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Movie Mom

Beliefnet salutes 2008 movies and the all-time top Westerns

posted by Nell Minow

into_the_wild_movie_poster.jpgThis is my third year as one of the nominators for Beliefnet’s annual awards that pay tribute to the most spiritually nourishing and inspiring films of the year. Each of the candidates is presented with pro and con statements (mine is the pro for Emile Hirsch’s performance in “Into the Wild”), with the awards to be decided by Beliefnet voters. Please visit the site and let us know what you thought about the nominated films and performances.
And I enjoyed Idol Chatter’s list of the 10 Most Inspiring Westerns. Westerns are epic and mythic. They present stark contrasts — cowboys and Indians, outlaws and sheriffs, ranchers and herders, railroads and farmers, gamblers and solid citizens, dancehall girls and prim schoolteachers. I do not agree with all of the choices (especially “Maverick” and “Tombstone”), but endorse with enthusiasm the selection of Silverado as the top choice. This year’s 3:10 to Yuma is worth including. searchers.jpgBut why limit the list to recent films? Classics like The Searchers, High Noon, My Darling Clementine, How the West Was Won, How the West Was Won, and Red River should be seen by everyone.

  • jestrfyl

    What? No “Blazing Saddles”?

  • Nell Minow

    You are right! No list of classic westerns or classic comedies is complete without Blazing Saddles!

  • Big_Dave_T

    Westerns don’t have to be epic and mythic, though you wouldn’t think so by reading Idol Chatter’s list of the ten most inspiring westerns of the past 30 years. Why not include “Heartland” in that list? True, it doesn’t have the star power of the ten in Chatter’s list, but Heartland’s gritty drama is more true to life, having been based upon letters written by a woman who lived back then.

  • ChatteringMind

    I’m glad “Blazing Saddles” was not included on Beliefnet’s list. It doesn’t hold up and hasn’t aged well at all! My husband and I took a leap one rainy Saturday and rented it for our teen and pre-teen sons and boy, was it a flop with them! A total bust. The kids were embarrassed by the humor intended to fly in the face of racism. And the rest of the slapstick stuff failed to work for any of us.

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