My Westerns lifetime learning class is wrapping up this week, and my students have asked me about a top ten list of classic Westerns. I imagine there are plenty of such lists naming the "best" Westerns, but I'd rather make mine a list of personal favorites. I do aim for some diversity in terms of decade, focus, director, and stars, but these are all Westerns that I enjoy tremendously every time I see them. I'm not including the comedy and parody films that prospered late in the day, although I do really love Cat Ballou (1965), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and, for reasons even I can't fully explain, Paint Your Wagon (1969). Here, then, are ten of of my all-time favorite Westerns, listed in chronological order.
2. MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946)
3.WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1951)
4. HIGH NOON (1952)
5. SHANE (1953)
6. THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955)
7. BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955)
8. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
9. RIO BRAVO (1959)
10. THE PROFESSIONALS (1966)
What are your favorite classic Westerns?