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The Best Western Movies of the '70s

Updated April 26, 2021 16.1k votes 1.5k voters 25.6k views44 items

List RulesVote 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!

  • 1

    The Outlaw Josey Wales

    Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke


    Directed byClint 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 was...  more

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  • 2

    Jeremiah Johnson

    Robert Redford, Tanya Tucker


    Directed bySydney 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 have been...  more

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  • 3

    The Shootist

    John Wayne, Lauren Bacall


    Directed byDon 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 pain...  more

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  • 4

    High Plains Drifter

    Clint Eastwood, Geoffrey Lewis


    Directed byClint 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. Eastwood...  more

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  • 5

    McCabe & Mrs. Miller

    Warren Beatty, Julie Christie


    Directed byRobert 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. Altman...  more

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  • 6

    Two Mules for Sister Sara

    Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine


    Directed byDon 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 was...  more

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  • 7

    Joe Kidd

    Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall


    Directed byJohn 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 wealthy...  more


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  • 8


    Robert Duvall, Burt Lancaster


    Directed byMichael 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
  • 9

    Bad Company

    Jeff Bridges, Geoffrey Lewis


    Directed byRobert 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 the...  more
  • 10

    The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean

    Paul Newman, Ava Gardner


    Directed byJohn 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, self-appointed...  more

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  • 11

    Ulzana's Raid

    Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison


    Directed byRobert 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 Robert...  more
  • 12


    John Wayne, Ben Johnson


    Directed byAndrew 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 Prine,...  more
  • 13

    A Man Called Horse

    Richard Harris, Judith Anderson


    Directed byElliot 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", published in 1950 in...  more
  • 14

    Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

    Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson


    Directed bySam 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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  • 15

    Cahill U.S. Marshal

    John Wayne, George Kennedy


    Directed byAndrew 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
  • 16

    Valdez Is Coming

    Burt Lancaster, Héctor Elizondo


    Directed byEdwin 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....  more

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  • 17

    The Cowboys

    John Wayne, Bruce Dern


    Directed byMark Rydell

    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

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  • 18

    Billy Two Hats

    Gregory Peck


    Directed byTed Kotcheff

    Billy Two Hats is a 1974 Western film directed by Ted Kotcheff. It stars Gregory Peck, Jack Warden and Desi Arnaz, Jr. Filmed on-location in Israel, Billy Two Hats is from a script by Scottish writer...  more
  • 19


    Faye Dunaway, Stacy Keach


    Directed byFrank 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. It was...  more
  • 20

    Big Jake

    John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara


    Directed byGeorge 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 and...  more

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  • 21

    Blazing Saddles

    Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder


    Directed byMel 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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  • 22

    Rio Lobo

    John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill


    Directed byHoward 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 running...  more

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  • 23

    Duck, You Sucker!

    James Coburn, Rod Steiger


    Directed bySergio Leone

    Duck, You Sucker!, also known as A Fistful of Dynamite and Once Upon a Time… the Revolution, is a 1971 Italian epic buddy Zapata Western film directed by Sergio Leone. The film stars Rod Steiger and...  more

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  • 24

    The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid

    Robert Duvall, Cliff Robertson


    Directed byPhilip 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 vérité style and...  more
  • 25

    The Revengers

    William Holden, Ernest Borgnine


    Directed byDaniel Mann

    The Revengers is a 1972 Western film written by Wendell Mayes based upon a story by Steven W. Carabatsos. The film was directed by Daniel Mann and stars William Holden and Ernest Borgnine....  more