Great westerns from the 1970s and 1980s

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 10 .Young Guns .1988

The year is 1878, Lincoln County. John Tunstall, a British ranchowner, hires six rebellious boys as “regulators” to protect his ranch against the ruthless Santa Fe Ring. When Tunstall is killed in an ambush, the Regulators, declare war on the Ring. As their vendetta turns into a bloody rampage, they are branded outlaws, becoming the objects of the largest manhunt in Western history.

9.Silverado 1985

In 1880, four men travel together to the city of Silverado. They come across many dangers before they finally engage the “bad guys” and bring peace and equality back to the city.

8.Long riders 1980

The story of the Jesse James gang, with the Carradine brothers playing the Youngers and the Keach brothers starring as Jesse and Frank James.

7.Man called Horse . 1970

A white man captured by the Sioux Indians in the early 19th century is humiliated until he proves his bravery and is finally accepted into the tribe as a member

6.Outlaw Josey Wales. 1976

Josey Wales is on the run after avenging his family’s murder, and he must protect the group of people who have come to follow him.

Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) makes his way west after the Civil War, determined to live a useful and helpful life. He joins up with a group of settlers who need the protection that a man as tough and experienced as he is can provide. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with you, and Josey is a wanted man.

5.Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid .1973

Pat Garrett, now a sheriff, must capture his former partner, Billy the Kid

The movie opens in 1909 (though Pat Garrett was killed in 1908), near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Garrett is riding with men working for the Santa Fe Ring, when he is ambushed and coldly killed by his associates, including one John W. Poe.

In 1881 in Old Fort Sumner, New Mexico, William H. Bonney, known as Billy the Kid (Kris Kristofferson), is passing the time with friends shooting chickens for fun. An old friend of Billy’s, Pat Garrett (James Coburn), rides into town with Deputy Sheriff J. W. Bell (Matt Clark) and joins the diversion. Later, over drinks, Garrett informs Billy that the electorate want him out of the country, and that in five days, when he becomes Sheriff of Lincoln County, he will make Billy leave.

Six days later, Garrett and his deputies surround the small farmhouse where Billy and his gang are holed up. In the ensuing gun battle, Charlie Bowdre (Charles Martin Smith) and several other men on both sides are killed, and Billy is taken prisoner. As Billy awaits his execution in the Lincoln County Jail for the killing of Buckshot Roberts, he is taunted and beaten by self-righteous Deputy Sheriff Bob Olinger (R. G. Armstrong) while the hangman’s gallows are being built nearby. Garrett warns Olinger not to taunt Billy again or he will be fired and sent back to Texas; then, Garrett leaves town to collect taxes leaving his two deputies to guard Billy. Olinger again argues with Billy but after J. W. Bell intervenes, Olinger leaves to get a drink. Billy finds a gun hidden for him in the outhouse and shoots Bell in the back. He then retrieves Olinger’s shotgun loaded with “sixteen thin dimes” and shoots Olinger dead in the street, saying, “Keep the change, Bob.” Billy leaves town.

4.Ulzana’s Raid. 1972

Following mistreatment by Indian agency authorities, Ulzana breaks out of the San Carlos Indian Reservation with a small Chiricahua war party. When news reaches Fort Lowell, the commanding officer sends riders out to alert the local settlers. However, both troopers are ambushed separately; one is dragged away while the other kills the European woman he is escorting and then himself. The Apaches play catch with his liver. The woman’s husband, who stayed behind to protect his farm, is captured and tortured to death. McIntosh, an ageing US Army scout, is ordered to bring in Ulzana. Joining him will be a few dozen soldiers led by the inexperienced lieutenant, Garnett DeBuin, a veteran Cavalry sergeant and Ke-Ni-Tay, an Apache scout. Ke-Ni-Tay knows Ulzana because their wives are sisters.

The cavalry troop soon discover the brutal activities of the Apache war party. The soldiers know they are facing a merciless enemy with far better local skills. DeBuin is shocked by the cruelty and harshness he sees because it conflicts strongly with his Christian morality and view of humanity. After failing to find Ulzana, McIntosh and Ke-Ni-Tay consider how to outwit their enemy. But DeBuin remains cautious and mistrustful of Ke-Ni-Tay because Ulzana did not let him join his war party.

