Entertainment

The Best '80s Western Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated October 13, 2018 10.4k votes 1.1k voters 16.2k views 40 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite Western films that were released in the 1980s.

On this list of the best ‘80s western movies, you’ll find a comprehensive collection of classic westerns, genre-bending mash-ups, and hilarious comedies, all set against a backdrop of dusty saloons, long horse rides, and lone guns.


One of the best and most interesting ‘80s western films is
Near Dark, acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow’s second feature film. A tale of a midwestern man and his involvement with a family of American vampires, Near Dark was part of a batch of darker vampire films released in the late ‘80s. Although it fared poorly at the box office, the film has since gone on to achieve cult status among critics and film fans alike.


Also on this list, you’ll find
Three Amigos! One of the most iconic comedy-westerns of all time, Three Amigos! stars Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short as the titular amigos. The film parodies both Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, as well as its American remake The Magnificent Seven. Did your favorite ‘80s western make the cut? Vote up the best 1980s western films below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
list ordered by
1
Pale Rider is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Clint Eastwood, Chris Penn, Michael Moriarty

Released: 1985

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Pale Rider is a 1985 American western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars in the lead role. This movie bears a striking similarity to the classic Western Shane, as well ...more

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#965 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #392 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

2
Lonesome Dove is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Anjelica Huston, Timothy Scott, Robert Duvall

Released: 1989

Directed by: Simon Wincer

Lonesome Dove is a 1989 American epic Western adventure television miniseries directed by Simon Wincer. It is a four part adaptation of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by ...more

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#49 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #192 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

3
Glory is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
anne flynn added Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1989

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

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#554 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #74 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
The Long Riders is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Dennis Quaid, Randy Quaid, Christopher Guest

Released: 1980

Directed by: Walter Hill

The Long Riders is a 1980 western film directed by Walter Hill. It was produced by James Keach, Stacy Keach and Tim Zinnemann and featured an original soundtrack by Ry Cooder. Cooder won the ...more

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#65 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #33 of 75 The Best Dennis Quaid Movies

5
Silverado is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Kevin Costner, John Cleese, Kevin Kline

Released: 1985

Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan

Silverado is a 1985 American Western film produced and directed by Lawrence Kasdan. The screenplay was written by Kasdan and his brother Mark. It features an ensemble cast, including Kevin ...more

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#584 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #289 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

6
Tom Horn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Steve McQueen, Linda Evans, Slim Pickens

Released: 1980

Directed by: William Wiard

Tom Horn is a 1980 Western film about the legendary lawman, outlaw, and gunfighter. It starred Steve McQueen as the title character and was based on Horn's own writings.

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#60 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #331 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

7
Young Guns is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez

Released: 1988

Directed by: Christopher Cain

Young Guns is a 1988 Western action film directed by Christopher Cain and written by John Fusco. The film was the first to be produced by Morgan Creek Productions. The film stars Emilio Estevez, ...more

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#38 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #116 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

8
Heaven's Gate is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Bridges

Released: 1980

Directed by: Michael Cimino

Heaven's Gate is a 1980 American epic Western film written and directed by Michael Cimino. It portrays a fictional dispute between land barons and European immigrants in Wyoming in the 1890s. ...more
9
The Grey Fox is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs, Wayne Robson

Released: 1982

Directed by: Phillip Borsos

The Grey Fox is a 1982 Canadian Biographical-Western film directed by Phillip Borsos and written by John Hunter. It is based on the true story of Bill Miner, an American stagecoach robber who ...more
10
Barbarosa is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Gilbert Roland

Released: 1982

Directed by: Fred Schepisi

Barbarosa is a 1982 motion picture starring Willie Nelson and Gary Busey, about a young cowboy on the run from the law who partners with a famous bandito and learns about life from him. ...more
11
The Tracker is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
gerard flynn added The Tracker Kris Kristofferson, Scott Wilson, Geoffrey Blake

