Boetticher. Budd Boetticher started out doing Z movies in the 1940’s (B-movies isn’t a fit description since he’d elevate from these to do B-movies) under either Oscar Boetticher or Oscar Boetticher Jr. and would end up doing television in the 1960’s but in-between he made eight archiveable films (up there with the most remaining not yet on this list) from 1951-1960. Most noteworthy are the four archiveable films he made with Randolph Scott including Ride Lonesome which is just a flat-out marvelous western. It’s easy to get Boetticher and Anthony Mann confused. Boetticher worked with Scott, Mann worked with Jimmy Stewart. Boetticher did some bullfighting films and Mann did some noir but they’re both, rightfully, remembered for their westerns. The strength of Boetticher’s case here is the depth of filmography here and the consistency in these works. His weakness would certainly be that one big film that cracks into the top 100 of its respective decade though I may be underrating Ride Lonesome here.
Best film: Ride Lonesome. Calling this a B-movie is a misnomer. It is shot in picturesque cinemascope, has highly ambitious themes (moral order, the nature of masculinity). It’s not Once Upon a Time In the West or The Wild Bunch but it does stand above the rest here. Boetticher would choose to elevate the camera, block the frame in certain spots—again, not he’s not Welles, but this certainly isn’t a point and shoot B-movie western.
total archiveable films: 8
top 100 films: 0
top 500 films: 0
top 100 films of the decade: 0
most overrated: Nothing here for Boetticher. He has two films that land from 1001-2000 on the TSPDT consensus list. Ride Lonesome is at #1280 and Seven Men From Now is at #1675 and neither are overrated.
most underrated : I can’t believe that there are 2000 films better than Comanche Station or Decision at Sundown.
gem I want to spotlight : Decision at Sundown. Great landscape work here from Boetticher.
- Meditations on honor, masculinity
- Mostly around 75 minutes—four of the eight below starring Randolph Scott—shot in 2-3 weeks.
- Simply told, taut, bullfighting, westerns
- While the others aren’t this artistically ambitions- Ride Lonesome has some wildly creative shot choices-
- Ride Lonesome
- Seven Men From Now
- Comanche Station
- Decision at Sundown
- The Tall T
- Bullfighter and the Lady
- The Killer is Loose
- The Man From the Alamo
By year and grades
|1951- Bullfighter and the Lady|
|1953- The Man From the Alamo|
|1956- Seven Men From Now|
|1956- The Killer is Loose|
|1957- The Tall T||R|
|1957- Decision at Sundown||R|
|1959- Ride Lonesome||HR|
|1960- Comanche Station||R|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives