(Leone/Eastwood trilogy, and the other Eastwood westerns apart) This has got to be the best collection of original Westerns I've seen put together. Almost worth the money for Once Upon a time.... alone. And a fair descent reduction as this set was olny released in December.
Gunfight At The OK Corral (1957): A gang of ruthless outlaws...a pair of larger-than-life heroes...a timeless tale of good versus evil.
Acclaimed actors Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas team up to rid Tombstone, Arizona of the murderous Clanton gang in this all-star, action-packed classic. When lawman Wyatt Earp (Lancaster) and gunfighter "Doc" Holiday (Douglas) ride into town, they find themselves pitted against one of the biggest foes ever encountered, in the form of Ike Clanton (Lyle Bettger) and his ruthless gang. It isn't long before the confrontation explodes into a survival-at-all-costs battle, with Rhonda Fleming, Jo Van Fleet, John Ireland Dennis Hopper, Deforest Kelley, Martin Milner and Lee Van Cleef among those swept into the drama and excitement of one of the Wild West's most legendary events!
Once Upon A Time In The West (1969): Sergio Leone's monumental epic 'Once Upon A Time In The West' ranks among the five or six all-time Western masterpieces. The picture itself is as big as its Monument Valley locations, as grand as its fine, distinguished cast. Henry Fonda plays the blackest character of his long career. He's Frank, the ruthless, murderous psychopath who suffers conscience pangs after annihilating an entire family. Jason Robards is the half-breed falsely accused of the terrible slaughter. Charles Bronson plays the harmonica playing man who remembers how his brother was savagely tortured.
Brilliantly directed by Leone and accompanied by one of Ennio Morriconne's greatest scores, this glorious picture helped re-establish the Western's significance. Watch out for that lengthy opening titles sequence...
True Grit (1969): In 1970, John Wayne earned an Academy Award for his larger-than-life performance as the drunken, uncouth and totally fearless one-eyed U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn. The cantankerous Rooster is hired by a headstrong young girl (Kim Darby) to find the man who murdered her father and fled with the family savings. When Cogburn's employer insists on accompanying the old gunfighter, sparks fly. And the situation goes from troubled to disastrous when the inexperienced but enthusiastic Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) joins the party. Laughter and tears punctuate the wild action in this extraordinary Western which features performances by Robert Duvall and Strother Martin.
The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965): Katie Elder bore four sons. The day she is buried they all return home to Clearwater, Texas, to pay their last respects. John Wayne is the eldest and toughest son, the gunslinger. Tom (Dean Martin) is good with a deck of cards and good with a gun when he has to be. Matt (Earl Holliman) is the quiet one - nobody ever called him yellow... twice. Bud (Michael Anderson, Jr.) is the youngest. Any hope for respectability lies with him.
Directed by Henry Hathaway (True Grit), an acknowledged master of the western, the story has a dual theme: not only is this a he-man's story, but it is also a drama of the maternal influence of Katie Elder, movingly portrayed from beginning to conclusion.