War movies and Westerns

When I was a kid, there were two kinds of movies I had no interest in seeing—war movies and Westerns. My mom might have gotten me to watch Silverado sometime in my teens and I did love Wyatt Earp from opening day, but classic Westerns starring John Wayne? Per my mom, the only good John Wayne movie was Angel and the Badman (which I still don’t think I’ve seen, a situation I definitely need to remedy). I sort of think she and my dad watched The Searchers thanks to DVD. War movies just seemed too long. I remember when a 100 minute movie was too long. Now I scoff at anything made between 1980 and 2000 running under ninety minutes (VOD distribution has changed minimal acceptable length)—plus, it was always a bunch of white guys. Maybe a token minority here or there, but it was usually just these white guys doing white guy things like killing Native Americans. Everything started to change in 1993 or so, thanks to Unforgiven. It changed even more when I got into classic movies. I’ll never forget, sometime in the late 1990s, talking to my best friend about a good movie and he being surprised it wasn’t a war movie or a Western, because they’d become all I really watched. Not all I watched, I just had a lot of catching up to do. And to be fair, John Wayne made a lot of terrible movies. Including one of the worst war movies made in the 20th century. The Green Berets is for psychotic jingoists to watch alone while sitting in naked in a bathtub of very foul jello.

Scroll to Top