Entertainment

The Best Western Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
360k votes 18.8k voters 374.2k views 396 items

The best Western movies ever made include some true classics from the early days of cinema, and more modern day films that captured our imagination and took us to the days of the wild, wild West. From Sergio Leone's classics like The Good, The Bad and the Ugly to the 2010 Joel and Ethan Coen remake of True Grit, the Western movies listed here are considered some of the greatest of all time. Be sure to vote for your favorite Westerns and vote down any you don't like.

What makes a great Western? Aside from casting Clint Eastwood (he's in so many of these) or John Wayne, an outstanding Western offers movie goers fantastic characters, lots of drama and tension and certainly a nasty, memorable villain or two. Setting is obviously important in top western movies as well. Throw in a High Noon-style standoff and you simply can't miss. Those are really the most important elements in the best western and cowboy movies. (While faithfulness to history is a plus, you might be surprised how many famous westerns aren't historically accurate!)

What are you favorite western films? Which ones might convince you to stay home for the evening and relax in front of the tube? Vote for the greatest western movie ever made and be sure to add any of your favorite Western movies that might be missing! Giddyup, and enjoy!

list ordered by
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26
Open Range is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening
Open Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring Robert Duvall and Costner, with Annette Bening and Michael Gambon appearing in supporting roles. ...more
27
The Sons of Katie Elder ... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Dennis Hopper
The Sons of Katie Elder is a 1965 Technicolor Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring John Wayne and Dean Martin. The movie was filmed principally in Mexico. The film Four Brothers ...more
28
Silverado is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Kevin Costner, John Cleese, Kevin Kline
Silverado is a 1985 American Western film produced and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. The screenplay was written by Kasdan and his brother Mark. It features an ensemble cast, including Kevin ...more
29
El Dorado is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, James Caan, Robert Mitchum
El Dorado is a 1966 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Written by Leigh Brackett and loosely based on the novel The Stars in ...more
30
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, James Arness, Geraldine Page
Hondo is a 1953 Warnercolor 3D Western film starring John Wayne and directed by John Farrow. The screenplay is based on the July 5, 1952 Collier's short story "The Gift of Cochise" by ...more
31
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin
True Grit is a 2010 American Revisionist Western film directed by the Coen brothers, based on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis. A stubborn teenager (Hailee Steinfeld) enlists the help of a tough ...more
32
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Harry Carey
Big Jake is a 1971 Western film directed by George Sherman, written by Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink, produced by Michael Wayne, edited by Harry Gerstad, starring John Wayne, Richard Boone ...more
33
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon
The Alamo is a 1960 American historical epic film about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo produced and directed by John Wayne and starring Wayne as Davy Crockett. The picture also stars Richard ...more
34
3:10 to Yuma is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman
3:10 to Yuma is a 2007 western film directed by James Mangold and produced by Cathy Konrad, and stars Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles, with supporting performances by Peter ...more
35
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Anne Bancroft
Blazing Saddles is a 1974 satirical Western comedy film directed by Mel Brooks. Starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, the film was written by Brooks, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, Norman ...more
36
McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers
McLintock! is a 1963 comedy Western directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and starring John Wayne, with co-stars including Maureen O'Hara, Yvonne De Carlo, and Wayne's son Patrick Wayne. The film, ...more
37
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson
Rio Grande is a 1950 Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The picture is the third installment of Ford's "cavalry trilogy," following two RKO ...more
38
Young Guns is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez
Young Guns is a 1988 Western action film directed by Christopher Cain and written by John Fusco. The film was the first to be produced by Morgan Creek Productions. The film stars Emilio Estevez, ...more
39
Quigley Down Under is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman, Laura San Giacomo
Quigley Down Under is a 1990 Australian western film. Starring Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman and Laura San Giacomo, it was directed by Simon Wincer.
40
The Treasure of the Sier... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Barton MacLane
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is an American dramatic adventurous neo-western written and directed by John Huston. It is a feature film adaptation of B. Traven's 1927 novel of the same name, ...more
41
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Technicolor Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. The academy award winning film was the second of Ford's Cavalry trilogy films. With a ...more
42
Winchester '73 is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis
Winchester '73 is a 1950 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, and Stephen McNally. Written by Borden Chase and Robert L. ...more
43
The Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Slim Pickens
The Cowboys is a 1972 Western motion picture starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, Colleen Dewhurst and Bruce Dern. Robert Carradine made his film debut with fellow child actor ...more
44
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Forrest Tucker
Chisum is a 1970 Warner Bros. Technicolor Western film starring John Wayne. The large cast also includes Forrest Tucker, Christopher George, Ben Johnson, Glenn Corbett, Geoffrey Deuel, Andrew ...more
45
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Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Ward Bond
Fort Apache is a 1948 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda. The film was the first of the director's "cavalry trilogy" and was followed ...more
46
Gunfight at the O.K. Cor... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Kirk Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Burt Lancaster
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is a 1957 American film starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp and Kirk Douglas as Doc Holliday, based on a real event which took place on October 26, 1881. The ...more
47
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill, Jack Elam
Rio Lobo is a 1970 American Western film starring John Wayne. The film was the last film directed by Howard Hawks, from a script by Leigh Brackett. The film was shot in Technicolor with a ...more
48
Two Mules for Sister Sar... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Armando Silvestre
Two Mules for Sister Sara is an American-Mexican western film starring Shirley MacLaine set during the French intervention in Mexico. The film was released in 1970 and directed by Don Siegel. It ...more
49
Lonesome Dove is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Anjelica Huston, Timothy Scott, Robert Duvall
Lonesome Dove is a 1989 American epic Western adventure television miniseries directed by Simon Wincer. It is a four part adaptation of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by ...more
50
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Strother Martin
Rooster Cogburn is a 1975 American Western Technicolor film directed by Stuart Millar and starring John Wayne, reprising his role as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, and ...more