Without irony, I love Westerns. I love the heroes and the anti-heroes. The dissociative psycho-freaks who observe danger with a disinterested calm and a steady hand. Sometimes they mingle their psychosis with morality, sometimes not. But I'm always riveted. This is probably because my personal reaction to danger, when it suddenly springs up, is to run. Or fall. Literally.
Ask L.B. If I get suddenly startled by a movie, my feet come to life. If I am sitting or lying down this is pretty comical to those around me, because they just start going. Only the feet mind you, not the legs. Sometimes they go for up to five seconds. But as I mentioned, it isn't like my whole body springs into a flight response. That would be kind of cool in an inherently cowardly way. But, it is only the feet. Thus, if I happen to be startled while standing, I end up Flat. On. My. Back. Again, this is probably comical to those around me. Sadly, it is another one of my instinctual responses which are counterproductive (like my getting dizzy around ledges...how did my ancestors survive?) So when I see the dissociative cowboy standing calm while bullets are flying, I can't help but stare.
Off the top of my head, here are a few of my favorite Westerns in case anyone is interested. Please let me know if you have any particular favorites that I should see!
The Gunfighter (Gregory Peck....I love him in everything.....this movie was mentioned prominently in Bob Dylan's "Brownsville Girl"....both the song and movie are incredible.)
Django (Franco Nero.....spaghetti has never tasted so good.....the Italians saved the genre after the 50's tried to strangle it....the soundtrack echoes the on screen action) (*also see Keoma)
Dead Man (Johnny Depp in a Jarmusch film? Too cool!)
Terror in a Texas Town (Greatest ending duel of all time...and it doesn't involve a gun.)
Wild Bunch (IMHO Sam Peckinpah single handedly stole back U.S. bragging rights for the Western. Anti-heroes were never better.)
All the Sergio Leone classics (The Good the Bad and the Ugly.....etc.....I love Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood....combined with the direction and the music?.....OMG!)