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The Best Western Movies of the '70s 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated August 7, 2019 15.7k votes 1.3k voters 20.6k views 45 items

List Rules Vote up the best Western films that were released in the 1970s.

The Western is one of the most important genres in cinema history. It redefined what it meant to be a hero, and it redefined how stories were told on camera. Though the great Western heroes were on their way out in the 70s, it was still a tremendous decade for the genre. These are the best 70s Western movies, ranked from best to worst by fan votes. Some of these great 1970s Westerns fall in the line with the classic Western storyline of a lone gunman saving the day, while others on this list are uproarious comedies that almost flip the genre on its head.

What are some of the movies one can expect to find on this list? Throughout the 1970s, Clint Eastwood served as a cowboy for a new generation. Some of his best films, including The Outlaw Josey Wales, High Plains Drifter, and Two Mules for Sister Sara, all came out during the decade. The Frisco Kid is another good Western movie that was released in the 1970s.

Blazing Saddles is not only one of the best Westerns of the 70s, but it is still considered one of the funniest films of all time. Other great movies featured here include Westworld, The Shootist, and Jeremiah Johnson.

What is the best Western from the 70s?? Give the best movies a thumbs up and please add any great cowboy films you think might be missing from this list!
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1
The Outlaw Josey Wales ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, John Vernon

Released: 1976

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

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

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#8 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #53 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #32 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

2
Jeremiah Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker, Will Geer

Released: 1972

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

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

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#757 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #403 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

3
The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart

Released: 1976

Directed by: Don Siegel

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

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#23 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #230 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #193 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

4
High Plains Drifter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Clint Eastwood, Geoffrey Lewis, John Hillerman

Released: 1973

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

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
5
McCabe & Mrs. Miller... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Shelley Duvall

Released: 1971

Directed by: Robert Altman

McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a 1971 American Western film starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, and directed by Robert Altman. The screenplay is based on Edmund Naughton's 1959 novel McCabe. ...more
6
Two Mules for Sister Sar... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Armando Silvestre

Released: 1970

Directed by: Don Siegel

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
7
Lawman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Robert Duvall, Burt Lancaster, Lee J. Cobb

Released: 1971

Directed by: Michael Winner

Lawman is a 1971 American Western film starring Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb, and Robert Duvall. The film is about the quest of a lone peace officer, Marshal Jared Maddox, to bring ...more

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#129 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #26 of 78 The Best Burt Lancaster Movies

8
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
anne flynn added Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis, Ed Lauter

Released: 1972

Directed by: Robert Benton

Bad Company is a 1972 American Western film directed by Robert Benton, who also co-wrote the film with David Newman. It stars Barry Brown and Jeff Bridges as two of a group of young men who flee ...more
9
Joe Kidd is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Joe Kidd Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Sturges

Joe Kidd is a 1972 American western film starring Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall, written by Elmore Leonard and directed by John Sturges. The film is about an ex-bounty hunter hired by a ...more

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#67 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #29 of 45 The Best Movies Starring Clint Eastwood

10
Pat Garrett and Billy th... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, James Coburn

Released: 1973

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

This film is a 1973 American Western drama film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, and Bob Dylan, and written by Rudy Wurlitzer. The film is about an aging ...more

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#111 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #258 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #111 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

11
Ulzana's Raid is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
anne flynn added Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison, Richard Jaeckel

Released: 1972

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

Ulzana's Raid is a 1972 revisionist Western starring Burt Lancaster, Richard Jaeckel, Bruce Davison and Joaquin Martinez. The film, which was filmed on location in Arizona, was directed by ...more

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#590 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #27 of 78 The Best Burt Lancaster Movies

12
The Life and Times of Ju... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Jacqueline Bissett

Released: 1972

Directed by: John Huston

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean is a 1972 American western film written by John Milius, directed by John Huston, and starring Paul Newman. It was loosely based on the real-life, ...more

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#79 of 201 The Best Comedy Movies of the 1970s #16 of 65 The Best Paul Newman Movies

13
Valdez Is Coming is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
anne flynn added Burt Lancaster, Héctor Elizondo, Sylvia Poggioli

Released: 1971

Directed by: Edwin Sherin

Valdez Is Coming is a 1971 American western film starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Richard Jordan and Jon Cypher. The film is based on the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name.

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#540 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #19 of 78 The Best Burt Lancaster Movies

14
Doc is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
gerard flynn added Faye Dunaway, Stacy Keach, Harris Yulin

Released: 1971

Directed by: Frank Perry

Doc is a 1971 American western film, which tells the story of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and of one of its protagonists, Doc Holliday. It stars Stacy Keach, Faye Dunaway and Harris Yulin. ...more
15
A Man Called Horse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Richard Harris, Judith Anderson, James Gammon

Released: 1970

Directed by: Elliot Silverstein

A Man Called Horse is a 1970 American Western film starring Richard Harris and directed by Elliot Silverstein. Based on a short story by Dorothy M. Johnson, "A Man Called Horse", ...more

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#10 of 116 The Best Native American Movies #61 of 162 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime

16
Buffalo Bill and the Ind... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
anne flynn added Paul Newman, Burt Lancaster, Harvey Keitel

Released: 1976

Directed by: Robert Altman

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson is a 1976 revisionist Western directed by Robert Altman and based on the play Indians by Arthur Kopit. It stars Paul Newman as ...more

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#309 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #47 of 65 The Best Paul Newman Movies

17
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Forrest Tucker

Released: 1970

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

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

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#683 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #234 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

18
Heartland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
gerard flynn added Rip Torn, Conchata Ferrell, Barry Primus

Released: 1979

Directed by: Richard Pearce

Heartland is a 1979 American film, directed by Richard Pearce, starring Rip Torn and Conchata Ferrell. The film is a stark depiction of early homestead life in the American West. It is based on ...more
19
Blazing Saddles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Anne Bancroft

Released: 1974

Directed by: Mel Brooks

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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#35 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #99 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

20
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill, Jack Elam

Released: 1970

Directed by: Howard Hawks

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

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#48 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #25 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

21
The Great Northfield Min... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
anne flynn added Robert Duvall, Cliff Robertson, Donald Moffat

Released: 1972

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid is a 1972 Technicolor Western film about the James-Younger Gang distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Philip Kaufman in a cinéma ...more
22
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Harry Carey

Released: 1971

Directed by: George Sherman

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
23
The Culpepper Cattle Co.... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
anne flynn added Billy Green Bush, Gary Grimes

Released: 1972

Directed by: Dick Richards

The Culpepper Cattle Co. or Dust, Sweat and Gunpowder is a 1972 Revisionist Western film produced by Twentieth Century Fox. It was directed by Dick Richards and starred Billy Green Bush as Frank ...more
24
Cahill U.S. Marshal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
iknowwhatawesternis added John Wayne, George Kennedy, Scott Walker

Released: 1973

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

Cahill U.S. Marshal is a 1973 American Western film in Technicolor starring John Wayne as a driven lawman in a black hat. The film was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and filmed on location in ...more

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#36 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked #50 of 79 The Best Bank Robbery Movies

25
Monte Walsh is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Western Movies of the '70s
Lee Marvin, Jack Palance, Jeanne Moreau

Released: 1970

Directed by: William A. Fraker

Monte Walsh is taken from the title of a 1963 western novel by Jack Schaefer. The movie has little to do with the plot of Schaefer's book. It was directed in 1970 by cinematographer William A. ...more