Cowboys & Indians
By Joe Leydon
April 8, 2022
This past weekend in Oklahoma City, the late Burt Reynolds was celebrated posthumously with a prestigious honor: He was inaugurated into the Hall of Great Western Performers by The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum during the 61st Western Heritage Awards. To mark the occasion, we’re looking back at one of his most notable films… “Navajo Joe”
Just a few months after of unleashing his classic “Django” on the world, director Sergio Corbucci served up another enduringly popular Spaghetti Western, this one starring Reynolds as a Navajo avenger on the trail of the outlaw gang that massacred his village. A personal favorite of Quentin Tarantino — who recycled part of the movie’s Ennio Morricore score for his own “Kill Bill Vol. 2” — “Navajo Joe” often has been described as the most physically challenging role Reynolds has ever played. Indeed, during one particularly exciting action sequence, he bulldogs a guy right off his horse, then rolls down the hill with him. “And the horse rolled with us, too,” Reynolds told C&I in 2016. “Yeah, that was a pretty amazing sequence, wasn’t it?” Laughing, Reynolds added: “But, you know, they never were very big on using stunt doubles in those Spaghetti Westerns.”
Prolific actor Woodrow Wilson Woolwine “Woody” Strode (1914-1994) — known for his roles in the films "The Professionals," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Spartacus" — was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the Western Heritage Awards, sometimes referred to as the "Oscars of the West." Accepting his award was Marisa and Patrick Wayne.
Both of these actors were participants in the Spaghetti western genre.