(Enzo Barboni, Italy, 1970): Fascinating, little-seen spaghetti western from the man who would subsequently rule the profit end of the genre with the Trinity movies. Those are famous for their knockabout light touch, and while that's evident in The Unholy Four, director Enzo Barboni's jokey...

(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...

(Edward Dmytryk, USA, 1954): Most of the key reasons for the western's epic expansion during the 1950s is here, in Edward Dmytryk's frontier reworking of Joseph L Mankiewicz's House of Strangers: there's the backward-flashing intergenerational saga of a self-destructively proud rancher patriach (Spencer Tracy) and...

(John Schlesinger, USA, 1969): If there's any such thing as a timeless classic, this isn't it. Classic, yes, at least for the document it provides of a profoundly uneasy cultural moment, but for the same reason about as timeless as a lavender lava lamp. Still,...

(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...

(Anthony Mann, USA, 1950): James Stewart arrives angry in his first collaboration with the fresh-from-noir Anthony Mann, and he'd stay that way -- indelibly so -- for the next three westerns he and the director would make together: Bend of the River, The Far Country...

(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,...

(Ed Harris, USA, 2008): By definition a novelty item, the twenty-first century western derives much of its reamining residual appeal simply from the wondering of what the current crop of male stars -- Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, etc. -- might look like in...

(Delmer Daves, USA, 1950): America had changed irrevocably after WWII, and it wasn't all pride and prosperity: there was anxiousness and fear in the air, and a sense that nothing could be seen with quite the same clarity as before. Shit was suddenly very, very...

(Anthony Mann, USA, 1950): One of Anthony Mann's first westerns, Devil's Doorway is also a fascinating early entry into the race-based revisionist sweepstakes of the '50s and '60s. Indeed, although produced and finished before Delmer Daves' similar-theme but more softly embraceable Broken Arrow, it was...

(Alex Cox, Great Britain, 1986/2010): It doesn't get any better, and that's not meant in the sense you might hope. Despite being re-visited, re-polished, re-colored and digitally splatter-enhanced, the grim fact is that Alex Cox's seat-of-the-pants quickie spaghetti knockoff/parody remains the larky in-joke it always...