Westerns aren't as popular as they used to be, what with Marvel and "Star Wars" dominating the box office. But you should never think that the genre is unimportant. Fun films about outlaws and frontier justice are both entertaining and help us investigate deeper questions about morality, justice, duty, love, and what it means to be a good person.
There are many great westerns and everyone has their own opinions about which is best. I'm not going to tell you which western is best, it's dealer's choice. But there are some westerns every fan must see. This list will give you an overview of the genre's history, breadth of story, the high notes, and where the genre is heading today.
18 Must-See Westerns for Movie Lovers:
1. "El Dorado"
Howard Hawks magnificent story of a ragtag bunch of heroes fighting against greedy ranchers. It's funny, action packed and boasts an all-star western cast.
2. "3:10 to Yuma"
Christian Bale plays a down-on-his-luck rancher tasked with escorting a dangerous outlaw (Russell Crowe) to justice. But when the two are form an unlikely alliance, the men must decide if they can go against their moral codes or die taking a stand.
3. "Once Upon a Time in The West"
There's a fine line between revenge and justice, but sometimes the two find the same end. Sergio Leone's masterpiece is may not only be one of the greatest westerns of all time, but perhaps is one of the greatest films ever made.
4. "Hell or High Water"
When a ruthless bank threatens to foreclose on their mother's land, two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) decide to rob the bank to pay the loan and end up on the run from the law. This movie was nominated for a couple of Oscars in 2016 and absolutely lives up to the hype.
5. "The Ox Bow Incident"
Henry Fonda plays a drifter who gets pulled into a lynch mob in this classic film that looks at what causes normal men to love violence and skirt justice. Bonus: The trailer is a great example for how much movie marketing has changed in the last 60 years.
6. "The Man who Shot Liberty Valance"
What does true courage and leadership in the face of violence look like? James Stewart plays a mild mannered politician who doesn't have the courage to face a notorious outlaw, while the only man who does (John Wayne) has no interest in getting leading.
7. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"
Paul Newman and Robert Redford star as the titular duo, riding in the last great "hurrah!" of the western outlaw that is the spiritual prequel to their Academy awarded Best Picture , "The Sting." It is a fun romp through the west with iconic acting and one of the most memorable explosions in film history: an exploding train car literal feet from the actors.
Arguably the best western of all time. "Shane" is the story of a hired gun, a man running from his past and hoping for a quiet future, that gets drawn back into violence to protect a small town from a vile cattle baron. It typifies the men of the Greatest Generation: men who always did their duty, no matter the cost.
Fun Fact: Hugh Jackman's last X-Men movie, "Logan" was loosely based on Shane.
9. "The Magnificent Seven"
The original, of course, in which a group of misfits band together to save a town from a murderous gang and find greater meaning to their dead end pursuits.This iconic western was based off a Japanese samurai film, "The Seven Samurai," and is the basis for "The Three Amigos" and multiple remakes since it's release.
Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman star in this tale of vigilante justice. What happens when outlaws are heroes of justice and the law is standing in their way?
11. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"
This is final and best movie in the Man With No Name trilogy. Treasure hunting outlaws during the civil war face enemies on all sides in the story or treason, greed, violence, and frontier justice.
12. "The Searchers"
John Wayne plays a bigoted anti-hero returned from the Texas civil war only to find his family murdered or abducted by Comanches. This is a dark, complex look at racism, survival, and revenge in the west.
13. "Dances with Wolves"
A decorated soldier befriends the people he is supposed to fight in this story of love and allegiance. The film takes a hard look at one of the darker periods of American history and the disappearing frontier.
You didn't have to be an outlaw to be notorious in the wild west. The Earp brothers were unshakable law men who struck fear into the hearts of wanted men across the west. The group moves to Tombstone to settle down and become business men. But trouble always has a way of finding peaceful men.
15. "High Noon"
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men do nothing." Gary Cooper plays a sheriff who takes a stand when everyone behind him decides to run.
16. "The Wild Bunch"
The west had to die, outlaws were tamed with the country they rode. Right before the west was won, an aging outlaw is betrayed during his last job and chases his former friends into Mexico in a hail of bullets.
17. "The Outlaw Josey Wales"
A man bent on revenge joins a confederate troop during the civil war to hunt down the union soldiers who killed his family. This is one of Eastwood's best.
18. "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
The most artistic film on the list is also the most introspective, investigating how celebrity affects our culture. Obsession, a longing for greatness, and fame hold center stage as Robert Ford grows to despise his one time hero.
Every few months or so, I start getting messages on social media from strangers telling me that I'm beautiful. That would probably weird most people out, but to me it just signals that my episode of "What Not to Wear" has aired again on syndication somewhere.
