Western Movies

Remembering Ernest Borgnine

Ernest-BorgnineErnest Borgnine, Oscar-winning actor and perennial favorite of movies and TV for more than six decades, died on July 8, at the age of 95. Borgnine worked in film continually from 1951 up until about June of this year, easily switching back and forth between dramas and comedies.

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Feud-Mania

Costner_Hatifled_McCoys_westernsThe dictionary defines a “feud” as a “long-running argument or fight between parties—often groups of people, especially families or clans.” This includes vendettas, blood feuds, private wars and, if you ask me, street rumbles, gas station price wars and long-standing neighborhood barbecue battles.

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Wyatt On the Set!

wyatt_earp_hollywood_westernsHis story, said Bat Masterson, was the story of the West. For years Wyatt Earp was reluctant to tell it.  But as some began to resurrect his mythical past, Earp saw his name tarnished and his life exploited. In his old age, he wanted to bring his story to the screen—he knew the biggest names in movies, stars like William S. Hart, Tom Mix and Harry Carey, and America’s greatest writer, Jack London. His story would come to dominate Western movies, but things didn’t quite work out as he hoped..

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The Iconic Duo

butch-cassidy_sundance-kid_1969-westernThe last great year for Western movies was 1969, which saw the release of three classics: The Wild Bunch, True Grit and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (all three films feature actor Strother Martin in memorable roles). Getting three terrific Westerns in the same year seemed exceptional at the time, and it now seems beyond imagination.

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Six Forgotten Film Classics

western-movies_ben-johnson_fort-difiance_oklahomaJosh Becker has watched 4,720 movies.

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8 Classic Westerns

classic_train_wetserns_moviesThat the train would inspire the world’s first narrative film, Edwin S. Porter’s 1903  Western The Great Train Robbery, makes complete sense to us.

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Train Keeps A’Rollin’

westerns_tv_hell_on_wheels_amc_lily_bell_transcontinental_railroadWhen Joe and Tony Gayton, the brothers responsible for creating Hell on Wheels, pitched their series to cable station AMC, a Western wasn’t necessarily the first thing they had in mind.

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Hollywood’s Honest Abe

Abraham-Lincoln-honest-abe-western-vampire

The Western was in a holding pattern, for the most part, in 2011.

We had Rango, which pulled out a shopping cart full of awards, including “Best Animated Feature Film” in this year’s Oscars.

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MARY DORIA RUSSELL

mary_doria_russell_author_doc_hbo_tv_bookAuthor of Doc, which Ron Howard will be filming for HBO.

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Wyatt Earp Wannabes

wyatt-earp-film-wannabe-look-a-like-actors_true-westMore than 40 actors have portrayed Wyatt Earp, but few have even slightly resembled him. Which of the following actors do you believe best captures the real Wyatt? (Hint: the later the film, the more careful the makeup job.)

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Luke Perry on Eastwood

luke_perry_clint_eastwood_tv_western_goodnight_for_justice_hallmark_outlaw_josey_walesLuke Perry has become a major star in a series of TV Westerns that feature Perry as John Goodnight, a 19th-century circuit judge.

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The Big Kiss Off

movie-postesrs-my-darling-clemetine-herny-fondaJohn Ford’s 1946 classic film, My Darling Clementine, the story of Wyatt Earp and the O.K. Corral gunfight, is anything but a forgotten film classic—

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Why Did Cowboys & Aliens Fail… Or did it?

harrison_ford_daniel_craig_cowboys_and_aliens_western_movieThe 2011 summer blockbuster film turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments, if you listen to Hollywood.

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A.K.A. John Ford

barry-fitzgerald-the quiet-man-john-wayne-john-fordSean Martin Feeney arrived in Los Angeles from Portland, Maine, in 1914 at the age of 19.

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REX RIDEOUT

rex_rideout_cowboys_alien_musician_fiddler_music_historianMaking his movie debut as the cowboy fiddler in last year’s Cowboys & Aliens, Rex Rideout is a 19th-century music historian who can often be found performing with Mark Gardner.

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Marfa, Texas

mafia-texas-giant-movie-location-james-deanCalled one of the last American frontiers, Marfa got its start as an 1883 water stop for the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway. This semiarid region features dry steambeds and a mountain terrain made up of the Davis, Chisos and Chinati ranges.

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The Lone Rango

movies_tvs_documentaries_independent_westerns_rangoOne film that touched everyone—from the kiddies to us grizzled veterans—was 2011’s Rango.

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Tom Mix: The First Western Superstar

Tom Mix began his career with the 101 Ranch Wild West Show.

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Clint The Icon of a Generation

bob_boze_bell_painting_clint_eastwood_cool_actor_iconClint Eastwood is a mystery. He’s been a cowboy, a cop, a National Geographic photojournalist, a clown, a honky-tonk singer, a jazz DJ and a moonlighting hit man who doubled as an art professor. But these are roles.

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Wyatt Earp’s First Film

wyatt-earp-western-cinemaIt was quite natural for Wyatt Earp to gravitate to Gower Gulch, the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street in Hollywood, where unemployed Southwestern cowboys gathered daily in search of work in the new moving picture industry. Many old pals from his Arizona, Nevada and Alaska days were there. They would swap tales, warmly recalling the dead past as old men so often do.

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Call of the Canyon

author-zane-grey-call-canyon_authntic-settings-filmed-arizonaIn 1906, novelist Zane Grey visited the Arizona Territory for the first time.

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True Westerners

ELizabeth Fenn

ELizabeth Fenn

If I had been a member of the Corps of Discovery, I would have brought my own via...

Video Villa!

Video Villa!

Mexican Revolution leader Pancho Villa knew the value of good publicity. Mutual F...

Studying Villa’s Raid

Studying Villa’s Raid

March 9, 1916, started out bad for the 13th Cavalry at Camp Furlong. Ignoring th...

True West Site Guide

Mission

True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!
 

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

"Hands down the definitive books on Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday." --By Allen Barra, New York Newsday