Readers Have Responded - See What You've Voted the Best Western Ever Made!

best western showdown

You, the readers of Distinctly Montana have spoken! Hundreds of you voted in our recent bracket, and out of sixteen very popular and classic Westerns, one has been declared the clear winner. Is it surprising? Well, in our opinion, not really. 

There were, however, a few surprises along the way. A lover of classic Westerns might have thought John Ford's classic The Searchers might have stayed in the game a little longer, but The Outlaw Josey Wales blew it out of the water (or off it's horse, to use a more apt metaphor) in Round 2. Another surprise was that True Grit, universally beloved among the Western fans we know, was also unseated in the second round. 

Other matchups were perhaps a little less surprising.  The Hateful 8 had the poorest showing of the bracket, eliminated in the first round by a margin of 221 votes. In the opinion of the Distinctly Montana editorial staff that's well deserved - especially when you consider it was up against the uber-classic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The second biggest loser was Silverado, but then it had bad luck in that it was up against another 80s classic, and the winner of the bracket overall. 

By now, you've surely guessed that the winner was Lonesome Dove. As one astute reader pointed out to us in email, Lonesome Dove is the only entry that was not technically a film, but a miniseries. We'll allow that that's true, but we'd also say that this wonderful miniseries is more cinematic than, well, most movies. To tell you the truth, we sort of suspected Lonesome Dove might win all along. 

But then, other readers have pointed out films that were, unfortunately, missing from the list - exceptional films such as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Stagecoach, or The 3:10 to Yuma (the original or the remake - they're both pretty good). Then, there were a handful of Clint Eastwood vehicles that might have had strong showings as well, from Two Mules For Sister Sarah to Hang 'Em High.  It would be interesting to know if Lonesome Dove would still maintain its spot on the throne, er - saddle, against a whole new set of classic Westerns. 

Someday we'll have to have another bracket and find out, we suppose. But for now we'll just have to settle for the certain knowledge that this town's only big enough for one Lonesome Dove

Gus McCrae, Lonesome Dove

Promotional still from Lonesome Dove

Leave a Comment Here

Paul Murray (not verified) , Sat, 04/24/2021 - 17:16
Some day, Robert Duvall will leave this earthly stage and cross the bar, and we here left behind shall be much the poorer. Lonesome Dove, and Duvall's magical portrayal of Gus McCrae, will fortunately remain. Best always. PM
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