The 13 Essential Westerns That Shaped Rockstar Games’ Wild West

The ultimate western not released in theaters, but on consoles and PCs: Red Dead Redemption and its sequel are, together and separately, the largest and most ambitious experience based on the stories of the Wild West. The ones about outlaws and bounty hunters. Those of good people with simple aspirations and those scoundrels with distracted morals. That said, it is indisputable that the scenes shot by Sergio Leone in the desert of Almería are very present in the work of Rockstar Games.

On the eve of the launch of Red Dead RedemptionBack in May 2010, Rockstar itself slowly shared a selection of the team’s favorite Westerns. The films that inspired them during development and served as the basis for offering more than just a genuine setting for the game: John Marston had to be the natural heir to the characters embodied by Clint Eastwood, John Wayne or Charles Bronson. The good, the ugly and the bad.

Ten years of Red Dead Redemption: these are our memories and feelings in the wild west of John Marston

In Extra Life we have recovered that selection of films and, despite the fact that there are notorious absences and lots of winks that are part of the games and remain in the pipeline, we must admit that she is arrogant and irreproachable. So we have allowed ourselves to expand it with information about each one, some special details regarding the game and, taking advantage of the occasion, a link so that you can enjoy it from your favorite device. Because each and every one of them is absolutely recommended.

Put on your hat, check that the chamber of your revolver is not empty and do not move your faster hand too far from the holster: below you will find the 13 essential westerns that forged the Wild West of Red Dead Redemption.

The Sierra Madre Treasure by John Huston

  • Original title: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  • Where to see it (rent): Youtube

Is it really a western Sierra Madre Treasure? On the one hand, we have the fact that both the film and the novel are set in Mexico during the Roaring ’20s, but Rockstar has always been very clear what was there to borrow from John Huston’s universal classic for the game: beyond its portrait of the gold rush, we find an interesting reflection of how human morality can bend to greed.

Sierra Madre Treasure It is a film that was justly awarded three Oscars from the Academy, including the best adapted screenplay, and despite the fact that Walter Huston manages to outshine Humphrey Bogart in front of the camera, its themes and moral dilemmas will have a deep impact on Red Dead Redemption and subsequent Rockstar Games games.

The 3:10 Train by Delmer Daves

When rockstar games quote The 3:10 train It refers not only to the 1957 classic, the one starring Glen Ford and Van Heflin, but also to its much later and no less remarkable Hollywood remake starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. With that poker of actors it is impossible to make a bad movie.

According to established Rockstar itself, beyond taking note of the performance of the actors when portraying ranchers cornered by their destiny and charismatic outlaws; consider that both versions of The 3:10 train they are among the best portraits of the Wild West made in the last and present centuries respectively. We will not be the ones to oppose them.

The 3:10 Train (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]

The 3:10 Train (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]

Major Dundee by Sam Peckinpah

sam peckinpah He has earned a place of honor among Rockstar’s favorite directors. We will see it several times in the list, of course, but not enough: classics from the likes of Duel in the high sierra either Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid must cede privileged sites, although we know that the creators of Red Dead Redemption They’ve seen those movies and more. So what’s so special Major Dundee?

To begin with, we have the participation of charlton heston, who plays a veteran Union officer. In order to persecute the murderous Apaches, he will form a diverse group that includes soldiers from his army, rebels, former slaves and even criminals. Only with that base do you have plots for a lot of good stories.

Until His Time Came, by Sergio Leone

It was a matter of time before we ran into the work of Sergio Leone, but the trilogy of the Dollar being left out is almost a crime. Fortunately, Clint Eastwood is very present in the selection and Until his time came It is a real wonder with part of its footage shot in Spain. More specifically, in La Calahorra, near Guadix.

Until his time came again focuses on the themes of betrayal, uncertainty and redemption so present in both installments of Red Dead Redemption. That is no small thing, of course, but there is one aspect of the film that makes it really special: the impeccable work of the master Ennio Morricone. with the sublime orchestration and the Soundtrack.



Two Men and One Fate by George Roy Hill

George Roy Hill made the chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford fill the screen through Two men and one destiny, and the similarities with the Rockstar games manifest themselves and even more so in Red Dead Redemption 2: the 1969 film presents us with a plot that introduces us to a group of outlaws who command Butch (played by Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Redford).

