Best Western Movies
John Howard Reid
978-1847281814
Lulu (2006)


 

Western films may have fallen from Hollywood’s grace in the past few decades; however, a loyal following of obsessed fans and collectors remain. If you are just beginning a Western movie DVD collection or are a seasoned aficionado of all things Western, Best Western Movies-Winning Pictures, Favorite Films and Hollywood B Entries by John Howard Reid is a must.     

 

This is the twentieth title in Reid’s “Hollywood Classics” series. The research needed for a book of this nature is remarkable. Mr. Reid names Westerns among his favorite genres and his dedication to these classics is admirable. His more than 20,000 reviews on file and collection of over 3,000 titles on VHS and DVD provide the resource for the bulk of the informative text.  

 

More than 160 titles are examined. You’ll recognize some of the all-time greats such as Yellow Rose of Texas, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and They Died With Their Boots On. Mixed in with the well-known films are B-movie gems like Cyclone Prairie Rangers, Arizona Bound, and Buckaroo from Powder River. Reid takes an in-depth look at the 162 minute epic, How the West Was Won and includes an index of all 66 Hopalong Cassidy films.




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For each title Mr. Reid has included the entire cast and the parts played by name. The director, screenplay writer, editor, music composers, and producers are listed, as well as copyright date, studio, worldwide release dates and run times. Most selections include the dates when the movie was shot and the cost of production. Mr. Reid gives his own personal review and summary as well as other reviewers’ comments. Parents will appreciate the “Viewers Guide” with most entries receiving an “Okay for all,” “Adults” or “Strictly Adults Only” type recommendation.

 

For me, the actors from these films stand out as much or more than the films themselves. Larger than life men like the legendary John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and William Boyd carried many of these films when script quality, production values, and budgets were questionable. Mr. Reid has included more than 60 movies posters that, alone, make this an enjoyable book.   

 

Best Western Movies by John Howard Reid is a must read for the Western movie enthusiast or collector. If you are looking for a cinema experience that is a little different from current movie offerings, or perhaps you enjoyed these classics during their first run and wish a nostalgic second look, this book is as essential as your VCR/DVD remote. Highly Recommended.

 

Reviewed by William Potter for Reader’s Choice Book Reviews