by Jim Poulton
Joshua the Black Rider … A Taste of Evil … Three Bad Men … The Good, the Bad and the Ugly … Yuma (with Clint Walker) … Bonanza – The Spitfire … Known and obscure, famous and infamous, this little app gives you easy and immediate access to 50 movies about the American West. It works by streaming each full-length movie through your YouTube video player. As the advertisement for the app says: ‘If your phone can play YouTube videos you are set!’
Each movie is legal to watch, in case you were wondering. They are all in the public domain, meaning the copyright has expired. The app gives you a brief (sometimes very brief) description of the movie, plus they’ve made a comment section available where you can talk with other bleary-eyed Western movie addicts.
Plus, you get a bonus section of old Bonanza episodes. Now you can watch Hoss, Adam, Little Joe, and Ben until the cows come home.
All in all, the app works well. I was surprised at how quickly the movie launches once you select it – about the time it takes to fall off a horse. Just what the doctor ordered when you need a Tom Mix fix, right? The app is disappointing for one reason: it doesn’t give you a way to search for movies – from what I can tell you’re stuck with scrolling through whatever movies it throws up on the screen. This might be a deal-killer for some fans. But if you’re looking for just any old Western, this is your app.
50 Western Movies is available only for Droid phones (you can find it at Android Market, or just search using your phone's in-house Market program). A related app for the iPhone is Vintage Video: Classic Western Movies. And for those who can’t get enough of the opening notes of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’s score (Wah-uh, Wah-uh Wah, Waah Waah Waah), your best bet is to avoid any current app that says they’ll give you access to them (the reviews of the one I could find said it was, to put it delicately, what you’d find in a bull pen). Instead, go to Zedge and search for whatever movie theme you want.