This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
I’ve never really managed to get into Westerns. I’d like to, it’s just that until now I didn’t really know where to start. It doesn’t help that the genre has been in severe decline for the last few decades. It really doesn’t help that the genre occasionally has severe problems with handling of race and gender issues. (On the other hand, show me a genre that doesn’t.) I’ve recently made another attempt to get into the genre after catching The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on television, Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood’s magnum opus being as good a gateway drug for Westerns as any.
Helpfully, Warner Brothers have put out a convenient three-disc box set featuring The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, and Unforgiven, Eastwood’s last Western of the 1970s and his only Westerns of the 1980s and 1990s respectively. It seemed to me like the logical next place to go after the Dollars trilogy, so I gave it a look.