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Author Topic: Looking for recommendations for Westerns to watch, spaghetti or otherwise  (Read 3044 times)
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wonderpug
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« on: April 09, 2010, 08:25:46 PM »

Ok, I want to get hyped up for the upcoming Red Dead Redemption game, and I'm planning to watch a bunch of westerns to get in the mood. I've never been a total western junkie, so while I know I've seen a lot of the big ones I also know I've missed some of the essential ones. Assume I've never seen a single one.

Also, I'm flexible on the definition. I'm going to end up rewatching Back to the Future Part 3 and Firefly as a part of his exercise, so as long as it's a movie that'll make me excited to play open world cowboy Grand Theft Auto I'm all for it.  I'm really pretty clueless about the genre. 

Thanks! 
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 08:30:17 PM »

For me, Tombstone is a must see. Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer are incredible in that film.
Some other personal favorites are Fist Full of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and Silverado.
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 08:30:26 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on April 09, 2010, 08:25:46 PM

Ok, I want to get hyped up for the upcoming Red Dead Redemption game, and I'm planning to watch a bunch of westerns to get in the mood. I've never been a total western junkie, so while I know I've seen a lot of the big ones I also know I've missed some of the essential ones. Assume I've never seen a single one.

Also, I'm flexible on the definition. I'm going to end up rewatching Back to the Future Part 3 and Firefly as a part of his exercise, so as long as it's a movie that'll make me excited to play open world cowboy Grand Theft Auto I'm all for it.  I'm really pretty clueless about the genre. 

Thanks! 

Unforgiven
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
The Man With No Name
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Tombstone

That would be a pretty good start.  All of them Clint Eastwood except Tombstone.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 08:30:58 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on April 09, 2010, 08:30:17 PM

Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer are incredible in that film.


this
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 08:32:20 PM »

Look around for a copy of The Good, The Bad and The Weird .  A Korean western that I thought was fantastic.
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2010, 09:08:32 PM »

Probably not a popular option (it does have Costner in it, after all), but I love Open Range.
Lonesome Dove is great although it's a series and not a movie.
+1 on Tombstone. "I'll be your Huckleberry."
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Thin_J
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2010, 09:18:23 PM »

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on April 09, 2010, 08:30:17 PM

Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer are incredible in that film.


I'd argue pretty heavily that the whole movie rides on Val Kilmer's back. I love the movie anyway, but there's a lot of hammy writing and bad performance from some of the other actors. All the great lines, quotes, and moments belong to Kilmer and his portrayal of Doc Holliday.

My other suggestions:
A Fistful of Dollars
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Unforgiven
Once Upon a Time in the West

My most hearty recommendation goes to Once Upon a Time in the West. Love that movie. It takes all the things Leone learned from making the first three and adds them to an even better story.

Of the spaghetti westerns the only one I don't like is For a Few Dollars More. That one fails to be as entertaining as any of Leone's other westerns.

And for more modern movies: the 3:10 to Yuma remake was solid, and Appaloosa was also entertaining. I wouldn't put either up there with the rest of my list, but they're good westerns in their own right.
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2010, 09:23:38 PM »

Deadwood.   I've got my copies all lined up for it as prep for RDR. 
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walTer
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2010, 09:25:46 PM »

Let me second, third or whatever for Silverado.  It is just awesome.

Clint's...obvious choices.

I for one did NOT like Tombstone.  It just seemed to be too I don't know, made up?  To Hollywoodish?  Anyway imho you will not hate yourself even if you don't like it...I just like some of the other suggestions better.
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Thin_J
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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2010, 09:26:40 PM »

Deadwood is a good recommendation too. I forgot about that. Great show.
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2010, 09:26:48 PM »

I would think that the most apropos western, given the premise of the game (the transition from the wild west to being overtaken by the industrial revolution), is The Wild Bunch.

At the very least, you'd learn that Ernest Borgnine looked old his entire life.
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 09:32:25 PM »

Silverado
Rustlers Rhapsody
Young Guns
Pale Rider
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2010, 09:35:49 PM »

The Magnificent Seven
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2010, 09:53:34 PM »

High Plains Drifter is excellent, if a bit creepy.
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 09:55:06 PM »

Lots of good stuff already mentioned. If you like old-school classics, add High Noon, Stagecoach, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence. No Western binge is complete without at least one appearance by the Duke.
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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2010, 09:58:56 PM »

Tombstone is a must! Awesome awesome movie,and yeah - Val Kilmers finest hour... that has to be one of the finest acting pieces I've ever seen... Ringo isnt bad either though...

