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THE DAN CAVE: 5 Westerns You Need to See Before You Die (Plus a New York Comic Con Giveaway!)

Howdy there, pilgrim! Welcome to The Dan Cave. I heard what you were listening to earlier, and I have to say you have great taste in music.

On today’s episode, we’re saddling up for a trip to the Wild West. Don’t bust out the ten gallon hats and bandito mustaches just yet though — I’m talking about westerns, one of the most uniquely American film genres. Beginning with Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery, the western has captured the imaginations of filmgoers across the world with portraits of lone horsemen, hard men, strong women, and high stakes gunplay set against the backdrop of the American West. But with so many fantastic films out there, where is the casual viewer to begin? Relax, partner — I’ve got you covered like a sneer on Clint Eastwood’s lip. Today on The Dan Cave, I’m rounding up 5 westerns you absolutely need to see before you die. So sit back, kick off your boots, and sidle up to the monitor because this chair ain’t big enough for the two of us. Seriously, get your own chair.

But wait, there’s more! While westerns may be a rare sight at the box office these days, you can take one home on October 7 when Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West comes to Blu-ray and DVD. To celebrate its release, I’m giving away what every outlaw wants most: two (2) passes to New York Comic Con! Airfare isn’t included, so you’ll have to hitch up your Conestoga wagon and make your own way to New York, but self-reliance is one of the biggest tents of westerns, so it’s keeping with the theme. In order to be entered to win, click here to share the post automatically on Twitter or craft a tweet of your very own using #TheDanCave. Be sure to enter by 11:59PM on Sunday, October 5 because come midnight on Monday morning, this contest is riding off into the sunset.

Whether you win the pair of passes I’m giving away or if you’re already heading to NYCC, be sure to visit the A Million Ways to Die in the West booth and take an old timey Western photograph! If you post your picture to your favorite social media outlet (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) along with #NYCCMillionWays, you can make out like a bandit and win one million pennies ($10,000)! Think of all the crushed pennies you can make in museum lobbies!


Want even more The Dan Cave? Check out last week’s episode where I examine whether Gotham is the Batman show we deserve.

For full contest rules, please click here.

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  1. No Once upon a Time in the west?

  2. jake says:

    true grit

  3. Caleb says:

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 

  4. Yippy Ki Yay says:

    Hands down…Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!

  5. Scrffy Nerf Herder says:

    Since this is , I enjoy the nerdy westerns like Shanghai Noon, Cowboys vs Aliens or Django. Let’s not forget those crazy Disney ones such as The Apple Dumpling Gang. 

  6. manlybellyflop says:

    Where is “Once upon a time in the West”?  What are you thinking people 😛

  7. Zachary Holcomb says:

    The Searchers is high up on my list of favorite westerns. 5 others that I would recommend are:1.Tombstone- Val Kilmer is worth the entire movie2. Winchester 73’3. Rooster Cogburn/True Grit4. Rio Bravo5. El Dorado- my personal favorite. This is the western that I grew up with, I can quote every line. 

  8. IDenz says:

    Silverado deserves at least an honorable mention.  The cast was great, plus the same screenwriter as Empire Strikes Back and The Big Chill.  Scott Glenn was born to act in westerns and leads the movie amazingly.  A very young Kevin Costner plays his delightfully unhinged brother.  Danny Glover pulls in an unreal performance as a tragic, revenge-driven marksman.  The scenes between Kevin Cline and Brian Dennehy are amazing and priceless.  Plus John Cleese as an old west Sheriff just to add a little WTF-ness.  Definitely work a watch if you haven’t seen it before.  They built an entire replica old-west town just to shoot the movie, so it feels incredibly real down to the last detail.  Even the actors went through quick-draw training to lend realism.  Very well-done film.

  9. unrealcities says:

    Too bad I can’t post an old Western photo I have as me as a kid in a saloon, outfit and all…

  10. unrealcities says:

    Kung Fu Hustle? I know it’s genre-bending, but it’s still awesome and funny. P.s. If I won 10,000 pennies I’d sent them to Sallie Mae to pay off grad school loans. They so deserve it.

  11. mikedudez says:

    thank you i was going to go ballistic if you did not include a john wayne movie, no western is complete without a john wayne in it. ya im a fan

  12. Jeremy says:

    I think The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly is the most well made movie in the Man with No Name Triolgy.  However, my favorite is For A Few Dollars More.  The back and forth between Eastwood & Cleef is marvelous and the soundtrack is almost equal to G,B,&U.

  13. AnotherScott says:

    “Hombre”You can not beat Richard Boone as a bad guy.

  14. Josh says:

    I’ve always liked A Fistful of Dollars more than The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. Personally.

  15. Kal Vilmer says:

    No Tombstone? No Django Unchained? I know they’re modern but still. Could have been a Top 20 list easily. Honorable mention to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

  16. benjduff says:

    Nice Post Dan, what about The Proposition? And The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is Ford’s best.  

  17. CosmicDaDa says:

    The Magnificent Seven#thedancave

  18. JoJo says:

    Rio Bravo

  19. joking611 says:

    No Rustlers Rhapsody?