Monday, February 23, 2009


Movies and popcorn. Even on a work night, you deserve it once in a while. Especially on nights where there's nothing on TV but more news on the Stimulus Plan.

I think I'll pass. I have a nifty collection of sci fi as well as Westerns. Tonight will be a Western and a snack that will make you forget politics for at least a few minutes. Corral Caramel Corn. Pair it up with a good Western and even with all the butter, it's probably better for your blood pressure than what else is on TV.

Here's my 25 favorite Westerns, not in any particular order. I tried to do just 20 but after viewer complaints :-) I felt compelled to increase the list to 25. So make yourself comfortable, curl up in front of the fire while the cattle low, the popcorn pops and hot wind blows across the Plains. Then tell me YOUR 5 favorite westerns.

1.The Shootist - (1976) (John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart)
2. High Noon - (1952) (Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges)
3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - (1948) (Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston)
4. The Magnificent Seven - (1960) (Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson)
5. Stagecoach - (1939) (John Wayne, Claire Trevor, John Carradine)6. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - (1966) (Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach)7. The Searchers - (1956) (John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter)8. Rio Grande - (1950) (John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara)9. The Outlaw Josey Wales - (1976) (Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke)10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - (1962) (John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles)11. Unforgiven - (1992) (Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman)
12. The Wild Bunch (1969) (William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan)
13. High Plains Drifter - (1973) (Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom)14. Ride the High Country (1962( John Anderson, R.G. Armstrong.)
15. Tombstone - (1993) (Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer)16. McLintock! - (1963) (John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara)
17. The Professionals (1966) ( Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan_
18. The Alamo - (1960) (John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey)19. 3:10 to Yuma - (2007) (Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Ben Foster), a new favorite which I discovered (and will return, honest) from Ahab at Gun Nuts Media
20. The Gunfighter - (1950) (Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott)
21. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - (1957) (Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas)
22. A Fistful of Dollars - (1964) (Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch)
22. Lonesome Dove - OK not a movie - but a mini series. (Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones)
23. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson)
24. True Grit - (1969) (John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby)
25. No Country for Old Men (2007) (Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin)


ignorant redneck said...

We did movie night last night: Sky High and Star Trek, the wrath of Khan.

Brigid said...

Corral Caramel Corn

Ingredients (you can double this if you have a family)

* 1/2 cup popcorn unpopped (makes enough to fill a small Dutch oven or about 3 quarts)
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/4 cup corn syrup
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp real vanilla


1. Pop popcorn using your preferred method. You can even use unbuttered microwave popcorn, just make sure you have no more than 3 quarts when cooked).
2. Place popped corn in a BIG bowl or another big cooking pot.
3. Preheat oven to 250F.
4. In a 2-quart saucepan, over medium heat, gently melt the butter,watch it so it doesn't burn.
5. Stir in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the sugar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
6. Once it boils, boil for 5 minutes. (use a timer or clock, don't go over). Some recipes will tell you to stir constantly as it boils, others say don't stir at all, stirring will make it less likely to burn if you turn your heat up too high but the coating will be creamier if you don't stir.
7. Remove from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla. (have those measured out prior to the cooking so they're handy). The mixture will foam and get frothy. That's normal.
8. Pour the caramel sauce over the popped corn and toss completely to coat. If there's clumps don't worry, the caramel will remain spreadable as it cooks and the coating can be evened out.
9. Spread the popcorn evenly onto a large cookie or baking sheets (I use a jelly roll pan which has small sides to it so it's easier to stir). Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
10. Spoon cooked popcorn onto waxed paper (or foil if you have none but it sticks less to the wax paper) and allow to cool before breaking apart.
11. Keep poachers at bay with a large wooden spoon while you seal cooled caramel corn in an airtight container -- Or turn on a good Western and serve immediately.

Frank W. James said...

You left out "THE WILD BUNCH" and "THE PROFESSIONALS". My two absolute top favorites!

I am stunned, completely stunned, Brigid, by this omission.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Tim Covington said...

Some of my favorite westerns:

The Searchers
Maverick (Mel Gibson)
Wild Wild West (Will Smith)
Quigley Down Under
Lonesome Dove

We just got Appaloosa in the mail. It looks good, I can't wait to see it.

lucy said...

The Shootist...I was around 13 and mom took my bother and me to the theater to see John Wayne's last movie. I cried like a baby. Utter elegance from both he and Ms. Bacall.

And Tombstone..."I'll be your huckleberry," my favorite Val Kilmer line of all time!


Michael W. said...

Whatta Woman!

Great taste in movies......

Tonight with the light bringer speaking, I am doing some films also. My list,

The Lighthorseman

The Train

drjim said... "Silverado"?

tom said...