Butch is a born and organized leader, while the Sundance Kid is a rather more impulsive skilled gunslinger. However, both face an unexpected problem: the decline of the Wild West in favor of civilization, and that means adapting to the times or starting a new life where no one recognizes them. Either of the two options will involve quite an adventure.

Wild Bunch by Sam Peckinpah

Just like Rockstar herself stated, wild group forever changed the perception of violence in cinema. Taking into account that the creators of Trevor do not go around with niceties in their own games, we are talking big words.

wild group It is Sam Peckinpah’s second foray into the Rockstar selection, and that automatically puts her on the radar of anyone passionate about Wild West stories, gifting us in the process with some of the shootouts that, at the production level, will come to sit lecture on and off the big screen.

Hell of Cowards, by Clint Eastwood

The presence of Clint Eastwood she’s guaranteed to be on any Western-related listing, and it’s clear that her roles as cowboy, outlaw, law enforcement officer, or generally anyone with ambiguous morals and a predisposition to draw a gun have a huge presence in arcade games. rockstar.

A fact that Rockstar took into account when drawing inspiration for Hell of a Coward: the way in which Eastwood, who directed the film, portrayed the Wild West even scandalized John Wayne, who wrote to him personally to let him know. How could this movie not fascinate those in San Diego?

Hell Of Cowards [DVD]

Hell Of Cowards [DVD]

The Last Gunslinger by Don Sigel

When you think of the best John Wayne that the seventh art has given us, it is normal that one’s head comes to mind desert centaurs. In the case of Rockstar Games, and very specificallythey prefer more The last gunslinger. A film that revolves around the slow decline of the last great Wild West shooter before the dawn of the 20th century.

Curiously, The last gunslinger too is, in turn, a portrait of the contemporary state of Westerns in the face of the priorities of Hollywood at the end of the 70s. Of how these are gradually giving up their space and media presence in favor of the new trends and obsessions of the spectators.

Young Gun by Christopher Cain

young gun brought together some of the biggest Hollywood stars of the late ’80s, including brothers Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, to put a more modern and edgy spin on the legend of Billy the Kid.

Definitely, in those days there were better excuses to go to the movies than Young Gun, but for Rockstar this Lionsgate production is one of those 80’s movies that arouses a curious fascination that is difficult to justify. However, we all have the right to have at least a couple of not-so-good movies among our favorite films.

Lonesome Dove by Simon Wincer

  • Original title: Lonesome Dove (1989)

On horseback, never better said, between what we can consider a film and a great production for television, lonely dove It is what today we call a limited mini-series. One especially treasured by those who are passionate about and understood by westerns. And that, by the way, is based on a novel. But as Rockstar herself admittedthe creators of Red Dead Redemption they stay with the version for the small screen.

lonely dove is the story of two veteran, well-seasoned and deservedly retired Texas Rangers turned Cowboys who settle in the town of Lonesome Dove. A story divided into four episodes in which Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones lead a stellar cast.

Unforgiven by Clint Eastwood

no forgiveness It is not just any Western: it is one of the best incursions of the seventh art into the Wild West ever made, as well as a must-see film. A sample of the overwhelming talent of Clint Eastwood both in front of and behind the cameras. And, by the way, the place where, like William Munny, he left us one of his most emblematic phrases.

That’s how it is. I have killed women and children. I’ve shot anything alive and moving. And today I have come to kill you

The influence of without forgiveness it is ubiquitous in the work of Rockstar Games. In Red Dead Redemption, of course, but the moral conflicts that are posed to the viewer can even be seen in his earlier and later games. The definitive western? Well, that is already a matter of taste. But until I have it a little clearer, without forgiveness will have to settle for being one of the best films of the 20th century.

No Forgiveness Blu-Ray [Blu-ray]

No Forgiveness Blu-Ray [Blu-ray]

The Proposal by John Hillcoat

Just look at the billboard The proposal to reveal how much and how well has influenced John Hillcoat’s film in Red Dead Redemption; but the thing goes much further: despite setting the action in Australia and having been shot in the new millennium, John Hillcoat knows how to capture the essence of the best cinema of the Far West, including plots and moral dilemmas typical of Sergio Leone and images that fill the screen with the genuine essence of classic westerns.

Rockstar boldly and correctly drank from The proposal and everything that it could contribute to a video game. Both at the time of giving visual and aesthetic identity and in regard to the forging of what should be the definitive western. Enough so that if the jump is ever announced Red Dead Redemption to the big screen, let’s put Hillcoat on our list of favorite directors to pull off the feat.

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