4 items from 2015
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
When you watch "McFarland, USA," the wonderful new Disney sports movie about a coach who, in 1987, took a group of untested kids in California (mostly sons of migrant field workers) and turned them into track champions, it's hard to imagine that Kevin Costner, who plays the coach, hasn't been in one of these films before. The actor, who has seen his career rebound in recent years thanks to brief roles in big movies like "Man of Steel" and "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit," is perfect as the grizzled coach who crafted this nearly legendary team.
We got to sit down and chat with Costner recently, which is pretty amazing given his legacy not only as an actor (in things like "Revenge" and "JFK") but as a filmmaker (including the Oscar-winning "Dances with Wolves" and underrated Western "Open Range"). We chatted about a whole range of topics -- everything from how many »
- Drew Taylor
Kevin Costner has a new film opening this week, and I’ve already forgotten about it. That’s probably a bit too harsh as I’ll watch anything starring Costner, and he’s also someone who’s starred in more movies I find it impossible to turn off once started than anyone else — No Way Out, The Untouchables, Tin Cup, Silverado, Field of Dreams, Open Range, The Bodyguard (yeah I said it) — but the man’s made some unfortunate choices in recent years. (Although I will fight you over the underseen The New Daughter and its kick-ass ending.) Back in 1990, near the height of his career, Costner joined forces with Tony Scott — a director at the equivalent peak of his own career — to deliver a dark thriller about lust and consequences in rural Mexico. Revenge tanked at the box-office, but Costner and Scott quickly got back into Hollywood’s good graces with Dances with Wolves and Days of Thunder »
- Rob Hunter
4 items from 2015
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