Western Movies

Our Favorite Movies, TV Series & DVDs of 2012

This is THE best John Wayne photo book ever!


Click image above for larger view

We run into John Wayne fans everywhere we go in this great nation of ours, and by New Year’s Day, after the holiday gifts have all been exchanged or traded in for something better (hey, it happens!), we bet a lot of them will have big smiles on their faces.

The John Wayne family has given us all an incredible gift by opening up its photography archives for the release of John Wayne: The Legend and the Man, published by powerHouse Books.

In this first-ever authorized photographic record of the Duke’s life, you won’t know where to flip to first, which is fine, because whichever page you land on, you will find something incredible. Mixed in with the cinematic shots we all know and love are never-before-seen images from backstage snapshots and family albums. You’ll see the Duke in his football years at USC, aboard his converted wooden naval mine sweeper, the Wild Goose, and traveling with his family and friends in places ranging from Alaska to Mexico.

Director Martin Scorsese got it right in his introduction: “This wonderful collection of photographs gives us John Wayne the figurehead, John Wayne the actor, and John Wayne the human being.”

Thanks to this treasure of a book, fans can truly get a look at this giant of American cinema from every angle.


Our Favorite Movies, TV Series & DVDS



Two of the best Westerns this year were produced independently. The first, Good for Nothing, came out of New Zealand and is a wry look at the relationship between a completely uncivilized outlaw and a proper young British girl, fresh to the West, who he kidnaps. It’s an odd work, but it’s funny, and it takes some clever turns.



The other first-rate movie to be found in 2012 is Redemption: For Robbing the Dead, a historically-based story about a Utah sheriff and a grave robber who was tattooed and exiled to an island in the Great Salt Lake. The robber’s demented wife features a truly unexpected and fearless performance by Margot Kidder.



Lawless is a moonshine picture and a very close cousin to Hatfields & McCoys. Based on the true account of the Bondurant family, three Virginia brothers who did battle with the Syndicate in the Depression era, Lawless has the best ensemble cast in a movie this year and includes Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain.




Justified is probably the best and most consistent Western-themed television series, and the fourth season kicks off on FX in January. Based on crime writer Elmore Leonard’s novels and stories featuring U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), the show makes television worth watching.



Hell on Wheels, the story of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, has become a surprisingly good program, and quite a great many viewers feel the same. This is one of the most interesting Western stories on television, as much as anything because of its unpredictability.



For an Old West-style stoic lawman who has seen it all, Sheriff Walt Longmire truly wears his heart on the sleeve of his duster.  Longmire is a solid character, but equally interesting are the fine supporting players, including Lou Diamond Phillips. With 4.3 million viewers tuning in for the series finale, A&E’s most-watched drama will return for a second season.



Dennis Quaid made a fine Doc Holliday in Wyatt Earp, and he knows his way around a horse. In CBS’s Vegas, Quaid plays fourth-generation cattle rancher-turned-sheriff Ralph Lamb, Michael Chiklis is Lamb’s adversary, the Little Caesar of Vegas, and the series has a solid writer in Nicholas Pileggi (Goodfellas). Fans enjoy watching the...

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Product of the Month

The Illustrated Life and Times of Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

"Your book is fascinating, coupling your powerful illustrations [and] tracking...from birth to Tombstone to the legend [Wyatt] had become;...even Wyatt would approve." --By Hugh O'Brian, of the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

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