The Western Writers of America have come out with a list of the 100 top westerns of all time. Variety‘s Anne Thompson, in an uncharacteristic burst of passion, has written that “they should be ashamed of themselves for these woeful rankings.” I don’t have the same likes and dislikes but I certainly don’t feel…you know, disdain.

The WWA’s Top Ten: Shane, High Noon, The Searchers, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dances with Wolves, The Wild Bunch, Red River, Tombstone, The Magnificent Seven and Open Range.
HE’s Top Twelve: Shane, Unforgiven, Red River, The Wild Bunch, High Noon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Open Range, The Ox-Bow Incident, Hud, Lonely Are The Brave, Tombstone and The Professionals.
I have a slight soft spot for Ride the High Country and Johnny Concho, the Frank Sinatra western. I’ve never really liked Johnny Guitar. I respect but have never really gotten off on those Anthony Mann/Jimmy Stewart westerns. Sergio Leone‘s westerns have too many portentous close-ups. I don’t like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as much as I should because of the TV sound stage vibe, the hamminess of the acting, the fact that John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart are at least 15 years too old for their parts, etc. But I love the music and the opening credits.