10 must-see country movies | Living the Country Life
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10 must-see country movies

One of the best ways to unwind is to pop in a good movie. Here are some of our favorite country-themed films. Enjoy!
  • Pure Country (1992)

    George Strait is a certified hit-maker. He has cranked out album after successful album, but in 1992 he decided to try his hand in film. Strait plays Wyatt "Dusty" Chandler, one of the hottest country stars in the business. He loves music, but feels his ostentatious stage show is overpowering the tunes. Dusty decidedly walks away from it all for a little while, going back to his small-town roots. Eventually he stumbles onto a ranch and meets a rough-and-tumble girl, Harley Tucker, whom he falls for. In typical fashion, he screws up and works to make it up to her. But that's an ending that you'll have to see for yourself.<P><I>By Ivy Christianson</I>

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • True Grit (2010)

    An adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel of the same name, and a remake of the 1969 film starring John Wayne, this version of True Grit swept box offices and was nominated for ten Academy Awards. It follows the story of young Mattie Ross, who is determined to catch her father's killer, Tom Chaney. She hires tough, but renowned drunk, U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn to help her catch Chaney. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and talented Hailee Steinfeld combine to make this one dynamic remake by the Coen brothers.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Giant (1956)

    Boasting big name stars like Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Rock Hudson, and a young Dennis Hopper, Giant is the tale of two Texas tycoons who are in a continuous duel. Bick Benedict (Hudson) meets and marries Leslie Lynnton (Taylor) and takes over the family ranch, where cowboy Jett Rink (Dean) also works. Rink begins to harbor feelings for Leslie and soon goes from cowboy to oil tycoon. This tangled mess makes for one interesting story and love triangle.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)

    Probably the biggest spoof on old western movies, Blazing Saddles is one of those films that everyone (adults, anyway) needs to see. The State Attorney General Hedley Lamarr wants to buy out Rock Ridge, a dinky town where everyone is named Johnson. His henchmen go in and shoot the sheriff, so Bart, a black railroad worker, convinces the Governor (Mel Brooks) to allow the first black sheriff. Hilarity ensues as the whole town comes together to save what's precious to them.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Lonesome Dove (1989)

    OK, so maybe it's not a movie, but this TV mini-series might as well be. It's a long favorite for many cowboys. Captain Augustus "Gus" McCrae (Robert Duvall) and Captain Woodrow F. Call (Tommy Lee Jones) are two famous former Texas Rangers who live their lives in Lonesome Dove, a town in Texas. The two decide to move cattle from the south to Montana and the show documents their departure, adventure, arrival and return through the course of six hours. But six hours that are well worth it.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

    Coal Miner's Daughter is about Loretta Lynn, one of country music's biggest stars. Lynn was married by age 13 and had four children by 19. It was a guitar from her husband at 18 that sparked her desire in music. She went on to arguably be the best female country singer, but not without trials and tribulations.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • 8 Seconds (1994)

    Another story based on true events, 8 Seconds is every cowboy's dream. Lane Frost, the 1987 PRCA Bull Riding World Champion, had a keen interest in bull riding from a young age. Eventually he grew up to be a participant in the sport, learning from friends like Tuff Hedeman. Having won the World Championship at 24, Frost went on to ride bulls, but suffered for the sport he loved in the end.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Walk the Line (2005)

    Like Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash had a rough life. But the one beacon in his life, June Carter, seems to help keep things clear and steady for the country-blues singer. Walk the Line documents Cash and Carter through their relationship and Cash's giant musical career. The music alone makes this movie a must-see.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Crazy Heart (2009)

    Bad Blake is a washed-up, alcoholic country singer who's had too many marriages and spent too much time on the road. Now making a living off bar gigs across the southwestern states, Blake is approached by journalist Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) for a story. The two soon begin a tumultuous relationship and try to put Blake on a road to redemption. Jeff Bridges earned his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his role of Bad Blake in this film, and the soundtrack is fantastic.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012
  • Stagecoach (1939)

    And of course, no country movie list could forget the legend, John Wayne. Wayne appeared in movie after movie, but perhaps one of his most critically acclaimed was Stagecoach. It takes place in 1880, when a group of strangers board an east-bound stagecoach from Tonto, Arizona Territory, to Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory. Wayne plays fugitive Ringo Kid, who stirs up all kinds of trouble on this adventure.

    Date Published: April 20, 2012
    Date Updated: November 8, 2012

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