 

3.Monte Walsh. 1970

Monte Walsh is a 1970 American Western film directed by cinematographer William A. Fraker (his directorial debut) starring Lee Marvin, Jeanne Moreau and Jack Palance.

Monte Walsh is older cowboy facing the final days of the Old West era. He and his friend Chet Rollins, another longtime cowhand, work on cattle ranches, preferring to do “nothing that can’t be done from a horse”. Their lives are divided between months on the range and the occasional trip into town. Camaraderie and competition with the other cowboys fill their days.

When they find out that the Cross Bar ranch that they had worked “was wiped out during the last winter”, they take work at the Slash Y ranch where their old boss Cal Brennan is the “range manager”. At the Slash Y, they meet an old friend, Shorty Austin, another cowhand and bronco buster.

Monte has a long-term relationship with an old flame, prostitute and saloon girl Martine Bernard, who suffers from tuberculosis.

Chet has fallen in love with Mary Eagle, a widow who owns a hardware store.

As barbed wire and railroads steadily eliminate the need for the cowboy. Monte and his friends are left with fewer and fewer options. The Slash Y isn’t doing too well and Shorty is let go. As there is no other work available, he gets involved in rustling and killing, gunning down a local lawman.

 

2. Pale Rider 1985

Outside the snowy mountain town of Lahood, California, thugs working for big-time miner Coy LaHood destroy the camp of a group of prospectors and their families. They shoot a dog belonging to 14-year-old Megan Wheeler, who prays for a miracle as she buries its body in the woods. Thunder rolls and a stranger rides down the slopes.

Megan’s mother, Sarah, is being courted by Hull Barret. When Hull heads to town to pick up supplies, four of the thugs begin to beat him with axe staves, but he is rescued by the stranger. Hull then invites his rescuer to dinner and, while the stranger is washing, notices what look like six bullet wounds in his back. When the stranger appears at the dinner table, he is wearing a clerical collar and is thereafter called “Preacher”.

Coy LaHood’s son Josh attempts to scare off the Preacher with a show of strength from his giant work hand, Club, who breaks a large rock in half with a single hammer blow. Club attempts to attack the Preacher, who hits Club in the face with his hammer and delivers a blow to the groin, then gently helps him onto his horse. Afterwards the miners work together to smash the rest of the boulder.

Meanwhile, Coy LaHood returns from Sacramento and is furious to learn about the Preacher’s arrival, saying that this would strengthen the resolve of the prospectors. Failing to bribe the Preacher into settling in the town, LaHood is persuaded to offer the miners $1000 per claim provided they evacuate within 24 hours. LaHood threatens to hire a corrupt marshal named Stockburn to clear them out if they refuse. The miners initially consider the offer but, when Hull reminds them of their purpose and sacrifices, they decide to stay and fight.

1.The Shootist 1976
Aging gunfighter John Bernard “J.B.” Books arrives in Carson City, Nevada on the same date as Queen Victoria’s death: January 22, 1901. Books’ life is also ending soon as he is diagnosed with terminal cancer by “Doc” Hostetler. Doc directs Books to a boarding house owned by Bond Rogers, a widow who lives with her teenaged son, Gillom. Books’ attempt to remain anonymous fails and Bond, unreceptive to Books, summons Marshal Thibido. Thibido orders Books to leave town until Books says he will die soon. Thibido allows him to stay, but wishes him a quick death. Word spreads that Books is in town, causing all manner of trouble from those seeking to profit off his name to those seeking to kill him. Doc prescribes laudanum to ease Books’ pain, and advises him to choose how he dies, as opposed to allowing the cancer to do it. Books orders a headstone, but rejects the undertaker’s offer of a free funeral, suspecting he would charge the public admission to view his remains. Two strangers seeking notoriety try to ambush Books as he sleeps, but he kills them. Gillom is impressed, but his mother is losing boarders and she is angry. She is also concerned the fatherless Gillom will be influenced by violence and alcohol. Books and Gillom have a dispute over Gillom procuring a buyer for Books’ horse without his permission, but resolve their differences and their relationship improves after a shooting lesson. Books asks Gillom to tell three men – Mike Sweeney, Jack Pulford and Jay Cobb – that he will be at the Metropole Saloon at 11 am on January 29, Books’ birthday. Sweeney seeks revenge for Books’ killing of his brother, Pulford owns the saloon and gambles professionally, and Cobb, Gillom’s employer, is a local troublemaker…

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