There was this very very strange western that came out a few years ago, but I cant remember the name...all blood and guts, took place mostly in mexico I think,with some pretty badass people...arggh, I'll post when I remember more, but it was pretty damn fine

Edit: The propositon..awesome movie, with Emily Watson, Guy Pearce and John Hurt!! thats the one
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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2010, 10:12:17 PM »

My Darling Clementine[the original Tombstone]
The Searchers[the greatest western]
The Shootist[a tremendous farewell from the Duke]
Any of the Ford-Wayne trilogy
Monte Walsh[an overlooked Lee Marvin gem]
The Cheyenne Social Club[Fonda-Stewart]
The Wild Bunch

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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2010, 10:17:57 PM »

The Cowboys-- yeah it's about kids but it has John Wayne and I guess it is one of those guilty pleasures...I liked it.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2010, 10:49:51 PM »

it has to be Clint Eastwood for me,not keen on John Wayne at all


if not the Spaghetti Western trilogy(or 'Dollars' trilogy as Tarantino calls it)..then definitely The Outlaw Josey Wales or Unforgiven


but then again i could go on and say things like High Plains Drifter,Joe Kidd,Pale Rider,Hang 'Em High...even Two Mules for Sister Sara is a good flick...but that may be because i love Clint Eastwood in pretty much anything
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Jimmy the Fish
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2010, 10:57:54 PM »

For a bit of a comedic relief, Maverick with Mel Gibson, James Garner and Jodie Foster was very entertaining.

Another old western, and more of a curiosity than anything else, is The Outlaw, with Jane Russell, about Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid. There was lot of scandal surrounding the movie in 1943 because the MPAA deemed it indecent due to some of the highly suggestive scenes. By today's standards, it's pretty tame, but back in the day, the sexually suggestive nature of Jane Russell's character and some of the scenes were highly controversial. I like it because Jane Russell acts like such a slutty babe in that movie.  drool

A guilty pleasure of mine is a bit of an obscure western from a few years ago called Bandidas. A surprisingly good movie starring Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek. Babes with guns. Mmmmm...
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2010, 11:01:55 PM »

Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West is IMO the best western ever made. A few things that distinguish among westerns; it was the 1st western with a female character (Claudia Cardinale) central to the plot, it arguably features the best performace ever by Jason Robard, one of best by Charles Bronsons, and has a great performance by Henry Fonda as one of the creepiest villains to ever grace the silver screen. Not to mention the music in it by Morecone is top rate and the cinematography outstanding.

I'm never been a big fan of Tombstone, but I know I'm alone in that - even amongst my own family. As others have already suggested, you should also watch Leone and Eastwoods' Man with No Name trilogy:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
A Fistfull of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More

The last being the weakest of the 3 IMO. I'd also agree that The Unforgiven is a must see western too; the performances by Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman alone make it a worthwhile viewing. Another great older Western is The Magnificent Seven which was influenced by Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. I also remember seeing True Grit, The Cowboys and The Outlaw Josey Wales as a kid and enjoyed them very much; albeit it's been quite some time since I've watched them. For the vintage classics, 2 very much worth seeing are Stagecoach and High Noon.
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2010, 12:38:48 AM »

Seeing Tombstone listed as a 'good western' is physically painful to me.   icon_lol
Fun, maybe, but as Thin J was completely correct in noting, it was filled with hammy bad acting (Jason Preistly and Powers Booth anyone?) and cringe-worthy poor dialogue.  Val was just VERY good in an over the top eccentric Doc Holiday.  And acting sick does not connote nuance - it wasn't good acting as much as it was an enjoyable character.

THis was a good idea.  Here will be my watch list over the next two weeks:
The Good, The Bad, and the ugly.  ("Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive, he understands nothing about Tuco.")
The Wild Bunch
Once Upon a time in the west
The Magnificent Seven

Shane and The Searchers might make the list.  The Searchers has got one of the best ending shots in cinema history.
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2010, 01:53:54 AM »

Quote from: kronovan on April 09, 2010, 11:01:55 PM

Lots of stuff I agree with

I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks For a Few Dollars More is a bit lacking compared to the other Leone westerns. It's just plain not as good. It's an ok movie, but has none of the character or fun that's in the other Leone movies and when you hold it up next to them it fails. And it's nice to be backed up on Once Upon a Time in the West. I have a hard time convincing people to watch that one for some reason.
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2010, 01:59:21 AM »

Total spaghetti western - 'My Name Is Nobody'
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2010, 02:32:30 AM »

There's a "Dollars" trilogy pack out there pretty cheap and I picked it up awhile back.  They're all pretty good IMHO; it's hard to say "For a few Dollars More" isn't as good when it has Van Cleef in it!  I think it suffers in people's mind from being the middle movie, with the first film being pretty new and different at the time and the third having, among other things, an instantly recognizable musical hook.  Besides, the whole experience isn't complete if you only see two of the three films in that series.





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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2010, 02:38:06 AM »

Quote from: Thin_J on April 10, 2010, 01:53:54 AM

And it's nice to be backed up on Once Upon a Time in the West. I have a hard time convincing people to watch that one for some reason.

