Entertainment

The Best Western Movies of the 1950s 

Ranker Film
Updated November 11, 2019 19.5k votes 1.5k voters 29.2k views 63 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
The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles

Released: 1956

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#863 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #349 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #16 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

2
Shane is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Jack Palance, Jean Arthur, Alan Ladd

Released: 1953

Directed by: George Stevens

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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#12 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #922 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

Released: 1952

Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

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

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#14 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #243 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
The Man from Laramie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Jack Elam, Arthur Kennedy

Released: 1955

Directed by: Anthony Mann

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
5
3:10 to Yuma is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Richard Jaeckel

Released: 1957

Directed by: Delmer Daves

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
6
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
John Wayne, James Arness, Geraldine Page

Released: 1953

Directed by: John Farrow, John Ford

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

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7
The Gunfighter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Gregory Peck, Karl Malden, Richard Jaeckel

Released: 1950

Directed by: Henry King

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
8
Seven Men from Now is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
gerard flynn added Lee Marvin, Gail Russell, Randolph Scott

Released: 1956

Directed by: Budd Boetticher

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
9
Winchester '73 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis

Released: 1950

Directed by: Anthony Mann

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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10
The Fastest Gun Alive is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
anne flynn added Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford

Released: 1956

Directed by: Russell Rouse

The Fastest Gun Alive is a 1956 western film starring Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain and Broderick Crawford.
11
The Naked Spur is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan

Released: 1953

Directed by: Anthony Mann

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

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#106 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #33 of 47 The Best '50s Thriller Movies #20 of 85 Every James Stewart Movie, Ranked Best to Worst

12
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson

Released: 1959

Directed by: Howard Hawks

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

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13
Day of the Outlaw is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
gerard flynn added Tina Louise, Burl Ives, Robert Ryan

Released: 1959

Directed by: André de Toth

Day of the Outlaw is a 1959 Western film starring Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, and Tina Louise. It was directed by André De Toth; this was his last Western feature film.
14
The Big Country is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons

Released: 1958

Directed by: William Wyler

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

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#56 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #378 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Gunfight at the O.K. Cor... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Kirk Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Burt Lancaster

Released: 1957

Directed by: John Sturges

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

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#46 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #4 of 78 The Best Kirk Douglas Movies

16
The Tall T is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
gerard flynn added Maureen O'Sullivan, Randolph Scott, Richard Boone

Released: 1957

Directed by: Budd Boetticher

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
17
Last Train from Gun Hill... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
gerard flynn added Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones

Released: 1959

Directed by: John Sturges

Last Train from Gun Hill is a 1959 Western by action director John Sturges. It stars Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones and Earl Holliman. Douglas and Holliman had previously appeared ...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

Released: 1959

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#53 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #65 of 162 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime #17 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

19
Vera Cruz is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Charles Bronson

Released: 1954

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

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

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#135 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #43 of 77 The Best Charles Bronson Movies

20
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson

Released: 1950

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#37 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #19 of 162 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime

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

Released: 1957

Directed by: Budd Boetticher

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
Bend of the River is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Harry Morgan

Released: 1952

Directed by: Anthony Mann

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
23
River of No Return is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
iknowwhatawesternis added Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum, Rory Calhoun

Released: 1954

Directed by: Jean Negulesco, Otto Preminger

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.

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24
Man of the West is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
Gary Cooper, Lee J. Cobb, Julie London

Released: 1958

Directed by: Anthony Mann

Man of the West is a 1958 western film starring Gary Cooper and directed by Anthony Mann. The screenplay, written by Reginald Rose, is based on the novel The Border Jumpers by Will C. Brown.
25
Ride Lonesome is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Western Movies of the 1950s
James Coburn, Lee Van Cleef, Randolph Scott

Released: 1959

Directed by: Budd Boetticher

Ride Lonesome is a 1959 Western film directed by Budd Boetticher and starring Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts, Lee Van Cleef, and James Coburn in his film debut. This Eastmancolor ...more