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I never did know your name. Oh yes, you do...
by Turtle Jones
We decided to lighten up tonight. Too many co-workers and readers weepy from the turtle michele vacation story, so we wanted to make this a fun night. A gun slingling Western night! What is your favorite Western movie? And by Western, we are asking a really broad question. I was going to do "Westworld" just cause Yul Brenner is so cool. Is he dead? Etc. Etc. Etc.
So what is yours and why? Lines from actors? Characters? Cool littles jokes? Seven gunman for a few dollars more while being hung up high?
These are ours.
turtle's! Yee Haw!
High Plains Drifter
The greatest out there movie there ever was for any western. This was a movie that you always had a feeling that this was revenge from the grave. Revenge from a man who knew too much who only wanted to help but found out too much. No friends from the start to the finish. A sheriff came here to help a town and stumbled on to too much. Killed and forgotten. Three killers wanting revenge for being turned over for killing him and being down while planning on revenge on the town. Everyone would die. A dead sheriff in an unmarked grave. And a town who just wanted to forget the past.
For those of you who don't know, people who smoke cigars like Clint are cool, but that's all I will say about that. The Sheriff was played a fool before and was killed. It wasn't going to happen again. Killing people hired to protect the town cause they fucked with him while he just wanted a shave.This was the Stranger. He didn't want a shave or a drink. He wanted Lago. And he was going to make Lago pay for what they did to the Sheriff. If you haven't seen the movie you have no idea what I'm talkiing about, but the Stranger was there to make his peace for what happened to the Sheriff and finally rest. They offered him everything to help them protect the town. You think you are the sheriff? No. The little man who cried as the Sheriff died ws the new new Sheriff now. Shut up and give him a big gun. You want me to protect Lago, you follow my rules. Mordecai, the little person is the new sheriff. They fucked the old Sheriff over once before, it doesn't happen again. All you fuckers watched him die before. This will not happen again..
Light a cigar and slam a whiskey, paint the town red and rename it "hell" while the three bad guys come back. Out of jail. Into town for revenge. The Stranger tries to get the townspeople ready for them, but they are relying on him. The Stranger. Ready to ambush them. Trying to help them out. BBQ tables set up. Town is painted red. Even the church. Specially the church.
That's when you finally get the fish on a hook line.You did this to me. You left me to die. Now the Stranger leaves them to die. Now they have to deal with it. The Stranger leaves. Get used to living with your own responsibilities and taking charge of your actions and the repercussions that come with your actions.
What do you do when you kill a man?
You live with it.
One of the greatest lines ever.
A grave is marked.
And the ghost disappears into the sun. - T
Westerns, eh? I don’t really do westerns. Well, not in the tried and true sense. Most people think of westerns, John Wayne automatically comes to mind. Truth be told, I’m the farthest thing from a John Wayne fan you can find.
But this. This movie. Yea, it’s a western, but it’s unlike any John Wayne movie you will ever see.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Another thing. I’ve mentioned before that I like bad guys in movies. I don’t go for the “kill the baddies, save the women and children, hero of the day” kinda guys. I like my action heroes rugged and worn and more than a little on the dark side.
Despite the title here, you’ve really got three bad guys. There’s Angel Eyes. The Bad, He’s demonic. Soulless. Evil. Devoid of morals. He will kill anyone as long as there is something in it for him. There’s Tuco. The Ugly. Selfish kind of guy, greedy, reminds me a bit of Daffy Duck in that “I’m a happy miser” episode. He’s also a bit like comic relief. And then there’s Blondie. The Good. Except, how good is he, really? Is he just good by comparison? Relatively speaking? He’s not a hero, not by a long shot. So calling him good is kind of like telling an ugly girl she has a great personality. Just because the guy has a great sense of honor doesn’t make him completely good. Not that I’m complaining. Like I said, I like my heroes a little rough around the edges. Blondie is all dirty faced and squinty eyed and cool as fucking ice. My kind of Good.
So we’ve got three guys that are really in it only for themselves. The Civil War. Some buried treasure. Alliances forming. Double crossing going on. And some kick ass music to set it all off. Let me tell you, Ennio Morricone’s score is a character in itself. It plays just an important role in the movie as any of the main characters. The whole movie seems kind of off-kilter. Leone’s direction is unusual. Long shots. Weird angles. He makes time seem stretched out. And he builds up such tension in a scene and then Morricone’s music kicks in, sometimes just a few notes. This is a beautiful piece of film making.
Everyone has their favorite part in this film. For some people, it’s the bridge scene. For others, it’s when Tuco does that weird jig through the graves, looking for the right one. For a lot of people, it’s in the very ending itself.
Of course, mine is different.
Tuco is in the bath. A bubble bath, mind you. The One Armed Man walks in. And he does something I hate in movies. He talks when he should kill. I mean, he’s standing there with his gun, Tuco is sitting in a freaking bathtub and he’s going to start yapping?
I've been looking for you for 8 months. Whenever I should have had a gun in my right hand, I thought of you. Now I find you in exactly the position that suits me. I had lots of time to learn to shoot with my left.
Fuck that shit. Tuco does what anyone in that circumstance should do. Well, anyone who takes a gun into a bubble bath with him. Tuco looks at the One Armed Man and says “When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk!” And shoots the dude. Lesson learned there, kids. When you are about to kill someone, don’t take the time to be all macho about it. Don’t tell your damn life story. Don’t talk. Shoot.
