Welcome to the premiere issue of Wildest Westerns, where your favorite classic and contemporary westerns are showcased along with the heroes and villains who shaped them.
The western has much to offer due to its flexibility. From the fictional Man Without a Star to the biographical Jesse James, westerns have served as actioneers, such as The Deserter, and as character dramas, such as A Big Hand for the Little Lady. The Naked Spur is an example of a psychological western, where the main character is haunted by his past.
Some westerns, such as Unconquered, are set in the Colonial period, while Shenandoah takes place during the time of the Civil War. Other diverse elements found in westerns are demonstrated by wilderness westerns, like The Mountain Men; cavalry films, such as Duel at Diablo; and television shows that focus on the settlers of the frontier, and on the pioneers of the west, as in Daniel Boone and Wagon Train, respectively.
Being that the western covers a broad range of topics, characters, and locales, various sub-genres have emerged, including Euro-westerns, Black westerns, and “Spaghetti” westerns, with respective films, The Scavengers, Harlem on the Prairie, and Fistful of Dynamite.
The western has also translated well into other genres, as seen with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (musical), Support Your Local Sheriff (comedy), Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula (horror), and Westworld (science-fiction). Sometimes, the western is a combination of themes. Prime examples are Red Sun (Eastern culture meets Western), and The Beast of Hollow Mountain (Dinosaur terrorizes Old West).
The western is so influential that its elements have frequently been spotted elsewhere, as in the TV police drama McCloud, with Dennis Weaver sporting western wear in the metropolis. Going one step further, critics have referred to Star Trek as a western in outer space, and Star Wars as the galactic version of The Searchers!
Even cartoons have gone country, with Disney’s Fievel Goes West, and The Flintstones episode with Uncle Tex (not to mention the Cartrocks in a parody of Bonanza).
With all of this in mind, let’s saddle up for a round-up of magical western moments.
I hope that you will enjoy Wildest Westerns, as much as it is a pleasure to present it.
Until next time, Vayan con Dios.
Ed G. Lousararian