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Modern Western Directors: 7 Filmmakers Who Stand Out

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 03:16 PM

Modern Western directors are keeping the genre alive and well with originals and remakes of favorite classics, creating timeless adaptations, as well as stylized twists for fans of the genre.

The 1940s and 50s may have been the heyday of the Western genre with films like "Gun Fight at the OK Corral" and "Stagecoach," and actors like John Wayne, but westerns are far from extinct.

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Here are seven modern western filmmakers who stand out:

1. Joel and Ethan Coen: The Coen brothers released the 2010 remake of the 1969 original "True Grit." The film was a hit both at the box office and with critics thanks in part to Jeff Bridges' performance as Rooster Cogburn.

2. Andrew Dominik: Dominik wrote and directed 2008's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," starring Brad Pitt. It is often credited as an artful Western with compelling performances, a standout among the many films about James.

3. Ed Harris: One of the more traditional Westerns in recent years, "Appaloosa" is about lawmen bringing order to a small town. Ed Harris also stars in the film with Viggo Mortensen and Renee Zellweger.

4. Clint Eastwood: Perhaps known best as an iconic Western actor thanks to his part in the TV series "Rawhide," Eastwood began directing films in the 1970s, including the Westerns "The Pale Rider and Unforgiven.

5. Gore Verbinski: A more lighthearted director, Verbinski gave fans who enjoy a spirited and gleeful Western with the animated "Rango" and "The Lone Ranger," both starring Johnny Depp.

6. Kelly Reichardt:
The indie director presented "Meek's Cutoff" in 2011, a throwback to Westerns of the 60s and 70s. It's a film about life on the trail, a reflection of the fear and psyche of early settlers.

7. Quentin Tarantino: More of a stylized tribute to Westerns than a classic Western, Tarantino's "Django Unchained," complete with the director's trademark comic book-style violence, was a box office hit.

8. James Mangold:
This director gave western fans "3:10 to Yuma," the 2007 remake of the 1957 original with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. The film about an outlaw and a rancher on a train headed to trial may have helped fuel the recent popularity of the modern Western.

Vote Now: Which of These Actors Stands the Test of Time?

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Modern Western directors are keeping the genre alive and well with originals and remakes of favorite classics, creating timeless adaptations, as well as stylized twists for fans of the genre.
modern western directors, westerns, filmmakers
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2015-16-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 03:16 PM
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