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The Best Western Movies Ever Made

Updated October 12, 2020 448.9k votes 22.5k voters 409.0k views399 items

The best western movies ever made include some true popular 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 action, 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!

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  • 1
    Unforgiven is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    6,773
    2,299

    Unforgiven

    Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman

    Released1992

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 2
    Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    8,316
    1,857

    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell

    Released1993

    Directed byKevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

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  • 3
    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    7,472
    2,762

    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

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  • 4
    The Outlaw Josey Wales is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    6,440
    2,280

    The Outlaw Josey Wales

    Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke

    Released1976

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 5
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,474
    1,642

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    John Wayne, James Stewart

    Released1962

    Directed byJohn Ford

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  • 6
    The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    5,554
    2,188

    The Searchers

    John Wayne, Natalie Wood

    Released1956

    Directed byJohn Ford

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  • 7
    True Grit is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    5,569
    1,591

    True Grit

    John Wayne, Robert Duvall

    Released1969

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

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  • 8
    The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    5,485
    2,102

    The Magnificent Seven

    Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson

    Released1960

    Directed byJohn Sturges

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    #338 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies#289 of 457 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • 9
    Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,443
    1,582

    Rio Bravo

    John Wayne, Dean Martin

    Released1959

    Directed byHoward Hawks

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  • 10
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    5,402
    2,239

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1969

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

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  • 11
    Pale Rider is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,074
    1,436

    Pale Rider

    Clint Eastwood, Chris Penn

    Released1985

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 12
    The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,515
    1,236

    The Shootist

    John Wayne, Lauren Bacall

    Released1976

    Directed byDon Siegel

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  • 13
    High Plains Drifter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,785
    1,414

    High Plains Drifter

    Clint Eastwood, Geoffrey Lewis

    Released1973

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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    #42 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#4 of 45 The Best Western Movies of the '70s

  • 14
    Jeremiah Johnson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,979
    1,218

    Jeremiah Johnson

    Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker

    Released1972

    Directed bySydney Pollack

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  • 15
    Open Range is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,049
    1,184

    Open Range

    Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall

    Released2003

    Directed byKevin Costner

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    #3 of 59 The 30+ Best Modern Western Movies#1 of 59 The Best Western Movies of the 21st Century

  • 16
    A Fistful of Dollars is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,427
    1,797

    A Fistful of Dollars

    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté

    Released1964

    Directed bySergio Leone

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  • 17
    Hang 'Em High is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,136
    1,190

    Hang 'Em High

    Clint Eastwood, Dennis Hopper

    Released1968

    Directed byTed Post

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    #10 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s#95 of 161 The Best Movies of the '60s

  • 18
    High Noon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,713
    1,589

    High Noon

    Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper

    Released1952

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

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  • 19
    Shane is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,727
    1,550

    Shane

    Jack Palance, Jean Arthur

    Released1953

    Directed byGeorge Stevens

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  • 20
    For a Few Dollars More is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,372
    2,017

    For a Few Dollars More

    Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef

    Released1965

    Directed bySergio Leone

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  • 21
    Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,609
    2,063

    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

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  • 22
    Once Upon a Time in the West is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    4,019
    1,839

    Once Upon a Time in the West

    Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale

    Released1968

    Directed bySergio Leone

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  • 23
    Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    2,982
    1,309

    Stagecoach

    John Wayne, John Carradine

    Released1939

    Directed byJohn Ford

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  • 24
    Red River is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    2,743
    1,165

    Red River

    John Wayne, Montgomery Clift

    Released1948

    Directed byHoward Hawks, Arthur Rosson

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    #2 of 49 The Best 1940s Western Movies#4 of 98 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

  • 25
    Silverado is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
    3,259
    1,304

    Silverado

    Kevin Costner, John Cleese

    Released1985

    Directed byLawrence Kasdan

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FilmsFilmEntertainmentWesternspollBest MoviesOld West