Asking people what their favorite Western movies are produces an interesting list, at best. I did that in February on my Facebook author’s page, and soon learned that if I wanted a statistical sampling I’d have to ask the question more carefully. Some folks responded with their favorite books. Others didn’t distinguish between multiple versions of the same story. Nearly everyone assumed that someone else’s mention of a film meant they didn’t need to mention it again.
By way of reporting, 3104 people saw the post. A much smaller sample, 65 people, voted. Some folks voted multiple times. Three actors were mentioned by name—Errol Flynn, John Wayne (most often) and Clint Eastwood. The result was an enthusiastic list of “gotta see” films. Tombstone, with nine people reporting, and True Grit with eight, were the most popular.
Here are the multiple winners:
Tombstone (9), True Grit (8), Jeremiah Johnson (4), Lonesome Dove (4), Open Range (4), Searchers (4), Shane (4), 3:10 to Yuma (3), Blazing Saddles (3), Good, Bad and the Ugly (3), Monte Walsh (3), My Name is Nobody (3), Once Upon a Time in the West (3), Silverado (3), The Outlaw Josey Wales (3), The Shootist (3), Unforgiven (3), Winchester ’73 (3), Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (2), Cat Ballou (2), Conagher (2), Hang ‘Em High (2), High Plains Drifter (2), Magnificent Seven (2), Pale Rider (2), Quigley Down Under (2) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (2).
Here are the single mentions:
Big Jake, Broken Arrow, Broken Trail, Dances With Wolves, Dodge City, Duck You Sucker, Fistful of Dollars, Fort Apache, Heaven’s Gate, High Country, High Noon, Hombre, Judge Leroy Bean, McClintock, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Paint Your Wagon, Red River, Red Sun, Return to Lonesome Dove, Rio Bravo, Rio Grande, Shanghai Noon, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Sons of Katie Elder, Stagecoach, Support Your Local Sheriff, The Cowboys, They Died With Their Boots On, Verz Cruz, Virginia City, War Wagon, Wild Bill, Wild Wild West, Wyatt Earp and Young Guns.
Which of your favorite films is missing?