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Guillermin

12
The Shadow Riders is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Katharine Ross

Released: 1982

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

The Shadow Riders is a 1982 American Western television film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and starring Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott, Dominique Dunne, and Katharine Ross. Based on the novel of the ...more
13
The Quick and the Dead ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Sam Elliott, Kate Capshaw, Tom Conti

Released: 1987

Directed by: Robert Day

The Quick and the Dead is a 1987 television movie, based on the 1973 novel by Louis L'Amour, directed by Robert Day and starring Sam Elliott, Tom Conti, Kate Capshaw, Kenny Morrison and Matt
14
The Last Days of Frank a... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
anne flynn added Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Marcia Cross

Released: 1986

Directed by: William A. Graham

The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James is a 1986 tv film directed by William A. Graham.
15
Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
anne flynn added Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson

Released: 1986

Directed by: Ted Post

Stagecoach is a 1986 made-for-TV film. It is a remake of the classic 1939 film Stagecoach and stars Kris Kristofferson as the Ringo Kid, the part originally played by John Wayne. Willie Nelson ...more
16
Gone to Texas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
john greyflinn added Sam Elliott, Donald Moffat, Bo Hopkins

Released: 1986

Directed by: Peter Levin

Gone to Texas is a 1986 biography drama history war western film written by Frank Q. Dobbs and John Binder and directed by Peter Levin.
17
Where the Hell's That Go... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
gerard flynn added Willie Nelson, Delta Burke, Jack Elam

Released: 1988

Directed by: Burt Kennedy

Where the Hell's That Gold? is a Western film starring Willie Nelson and Jack Elam.
18
Once Upon a Texas Train ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
iknowwhatawesternis added Willie Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Richard Widmark

Released: 1988

Directed by: Burt Kennedy

Once Upon a Texas Train is 1988 made-for-TV movie directed by Burt Kennedy and starring Willie Nelson as John Henry Lee and Richard Widmark as Captain Oren Hayes. The movie opens with a train ...more
19
North and South is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
iknowwhatawesternis added North and South

Released: 1985

North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC network in 1985, 1986, and 1994.The 1985 first installment, North and South, remains the seventh-highest ...more
20
Old Gringo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
gerard flynn added Jane Fonda, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Smits

Released: 1989

Directed by: Luis Puenzo

Old Gringo is a 1989 film directed by Luis Puenzo and co-written with Aída Bortnik, based on the novel Gringo Viejo by Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes. The film stars Jane Fonda, Gregory ...more
21
Billy the Kid is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
iknowwhatawesternis added Billy the kid Val Kilmer, Wilford Brimley, Duncan Regehr

Directed by: William A. Graham

Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid, also known as Billy the Kid, is a 1989 American western film about famed gunman Billy the Kid. One of many depicting the events surrounding the outlaw during his ...more
22
The Mountain Men is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
Charlton Heston, Brian Keith, John Glover

Released: 1980

Directed by: Richard Lang

The Mountain Men is a 1980 adventure/Western film starring Charlton Heston and Brian Keith.
23
Down the Long Hills is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
john greyflinn added Down the Long Hills Jack Elam, Bruce Boxleitner, Buck Taylor

Released: 1986

Directed by: Burt Kennedy

Barry Bostwick is top-billed in the made-for-TV western Down the Long Hills, but the largest role in the film goes to Thomas Wilson Brown, playing Bostwick's teenaged son. Travelling westward by ...more
24
Walker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
iknowwhatawesternis added Ed Harris, Joe Strummer, Marlee Matlin

Released: 1987

Directed by: Alex Cox

Walker is a 1987 American-Mexican Acid Western film directed by Alex Cox and starring Ed Harris, Richard Masur, Rene Auberjonois, Peter Boyle, Sy Richardson, Xander Berkeley, Alfonso Arau, ...more
25
The Young Riders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Western Movies
iknowwhatawesternis added The Young Riders