How The West Was Won (1962, dir. Henry Hathaway, John Ford & George Marshall)

The story of US westward expansion, told through one family over four generations. Epic Western (shot in Cinerama) of the old school, a triumph of US exceptionalism. Dated values-wise, but fascinating and fun in equal measure.

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968, dir. Sergio Leone)

A revenger, a robber baron, a bandit, and a mail-order bride coincide on the same remote farmhouse. Genius Western, distilling the last three decades of genre filmmaking into a single movie. Elegaic, definitive, and unmissable. Recommended,

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018, dir. Ron Howard)

A Han Solo origin tale. After a clunky and stagey first act, this heist western SF hybrid finds its feet, even though its nominal lead is a black hole around which much more interesting support stuff occurs. Inconsequential.

Braven (2018, dir. Lin Oeding)

A logger is caught up in a siege against drug-dealers. Somewhat contrived in its set-up, this is nevertheless a decent-enough wintry contemporary western, which sensibly focuses on snowy shootout action.

Winchester ’73 (1950, dir. Anthony Mann)

A cowboy relentlessly pursues an outlaw, and the prized rifle stolen from him. The first Mann/Stewart western is a splendid thing, creating a new rugged persona for Stewart and delivering in all manner of genre pleasures. Highly recommended.

In a Valley of Violence (2016, dir. Ti West)

A US Civil War veteran swears revenge on the men who killed his dog. Lean spaghetti western homage, equal parts John Wick and Pale Rider, with lots to enjoy┬áif you’re a genre aficionado. Nothing too original, but diverting nevertheless. The cast plainly has fun.

The Lusty Men (1952, dir. Nicholas Ray)

A retired rodeo rider trains another man to ride competitively. Tough-for-its time melodrama with plenty of good second-unit work on location, and a focus on its female protagonist typical of its director. Loads of salty dialogue. Recommended.