While the film “The Mission” with Tom Hanks arrives this week on Netflix, here is the list of westerns also available on the platform!
Westerns on Netflix …
For series fans
Western series experienced their golden age in the 1950s with titles such as Rawhide, Le Virginien, Au nom de la loi … We must now recognize that the genre has since almost disappeared from television, on ‘exception perhaps of a few flashes (Deadwood, Hell on Wheels…).
Designed by Scott Frank (the creator of The Lady’s Game), the mini-series Godless has revisited the myth of the West by taking up all the codes of the classic western, transposed in a city mainly populated by women. Both homage and modern reinterpretation of the genre, Godless also offered the excellent Jeff Daniels (awarded an Emmy Award) one of his most beautiful roles!
For a cult session
Better known to the public for his work as a screenwriter, he notably co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lawrence Kasdan is nevertheless an accomplished director, with a dozen feature films to his credit. Driven by the success in 1983 of his choral film Les Copains first, the filmmaker continues with the western Silverado (1985), led by a cast of actors promised to a great career: Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum and Danny Glover. Remained cult for its lively and hectic pace, Silverado gave the western a renewed interest in the 80s, when the genre was abandoned by Hollywood studios.
To discover the great filmmakers
True Grit and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by Joel and Ethan Coen
Two westerns by the Coen brothers for the price of one. True Grit first, a remake of the movie One Hundred Dollars for a Sheriff, which in 1969 won John Wayne his only Oscar for Best Actor. This feature film that respects all the codes of the American western offers a tailor-made role to Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski) but also to the young actress Hailee Steinfeld. Conversely, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a film with sketches turned towards the zany, carried by Tim Blake Nelson (a regular of the cinema of the Coen brothers) but also by Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan or James Franco.
Django Unchained by Quentin Tarantino
“Tarantinesque” rereading of Sergio Corbucci’s Django, Django Unchained is both an entertaining and pop western, but also a political feature film. The question of African-American slavery is approached in the film through shocking scenes and through a Leonardo DiCaprio counter-employed as a plantation owner as stupid as he is sadistic. Awarded two Oscars, Django Unchained (“the ‘D’ is silent” to cover one of the film’s most famous lines) was also a film’s biggest hit. Quentin Tarantino at the French box office, with more than four million spectators!
Albert to the west
Revealed to the general public by his irreverent animated series (Family Guy, American Dad …), Seth MacFarlane then became the new face of American comedy thanks to the success of his film Ted. For his second feature film as director, this great cinephile in love with pop culture tried his hand at the western with Albert to the west, parody more “poo pee” than spaghetti. If the film does not shine by its finesse, it nevertheless offers some hilarious moments, thanks in particular to a Liam neeson all in self-mockery!
The famous Lucky Luke comic has been adapted several times for cinema, animated film as well as for the Italian comedian of the legendary Terence Hill. In 2009, the cowboy “which shoots faster than its shadow” got a makeover with a whole new version bringing together Jean Dujardin and director James Huth, a few years after the success of their film Brice de Nice. Carried by a gallery of crazy second knives (Michaël Youn, Sylvie Testud, Melvil Poupaud …), this humorous western shot in the Argentinian pampas is also quite faithful to the famous comics of the Belgian author Morris.
For the family
Driven by the success of his Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, director Gore Verbinski embarked in 2011 on an animated film project entitled Rango; with this western, halfway between homage and parody, the American filmmaker offers Johnny Depp the role of a domestic chameleon who dreams of becoming a legend of the far-west. Written by prolific screenwriter John Logan (Penny Dreadfull, Skyfall, Aviator…), this feature film – awarded the Oscar for Best Animated Film in 2012 – was a huge success when it was released in theaters!