See, this movie is full of little life lessons if you pay close attention. And the best one is given by Blondie himself:
You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.
Think about that.
You can learn a lot from a squinty eyed, semi-Good guy. Especially when he’s a quick draw. -M
But, since we are talking about westerns here, let's lay off the Dirty Harry and shit and go for Treasure of the Sierra Madra shit. Hell, even Butch Cassidy kicked ass.
plus my movie had a little person in it
makes it super cool
Posted by: the turtle | August 28, 2006 9:47 PM
First off, I love westerns so this is tough. Fav of all time: The Searchers. John Ford, John Wayne, the final scene framed by that doorway at the end... a masterpiece.
Also: Unforgiven: maybe Clint's best western and that's saying something. The Outlaw Jose Wales is nipping at it's heels.
Winchester '73: James Stewart is so good in this one. He's after the man that killed his father and stole his rifle. Great twist at the end.
Shane: Jack Palance makes this movie as the hired gunslinger.
Posted by: mrbandw | August 28, 2006 10:06 PM
Right off the bat, I'd say "High Plains Drifter", but since Turtle took it, I have to go with.....
"Hang 'Em High"...
Damn close to perfect, it's got revenge, a whole mess of people to kill and a sheriff who knows when to stay out of Clint's way....
MILLER: You ain't never gonna get me alive to Fort Grant, boy.
COOPER: Then I'll get you there dead.... boy. (and you know he means it....)
But High Plains has the best Clint Eastwood exchange, ever... The opening (I think) lines:
The Stranger: Beer... and a bottle.
Bartender: Ain't much good, but it's all there is.
Bartender: You want anything else?
The Stranger: Just a peaceful bar to drink in.
I used to live and die by that line....
Posted by: thefinn | August 28, 2006 10:20 PM
once upon a time in the west.
best. western. ever.
charles bronson. jason robards. henry fonda as the bad guy? c'mon you just can't do better than that.
fucking beautiful movie.
Posted by: kali | August 28, 2006 10:35 PM
two mules for sister sara
Posted by: the turtle | August 28, 2006 11:06 PM
magnificent seven (yul brenner makes any movie cooler. cept for the king and i)
the seven samurai (they might have been the same movie but from different countries)
for a few dollars more
fist full of yen (they might have been the same movie but from different countries)
i'm sensing a trend here....
Posted by: the turtle | August 28, 2006 11:13 PM
Seems we have like minds and tastes here. That is a good thing. I don't Clint can make a bad western. The Searchers is on of my all-time favorites. I'll have to look for kali's movie, sounds good.
I'm going to go on a limb here and hope you also meant new westerns. My new favorite western is 'Open Range' with Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner.
Just seems the thing to do for your pals.
Posted by: Chuck | August 29, 2006 12:04 AM
Oh...they also got revenge for a good doggie...that has to make it a cool movie, no?
Posted by: Chuck | August 29, 2006 12:06 AM
"Hang 'Em High"...
you know the crazy guy they shot from the jail cart at the start of that movie was dennis hopper?
trivia pursuit be thy your name now
Posted by: the turtle | August 29, 2006 12:24 AM
Good call on recent westerns, Open Range was a good one.
Red River with John Wayne also should be included as one of the best.
Posted by: mrbandw | August 29, 2006 7:26 AM
i'll have to try open range even tho i generally dislike costner...
Posted by: kali | August 29, 2006 8:21 AM
hang em high also had skipper from gilligans island in it
man, i would have paid to see clint shoot that fat bastard in the gut
but, i also would have paid to see him eat gilligan for fucking up so many times on gilligans island, but what can you do?
Posted by: the turtle | August 29, 2006 10:23 AM
While HPD, and TGTB&TU are great in their own right, kali nailed it.
Once Upon a Time in The West had it all. The haunting harmonica melody (that you finally got the reason for at the end), Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda as a GREAT bad guy, and directed by The Man, Sergio Leone.
You can taste the grit in your teeth as you watch it.
Posted by: Zarba | August 29, 2006 11:18 AM
Since The Searchers has already been mentioned I'll pick Fort Apache, Red River and the Australian western, The Man from Snowy River(hats and horses). It's hard to get beyond the John Wayne/John Ford connection.
Posted by: Pat Patterson | August 29, 2006 11:58 AM
I'm not a huge fan of westerns, but I have enjoyed those mentioned here that I have seen.
I would submit Quigly Down Under as a really cool spin on the traditional western.
Posted by: Cullen | August 29, 2006 12:04 PM
- True Grit (also a great book) / Rooster Cogburn
- Hondo - Book was awesome too. Louis L Amour. Hard to go wrong with one of his books.
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: This one is exceptional with J Wayne, J Stewart and Lee Marvin as the bad guy.
Ok I've got most of the John Wayne westerns out of my system now :)
Oh and Treasure of the Sierra Madre is one of my faves too. 'Where are your badges? BADGES??'
Bogey is great in that flick.
Posted by: mrbandw | August 29, 2006 2:17 PM
Lonesome Dove. Yeah, it had Ricky Schroeder in it. But Duvall, Jones, and Glover made up for it. Great flick (albeit a bit long), great story, it's one of my fav's.
Posted by: Josh | August 29, 2006 3:10 PM
It invented some of the archetypes that Leone later developed so well, particularly the use of the score to advance the story.
Posted by: cwingo | August 29, 2006 5:02 PM