My great grandpa on mom's mom's side always grew a patch of popcorn for personal use on his farm because he liked it. Never sold a bit of it but he gave a lot away. Was mostly a dairy farm and related fodder grains. He also liked Westerns and caramels, though he never combined the caramels with the popcorn. Had a big black and white RCA TV for Saturdays. He was my favorite relative to visit when we made it into the Midwestern corn and dairy fields.

Mom's mom would ask "Wanna go to the grocery or go stay with Grampa Clay for today?"

"Clay! Clay! Clay!"

Learned a lot from that man between commercials as a tyke.

Anonymous said...

I might suggest "Open Range", as well.

It's a pity it didn't get more attention at the theater.

Samuel Adams said...

"Pale Rider" and "Open Range".

Raptor said...

Regrettably, I have not seen all that many Westerns (something I plan on correcting once the semester ends), but I'll put down my favorites nonetheless.

*Once Upon a Time in the West
*The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
*For a Few Dollars More
*A Fistful of Dollars
*Quigley Down Under

Yeah, I'm a big Sergio Leone fan.

And I haven't seen this one all the way through (which is why it isn't on my list, but Seraphim Falls, with Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson, is phenomenal.

Carteach0 said...

I'd be happy watching every single one of these... (again).

I never called myself a western fan, and still don't. The thing is... I've seen them all, it's one of the few genres of movies I really enjoy.

I think John Wayne has his OWN genre. He was that big a man.

Popcorn looks almost too good to eat, although after another 14 hour day I'd probably fall asleep chewing it :-)

Bill N. said...

What about Tom Horn with Steve McQueen and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid with James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson?

Madam Chow said...

Great list. One of my favorites is Silverado.

Bill N. said...

You missed Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid with James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson and Tom Horn with Steve McQueen

RobD said...

Quigley Down Under
Hang 'Em High
Outlaw Josey Wales
Pale Rider
Rooster Cogburn

No particular order and couldn't narrow it down any further without causing too much pain. It sucked just cutting it down this far.

I prefer the Director's Cut for Tombstone so McMasters death isn't such a question mark in the movie...still not completely clear but better than the theatrical version. Also has Doc dumping Big Nose Kate before the final showdowns.

Rob K said...

There's a whole TV channel devoted to westerns which my parents have. It's made me seriously consider getting satellite TV.

My favorite is Fistful of Dollars. If you pay close attention, you learn that his name is Joe Manco.

Roscoe said...

Where's "Gunmen of the Apocalypse"? :)

It isn't a traditional Western, but I will second "Silverado".

Paladin said...

My top five (in no particular order):

Tom Horn
The Searchers
Lonesome Dove
Magnificent Seven

Yeah, I know it's six movies, but I couldn't stop myself :)

Lweson said...

I have always loved Rio Bravo And Rio Lobo. I love Jack Elam in Lobo and Dean Martin in Bravo.

Chip said...

My favs are
Silverado Kline Ok Goldblum not but still a good movie.
Outlaw Josie Wales
Once upon a time in the west
Pale rider
Any John Wayne Western but I really like McClintock

Joanna said...

Of that list, I've only seen The Magnificent Seven. Most of the other are on my list though.

I just watched the Obama speech, followed by two White Russians. Yeah. I'm drunk. :-)

Anonymous said...

True Grit
Rooster Cogburn
Magnificent Seven
Blazing Saddles
The Good the Bad and the Ugly


Mark Alger said...

The Quigley mention reminds me of an Ozzie film, Kitty and the Bagman. Not the American West, but a similar setting and themes.

Will Penny
How the West Was Won
The Magnificent Seven
High Noon

Turk Turon said...

Let's see...

I haven't seen all of your faves, but my list would have to include:

Butch Cassidy...
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (fantastic!)
Open Range
Magnificent Seven
High Noon
Red River
Rio Bravo
Shane (Jack Palance is fantastic!)
Bad Day At Black Rock (a "modern" western)

Sparrow said...

I'm not a big fan of Westerns, but I did love "Silverado". I don't know if it counts, but I adore "How the West Was Won". "True Grit" is also up there on my list, even with Glen Campbell's AWFUL acting.

HankH said...

Howdy Maam,

That's a purty fine list you got there! Another one you might want to check out is Jimmy Stewart in "Winchester '73" (1950). I would have liked to shake his hand and thanked him first of all for his patriotism (flew bombers during the war - how's that for putting it on the line?!) and secondly for the many wonderful movies he starred in. Great list, I've seen them all.


Jay Stribling said...

Here are 5 good westerns (good to me anyway) that are not on your list.

1) Appaloosa - 2008
2) The Missing - 2003
3) Unforgiven - 1992
4) The Alamo - 2004
5) Hidalgo - 2004

The Archivist said...

