Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shane: No. 1 with a bullet

According to members of Western Writers of America, a nonprofit organization of more than 600 professional scribes, the greatest Western movie ever made is -- drum roll, please! -- Shane, George Stevens' 1953 classic starring the late, great Alan Ladd as a weary gunfighter forced to take sides in a Wyoming land war. The writers also have announced their choices for the all-time Top Ten cinematic sagebrush sagas, a list that also includes:

"It's not the Top 10 I would come up with," says incoming WWA president Johnny D. Boggs, "but that's the fun of lists like these. It prompts lively debate, and members of Western Writers of America can be as passionate about Western film as they are about literature of the West."

In any event: Congratulations to Kevin Costner for making the final cut with both Dances With Wolves and Open Range -- here is a link to my 2003 Cowboys & Indians interview, in which Costner talks about his high regard for Westerns -- and thanks to WWA for also listing what might be described as 90 runners-up.

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