Disappointing westerns?


(Tom B.) #1

What westerns have you waited for a chance to get to see and then were really disappointed at what you actually saw.

JOHNNY GUITAR (1954) is one of those for me. I finally got to see this film a few years ago. It is always mentioned when classic westerns are discussed or written about. Boy what a let down. Joan Crawford is about as wooden as you can get, and Sterling Hayden seemed all wrapped up in himself. Why would anyone follow Mercedes McCambridge’s lead. Scott Brady always comes across as a bully. The sets are way over the top and about half way through I didn’t care what happened to anyone in the film just so it was over. Ben Cooper, always a pain in the butt, is terrible and his death scene looks like a high school actor’s performance. Although wanting to be taken seriously this film comes across as a parody and a joke and what a boring film to boot.


(scherpschutter) #2

[quote=“Tom B., post:1, topic:751”]What westerns have you waited for a chance to get to see and then were really disappointed at what you actually saw.

JOHNNY GUITAR (1954) is one of those for me. I finally got to see this film a few years ago. It is always mentioned when classic westerns are discussed or written about. Boy what a let down. Joan Crawford is about as wooden as you can get, and Sterling Hayden seemed all wrapped up in himself. Why would anyone follow Mercedes McCambridge’s lead. Scott Brady always comes across as a bully. The sets are way over the top and about half way through I didn’t care what happened to anyone in the film just so it was over. Ben Cooper, always a pain in the butt, is terrible and his death scene looks like a high school actor’s performance. Although wanting to be taken seriously this film comes across as a parody and a joke and what a boring film to boot.[/quote]

I agree with you, Tom. Still I think this was the film with one of the strongest lines I ever heard in a western:

“I never shake hands with a left-handed gun”

It’s been quite some time since I saw the film, but I think it was Sterling Hayden who spoke it.

I’ve seen quite a few westerns that were a let-down, but it’s hard to pick that one major disappointment.
Still, it’s an interesting idea. I’ll think about it and let you all know.


(me) #3

“A minute to pray, A second to die” was not as good as I expected it to be.


(Stanton) #4

The Magnificent 7:
With this story, this cast, this director, the film should be much, much better.


(ENNIOO) #5

High Noon, cannot see what the fuss is about.

Slow and long winded, and Gary Cooper always looks like he is going to burst into tears.


(Stanton) #6

High Noon is brillantly directed with many SW like images, but a bit pretensious at times.


(ENNIOO) #7

The Magnificent 7 however is well directed, rousing music, with an effective cast.


(Bill san Antonio) #8

Shane: awful, lame film with the most annoying kid in the history of cinema.


(Stanton) #9

But you need not to compare it with Kurosawa’s masterpieece, comparing it with Sturges’ previous westerns is enough to be a bit disappointed. Too simple, too clean.


(Stanton) #10

But here again, there are many terrific scenes, the shootouts are explosively filmed (also very violent for a 50s film). Stevens had a genuine feeling for western shots, but there is also too much of the Stevens typical sentimentality.
Leone had also borrowed much from this film.

Astonishingly these “ambitious” westerns by non genre directors often had better action scenes than many made by the so called Hollywood Professionals.


(ENNIOO) #11

I do not compare it to Kurosawa’s.

This is what I like about the film, easy plot.


(Tom B.) #12

WILD BILL(1995) with Jeff Bridges and directed by Walter Hill was another huge disappointment for me. The only action is in the flashback sequences which are way too short. The film takes on the feeling of a stage play and is just boring. Why Wild Bill doesn’t shoot Jack McCall (David Arquette) early on, as he seems to know his intentions, is beyond me. Highly touted when it was released I saw it at the theater and have tried to sit through it two or three times since but always turn it off.


(scherpschutter) #13

SHANE : I always thought I hated it, or at least disliked it, or didn’t really love it. Whatever. But I bought a very cheap copy lately and rewatched it (after some 20 years). It turned out to be a much better film than I remembered. Overall I agree with Stanton on this one. (The kid was annoying, though …)

WILD BILL: I’m totally surprised. I’ve seen it twice and was intrigued by the bleak portrayal of the famous gunslinger. Even my wife liked it. I always mention it as one of the most underrated westerns in recent history.
Totally baffled. But that’s life, I guess …

Already wrote about the famous western that was a let-down to me, but something went completely wrong here.
I guess the text is wandering forever between the winds.
Or maybe it’ll flop accidently into one thread or another, some day …
I’ll write the text again tomorrow.


(valenciano) #14

Well I think this is a general problem with epectations. When i saw some cheap western on tv that was desrcibed as only average here, i expected nothing and it turned out to be better.
But for example for freat silence i had too high expectations. so it was kind of a disappointment just because i expected too much. its the best too expect less and be surprised…


(JONAH HEX) #15

[quote=“valenciano, post:14, topic:751”]Well I think this is a general problem with epectations. When i saw some cheap western on tv that was desrcibed as only average here, i expected nothing and it turned out to be better.
But for example for freat silence i had too high expectations. so it was kind of a disappointment just because i expected too much. its the best too expect less and be surprised…[/quote]very true.i think this is why i was disapointed in django kill…and cemetary without crosses because i had heard so much hype,had i watched them without being exposed to the reviews bfore hand i may have enjoyed them more.i think when i rewatch them i may like them more because i wont be watching with high expectations.


(Silvanito) #16

Yes that’s true, and sometimes films grow after repeated viewings, so later on you might enjoy them much more!


(alk0) #17

The man who killed Liberty Valance - everyone seems to be praising it as a classic western but i thought it was terribly boring and rather pointless.


(Bill san Antonio) #18

[quote=“alk0, post:17, topic:751”]The man who killed Liberty Valance - everyone seems to be praising it as a classic western but i thought it was terribly boring and rather pointless.[/quote]but hey! It has Lee Van Cleef in one of his biggest roles in US westerns.


(alk0) #19

Lee’s role was one of few good things in this movie. But it doesn’t change the fact that it was boring :stuck_out_tongue:


(scherpschutter) #20

To me one of the bottom of the barrel movies is ‘4 of the Apocalypse’, but somebody already threatened to shoot me for this opinion (thank Jehovah he was man of God!) and I noticed on an other forum that Bad lieutenant is a supporter of the movie too, so I have to pick another one.

Considered by many critics and members of the Academy to be a masterpiece, Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ is probably the so-called great western that dissapointed me most.
I didn’t think High Plains Drifter, Josey Wales or Pale Rider were marvellous, but their assets outweighed their shortcomings. All in all they were decent films, not perfect, but well-crafted and enjoyable.
In Unforgiven Clint seems to be worried about his own screen persona, about his own ‘violent history’ in the history of the western movie and tries to make a strong anti-violence statement. This is an interesting idea. I don’t like violence either, at least not in real life, and can understand that somebody who’s name is identified with some of the most violent characters in the history of filmmaking, is a little worried.
But watching Unforgiven I couldn’t help thinking about that old dictum:
If you want to send a message, use Western Union.
The message is written on the wall: VIOLENCE IS WRONG,! IT KILLS YOUR SOUL! IT’S A HELLOVA THING KILLIN’ A MAN!
And than there’s that young man who joins Clint and Morgan and - shaking all over - kills a man and subsequently starts moaning that the man is dead, dead, dead, and that it’s horrible, horrible, horrible …
Sorry, to me that was way over the top.