I love western movies! No surprise there, right? I was trying to narrow it down to just one, but there’s no way. I did come up with five faves in order of release:
Will Penny: 1968. Charlton Heston is an aging cowhand who takes a job protecting the range of a wealthy rancher. He finds his line cabin occupied by a widow (Joan Hackett) and her son. This movie isn’t a shoot ‘em up kind of western. Quiet, slow, but poignant.
The Cowboys: 1972. Abandoned by his ranch hands, Wil Honeycut (John Wayne) is forced to hire a bunch of boys to help him drive his cattle 400 miles to market. This movie also stars Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, A Martinez and Bruce Dern and Robert Carradine. One of my favorite quotes comes from this movie when Wil Honeycut says, “We’re burnin’ daylight.”
The Outlaw Josey Wales: 1976. Clint Eastwood is a Missouri farmer who joins up with a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family. Also starring Sondra Locke. I love this movie. It’s classic Eastwood. He’s bitter, silent and violent.
Young Guns: 1988. I love Emilio Estevez as a young Billy the Kid. Although wildly exaggerated, it is great fun watching Estevez’s portrayal of the famous outlaw. The movie also stars Charlie Sheen, Lou Diamond Philips, Keifer Sutherland and Jack Palance.
City Slicker: 1991. Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby on a modern day cattle drive. Although parts of this movie are cringe-worthy stupid, I can overlook that because the three middle-age men are so charming. My fave part is when they share their best day ever. Jack Palance is in this movie, too.
Elizabeth Adams loves western movies, and often draws on them for direction:
He looked grim. “The only road ends at this cabin. There’s no reason for anyone but me to come up here.”
“Do you think this is where the rustlers are hiding out?”
He shrugged. “Who knows?”
“Well, I know how to find out.” Elizabeth took a step before Cooper grabbed her from behind.
“Are you crazy? You can’t go busting in there. We don’t know who’s there, and what they’re doing.”
She squirmed in his grasp. “What do you propose?”
His grip on her tightened. “I think we need to go around and see if we can get a peek through the window.”
“Just like Butch and Sundance,” she whispered. “Or Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid and William Petersen as Pat Garret before they became enemies . . . .”
“Young Guns . . . at his puzzled look, she said, “Oh, never mind. Let’s do it. Which way do we go?” She wiggled out of his hold.
He led off. “This way. Be quiet.”
Blurb: Elizabeth Adams has often dreamed of being a heroine in a western film, but her job as a florist in Los Angles is a far cry from cowgirl. Her mother travels to Colorado to sell her inherited ranch…and vanishes. When local law enforcement refuses to search, Elizabeth travels to Salt Lick to find her mother.
There is no proof JB Cooper murdered his neighbor, but the people of Salt Lick, Colorado, believe he killed the old man in a heated exchange over water rights. Lack of proof is the only thing keeping Cooper out of jail. When a woman goes missing and a homeless man is killed, he’s the first suspect.
Although everyone, including the local sheriff, advises Elizabeth not to trust Cooper, she instinctively knows he’s no killer. The cowboy reluctantly lets the city girl inside his tough outer layer. Can they find Elizabeth’s mother in time? Or will the dark eye of suspicion on Cooper tear them apart?
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Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there’s just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, two ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!
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