(Delmer Daves, U.S.A, 1957): By the time Delmer Daves' near-perfect chamber western 3:10 to Yuma settles into a long, two-handed passage in a Contention, Arizona, hotel room, it has prepared us so efficiently for a drama of words fired across an eight-foot space you barely...

(William Wiard, U.S.A., 1980): Steve McQueen was only eight months from death when this, his second last movie was released, and Tom Horn is one level a look straight in the eye of death: McQueen, 49 when the movie was shot, was already in advanced...

(Mario Caiano, Italy/Spain, 1968): For this otherwise unusually dedicated and tolerant viewer of the euro-western, the hardest river to forge is the one where spaghetti splits into one of its most popular but (if you ask me) insufferable sub-genres, the buddy comedy, and this, about...

(Burt Kennedy, USA, 1972):  John Wayne might have lost the war for American hearts and minds on the battlefront with the Green Berets fiasco, but in the remaining decade of his life he retreated into the western with a traditionalist vengeance, almost single-handedly defending the Alamo...

(Anthony Mann, USA, 1951): An MGM b-movie set aboard a Washington-Baltimore train carrying a would-be assassin of President-Elect Abraham Lincoln, and the high-pressured sleuthing efforts of a freshly-resigned New York Cop -- named, of all things, John Kennedy and played by Dick Powell -- to stop...

(King Baggot, USA, 1925): "It's the last of the west, boys." These words are spoken by William S. Hart's cattleman Don Carver as he gazes at the endless trail of covered wagons headed toward the starting point for the great land rush of 1890. When...

(Lambert Hillyer, USA, 1920): Following a tight-scrape train robbery, Buck Deering's gang crawls back into its cave -- literally -- to debate their leader's announcement that it's time to disperse before the law closes in once and for all. But Buck, who is played by...

(Lambert Hillyer, USA, 1921): In an exalted league with Hell's Hinges, Wagon Tracks and The Toll Gate, Lambert Hillyer's Three Word Brand is easily one of the actor and director's most intricate and ambitious collaborations. It begins with Hart as widower Ben Trego, who spectacularly blows...

(John Ford, USA, 1926): History, when securely hitched the mythic machinery of the western -- and driven by  an engineer as proficient as John Ford -- can draw an entire nation's experience in its wake, and what are 'nations' but individual differences processed into pure, engine-stoking...

(Richard Fleischer, USA, 1959): In many westerns, the wrangling of an especially wild horse is a ritual of potency: it proves the man's dominion over nature, provides a dramatic metaphor for sexual conquest and shows everyone who belongs on top. Nevertheless when Don Murray's 'Lat' Evans...