Monday, July 7, 2014

Mish Mosh Monday #2: Giddy-Up Cowboy!

As Colonel Sherman Potter in Mash said, “It’s got the three things that make a movie great: Horses, cowboys and horses!”

I love a good cowboy movie. Good Guy vs. Bad Guy. The Hero who saves the day. The Gunslinger. Eating grub. Sleeping on bedrolls. The Showdown. The Card Shark. The Good-Hearted Woman.

I’m in heaven when I’m watching a good cowboy flick. I have a list as long as your arm of cowboy movies on Netflix and Amazon.

The Early Years

I was inducted into cowboy-don when I was a wee child. My mom was raised listening to cowboy songs on her dad’s 78 records. She knew a lot of them: Cowboy Jack, When the Work's All Done This Fall, I've Got No Use for the Women, The Wreck of the Old Number 9, and on and on. 

My family says (frequently) that my Mom never sang a happy song. Just because a cowboy died at the end of nearly every song doesn't mean that... okay, I'll just move on along here.

The family favorite: Cowboy Jack. Yes, unfortunately Jack dies in the end.

"He was just a lonesome cowboy,
With a heart so brave and true,
And he learned to love a maiden,
With eyes of heaven's own blue."

You can't miss this! Here is a good video of a woman singing Cowboy Jack.

Then there were those cowboy sayings of Mom:

“I feel like I’ve been rode hard and put away wet.”

“He’s hell bent for leather.”

Getting Hooked

What really got me hooked though was a 1985 cowboy revival movie:

Cowboy Movie Themes

After that, I was hooked! I’ve found that there just a few themes in all cowboys movies:

1.  Mean person/s is running the town and wants to get rid of the farmers or ranchers. An unwitting cowboy comes to town and gets involved and saves the town.

2.  A member of a family needs to be avenged because the bad guy wants their land or has taken their land.

3. A cowboy helps a woman because someone wants to take her land. They fall in love and get married or cowboy rides into the sunset.

4. Buddy cowboy movies where the duo does good for town or people or bad duo who rob or kill.

5. A military theme. Soldier/ex-soldier in conflict with or helps military with Indian attacks/bad guys. Or group of people need military.

6. A stagecoach movie where riders get caught up in a bad situation. 

7. Reforming a person, usually a drunk, but sometimes a gunfighter. 

Almost all cowboy movies end up with the good guy winning and justice being done. And that, I think, is why I love them so!

My Favorite Cowboy Movies

My three favorite old-time movies are Destry Rides Again (1939), Sons of Katie Elder (1965) and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949). How can I choose just one?
A very young Jimmy Stewart who refuses
to use a gun. (Forget the picture!)
It had teenage heartthrob
Ricky Nelson and Dean
Martin. This one is a kick!
Dueling soldiers for
the love of a pretty woman

I can't help myself...there are lots of John Wayne movies in my list. We all remember this John Wayne: 

But do we remember this one?

Taken when he was 23 years old. He
was quite the hunk! You have to
remember that John Wayne was born
 in 1907. He was 72 when he died.

My favorite “newer” movie is, hands down, Silverado. My family is always teasing me about how many times I’ve watched the movie! 

And what about Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig? 

Forget Indiana Jones and James Bond! There's Cowboys and Aliens. Somebody shure knew how to make a cowboy film!

(Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin!)

My favorite John Wayne movies:

The Cowboys (1972)

Rio Bravo (1959) (picture above)
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949) (picture above)
True Grit (1969)
Nobody does it better than the Duke!

And don’t forget these:

Others I want to mention because they are so cool!

I saw "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" as a double feature in 1969. The other movie was "They Kill Horses, Don't They?" What a combo!

"True Grit" & "Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid" were released the same year!

Shane is a classic cowboy movie. It was actually shown when I was in school. I was taking American Lit. It was about the archetype of the savior/hero in literature.

Man Without A Star (1955) (picture above)

The Man from Laramie (1955)
Jimmy Stewart, a top-of-the-list favorite of mine made some top-drawer westerns.

The Proud Rebel (1958) is one I just recently saw. I liked the plot about a man who is willing to go to no ends to find a doctor to cure his son's inability to speak.

Seven Samurai (1954)—the movie that inspired an American re-make, The Magnificent Seven. I like Seven Samurai much better!

3:10 To Yuma (1957). This is the original that follows the verity of "you cannot remake a classic!"

I think I've given you enough cowboy movies to last a month! Get the popcorn! Get a soda! Put up your feet and enjoy some very fine movies!

Tell me! What is your favorite(s) cowboy movie?

And now, it’s time I got on my horse and bid you farewell. Happy Trails to You!


  1. My favorite John Wayne movie is "McClintock.". But "Rooster Cogburn" is a close second.

    1. It's hard not to like John Wayne cowboy movies! I love Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper too. It just seems John Wayne was more prolific!

  2. I love Jimmy Stewart... in anything, but my favorite is "It's a Wonderful Life". That's the quintessential movie, I think, of all time. Not a cowboy, but worthy anyway.
    Cowboy movies, and TV shows all through my youth, but no favorite then, I guess. "Lawman" had that cute deputy - don't even remember who he was, but pitty pat he made me take notice. Miss them... the cowboy shows. Why doesn't TV have more variety in it's shows. (I do love Longmire, and wouldn't miss it. Does that count for a cowboy show? Also love, love, love "Hell on Wheels", but that's about building the railroad, and maybe not a cowboy theme.) Love your blog - you make me think!

  3. I love westerns too, especially with John Wayne. My favourites are "Stagecoach" and "the Searchers". I also loved him in "the Quiet Man" which is not, of course, a western.
    Funny that you should mention "the Seven Samurai" and "the Magnificent Seven as I was planning on watching them as a double feature on Saturday night.

    1. I love doing double feature movies! Have fun Saturday night and make lots of popcorn!


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