Entertainment

The Best Western Movies of the 1950s  

Ranker Film
16.4k votes 1.3k voters 26.8k views 62 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite Western films that were released in the 1950s.

Sometimes you just need a little bit of the old heroes. The old American film heroes before rock 'n roll took over and changed how heroes, and masculinity in general were portrayed on screen. These are the best 1950s Western movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best 50s Western movies have a fairly wide array of plots for movies that are all tied to the same genre. Some great 1950s Westerns featured lone riders saving the day, while other good 50s Western movies included elements of comedy. A few top 1950s Western movies even featured romantic love stories.

What are some of the movies that you will find on this best 50s Western movies list? Man of the West, starring the great Gary Cooper, has to be one of the best Westerns of the 1950s or any era. Fun Fact: Cooper did his own horse-riding scenes in this classic film. John Wayne's Hondo is another good Western that was released in the 1950s.

The Western became a musical event when Oklahoma! came out in 1955. Other great films that you will find on this top 1950s Western movies list include The Searchers, High Noon, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Which '50s Western do you think belongs at No. 1 on this list? Give your favorite movies a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.
list ordered by
1
Shane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
2
The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
3
High Noon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
4
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
5
Escape from Fort Bravo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
iknowwhatawesternis added William Holden, Eleanor Parker, John Forsythe
Escape from Fort Bravo is a 1953 Anscocolor western film set during the American Civil War. It stars William Holden, Eleanor Parker, and John Forsythe.
6
The Man from Laramie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Jack Elam, Arthur Kennedy
The Man from Laramie is a 1955 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, and Cathy O'Donnell. Written by Philip Yordan and Frank ...more
7
3:10 to Yuma is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Richard Jaeckel
3:10 to Yuma is a 1957 American western film starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin and directed by Delmer Daves. The film was based on a 1953 short story by Elmore Leonard. In 2012, the film was ...more
8
River of No Return is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
iknowwhatawesternis added Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Rory Calhoun
River of No Return is a 1954 American Western film directed by Otto Preminger and starring Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe. The screenplay by Frank Fenton is based on a story by Louis Lantz.
9
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
10
The Gunfighter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Gregory Peck, Karl Malden, Richard Jaeckel
The Gunfighter is a 1950 western film starring Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell and Karl Malden. This film was directed by Henry King. It was written by screenwriters William ...more
11
Springfield Rifle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Lucy Hall added Gary Cooper, Alan Hale, Jr.
Springfield Rifle is a western film, directed by André de Toth and released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 1952. The film is set during the American Civil War and stars Gary Cooper, with ...more
12
Buchanan Rides Alone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
iknowwhatawesternis added Randolph Scott, Craig Stevens, L. Q. Jones
Buchanan Rides Alone is a 1958 American Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Craig Stevens, and Barry Kelley. Based on the 1956 novel The Name's Buchanan by ...more
13
Winchester '73 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
14
The Naked Spur is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
The Naked Spur is a 1953 Technicolor American western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Janet Leigh, and Robert Ryan. Written by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom, the film ...more
15
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
16
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
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
17
Bend of the River is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Harry Morgan
Bend of the River is a 1952 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Julie Adams, and Rock Hudson. Based on the 1952 novel Bend of the Snake by ...more
18
The Horse Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
John Wayne, William Holden, Althea Gibson
The Horse Soldiers is a 1959 film that was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. John Lee Mahin and Martin Rackin produced the movie and wrote its ...more
19
The Big Country is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons
The Big Country is a 1958 American epic Western film directed by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives. The supporting cast features ...more
20
The Fastest Gun Alive is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
anne flynn added Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford
The Fastest Gun Alive is a 1956 western film starring Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain and Broderick Crawford.
21
Decision at Sundown is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
iknowwhatawesternis added Randolph Scott, Richard Deacon, Noah Beery
Decision at Sundown is a 1957 western directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott. One of seven Boetticher/Scott western collaborations that also includes Seven Men from Now, The ...more
22
The Tall T is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
gerard flynn added Maureen O'Sullivan, Randolph Scott, Richard Boone
The Tall T is a 1957 American Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Adapted by Burt Kennedy from the short story "The ...more
23
Seven Men from Now is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
gerard flynn added Lee Marvin, Gail Russell, Randolph Scott
Seven Men from Now is a 1956 Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, and Lee Marvin. The film was written by Burt Kennedy and produced by John Wayne's ...more
24
Man with the Gun is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
iknowwhatawesternis added Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling, Leo Gordon
Man with the Gun is a 1955 Western film starring Robert Mitchum. The film was released in the United Kingdom as The Trouble Shooter and is also sometimes entitled Deadly Peacemaker. The ...more
25
Vera Cruz is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Charles Bronson
Vera Cruz is a 1954 American Western theatrical film starring Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster, and featuring Denise Darcel, Sara Montiel, Cesar Romero, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson and Jack ...more