I'll join a couple others in promoting "Quigley down under". I think it qualifies as a Western...way west... and a little south...

So here are some for you...with quotes :)

True Grit
Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?
Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hands, you son of a bitch.

Of course, the afore mentioned "Quigley Down Under"

Major Ashley-Pitt: In our experience, Americans are uncouth misfits who should be run out of their own barbaric country.
Matthew Quigley: Well, Lieutenant...
Major Ashley-Pitt: Major.
Matthew Quigley: Major. We already run the misfits outta our country. We sent 'em back to England.

"A Fistful of Dollars"
Esteban Rojo: What are you doing?
Joe: Moving.
Esteban Rojo: Don't you know all our men sleep here with us?
Joe: Well that's all very cozy, but I don't find you men all that appealing.

I've taken enough of your space, I'll take the above three, and round them out with "Rooster Cogburn", and "For a Few Dollars More"

Anonymous said...

My list- pert'ner every oater I done seed padner . the mushroom

CAP'N CHUCK said...

Brigid, I love everyone of the movies listed for different reasons. Unfortunately, there are three in a series that no one has mentioned yet that I can watch to this day and still laugh until my sides hurt and those are Terrance Hill and Bud Spencer in the "Trinity" series.

PhoGun said...

Geronimo (Wes Studi version) - great landscape photography and full of great lines
Quigley - gotta love that rifle and the Colts
Tombstone - close to where I live so what's not to like about the history you can see
Open Range - great justice, love interest
The Professionals - great cast, great lines

davkt said...

My Favorites
Once upon a time in the west
Legends of the fall
Life and times of Judge Roy Bean
And just to be silly I'll stick Shanghai Noon on the list as well!

Though would happily watch any of the films mentioned curled up on the sofa in front of the log fire with a bowl of popcorn!

jcard21 said...

jcard21 says:

I agree with your 25, plus those in the comments. Here are a few more great westerns:

(1946) My Darling Clementine
(1948) Red River
(1949) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
(1950) The Gunfighter
(1950) Winchester '73
(1950) The Cariboo Trail
(1950) Wagon Master
(1953) Shane
(1956) The Fastest Gun Alive
(1957) All Mine to Give
(1957) The Tall Stranger
(1957) 3:10 to Yuma
(1957) The Tall T
(1958) The Big Country
(1959) Ride Lonesome
(1967) The Last Challenge
(1971) Big Jake
(1972) The Cowboys
(1972) Jeremiah Johnson

Besides John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, let's not forget these actors and their western movies:

Joel McCrea
Randolph Scott (I)

And great directors:

John Ford (I)
Budd Boetticher
Raoul Walsh

Old NFO said...

I'd add the TV movie Purgatory. It wasn't bad...

WV- concho

immagikman said...

In no particular order of preference:
1 The Shootist
8 Rio Grande
9 The Outlaw Josey Wales
22 Lonesome Dove
24 True Grit

a Couple that I would have up there:
Rooster Cogburn :)

immagikman said...

Sorry for Double Posting but I wanted to comment on something Carteach said...
I agree that John Wayne should have his own separate category :)

You would have a:
John Wayne Catagory
A classical Western category for movies made say before 1960
and a Modern Western for after 1960

Im not a huge fan of westerns but The Duke was special in his later works
not just the westerns either.

Quigley Down Under was a movie I had forgotten and really enjoyed too.

Andy said...

That's a tough one.

The Professionals
The Missing
The Searchers
The Magnificent Seven
The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Honorable mention to Tom horn and Pat Garret and Billy the Kid.

Big Cat said...

The Outlaw Josey Wales
3:10 to Yuma (the new one)
The Shootist
The Magnificant Seven
The Wild Bunch
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Butch Cassidy...
Pale Rider
Open Range
The Professionals

For a start...

oldblinddog said...

True Grit
Open Range
Lonesome Dove
Angel and the Badman

Ok, that's more than five but I can't narrow it down anymore than that.

immagikman said...

Ack someone mentioned Jimmy Stewart :)

I just TIVO'd Cheyanne Social Club. It didnt get a high number of stars for ratings but I loved it :)

flashman said...

Jeez - no one likes the old Errol Flynn westerns?

Dodge City
Virginia City
Santa Fe Trail
They Died With Their Boots On
San Antonio

Dinah said...

How's about The Grey Fox with Richard Farnsworth (1982)?

rmharvey said...

I didn't see any B grade oat-burners on that list. Surely you need at least one? I nominate Tall in the Saddle (1944) staring a still somewhat young John Wayne with Ward Bond and Gabby Hayes. (You have to have at least one western with Gabby Hayes, don't you?)

Pat Houseworth said...

The Outlaw Josey Wales....Monte Walsh(The Tom Selleck made for TV version)...Stagecoach...Lonesome Dove(TV)....and just about any John Wayne western made after Stagecoach....