In May 2017, it will be seven years since I taped my appearance (it aired in January 2011). My life has completely changed but, honestly, I haven't overcome all of the issues we addressed on the show.
The question I'm most asked is "Do you still wear sweatpants to work?"
Well, yes. However, I work from home, so stop judging. For the most part -- because I'm not perfect -- I try to dress up whenever I'm going out. I try to be put together.
What was the worst part of being on "What Not to Wear"? That god-awful 360 mirror. I still have nightmares about it. Okay, I don't but couldn't blame me if I did. They had to turn the air conditioning off when we were in there. Between the lights and the fact that you've stuffed three people into a reflective box, I was a sweaty, disgusting mess. I was so hot that it didn't really even bug me that I was staring in a mirror.
Did you really get $5,000? Yep. Here's what I spent it on.
Am I over my body issues? No, of course not. I'm a woman. I'll never be completely happy with my body. That said, what we focused on was my issues with my scars. I'm actually over that. I have scars. Big deal.
I do still struggle with confidence on a daily basis. But, hey, I'm working on it.
Since the show, my body has changed and so has my style. Sometimes I make good choices and sometimes I do not. I've cut my hair, I've grown it out. I've dyed it dark and then lightened it back up. I've changed my appearance with every season of the last seven years.
I didn't walk away from the show and change my personality. I walked away the same person but on a different path. One of the biggest conversations that I had with Stacy and Clinton off camera was how much I needed a change. They encouraged me to quit my job and move to Los Angeles. With their support, I did.
Granted, life brought me back to Nashville a year later, but I made a big leap that I probably would've have without their encouragement.
Since then, I earned my MFA and I got a book deal. Country Music Hair, country music's greatest mullets, bobs, beehives, and bouffants collected together in one entertaining volume, illustrated with dozens of color and black-and-white photographs, was released in 2016.
I am grateful to have had the experience of being on "What Not to Wear." I'm not perfect, but I think the point of the show wasn't to change the person, but to let them see that they have worth.
Banana pudding is one of my favorite desserts and is the perfect finish to an Easter meal. It is sweet, smooth, and the texture of pudding, fresh bananas and Nilla wafers can't be beat. While I like the ease of instant pudding, there is nothing like homemade pudding from scratch.
This may be a big no-no, but I'm giving away two of my big banana pudding secrets: nutmeg and really old bananas. The nutmeg adds a gentle kick to the bananas, which I love. The old bananas are the workhorse of the recipe. As bananas brown, the acids in the fruit break down and complex sugars are broken into sweet simple sugars. In short, bananas get better with age. Don't throw away those ugly brown bananas! Throw them in the freezer and use them for pudding!
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- A Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups cold whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 overripe, brown bananas
- 2 yellow bananas
- Plenty of Nilla Wafers
- Whipped Cream for topping
- Grated nutmeg for garnish
1. Make the pudding: Whisk the eggs in a medium-large bowl until smooth. In a separate bowl mix cornstarch, 3 tablespoons of the sugar and salt. Slowly add the mixture to the eggs while stirring. Mix well. In a small saucepan, add milk and remaining sugar and bring to a boil while stirring. Don't stop stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat
Now, do this next part slowly. While constantly whisking the egg mixture slowly pour the hot milk. The goal is to slowly warm the eggs without outright cooking them. Once all the milk has been added to the eggs, return the whole mixture to the saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract until incorporated.
Pour mix into a clean bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or until cold.
2. Banana time! Cut the yellow bananas into thin slices and set aside. Peel and mash the overripe bananas in a bowl. Remove the pudding from the fridge and fold overripe banana mash into the pudding until fully mixed. Stir ripe banana slices into the pudding.
3. Serve: In a clear glass bowl layer banana pudding, Nilla Wafers, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Grab spoon and dig in!
We know. You've tried every product under the sun to help your hair grow out. You've bought expensive hot oil treatments, you've purchased the pricey shampoos and you've bought that gadget from QVC. You've tried everything, but nothing seems to work. Sometimes, it's the little things that you don't think about that make a difference. A few small changes here and there will add up to healthier and longer tresses before you know it!
Here are a few extra tricks that will help get the long locks you've been dreaming about!
1. Cut it. These are the two words no girl growing her hair out wants to hear. But trimming your ends regularly will actually make your hair not only grow faster, but healthier too!
2. Skip the shampoo. This may come as a surprise, but the purpose of shampoo is to remove dirt and product buildup, but it also strips the natural oils that keep hair soft. When your hair is softer it lessens the chances of it breaking off. If you must wash your hair, lather only at the roots and then let the suds slide down hitting the rest of your hair as the water rinses it away. Follow with conditioner.
