Wild West


1 Open Range: The gunplay, to quote Kevin Costner’s character Charley Waite, is “messy.” It takes more than one bullet to kill a man, and getting shot actually hurts. That said, Costner does fan off nearly a dozen shots from one six-shooter.

2 Ride the High Country: The fight at the end of this film—between Steve Judd (Joel McCrea), Gil Westrum (Randolph Scott) and the “Hammond Boys”—is perfect. No fast-draw artistry, just shooting till the other guys are down.

3 Shane: Memorable for the final shootout as well as the face-off between Jack Wilson (Jack Palance) and Frank “Stonewall” Torrey (Elisha Cook Jr.). Though the outdrawn Torrey freezes—blam!—cold-blooded Wilson shoots him anyway.

4 Appaloosa: Viggo Mortensen studied Frederic Remington’s gunfight depictions to prepare for the scene in which his character, Everett Hitch, shoots Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons).

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