The London magazine Time Out recently published an article on their 50 Greatest Westerns. Time Out’s readership is primarily urban hipsters looking for diverting entertainment before heading out off to the clubs at Piccadilly Circus to get drunk, stoned, and laid. If that’s the audience, then they did a nice job. The list of full of dark classics and revisionist westerns, films that turn the genre on end, like Heaven’s Gate, Dead Man, and their pick for #1, Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller. While I found the latter almost completely unwatchable I did like a lot of the films on the list, and they nicely appeal to both the sarcastic Gen-Xer and the hopeful dirty hippie mountain man in me. This list has clearly upset people, as I have found two other blogs is just a few minutes of searching that take this list to task, one calling it is list of 50 Greatest Leftist Westerns. I’ll take that.
They are all wrong, of course. The best western movie is Christopher Guest's underrated Almost Heroes, the only film that ever pointed out the insanity of Lewis & Clark’s plan of sailing up the Missouri into the Rockies hoping that at some point it flows back down into the Pacific. Seriously, did they think that the laws of physics change in the mountains?