(Sergio Leone, Italy/Spain/West Germany, 1964): "There's money to be made in a place like this." So speaks the stranger (Clint Eastwood) of the desert shithole he's just ridden into on the back of a mule. The town, pretty much two rows of bleached buildings facing...

(Henry Hathaway, USA, 1968): It says something both about the western and its social impact that a kid and his dad could go and see two Dean Martin westerns in the course of a year, but my dad and I did. Indeed, this one came...

(Anthony Mann, U.S.A., 1955): The far country is Canada, and in this compact but sprawling odyssey western it's where people go to make communities free of greed and arbitrary frontier justice. That James Stewart's Jeff Webster winds up there, and eventually learns to let his...

(Fernando Baldi, Italy/Spain, 1969): Far more familiar for Roberto Pregardio's endlessly quoted score than the movie it embellishes, Ferdinando 's Forgotten Pistolero is an arrestingly superior example of the gothic-noir strain of spaghetti western. The American-born actor Leonard Mann plays Sebastian, a man living in...

(Anthony Mann, USA, 1050): Anthony Mann's first western is a fit-to-bust marvel, a tempestuous family melodrama about land, greed, passion and revenge that's almost too full of inspiration and ideas to contain itself. Starring Walter Huston (in his last role) as the roaring T.C. Jeffries,...

(John Ford, USA, 1948): The movie's title has become a euphemism for any movie situation in which good folks are beseiged by marauding barbarians at the gates. You hear it invoked with Assault on Precinct 13, Night of the Living Dead, Aliens and, most baldly, Fort Apache,...