Tonight Turner Classic Movies at 9.30 pm. is presenting the restored classic Western, Seven Men from Now, made in 1956 with the leading Western icon Randolph Scott and directed by Budd Boetticher. This film has not been seen on TV in decades. Readers who wish to gain moral sustenance and inspiration from this product of a Western civilization and popular culture when they still were vital should tune in.
In the later 1950's, Scott and Boetticher made seven modest Westerns, little noticed at the time. Today, Seven Men from Now, Ride Lonesome (1959) and Comanche Station (1960) are widely considered three of the greatest Westerns ever made. No films dramatize more powerfully the Western hero as knightly man of honor -- a man who forsakes personal happiness out of loyalty to the code of doing what is right. Seven Men from Now also has a scene (around the wagon) which is a masterpiece of understated, allusive eroticism -- possible only in a society that upheld and venerated moral self-restraint.
Readers who identify the Western only with the medicore—cinematically and morally—Clint Eastwood owe it to themselves to see this masterpiece. Those who are interested in the context of this film can read Spencer Warren's article, "Rediscovering the Classic Western," here, and his discussion of the greatest Westerns, here. (The last two [films] listed date from 1962 -- just before the cataclysm of the 1960's began.)
Spencer Warren is correct about the high quality of these films, and I am delighted to inform you of tonight's showing and grateful to Spencer for suggesting that I do so.