The Tall T: Richard Boone excels as the charismatic villain opposite Randolph Scott in this lean, mean Western from Budd Boetticher

The Tall T (1957), directed by Bud Boetticher and written by Burt Kennedy, is the Western that Boetticher made with Randolph Scott immediately after the success of "Seven Men from Now"; and it's the first of the five Westerns made by Scott's company, 'Ranown.' The film stars Richard Boone and Maureen O'Sullivan alongside Scott and, … Continue reading The Tall T: Richard Boone excels as the charismatic villain opposite Randolph Scott in this lean, mean Western from Budd Boetticher

Broken Lance: Spencer Tracy is majestic as ‘King Lear’ of the West in this family saga dealing with pride, racism and sibling rivalry

Broken Lance (1954), directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, and Katy Jurado, is a family saga set in the old-West that bears a strong resemblance to Shakespeare's Tragedy, King Lear. Spencer Tracy is perhaps the greatest naturalistic actor from Hollywood's golden age.  Tracy, who was nominated nine times, was the first actor (Tom Hanks being … Continue reading Broken Lance: Spencer Tracy is majestic as ‘King Lear’ of the West in this family saga dealing with pride, racism and sibling rivalry

Bend of the River: James Stewart stars as an ex-raider seeking redemption in this unusually optimistic and colorful Anthony Mann Western

Bend of the River (1952) was the second Western that Anthony Mann directed with James Stewart in the lead. Though pretty optimistic and colorful in its tone, the film, co-starring Rock Hudson and Arthur Kennedy, is a worthy addition to the series of top class psychological Westerns that Mann and Stewart made together in the … Continue reading Bend of the River: James Stewart stars as an ex-raider seeking redemption in this unusually optimistic and colorful Anthony Mann Western

Garden of Evil: Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark comes to Susan Hayward’s rescue in this lush Western scored by Bernard Herrmann

Garden of Evil (1954), directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark and Susan Hayward, is a handsomely mounted character-driven Western that explores the evil effects of gold on men. if the earth were made of gold, men would die for a handful of dirt. Another Western that deals with greed, gold lust … Continue reading Garden of Evil: Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark comes to Susan Hayward’s rescue in this lush Western scored by Bernard Herrmann

The Naked Spur: James Stewart’s embittered Bounty-hunter pursues Robert Ryan’s wild killer in this definitive Anthony Mann Western

The Naked Spur (1953) is the third Western that director Anthony Mann made with star, James Stewart. The film, also starring Robert Ryan and Janet Leigh, is the best of the Mann-Stewart collaborations and the definitive Anthony Mann Western. Howard Kemp was a rancher in Abilene, Kansas before he went off to fight in the … Continue reading The Naked Spur: James Stewart’s embittered Bounty-hunter pursues Robert Ryan’s wild killer in this definitive Anthony Mann Western

Man of the West: Gary Cooper is terrific as the reformed outlaw battling kinsman Lee J. Cobb in Anthony Mann’s dark & gritty Western

Man of the West (1958), directed by Anthony Mann, is a gritty western that finds all-American hero, Gary Cooper, stepping into the shoes of the morally ambiguous Mann protagonist from his 1950s Westerns that usually starred James Stewart. 1950s is considered the decade when Westerns finally came of age. The simplistic White hat\Black hat, cowboys … Continue reading Man of the West: Gary Cooper is terrific as the reformed outlaw battling kinsman Lee J. Cobb in Anthony Mann’s dark & gritty Western

Warlock: Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn are fantastic together in this literate, Law & Order Western Drama

Warlock (1958), directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Dorothy Malone, is an intelligently crafted Western drama that deals with issues of vigilantism and Law & Order Edward Dmytryk is one of Hollywood's most prolific directors, who started his career in films as early as the 1920s. Never to … Continue reading Warlock: Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn are fantastic together in this literate, Law & Order Western Drama

Seven Men from Now: Lee Marvin steals the show in Bud Boetticher’s first and probably finest Western with Randolph Scott

Seven Men from Now (1956) is the first of the seven collaborations between Director Bud Boetticher and star Randolph Scott. This terrific Western, which set the template for the rest of the films in the series, features a scene-stealing performance by then up & coming Lee Marvin. "A man oughta be able to take care … Continue reading Seven Men from Now: Lee Marvin steals the show in Bud Boetticher’s first and probably finest Western with Randolph Scott

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Otto Preminger’s gritty, dark ‘rogue cop’ Noir reunites the ‘Laura’ duo of Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney

Where the Sidewalk Ends(1950) reunites director Otto Preminger with the stars of his iconic 1944 film 'Laura', Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. This is a more darker tale with Andrews playing a morally conflicted, hard-boiled, New York cop who's trying to stay one step ahead of the law as he obsessively hunts down a mob … Continue reading Where the Sidewalk Ends: Otto Preminger’s gritty, dark ‘rogue cop’ Noir reunites the ‘Laura’ duo of Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney

Escape from Fort Bravo: A Decade before ‘The Great Escape’, John Sturges crafted this thrilling, Civil war era POW Escape adventure featuring William Holden and Eleanor Parker

Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), directed by John Sturges and starring William Holden, Eleanor Parker and John Forsythe, is a Civil-war era Western which details an escape attempt by Confederate soldiers from the eponymous POW camp in Arizona. Made exactly a decade before his classic WWII POW escape drama, "The Great Escape (1963)", Director, John … Continue reading Escape from Fort Bravo: A Decade before ‘The Great Escape’, John Sturges crafted this thrilling, Civil war era POW Escape adventure featuring William Holden and Eleanor Parker

Friendly Persuasion: Gary Cooper is a non-violent hero in William Wyler’s big, warm, colorful and charming slice of Americana that takes a sensitive look at war and religion

Friendly Persuasion(1956), directed by William Wyler and starring Gary Cooper, Anthony Perkins and Dorothy McGuire is a wholesome family entertainer set during the American civil war and tells the story of a pacifist Quaker family, and how their religious beliefs are tested by the onset of war. Gary Cooper started out in the movies in … Continue reading Friendly Persuasion: Gary Cooper is a non-violent hero in William Wyler’s big, warm, colorful and charming slice of Americana that takes a sensitive look at war and religion

The Horse Soldiers: John Ford’s lone stab at a Civil War Western is consistently entertaining and features strong performances from John Wayne and William Holden

Though Director John Ford has been the pre-eminent chronicler of American history, he has never made a film set during the American civil war. The Horse Soldiers (1959), starring John Wayne and William Holden, which came pretty much at the end of his illustrious career was the only film set during that period. Though not … Continue reading The Horse Soldiers: John Ford’s lone stab at a Civil War Western is consistently entertaining and features strong performances from John Wayne and William Holden

The Bravados: A taut, brooding Revenge-Western that puts a dark spin on Gregory Peck’s heroic persona

The Bravados(1958), starring Gregory Peck and Directed by Henry King, is an intense, brooding Western that finds Peck taking revenge against the outlaws who killed his wife. When one thinks of the great actor-director combos from the golden age of Hollywood, the names that come immediately to mind would be John Wayne and John Ford, … Continue reading The Bravados: A taut, brooding Revenge-Western that puts a dark spin on Gregory Peck’s heroic persona

Rio Grande: John Ford brought John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together for the first time in this final film in his ‘Cavalry’ trilogy

“Wayne’s greatest achievement may have been creating John Wayne. The character he played, the character he invented, was the American persona of the man who is hard and believes in doing right and will do it against all the odds.”Charlton Heston on John Wayne Rio Grande (1950), the third and final film in John Ford's … Continue reading Rio Grande: John Ford brought John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together for the first time in this final film in his ‘Cavalry’ trilogy

The Big Heat: Fritz Lang inverts gender archetypes to create the first ‘Homme fatale’ in this great film noir

The Big Heat(1953), Directed by the legendary Fritz Lang and starring Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame in lead roles is a great film noir that both expands and inverts a lot of Noir tropes and archetypes. "In the city of "Kenport", a police sergeant, Tom Duncan. commits suicide. Investigating the incident, fellow detective Sgt. Dave … Continue reading The Big Heat: Fritz Lang inverts gender archetypes to create the first ‘Homme fatale’ in this great film noir

To Catch a Thief: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly epitomizes the glamor and sizzle of golden age Hollywood in Hitchcock’s witty, elegant, extravaganza

To Catch a Thief(1955), Hitchcock's glossy, lighthearted, caper film offers frothy, romantic entertainment, and Grant and Kelly's combustive star power sets off significant fireworks. Sex on the screen should be suspenseful, I feel. If sex is too blatant or obvious, there’s no suspense. You know why I favor sophisticated blondes in my films? We’re after … Continue reading To Catch a Thief: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly epitomizes the glamor and sizzle of golden age Hollywood in Hitchcock’s witty, elegant, extravaganza

The African Queen: John Huston brings together Bogart, Hepburn and the wild African landscape to create the ultimate romantic adventure

The African Queen(1951), starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, was director John Huston's adaption of C.S.Forester's 1935 novel of the same name. The film had one of the most difficult shoots in movie history, but it resulted in one of the most endearing romantic adventure films of all time, with Bogart winning an Oscar for … Continue reading The African Queen: John Huston brings together Bogart, Hepburn and the wild African landscape to create the ultimate romantic adventure

Giant: James Dean casts a giant shadow on this sprawling Texan epic

Giant(1956), directed by George Stevens and starring Rock Hudson, James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor was Dean's last film, and it was released after his death. "Everybody thought I had a duster. Y'all thought ol' Spindletop Burke and Burnett was all the oil there was, didn't ya? Well, I'm here to tell you that it ain't, … Continue reading Giant: James Dean casts a giant shadow on this sprawling Texan epic

High Noon: Gary Cooper’s Oscar winning performance towers over this seminal Western classic

High Noon(1952), written by Carl Foreman, produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by Fred Zinnemann is the first of the McCarthy era Westerns, that probed the divisions existing within the American society at the height of the red scare. The film won 4 academy Awards, including a richly deserved best actor trophy for Gary Cooper … Continue reading High Noon: Gary Cooper’s Oscar winning performance towers over this seminal Western classic

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday in this slick, star-driven, Horse opera

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral(1957), directed by John Sturges and starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday, is perhaps the most popular and flamboyant version of the events leading up to (and occurred during) the legendary Gunfight On October 26, 1881, Dr. John “Doc” Holliday, allied with the Earp brothers … Continue reading Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday in this slick, star-driven, Horse opera