The western genre has a long and rich history in cinema. From the original, hyper-popular era of early Hollywood to the experimental mid-20th century, and then to today’s modern revisionist period, it’s a constant on silver screens. from all over the world since the birth of the medium.
With the recent success of Jeymes Samuel The more they fall, the tradition of elegant, non-traditional Western films continues. In a genre that has been exploited so often over the years, it is difficult to produce something that is fresh and original. However, there have been many films over the years that have tried, and often succeeded, with great success.
ten Django perfected western exploitation / genre
The masterpiece of Sergio Corbucci in 1966 Django Not only blew the doors off what could be done in a western, but he did it with such a level of violence and style that it remains unmatched to this day. Showing audiences how great westerns could be made outside of the United States, they also offered a completely different story than typical films of its genre. As a result, Django has become one of the most influential films of its genre.
The shootouts are explosive and over the top, the main character is stoic and unbeatable, and everything looks like it’s covered in a layer of gravel and dirt. It’s a movie that takes the worn-out tropes of westerns and puts them through the lens of Italian exploitation cinema – and the world is a better place for that.
9 The Quick And The Dead Is The Western Only Sam Raimi Could Make
Fresh out of the making of the iconic Army of Darkness, Sam Raimi brought his signature style to the realm of Western cinema. This resulted in a very energetic and thrilling comic book movie that more than satisfied fans. It was a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that focused on the living or dead world of Western dueling competitions. Dead or alive is a movie that guarantees to have the audience on the edge of their seats.
Showcasing the visual styles he had perfected in the evil Dead series, Raimi delivers something that feels truly different from any other western. It can pastiche and pay homage to many of the genre’s tropes, but does so in a way that feels vibrant and never stale.
8 Hannie Caulder brought something new to the genre
While the years 1971 Hannie caulder Perhaps not the first western with a female protagonist (as he claims), it was certainly the first to be gritty and in keeping with the renaissance of exploitation the genre was going through at the time. Showcasing a career-defining performance for Raquel Welch, this is an underrated, no-frills gem.
A harsh and dirty, violent revenge thriller, Hannie caulder had a huge influence on Quentin Tarantino Kill bill series. It did a lot for the continuation of the new sensation in Western cinema, as well as portrayals of women on screen.
seven Sukiyaki Western Django is a crazy love letter to the genre
This 2007 western by Takashi Miike features all the explosive and insane action and violence audiences have come to expect from the director, while also serving as a true homage to the genre. Starring an impressive cast, including Quentin Tarantino himself, it’s a fun and often bizarre adventure seen through the lens of the beloved Japanese filmmaker.
There are few directors working as unique today as Miike. He alone could have gotten away with doing something as “out there” as Western Django Sukiyaki. This is unlike any other Western movie you’ll ever see, and it’s more than worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little different.
6 If you do meet Sartana, pray that your death reinforces the trend for violent spaghetti-westerners
Following in the footsteps of Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci, Italian filmmakers quickly began to develop the Spaghetti-Western genre after the monumental success of Italian westerns abroad. The most successful film (and possibly the franchise) of these copycat films is arguably Gianfranco Parolini’s first. Sartane picture.
Hyper cool, violent and relentless, this film is one of the most thrilling rides of the burgeoning genre. While the “Man With No Name” trope would end up being killed off in subsequent years, it still feels fresh and fun in this movie. It positions the main character as one of the most iconic protagonists in Western history.
5 Dead Man has two Hollywood legends who work at their best
Directed by one of the undisputed masters of independent cinema, Jim Jarmusch, and featuring an incredible performance by Johnny Depp, Dead man is a psychedelic western feverish dream that keeps audiences going from start to finish. Filled with phenomenal cinematography and a weird, weird feeling, it’s as bizarre as it is revolutionary.
Often cited as the cornerstone of the two men’s careers, this film needs to be experienced to be believed. Watching Dead man, it’s easy to see why Jarmusch and Depp continued to be highly respected in the years since its release.
4 El Topo is an acidic nightmare like no other
Alejandro Jodorowsky is well known to moviegoers around the world for his bizarre, surreal and often shocking images. Pushing the limits of what cinema is capable of was evident in Jodorowsky’s first Western film, El Topo, which mixes psychedelia with genre and presents something completely unique. Nothing like this has been seen before or since.
This movie is not for everyone. However, his art and influence cannot be disputed. A truly remarkable piece of cinema, it innovated and paved the way for a whole movement of avant-garde filmmakers over the following years.
3 Django Unchained is the pinnacle of modern revisionist westerns
Quentin Tarantino’s much-loved tribute to the Western genre (and the Django films) is generally considered one of his best. The culmination of a career that has referenced and paid tribute to the genre for decades, until its release, Django unchained was an obvious and masterfully crafted next step for the iconic director.
There are few films, and even fewer filmmakers, who can mix exploitation-style cinema with production values as high as seen in Django Unchained. Audiences were treated to a theatrical piece that manages to portray the best elements of all of Tarantino’s favorite Western films, while also managing to feel unique and above all very accomplished.
2 The good, the bad and the ugly are as vibrant and essential as ever
Arguably the most influential Western film of all time, Sergio Leone’s latest entry in his Dollars trilogy has taken the genre to new heights and rekindled interest in it around the world. The safe and sweet westerns of yesteryear were over. A new beast was in town, and it was violent, relentless, pragmatic, and Italian.
The good the bad and the ugly still feels fresh and exciting, even after countless viewings. It’s a thrilling and perfectly paced epic that manages to both excite and intrigue. Showcasing cinematic techniques that have inspired generations of imitators, the original is still one of the best.
1 Once Upon a Time in the West is the greatest western ever
Not content with making one defining Western image, Sergio Leone made five. However, none would be as universally acclaimed (for all their many, many merits) as Once upon a Time in the West. The perfect culmination of everything Leone had learned and developed during his career, this is an undisputed masterpiece.
Once upon a Time in the West isn’t just considered the best western ever; many say it’s the greatest movie of all time full stop – something that is difficult to discuss. Managing to hold the public’s attention with an iron fist (despite its epic autonomy), it is a must-have watch for all fans of the western genre, and even cinema in general.
NEXT: 5 Stephen King Novels That Need A Film Adaptation (& 5 That Are Due A Remake)
Spider-Man No Way Home: Every Villain, Ranked By Introduction
About the Author