The Kings of the Westerns

Many of us grew up with a romantic notion of the old west as we were bombarded with a seemingly endless supply of Western movies and Television shows. The movies released in the 40s, 50s and 60s on through till the mid 70s were peppered with Hollywood’s Western storytelling and the leading men of those Westerns were the heroes to many a young boy.

This week, MovieZoot looks at four of these iconic actors who could very well be considered The Kings of the Westerns, including John Wayne in Red River; Randolph Scott in Rage at Dawn; Lee Van Cleef in God’s Gun; and even a very young Roy Rogers in 1940’s The Carson City Kid.

So fire up that popcorn maker and re-live your childhood fantasies with these great movies and the dynamic actors that defined the concept in our minds of the Western Hero.

Red River

Red River is the 1948 Howard Hawks western drama starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru and Walter Brennan telling the story of a stubborn cattleman in Texas and his adopted son as they each try to make a success in cattle-farming in the depressed south.

Rage at Dawn

Rage at Dawn is the 1955 Tim Whelan western dram starring Randolph Scott, Forrest Tucker, Denver Pyle and J. Carrol Naish telling the Post-Civil War story of the siblings of an outlaw Indiana farming family and their struggles as bank-robbers and train robbers.

God’s Gun

God’s Gun is the 1976 Gianfranco Parolini spaghetti western drama staring Lee Van Cleef, Jack Palance, Richard Boon and Leif Garrett as a gang of outlaws headed by a priest iin the thick of it with murder, jail-breaks, gun-fights, illegitimacy, boarder-bouncing and politics. Sound familiar?

The Carson City Kid

The Carson City Kid is the 1940 Joseph Kane Western comedy action film starring Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes, Noah Beery, Jr. and Francis McDonald telling the story of murder, bounty hunting, saloons and a gold-mining codger seeking a cowboy’s quest for vengeance for the murder of his brother.