Everett Collection
October 29, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it an A-

Five of the simplest, most austere, yet enjoyable Westerns (start with The Tall T) ever made are collected in The Films of Budd Boetticher, along with a superb documentary about the man who made them, director Budd Boetticher. Working with tiny budgets, two-week shooting schedules, and the leathery face and steely gaze of Randolph Scott, Boetticher crafted stories about a lone hero (Scott, in every one) who comes to the aid of the helpless (most often a victimized woman) against villains of uncommon moral complexity. Hardly mere shoot-’em-ups, these are think-’em-ups that explode in your mind.? A?

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