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The Best Classic Cowboys Are Texas Rangers

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The rules of the Western dictate that there is no tougher good guy than a Texas Ranger. These men wear the biggest white hats of all. In The Searchers, John Wayne’s morally conflicted protagonist is recognized for who he is by that film’s Texas Ranger who remarks that Wayne’s face seems familiar from Wanted posters. This despite the fact that they’re supposed to be on the same side. Wayne, for his part, exhibits his own Rangerly powers in The Comancheros, His character is so pure he can transform a New Orleans gambler into a better man just by showing the Ranger way. Even a horror flick like Texas Chainsaw Massacre II uses its Texas Ranger (played with aplomb by Dennis Hopper) as its moral compass. He might not be able to redeem Leatherface, but he does avenge the killer’s victims…with a chainsaw.

Streets of Laredo (not to be confused with the Larry McMurtry movie of the same name) is a 1949 remake of the 1936 Western called — what else? — Texas Rangers. True to form, these cowboys are not only the ultimate good guys, they’re also a civilizing power of law in the lawless Old West, men with jaws just as strong as their moral code. For a healthy dose of Rangerly goodness, check out Streets of Laredo when it plays this morning of Saturday, February 16 at 10:45AM | 9:45C.

Or see if you can pick out the Rangers in the Your Classics Cowboys poll. Here’s a hint: If he looks like trouble, vote for the other guy.

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