"You don't hear the gunshot that kills you" -- The Indian in "The Bravados"
It's dialogues such as above that make Western Movies so interesting as they are.
If a study is made into the themes and catchy phrases (which already exists somewhere, I am sure), I guess we will find extra-ordinary similarity in the former and extra-ordinary diversity in the latter. Most typically, it's a gang of bandits or bank robbers who are the heroes (or villains too!) casted. Rarely (as in case of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence) one would find 'leagal' ways being contemplated to tackle the law of the bullet. And even in that rare exception, the protagonist has to get a pistol-belt for his sake. On a vast barren land, riding beautiful horses, these are the men who teach each other from chapters after chapters of this simple law: you miss, I hit.
The men are as rugged as is the terrain. They hardly look tired albeit always bearded and sun-tanned. I guess only living thing that's more alert than a well-groomed cowboy can be his horse! These tireless animals chase for their masters, ride for their pride and of course, sleep standing. You start hating the cruel way of settling the scores one-on-one. The result can be only one, as always, yet every gun-fight is different. Every setting differently interesting than the other, and every bullet, well, unique.
For years, cowboys like John Wayne, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood (and countless other amigos) have treaded the dusty roads of the West. Directors such as Sergio Leone, John Ford, Eastwood and others have literally ruled the West. And of course, for centuries, the tremendous desert and mountains have witnessed drams unfolding under their noses.
These movies and the heros make inspire me to ride a horse, wear a hat and walk into a restaurant, barking: burn me a steak, will ya?
I guess that's good enough testimonial of how I have taken to liking the Westerns!