Westerns The Best '40s Western Movies  

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The Western genre is truly what took movies to new heights, and in the '40s, Western movies took over cineplexes as a form of escapism during a tumultuous time in global politics. These are the best 1940s Western movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. Some of these great 1940s Westerns featured lone riders saving the day, some of the other classic films on this list leaned more towards comedy rather than drama.

What movies can you expect to see on this best 40s Western movies list? Though he'd been acting for decades, some of John Wayne's most popular films came out in the 1940s. Dark Command and A Lady Takes a Chance are two great Wayne Westerns that were released in the decade. My Darling Clementine is another great Western from the 1940s. The Wild West got the funny treatment when The Marx Brothers starred in the 1940 film, Go West. Other good films that appear on this top 1940s Western movies list include The Ox-Bow Incident, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and Blood on the Moon.

Do you have a favorite 1940s Western? Make sure to vote up your favorites!
list ordered by

1
202 52
My Darling Clementine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Henry Fonda, Walter Brennan, Linda Darnell My Darling Clementine, a 1946 film, regarded as one of the best Western movies made by Director John Ford, stars Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp during the period leading up to Gunfight at the OK ...more

2
197 52
Red River is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
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

3
177 52
The Treasure of the Sierra Mad... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
anne flynn added 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

4
167 52
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
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

5
156 52
The Westerner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Dana Andrews The Westerner is a 1940 American film directed by William Wyler and starring Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, and Doris Davenport. Written by Niven Busch, Stuart N. Lake, and Jo Swerling, the film ...more

6
146 52
The Ox-Bow Incident is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Margaret Hamilton The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1943 American western film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews and Mary Beth Hughes, and featuring Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry ...more

7
135 52
Fort Apache is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
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

8
127 52
Blood on the Moon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston Blood on the Moon is a 1948 RKO black-and-white "psychological" western directed by Robert Wise with cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca. The film, starring Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel ...more

9
110 52
Duel in the Sun is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Orson Welles, Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones Duel in the Sun is a Technicolor 1946 Western film directed by King Vidor, produced and written by David O. Selznick, which tells the story of a Mestiza girl who goes to live with her caucasian ...more

10
109 52
Pursued is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
gerard flynn added Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Judith Anderson Pursued is a 1947 film that combines western film noir and psychological melodrama. The picture was directed by Raoul Walsh and features Teresa Wright, Robert Mitchum, Judith Anderson and Dean

11
106 52
3 Godfathers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
John Wayne, Ward Bond, Harry Carey 3 Godfathers is a 1948 American Western film directed by John Ford and filmed primarily in Death Valley, California. The screenplay, written by Frank S. Nugent and Laurence Stallings, is based ...more

12
104 52
They Died with Their Boots On is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
anne flynn added Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Anthony Quinn This film is a 1941 American western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Written by Æneas MacKenzie and Wally Kline, the film is a highly ...more

13
103 52
Yellow Sky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark Yellow Sky is a 1948 American western film directed by William A. Wellman. The story is believed to be loosely adapted from William Shakespeare's The Tempest. A band of outlaws flee after a bank ...more

14
103 52
Northwest Passage is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Spencer Tracy, Walter Brennan, Robert Young Northwest Passage is a 1940 film in Technicolor, starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, Walter Brennan, Ruth Hussey, and others. The picture is based on a novel by Kenneth Roberts titled ...more

15
100 52
The Return of Frank James is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
anne flynn added Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper The Return of Frank James is a 1940 western film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney. It is a sequel to Henry King's 1939 film Jesse James. Written by Sam Hellman, ...more

16
99 52
Angel and the Badman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey Angel and the Badman is a 1947 American Western film written and directed by James Edward Grant and starring John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey and Bruce Cabot. The film is about an injured ...more

17
92 52
Billy the Kid is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
gerard flynn added Robert Taylor, Gene Lockhart, Brian Donlevy Billy the Kid is a 1941 American color remake of the 1930 film of the same name. The film features Robert Taylor as Billy and Brian Donlevy as a fictionalized version of Pat Garrett renamed ...more

18
86 52
San Antonio is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
gerard flynn added Errol Flynn, Monte Blue, Alexis Smith San Antonio is a 1945 Western Technicolor film starring Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith. The movie was written by W. R. Burnett and Alan Le May, and directed by David Butler as well as uncredited ...more

19
85 52
Western Union is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Robert Young, John Carradine, Randolph Scott Western Union is a 1941 American Western film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Robert Young, Randolph Scott, and Dean Jagger. Filmed in Technicolor on location in Arizona and Utah, Western ...more

20
84 52
The Outlaw is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Jane Russell, Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell The Outlaw is a 1943 American Western film, directed by Howard Hughes and starring Jane Russell. The supporting cast includes Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, and Walter Huston. Hughes also ...more

21
83 52
Tall in the Saddle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
John Wayne, Ward Bond, George "Gabby" Hayes Tall in the Saddle is a 1944 American Western film directed by Edwin L. Marin and starring John Wayne and Ella Raines. Written by Paul Fix and Michael Hogan, based on the serialized novel of the ...more

22
83 52
Ramrod is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
iknowwhatawesternis added Veronica Lake, Joel McCrea Ramrod is a 1947 Western film directed by André De Toth. This cowboy drama from Hungarian director De Toth was the first of several films based on the stories of Western author Luke ...more

23
82 52
Colorado Territory is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
anne flynn added Dorothy Malone, Virginia Mayo, Joel McCrea Colorado Territory is a 1949 American Western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, and Dorothy Malone. Written by Edmund H. North and John Twist, and based on ...more

24
82 52
Rachel and the Stranger is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
anne flynn added Robert Mitchum, William Holden, Loretta Young Rachel and the Stranger is a black-and-white 1948 western film starring Loretta Young, William Holden, and Robert Mitchum. The Norman Foster-directed film was one of the few to address the role ...more

25
81 52
Santa Fe Trail is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '40s Western Movies
Ronald Reagan, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn Santa Fe Trail is a 1940 American western film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey and Ronald Reagan. Written by Robert Buckner, the film is ...more