Some of the classic westerns have a Dark Energy feel to them. Here are eleven gems:

The two westerns that may be my favorites - not an easy call, by any means - are The Tall T and Man of the West. The Tall T (from a story by Elmore Leonard, better known today for his crime fiction, represented in the Dark Energy list by Jackie Brown and Out of Sight) makes for an interesting split with the previous entry, The Searchers.

At the time, and for some time after, the Boetticher/Scott collaborations * were generally considered to be the poor-man's John Ford/John Wayne, a view accentuated by the fact that the first of the Boetticher/Scott movies, Seven Men from Now, was done for Wayne's production company Batjac. But there is a sizeable chasm between The Searchers and The Tall T.

Ford was very interested in the old west as myth. This meant maintaining certain character stereotypes that now seem quaint to people who weren't actually raised on movies made in Ford's heyday. By the time Boetticher made Seven Men, noir had been around for about fifteen years - Boetticher himself had directed The Killer is Loose a few months before he started the Randolph Scott cycle - and the more or less existential outlook of movies like Out of the Past was in the air.

The noir connection to the Mann/Stewart westerns * is even stronger. Anthony Mann directed T-Men, Raw Deal, Border Incident, and a number of other compelling contributions to the noir canon.