5 Great Western Movies Recommended By Quentin Tarantino
In appreciation of his expertise, here are ten of the best Western films recommended by Quentin Tarantino.
1. The Grand Duel
The Grand Duel (Italian: Il Grande duello), also known as Storm Rider and The Big Showdown, is a 1972 Spaghetti Western film directed by Giancarlo Santi, who had previously worked as Sergio Leone's assistant director on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West. The film stars Lee Van Cleef as a sheriff who seeks justice for a man accused of murder.
Django is a 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed and co-written by Sergio Corbucci, starring Franco Nero (in his breakthrough role) as the title character alongside Loredana Nusciak, José Bódalo, Ángel Álvarez and Eduardo Fajardo. The film follows a Union soldier-turned-drifter and his companion, a mixed-race prostitute, who become embroiled in a bitter, destructive feud between a gang of Confederate Red Shirts and a band of Mexican revolutionaries. Intended to capitalize on and rival the success of Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, Corbucci's film is, like Leone's, considered to be a loose, unofficial adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo.
3. Death Rides A Horse
Death Rides a Horse (Italian: Da uomo a uomo, lit. 'As man to man') is a 1967 Italian Spaghetti Western directed by Giulio Petroni, written by Luciano Vincenzoni and starring Lee Van Cleef and John Phillip Law.
4. Machine Gun Killers
Gatling Gun (Italian: Quel caldo maledetto giorno di fuoco, Spanish: La ametralladora, also known as Damned Hot Day of Fire and Machine Gun Killers) is a 1968 Italian-Spanish Spaghetti Western film directed by Paolo Bianchini and starring Robert Woods.
5. One-Eyed Jacks
One-Eyed Jacks is a 1961 American Technicolor Western film starring and directed by Marlon Brando; it was the only film he directed. It was originally planned to be directed by Stanley Kubrick from a screenplay by Sam Peckinpah, but studio disputes led to their replacement by Brando and Guy Trosper. Brando portrays the lead character Rio, and Karl Malden plays his partner, "Dad" Longworth. The supporting cast features Pina Pellicer, Katy Jurado, Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens. In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
6. The Great Silence
Directed and co-written by Sergio Corbucci, The Great Silence is a dark spaghetti western set in the town of Snow Hill, Utah. The town’s been hit with a severe blizzard, and snow blankets the countryside, forcing beggars to steal and townsfolk to do what they must to survive. A woman’s husband is murdered by the bounty hunter, “Loco” (Klaus Kinski), for the price of $1000.
7. Rio Bravo
The Howard Hawks classic features a star-studded cast including John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Angie Dickinson. Based on a short story of the same name by B.H. McCampbell, Rio Bravo is about a sheriff in Rio Bravo, Texas who seeks the help of a cripple, a drunk and a gunman to fend off a gang of hired guns sent in to break a prisoner out of jail. Sheriff John T. Chance arrested Joe Burdette for murdering an unarmed man, but Joe’s brother Nathan owns most of the country and has unlimited resources – he will not have his brother rotting away in a prison cell.
8. Navajo Joe
Another Sergio Corbucci classic, Navajo Joe stars Burt Reynolds as a Native American avenging his tribe after seeing them slaughtered by bandits. From the start, the film was plagued by misunderstandings – Corbucci thought Marlon Brando was going to star, and Burt Reynolds thought the movie was going to be directed by Sergio Leone. Reynolds had often commented on how much he hated the film and felt it was his most unprofessional work.
9. Once Upon A Time In The West
A tale of greed, vengeance, and survival, Once Upon A Time In The West is a classic Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Leone and based on a story by Dario Argento (Suspiria, Tenebre, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage). Railroad tycoon Morton sends hired gun Frank (Henry Fonda in an unusual role as a villain) to Brett McBain’s property where he and his men murder McBain and his family.
10. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The final film in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly pits three men against each other in a battle to find gold hidden in a cemetery. Clint Eastwood reprises his role as “The Man With No Name,” or “The Good” (or as Tuco calls him, “Blondie),” Lee Van Cleef plays “Angel Eyes,” or “The Bad,” and Eli Wallach is Tuco, or “The Ugly.” The Good knows the name on the gravestone, and The Ugly knows the location of the cemetery, forcing them to make some compromises as they battle through the chaos and destruction of the Civil War. The Bad forces the name of the cemetery out of The Ugly and is also competing for the gold. The movie ends in an intense three-way shoot-out.