This Saturday, July 28th is the National Day of the Cowboy. A cowboy is defined as a man who herds and tends cattle, usually on horseback. President Bush said, “We celebrate the cowboy as a symbol of the grand history of the American West.” Due to this fact cowboys have been the main character for years in many folktales and Western-themed cinema. To pay tribute to cowboys we decided to talk about some of our favorite Westerns.
True Grit (1969) A movie that has trademarked John Wayne, depicts a hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger who help a stubborn teenager track down her father’s murder in Indian territory. This story was remade in 2010.
Dances with Wolves (1990) An epic Western film that tells the story of Union Army Lieutenant who travels to the American frontier to find a military post, and of his dealings with a group of Lakota Indians. This film was directed, produced, and stars Kevin Costner.
Flicka (2006) Takes place on a ranch in modern-day Wyoming. Katy McLaughlin dreams of working and taking over the family ranch. She tames a wild mustang, Flicka in an effort to prove to her father she is capable of taking over.
Rango (2011) An animated movie where Rango, Jonny Depp, is an ordinary chameleon accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. It is a great Western flick for the family to enjoy.
Longest Ride (2015) One of our favorites by Nicholas Sparks describes a star-crossed love affair between Luke, a champion bull rider making a comeback and Sophia, a college student about to embark on her dream job. With inspiration from a relationship that made it through the ups down, the lovers fight through the challenges that face them. Here is a romantic western for date night.
There are so many great Westerns to choose from that it was extremely difficult to only pick a few. Whether you prefer the action and adventure of the Old West and Cowboys versus Indians or prefer a quaint small town cowboy romance, you should consider a dusting of a Western film to enjoy the National Day of the Cowboy this weekend.