From the very beginnings of cinema, the Western has been an integral genre in the development of the medium and especially important to the rise of Hollywood. And despite its ebbs and flows, tales of the Old West have endured on celluloid for over a century now, always seeming to come back to one more stand off just when you think it's done for good.
Aside from countless classics, however, there are those pictures which approach the genre with a certain gusto; a boldness of concept or scale that makes for films as epic as the skyline of Arizona's Monument Valley. It is these ambitious projects that demonstrate the versatility and potential of Western stories. Some, indeed, are so ambitious they've never made it to the screen: the long touted adaption of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, for instance, which the likes of both Ridley Scott and James Franco have sought to bring to cinemas.
Where Blood Meridian has faltered, so many others have triumphed. From masterpieces of Old West action to lowkey contemplative tales, stories in mythical moods to studio-busting sweeping romances, these are the ten Westerns that weren't content taking the age-old approach to cowboys, bandits, stagecoaches, and the great frontiers.
A philosophy postgraduate and prospective writer from a small village just outside of Glasgow with an undying loyalty to Dawson's Creek and Buffy, ballasted by more apparently lofty interests in philosophy and literature (though I'd argue they're on the same level!)