Pho said...

Geronimo - Wes Studi version, great landscapes and good lines
Quigley - gotta love that rifle and the Colts, Tom Selleck one of the best genre actors (Sam Elliot, too)
Tombstone - I live near the area, what's not to like about seeing history (same for Geronimo)
Open Range - great frontier justice, redemption, and love interest
The Professionals - fantastic cast, all in their prime, great lines

Bob said...

1. True Grit
2. Big Jake - - John Wayne
3. Wyatt Earp - - Kevin Costner
4. Silverado - - Kevin Costner
5. Once Upon A Time In The West

Anonymous said...

Looks as if you struck a near and dear topic. Thank you.
Again in no particular order:

Red River
Monte Walsh
Broken Trail
Big Jake
My Darling Clementine

Happy Trails.

immagikman said...

Dont forget Blazing Saddles!

It was a western....sort of....

Steve N said...

Your list works for me too.

Th eonly thing I would add would be Dead Wood from HBO

(Outlaw Josie Wales is My fav )

fast richard said...

Lots of good movies on peoples lists. I don't like Silverado though, too cartoonish.

I've always liked "Destry Rides Again", staring the happy-go-lucky pre-wwII Jimmy Stewart. His post war roles always have that little extra edge that Hitchcock liked so much. Try "The Far Country" for an example in a good western.

Brigid said...

Wow - so many good movies, and suggestions from those of you who normally don't comment. Thanks!

Old NFO - haven't seen Purgatory, will look for it.

I liked Quigley, it was a Western though it was set in Australia. Tom Selleck is a better actor than people give him credit for, and that was good entertainment I've watched a couple of times.

Blazing Saddles - oh DON'T get me started. . .

Taggart: What do you want me to do, sir?

Hedley Lamarr: I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. Take this down.

[Taggart looks for a pen and paper while Hedley talks]

Hedley Lamarr: I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists.

Taggart: [finding pen and paper] Could you repeat that, sir?

jcard21 - there's a couple in there I haven't seen. . even better list!

Bill N. said...

One I liked that nobody mentioned was Burt Lancaster in Valdez is Coming

10% said...

For me, I like:

1. For a Few Dollars More
2. Tombstone
3. Appaloosa
4. Lonesome Dove
5. The Outlaw Josey Wales

Timmeehh said...

In alphabetical order :

Jeremiah Johnson
Magnificent Seven
Outlaw Josey Wales
Quigley Down Under
Valdez is Coming

jcard21 said...

This could be the subject of another thread...

I'm NOT ONLY a fan of westerns, but also of "Mountain Men" and "Settler" movies, those pioneers who roamed and/or settled land "west" of the original colonies.

One non-western "settler" family movie I included in my prior list was:

(1957) All Mine to Give (

"An immigrant family in 1850's Wisconsin prospers until tragedy strikes."

A tear-jerker at the end ... keep the kleenex box handy!

PS: I know ... real cowboys don't cry! :-)

misbeHaven said...

The Man from Snowy River (hey, if Quigley counts...)
El Dorado
True Grit
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
High Noon

Chad said...

1. Tombstone
2. Unforgiven
3. Silverado
4. High Plains Drifter
5. Hang 'Em High

john said...

well I love Jeremiah Johnson, I sought to emulate him, my first gun was a muzzle loader which knocked me on my ass.

Oh and I used to fight with Indians a lot. There was really enough beer in the tavern to go around.

I saw the old Star Trek Episode "Specter Of The Gun" the other night. The OK Corral knock-off. Did'ja know that at one time or another, the late, great deForest Kelly has played almost every one of the protagonists in that historical event....

Ed said...

Hello Brigid - first time on your site. One of my favorite movies - western or otherwise - Big Country with Gregory Peck, Burl Ives, Charleton Heston, and Chuck Conners (Conners should have received a best supporting actor nod for his rowdy bad guy acting in this one). Also Jeremiah Johnson -- another classic. If you don't have them and want to see them let me know - I'll send them to you - just send them back when your done.

Also one of my favorite fiction paperbacks is The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry - fast paced and good action. You have a great blog site! Take care, Ed.

Ed said...

I had to think long and hard about the other 3 westerns as favorites - but I couldn't narrow it that much.

3. The Big Sky made in 1952 - Kirk Douglas - still don't think it has come out in mass DVD.
4. Rio Bravo - John Wayne
5. Big Jake - John Wayne
6. True Grit- John Wayne
7. Open Range - Beautiful opening scene and great gunfight at the end.
8. The Tracker - Kris Kristofferson
HBO tv movie.
9. Night Passage - Audie Murphy and James Stewert.

.........Evil Roy Slade.....well, I thought it was good as a kid.