Tuesday, July 13, 2021

What’s Your Favorite Western Set in the 20th Century?

Do you have a favorite western movie that was set in the 20th century? For me, there are a lot to choose—I especially like Don Siegel’s The Shootist (set in 1901; released in 1976) and Sergio Leone’s Duck, You Sucker! (set in 1913; released in 1971). But at the top of my list would be The Wild Bunch (also set in 1913; released in 1969). This revisionist western was directed by Sam Peckinpah, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson, and Warren Oates as aging outlaws being tracked all the way across the Rio Grande by a former friend played by Robert Ryan. The cinematography, acting, and violence all ring true. The film never ages. 

David Cranmer is the editor of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and whose own body of work has appeared in such diverse publications as The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, LitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Under the pen name Edward A. Grainger he created the Cash Laramie western series. He's a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter.


  1. "The Wild Bunch" = total guy movie! I don't think there is a man alive who doesn't love this movie. Women are like, "Okay......"

  2. Replying off the top of my head, I think my favourite 20th Century western is another SAM PECKINPAH movie - RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY from 1962.

    1. Both films have a scene with the 'old-timers' examining those new automobile contraptions.