old west 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
4,578 1,576
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
3,872 1,381
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
4,076 1,277
Unforgiven is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
3,354 1,243
The Magnificent Seven is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
3,285 1,310
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
3,521 1,032
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
2,849 1,258
For a Few Dollars More is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
5,252 911
Tombstone is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
2,698 1,063
A Fistful of Dollars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria VolontĂ©, 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
2,794 744
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
3,544 825
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
2,806 729
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
2,329 882
High Noon is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
2,538 1,049
Once Upon a Time in the West is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
2,328 807
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
2,894 1,187
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
1,929 872
The Wild Bunch is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
2,390 756
Pale Rider is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
2,220 789
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
1,954 686
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
2,233 632
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
1,797 614
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
2,332 606
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
1,968 661
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
1,928 645
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, an innocent man who survives a lynching, ...more

26
2,045 736
Silverado is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
2,456 603
Open Range is listed (or ranked) 27 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

28
1,797 604
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
1,409 665
How the West Was Won is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
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.

30
1,990 875
3:10 to Yuma is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
1,748 578
El Dorado is listed (or ranked) 31 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

32
1,332 642
Winchester '73 is listed (or ranked) 32 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

33
1,998 879
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
1,803 627
McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
1,818 856
Young Guns is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
1,450 541
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
2,154 881
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
1,492 453
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 38 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

39
1,603 475
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
1,240 558
Fort Apache is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
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
1,406 548
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
1,977 582
Quigley Down Under is listed (or ranked) 42 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.

43
1,410 654
Lonesome Dove is listed (or ranked) 43 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

44
1,500 507
The Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
1,096 612
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
1,350 565
Two Mules for Sister Sara is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
1,812 564
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Western Movies Ever Made
Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Pete Postlethwaite The Last of the Mohicans is a 1992 historical epic film set in 1757 and produced by Morgan Creek Pictures. It was directed by Michael Mann and based on James Fenimore Cooper's novel of the same ...more

48
1,372 492
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
1,246 434
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
1,176 447
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 50 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