the greatest movie ever made(ok, probably not) but it is. I think all of Peckinpah's movies are about not belonging in the world his characters inhabit and they know it, its not about redemption its about, Fuck it, this is who I am, out of time. Seek out "Meeks Cutoff". I'm not sure how good it is but it won't leave my memory. I could go on and on but really you have to go and watch Sam Peckinpah's movies. Frank Carey.