old west The Best Western Movies Ever Made  

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Originally by Ranker Community
303.5k votes 16.1k voters 333.2k views 407 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 the most important elements in the best western and cowboy movies. 

What are you favorite western films? 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

1
4,914 1,696
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more

2
4,136 1,478
The Outlaw Josey Wales is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, John Vernon
The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western film. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, and Geraldine Keams. The film ...more

3
3,577 1,355
The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn
The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's ...more

4
4,359 1,372
Unforgiven is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman
Unforgiven is a 1992 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood with a screenplay written by David Webb Peoples. The film portrays William Munny, an aging outlaw who takes on ...more

5
3,504 1,420
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Cloris Leachman
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 American Western film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West ...more

6
3,748 1,108
The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles
The Searchers is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, and starring John Wayne as a middle-aged veteran who spends ...more

7
5,579 991
Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston
Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

8
3,052 1,359
For a Few Dollars More is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone
For a Few Dollars More is a 1965 Italian spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Gian Maria Volonté. German actor Klaus Kinski also ...more

9
2,873 1,133
A Fistful of Dollars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell
A Fistful of Dollars, titled on-screen as Fistful of Dollars, is a 1964 spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne ...more

10
2,987 801
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson
Rio Bravo is a 1959 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, and Ward Bond. Written by ...more

11
3,751 895
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper
True Grit is a 1969 American western Technicolor film written by Marguerite Roberts, directed by Henry Hathaway, and starring John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn; Wayne won his only ...more

12
3,021 773
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valan... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 American Western film directed by John Ford starring James Stewart and John Wayne. The black-and-white film was released by Paramount Pictures. The ...more

13
2,742 1,126
Once Upon a Time in the West is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson
Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian/American epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, ...more

14
2,500 944
High Noon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef
High Noon is a 1952 American Western film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper. In nearly real time, the film tells the story of a town marshal forced to face a gang of killers by ...more

15
2,520 867
Shane is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Jack Palance, Jean Arthur, Alan Ladd
Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A. B. Guthrie, Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name ...more

16
2,064 936
The Wild Bunch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
The Wild Bunch is a 1969 American epic Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah about an aging outlaw gang on the Texas–Mexico border, trying to exist in the changing "modern" world of ...more

17
2,560 816
Pale Rider is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Chris Penn, Michael Moriarty
Pale Rider is a 1985 American western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. This movie bears a striking similarity to the classic Western Shane, as well ...more

18
3,092 1,286
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more

19
2,387 845
High Plains Drifter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Geoffrey Lewis, John Hillerman
High Plains Drifter is a 1973 American film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, written by Ernest Tidyman, and produced by Robert Daley for The Malpaso Company and Universal Studios. ...more

20
2,098 726
Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, John Carradine, Claire Trevor
Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay, written by Dudley Nichols, is an adaptation of ...more

21
2,370 672
The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart
The Shootist is a 1976 Western film directed by Don Siegel and starring John Wayne in his final film role, about a gunfighter who spends his last days looking for a way to stop with the least ...more

22
1,916 647
Red River is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters
Red River is a 1948 Western film directed and produced by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, giving a fictional account of the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas ...more

23
2,503 659
Jeremiah Johnson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker, Will Geer
Jeremiah Johnson is a 1972 western film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford as the title character and Will Geer as "Bear Claw" Chris Lapp. The film has been said to ...more

24
2,081 721
The Sons of Katie Elder is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
2,064 692
Hang 'Em High is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern
Hang 'Em High is a 1968 American Western film directed by Ted Post and produced and co-written by Leonard Freeman. It stars Clint Eastwood as Jed Cooper, Inger Stevens as a widow who helps him, ...more