3. Apply a hair mask weekly. Hair that reaches below your shoulders can be several years old and needs a little more TLC than a regular conditioner can offer. You can easily do this at home by mixing 1 cup of coconut oil, with a tablespoon of almond and macadamia oils. Apply to damp hair, let sit for 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition as normal. The oils will fill the stands with fatty acids making hair soft and pliable.
4. Never wrap your hair up in a bath towel again. Like never, ever. Your hair gets caught in the woven fibers and if you are like most women (guilty!) you wrap it tightly. This makes those tiny, fragile strands around your face more prone to breakage. Use a super-thin and soft microfiber hair towel instead.
5. Ditch the cotton pillowcase. Just like with a towel, your hair can get caught in the woven fibers. Instead opt for a satin or sateen case and not only will your hair grow more quickly, you will also wake up with fewer tangles!
The pair's version of John Prine's "All the Best" appears on the band's upcoming album Welcome Home.
"I had SO much fun singin' on one of my favorite old John Prine songs on the new Zac Brown Band record," Kacey said. "Zac, thanks for always being so kind and supportive to me."
"All the Best" appeared on John Prine's 1991 album The Missing Years.
Sought after producer Dave Cobb helmed this new duet for Welcome Home, which will be released on May 12.
Adam Levine and Sammy Hagar have teamed up with a drink for those who see tequila as more than the fast lane to the best night you'll never remember. While hanging out in Cabo, Levine and Hagar combined tequila and mezcal creating a new, "revelatory" drink that was full, rich, smoky and sweet. They call it Santo Mezquila.
Tequila and mezcal have often been rival drinks, though they share similar properties. Think of them like the difference between Scotch and Bourbon: though both is whiskey, each are unique to a particular area and have their own unique flavors and processes. Tequila, like bourbon, can only be made using the blue agave in the Jalisco and a few small areas of other states. It is clean, refined, and mass produced in shiny factories.
Mezcal, on the other hand, is more blue collar, created from a variety of agaves and differing in flavor according to the region it is made. Farmers or local families go on "hunts" for large agave in the wild and then roast the agave in earthen pits lined with lava rocks. Mezcal is then aged in clay pots and oak barrels. This gives mezcal a rich, smoky, sweet flavor. The process is completely unregulated and therefore true mezcal cannot be produced or sold in the United States. Some distilleries have adopted standards that are more FDA friendly , but the result is more like that of a smokey tequila than a true mezcal.
Hagar and Levine's Santo Mezquila looks to blur the line between traditional mezcal and tequila. It's not as overwhelmingly smoky as mezcal and has a more robust flavor profile than tequila. The marketing is provocative, pseudo-spiritual and sexy--as if Eyes Wide Shut dubbed into Spanish with a Sammy Hagar soundtrack could be bottled. This is the first spirit of it's kind and we're sure to see more like it hit the market soon.
Currently, Santo Mazquila is receiving great reviews but has only released to a limited number of cities on the coasts and Texas. You can find the nearest Santo Mezquila dealer on their website. Drink Responsibly.
Are you ready for new Chris Stapleton music?
The singer-songwriter has released a preview of his upcoming album From a Room: Volume 1 out on May 5.
The tune, "Last Thing I Need, First Thing This Morning," is a Willie Nelson cover that chronicles the end of a relationship. It originally appeared on Nelson's 1982 record, Always On My Mind.
So excuse me for looking like my world just ended /
Excuse me for looking like I just lost my best friend /
So excuse me for living and being forgiven so just go on if you want to be free /
But the last thing I needed the first thing this morning /
Was to have you walk out on me
Hear Stapleton's version here:
Robert Irwin, son of "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, is a chip off the ole block. Not only does he look like his father (check out the clip) but he has his father's enthusiasm of animals and educating people about them. Robert brought a variety of unusual animals (legless lizards?) to "The Tonight Show" and Jimmy's reactions were priceless.
I think that clip provided every reaction gif you will ever need.
1. "Hey, how r u?"
"beaut bonza" is the most Aussie phrase in the world
2. "How was ur date?"
3. Do not want
4. Afraid yet curious
5. Mild shock/ when you aren't really paying attention anymore
6. Standard cute
7. When something unwanted enters your life
8. "C'mon man."
9. Deeply concerned/nervous/unsure
10. An apt question for anyone who rides public transit
11. When you're getting unwanted attention
12. Hyping up your boy to go talk to the pretty girl at the bar
13. When you aren't paying attention and something serious happens
14. "Whatever, it's not that cool."
15. When they respond positively to that risky text
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