In film circles -whether it be people interested in acting performances, cinematography, musical scores or screenplay- the film is considered a classic. It was a 1st in so many ways it's almost the stuff of legend. For instance the trio of actors in the opening scene were all well known to the Western film circuit, yet Leone...
Spoiler for Hiden:
had them all killed off in the 1st 10 minutes of the film.
In my books that's an amazing WTF moment and even more amazing that he actually wanted Eastwood to play 1 of the 3, but he refused. No surprise as he was looking at bigger things and was very focused at the time on becoming the 1st Hollywood actor to direct.  Then there's the performance by Fonda which is considered by many as one of the best directed ever; Fonda has stated in interviews that he actually went out and bought dark contacts to look more the part of a villain, but Leone refused and insisted he keep his blue eyed, angelic looks. To which Fonda responded to the challenge by pulling off one of the most ice cold villain roles ever.

We also shouldn't forget that the screenplay was penned by Bertolucci - who went onto global fame with films like 1900 and the Last Emperor. Then there's Robard's charmed performance that completely tears up the Western fugitive stereotype. And the slow coming-into-focus irony or the final scene is quite honestly enough to fill 10 films. Not to mention the cinematography, which inspired many of the next generation of directors - Eastwood and Tarrantino among many others. Just a great film in so many ways IMO.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2010, 02:38:47 AM »

If you're a fan of the Eastwood/Leone Westerns, give "Once Upon a Time in the West" a shot. It's another Leone epic but with Charles Bronson in the Eastwood role.

Bah, somehow I missed that not only had this been mentioned but had been mentioned several times. So, +whatever number we're at on the recommendation.
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2010, 03:45:21 AM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on April 09, 2010, 10:49:51 PM

not keen on John Wayne at all

Why do you hate America?  slywink

I haven't seen every movie the Duke ever made, but I've seen a helluva lot of them. Half a dozen are among the all-time great Hollywood myth-makers. The rest are just my guilty pleasure.

I like Eastwood too, btw.
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2010, 03:49:42 AM »

Quote from: kronovan on April 09, 2010, 11:01:55 PM


I'm never been a big fan of Tombstone, but I know I'm alone in that

Not entirely. I thought it was a pretty good movie, but not one for the ages.

BTW, if you're looking for Western game inspiration, you might have fun with Westworld. It's a really cheesy 70s movie about cowboy robots gone amok!
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« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2010, 04:04:19 AM »

I may be alone here, but I hated Once Upon a Time in the West.

Way too much close-ups and staring in that movie, and the whole movie feels grimy and dirty from start to end. Sure, that's the intention, but guess it's not my type.
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« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2010, 04:11:27 AM »

Wait, so you don't like a Western because it feels dirty and grimy?

You just described pretty much all the great movies of the genre, with the only exceptions being more hollywood style films like Tombstone. And Tombstone is so clean and sterile that in parts it's very hard to buy into its attempt at the time period. Especially compared to all the more favorite westerns people have named so far.
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« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2010, 05:11:48 AM »

It should be noted that many of these movies listed are run on AMC pretty often. Right now they're doing Pale Rider and they're showing it again Saturday afternoon.

And I have to add that Van Cleef was one of the coolest motherfuckers ever.
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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2010, 05:26:12 AM »

Thanks so much for all the great recommendations so far.  Definitely a lot of repeat recommendations for movies I know I've never seen.

I'm pretty sure I'll be starting things off with the Man with No Name trilogy, since Yojimbo is my favorite Kurosawa film and Kurosawa would've just had his 100th birthday last month, and it looks like Tombstone hits blu-ray at the end of the month so I'll be sure to watch it then.  Hopefully I'll be able to work my way through the majority of the films mentioned here.
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« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2010, 05:49:06 AM »

no one's mentioned Heaven's Gate yet?  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2010, 05:53:16 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on April 10, 2010, 05:26:12 AM

Thanks so much for all the great recommendations so far.  Definitely a lot of repeat recommendations for movies I know I've never seen.

I'm pretty sure I'll be starting things off with the Man with No Name trilogy, since Yojimbo is my favorite Kurosawa film and Kurosawa would've just had his 100th birthday last month, and it looks like Tombstone hits blu-ray at the end of the month so I'll be sure to watch it then.  Hopefully I'll be able to work my way through majority of the films mentioned here.

I knew you liked Kurosawa Pug, and on that note The Magnificent 7 should be a must view film for you. If only because Kurosawa considered it superior to the 7 Samurai in how it handled the interaction of the main protagonists with local children. In one inteview I read, Kurosawa commented that he wished he could have had a script that allowed children, in fact all villagers, to be as involved in the main plot. On the other hand, if you were to allow Kurosawa to produce and direct an American style Western, you'd probably have ended up a fillm like Leone's.  With Once Upon a Time in the West being his equivalent of Ran, although some could argue that The Good the, the Bad and The Ugly would represent that.
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« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2010, 06:00:08 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on April 10, 2010, 03:49:42 AM

BTW, if you're looking for Western game inspiration, you might have fun with Westworld. It's a really cheesy 70s movie about cowboy robots gone amok!

