I've been going on a Western kick - about ten films in gonna go for a little longer and dig around the '50s. Need to revisit High Noon and catch up on some from Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, Delmer Daves..... maybe forgetting some but here are my favs :
Rio Bravo ('59, Howard Hawks) Shane ('53, George Stevens) Johnny Guitar ('54, Nicholas Ray) Day of the Outlaw ('59, Andre de Toth) The Big Country ('58, William Wyler) The Searchers ('56, John Ford) Vera Cruz ('54, Robert Aldrich)
Just watched The Hanging Tree ('59) last night. It's def right up there with my favorites of the decade. Btwn this and Dark Passage, which I love, I gotta see more Delmer Daves. There are notes here that reminded me of McCabe - a muddied budding town, this particular outsider with a dubious past, a business-minded female lead. There are quite a few interesting developments narrative wise and it's quite visually striking, often painterly. There's even an image close to the end that very much reminded me of Herzog. Karl Malden is great in support as a doofy, ambitious, ultimately sinister townie. His floppy red hat is unforgettable. George C Scott's debut too, he's quite, um, theatrical here haha. And the theme song: probably my second fav Western movie song after My Rifle My Pony & Me. 8/10 or so.
I'd say The Furies, Winchester '73 and 3:10 to Yuma are the ones to watch. But I was never much into Westerns, so my opinion doesn't mean much.
"I wanted to be a wife so that I could have been her real mother. I wanted to be a boy so that she could be in love with me. I wanted her to be my full sister instead of my half sister. I wanted her to be a slave so that I could set her free and make her rich."