The Last Stand

Well, we've reached the end of Blogagaard Watches a Bunch of Westerns week. Thanks for tuning in and I hope you're inspired to check one of these puppies out.

Red River (1948)

A John Wayne movie directed by Howard Hawks, Red River tells the story of an epic 1,000 mile cattle drive from Texas to Kansas. Apparently, back then cattle drives were WAY more dangerous than I ever knew. I guess when the beefy mass of muscle, some 9,000 strong, realizes it's being driven to the slaughterhouse it tends to get a little tense and stampede the shit out of everything in its way. Throw in some healthy inter-department discord, bad weather, and an Indian attack or two and you've got yourself a regular exodus (MOVEMENT OF THE BOVINES!). Despite this film featuring John Wayne, who has always seemed a little too macho Republican-y for my tastes, Red River pretty much rocks up until the last forty minutes, when suddenly this tough talking lady named Tess Millay (played by Joanne Dru) appears in the film and literally yaps until you want to shut the film off. Damn movie evens ends with her giving on last super-YAP, a sadly weak ending to a film that was 90% awesome.

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Well, it turns out I'd actually seen this film before (I'd confused it with The Magnificent Seven, which I think I've also seen but now am unsure about as well). I still watched the first big opening sequence when the Wild Bunch try to rob the Rail Road and much shooting craziness ensues, with many townsfolk caught in the crossfire. That first scene just sets the stage for more and more gunfights as the gang escapes to Mexico, meets up with more bad eggs, and more trouble ensues. Reading the Wiki plot entry on this movie alone is exhausting and all that bloodshed failed to entice me to a second viewing (or maybe I was just Westerned out by this time). Definitely worth seeing once though if you're a shoot'em up fan or interested in that period around 1913 when the West was supposedly growing tame.


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