I'd call that more of a sci-fi movie then a western, though a big part of it is the western element.  That movie scared the crap out of me when I saw it on TV at the age of 9 or 10, though.  Considering the people involved (Michael Crichton wrote and directed it, starring Richard Benjamin (largely forgotten but a big star in the '70s), James Brolin, and Yul Brynner), it's somewhat surprising to me how few people remember it. I'll just say that Terminator wasn't the first film to have an unstoppable killing robot, plus the movie implies sex between humans and robots!  icon_lol

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« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2010, 06:12:28 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on April 10, 2010, 03:45:21 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on April 09, 2010, 10:49:51 PM

not keen on John Wayne at all

Why do you hate America?  slywink

I haven't seen every movie the Duke ever made, but I've seen a helluva lot of them. Half a dozen are among the all-time great Hollywood myth-makers. The rest are just my guilty pleasure.

I like Eastwood too, btw.


not sure really why i have never liked him...i think its his acting,rather than him himself..i have seen only a few of his films i did however like The Man who shot Liberty Valance..but come on,Jimmy Stewart was in that!!



back to the Dollars trilogy,its weird that the 3 films aren't really meant to be related..unless Van Cleef and Eastwood characters totally forget each other for the 3rd film

kinda surprised with the 'no love for a few dollars more' from a few of you...what about
Spoiler for Hiden:
the stand off at the end of the film,with that tune playing from the pocket watch...how tense is that moment,with just the tune playing until it finishes

..that's cinema right there!!,LOL

Spoiler for Hiden:
it also,has to be said it prolly put the most emotion into a bad guy of the three,him having that pocket watch because it belong to a girl who killed herself as she was being raped by him...who just happened to be Van Cleefs Sister




i was able to watch Young Guns again about a fortnight ago,didn't realise that John Locke and General Zod was in it,i remember actually liking Young Guns 2 better...but i haven't seen that since it was released,so no doubt i would change my mind right now



i have always been meaning to see Westworld,but never got round to it...and i guess its sequel(which i heard was shit..Futureworld i think it was called)....didn't that Simpsons episode play on that a bit when they went to Itchy and Scratchy land theme park?

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« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2010, 06:13:24 AM »

Quote from: Thin_J on April 10, 2010, 04:11:27 AM

Wait, so you don't like a Western because it feels dirty and grimy?

You just described pretty much all the great movies of the genre, with the only exceptions being more hollywood style films like Tombstone. And Tombstone is so clean and sterile that in parts it's very hard to buy into its attempt at the time period. Especially compared to all the more favorite westerns people have named so far.

There's dirty and grimy, and there's too dirty and grimy. I do enjoy the Clint Eastwood westerns - The Outlaw Josey was awesome, and Pale Rider ain't bad either. I did enjoy Unforgiven as well.
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« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2010, 06:29:09 AM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on April 10, 2010, 06:12:28 AM

back to the Dollars trilogy,its weird that the 3 films aren't really meant to be related..unless Van Cleef and Eastwood characters totally forget each other for the 3rd film

kinda surprised with the 'no love for a few dollars more' from a few of you...what about
Spoiler for Hiden:
the stand off at the end of the film,with that tune playing from the pocket watch...how tense is that moment,with just the tune playing until it finishes

..that's cinema right there!!,LOL

Spoiler for Hiden:
it also,has to be said it prolly put the most emotion into a bad guy of the three,him having that pocket watch because it belong to a girl who killed herself as she was being raped by him...who just happened to be Van Cleefs Sister


Eastwood's character is the same through all the films, but Van Cleef plays two different characters in films 2(For a Few Dollars More) and 3(Good, Bad, Ugly), while Volonte plays two different villains in films 1(Fistfull of Dollars) and 2 (and originally he was supposed to play the Eli Wallach role as Eastwood's sidekick in film 3).  Film 3 is also clearly set before the other two films. 

Quote
ii have always been meaning to see Westworld,but never got round to it...and i guess its sequel(which i heard was shit..Futureworld i think it was called)....didn't that Simpsons episode play on that a bit when they went to Itchy and Scratchy land theme park?



There's a trailer on YouTube for Westworld here that pretty much spoils the film in chronological order.  Almost acts as a mini-version of the film.   icon_lol
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« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2010, 07:46:29 AM »

Sergio Corbucci is another Italian director that made some fantastic spaghetti westerns.
I highly recommend
Django
The Great Silence
and Companeros
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