westerns The Best Western Movies Ever Made  

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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
3,353 1,105
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 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 in the title roles respectively. ...more

2
2,874 959
The Outlaw Josey Wales is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Outlaw Josey Wales Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, John Vernon The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western film set during and after the American Civil War. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra ...more

3
3,008 895
Unforgiven is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Unforgiven 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 and killer ...more

4
2,498 847
The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Magnificent Seven 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

5
2,420 894
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 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
2,107 850
For a Few Dollars More is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
For a Few Dollars More 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

7
2,633 720
The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Searchers 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, set during the Texas–Indian Wars, and starring John Wayne as ...more

8
3,785 638
Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Tombstone 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

9
2,058 484
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Rio Bravo 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

10
2,633 553
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
True Grit 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

11
2,024 750
A Fistful of Dollars is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
A Fistful of Dollars 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

12
2,068 480
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valan... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 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

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13
1,701 615
High Noon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
High Noon 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

14
1,929 703
Once Upon a Time in the West is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Once Upon a Time in the West 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

15
2,131 797
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Dances with Wolves 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

16
1,438 572
The Wild Bunch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Wild Bunch 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
1,691 550
Shane is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Shane 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

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18
1,734 501
Pale Rider is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Pale Rider 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

19
1,614 554
High Plains Drifter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
High Plains Drifter 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
1,443 444
Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Stagecoach 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
1,643 418
The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Shootist 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 dying gunfighter who spends his last days looking for a way to die with the ...more

22
1,353 403
Red River is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Red River 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

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23
1,681 408
Jeremiah Johnson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Jeremiah Johnson 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
1,474 431
The Sons of Katie Elder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Sons of Katie Elder 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
1,808 419
Open Range is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Open Range 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

26
1,504 493
Silverado is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Silverado 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

27
1,401 444
Hang 'Em High is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Hang 'Em High 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, an innocent man who survives a lynching, ...more

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28
1,455 610
3:10 to Yuma is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
3:10 to Yuma 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

29
1,300 399
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Big Jake 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

30
1,593 620
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
True Grit Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin True Grit is a 2010 American western directed, written, produced and edited by the Coen brothers and is the second adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name, which was previously ...more

31
1,037 435
How the West Was Won is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
How the West Was Won John Wayne, James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds How the West Was Won is a 1962 western film written by James R. Webb and John Gay and directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and Richard Thorpe.

32
1,010 435
Winchester '73 is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Winchester '73 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

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33
1,305 567
Young Guns is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Young Guns 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

34
1,277 385
El Dorado is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
El Dorado 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

35
1,315 425
McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
McLintock! 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

36
1,061 373
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Hondo 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

37
1,455 619
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Blazing Saddles 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

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38
1,103 292
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Rio Grande 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

39
1,190 311
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 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

40
904 382
Fort Apache is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Fort Apache 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

41
1,458 368
Quigley Down Under is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Quigley Down Under 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.

42
1,035 370
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Alamo 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

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43
1,021 468
Lonesome Dove is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Streets of Laredo: Lonesome Dove 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

44
1,095 345
The Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Cowboys 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

45
812 425
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 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

46
1,308 377
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
The Last of the Mohicans Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 during the French and Indian War and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James ...more

47
977 381
Two Mules for Sister Sara is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Two Mules for Sister Sara 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

48
1,002 318
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Rooster Cogburn 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

49
915 283
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Chisum 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

50
863 299
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Rio Lobo 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