7 Best Westerns of the Decade
The western genre is an influential one. In the forties, fifties and sixties they were a dominant force in American cinema and even beyond. Not only does the name evoke memories of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, but it also recalls the Italian greats who helped shape our cultural understanding of the look, sound and feel of a western like director Sergio Leone and composer Ennio Morricone.
Without these figures who helped create the so-called sub-genre “spaghetti westerns,” we would not have the widely-beloved filmography of Quentin Tarantino, who takes much inspiration from these filmmakers before him. One of the most sainted Japanese filmmakers Akira Kurosawa also took inspiration from the American western. He reappropriated their style for his own samurai movies. In turn, both classic westerns starring John Wayne like The Searchers and their direct descendants like Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress influenced George Lucas in his creation of a new subgenre, space western, by way in his magnum opus, Star Wars.
Star Wars, in turn, birthed the high-budget, high-earning form of film we know as the blockbuster, that dominates the industry at large today. The importance of the western can be felt as much now as it could in its heyday. But conventional westerns still rear their head from time to time—though much less frequently than they used to. As the 2010s near their end, here are the seven best westerns of this decade.
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