Best Western Movie Music Soundtracks
The Great Westerns
Nostalgia of Youth and the Western
I remember as a boy, my dear old dad used to watch every western ever made on TV. No grumbles from us kids. We absolutely loved it. Oh yes unlike most of today’s TV series, there were morals to the stories, and the writing was first class. I make no apologies for really missing those days. I miss my old dad and the innocence of youth. I miss the days when cussing was just an 'aw shucks', those days when violence on screen was left to the imagination. I miss the days when Hollywood and TV stars were clean upright people and not drunks or junkies. I miss those days when everything was new and innocent and you could compliment a girl and not get sued for sexual harassment, or worry about not being politically correct. These western themes remind me of the days that I miss, somehow their grandeur and expansive sound and the western storylines reflected the way we were and the way we were in awe of the new things in our lives. We never asked for much and we never expected much. Everything we did, we did ourselves. I feel sorry for the kids these days, because they'll never know how good we really had it and what is worse they would not even be able to understand it. The expansive string theme from Wagon Train a western my old dad used to love says it all.
Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner
A great suspense western directed in 1952 by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. The haunting song 'High Noon' was written by Dimitri Tiomkin, with lyrics by Ned Washington and sung by Tex Ritter.
One of the all time great westerns and I never get tired of seeing it. This was one of the first movies where the films duration was exactly the same as the action time in the film. In this clip look out for a very young looking Lee Van Cleef. Of course this is every Gary Cooper's fan favourite Gary Cooper role.
The Storyline...On the day he gets married and hangs up his badge, lawman Will Kane is told that a man he sent to prison years before, Frank Miller, is returning on the noon train to exact his retribution. Having at first decided to leave with his new spouse, Will decides he must go back and face Miller. However, when he seeks the help of the townspeople he has protected for so long, they turn their backs on him. It seems Kane may have to face Miller alone, as well as the rest of Miller's gang, who are waiting for him at the station.
Of these three, which is your favourite western?
The Big Country
One of the best scores ever written for one of the best westerns (1958) ever made. The composer (Jerome Moross) was a musical genius. He also composed the great theme song to the classic 60's TV Western "Wagon Train'. Such beautiful music.....you will never tire of listening to it.
A magnificent cast brought together by the director William Wyler unfortunately are no longer with us. Burl Ives was at his best and stole every scene he was in. Jean Simmons was gorgeous, as was Carol Baker playing the spoiled rich girl. And who could forget Chuck Conners in most "non-The Rifleman" role as the slimy Buck Hannasy. Finally Gregory Peck playing impeccably as the eastern gentleman trying to tame the west and a mean Mr. Charlton Heston in one of the few roles where he played a bad guy.
The Magnificent Seven
No apologies for this 1961 movie directed by John Sturges. A great western and a great theme by Elmer Bernstein. If the film were cast today it would be too expensive for the producers. All seven and the gang leader became top stars of the cinema and half of them became legends. The film starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronson, Horst Buchholz, Brad Dexter and Eli Wallach who is the only one left alive today. The storyline.......A bandit threatens a small Mexican farming village each year. The village elders send three of the farmers into the United States to search for gunmen to defend them. They end up with 7, each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to repulse an army of over 200 bandits who will arrive wanting food. based on the film, the Seven Samurai.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
This 1966 western directed by Sergio Leone was the first and the best of the spaghetti westerns. It's great theme music written by Ennio Morricone supported the superb acting of Clint Eastwood (the good) as the man with no name, Lee Van Cleef (the bad) and of course Eli Wallach (the ugly). The film was actually shot in Spain believe it or not, the first time a western had been shot in Europe. The storyline was simple. A bounty hunting swindle joins two men in an ill at ease coalition against a third in a chase to find a fortune in gold concealed in an isolated graveyard.