• Entertainment

The Best '80s Western Movies

List RulesVote 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. 
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  • 1

    Pale Rider

    Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty
    291
    106

    Released1985

    Directed byClint Eastwood

    Runtime115

    AdvisoriesAdult Situations, Violence

    PremieredJune 28, 1985

    When property owner Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart) starts using a band of hooligans to terrorize a group of small-town gold miners into giving up their territory, an enigmatic man named "Preacher"  ...more

    #206 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars#28 of 142 The Greatest Movie Remakes Of All Time#8 of 45 The Best Movies Starring Clint Eastwood

  • 2

    Lonesome Dove

    Anjelica Huston, Timothy Scott
    286
    103

    Released1989

    Directed bySimon 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 Larry  ...more

    #151 of 214 The TV Shows With The Best Writing#128 of 435 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time#19 of 28 The Best Movies With A Bird Name In The Title

  • 3

    Silverado

    Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn
    260
    100

    Released1985

    Directed byLawrence Kasdan

    Runtime132

    AdvisoriesAdult Situations, Violence

    PremieredJuly 10, 1985

    Rambling man Emmett (Scott Glenn) assembles a group of misfit cowboys (Kevin Costner), (Kevin Kline, Danny Glover). After helping a group of settlers track down a pack of thieves, Emmett and his men  ...more

    #234 of 512 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked#666 of 1,436 The Most Rewatchable Movies#272 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 4

    The Long Riders

    David Carradine, Keith Carradine
    243
    104

    Released1980

    Directed byWalter Hill

    Runtime100

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations, Graphic Violence

    During a bank robbery by the legendary James-Younger Gang, Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) impulsively kills a man, much to the displeasure of leader Jesse James (James Keach), who insists that the gang  ...more

    #179 of 198 The Best Adventure Movies#29 of 70 The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made#70 of 128 The Best Movies About Brothers

  • 5

    Young Guns

    Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland
    247
    108

    Released1988

    Directed byChristopher 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

    #249 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes#25 of 82 The Best Modern Western Movies#50 of 311 The Best Ensemble Movies

  • 6

    Tom Horn

    Steve McQueen, Linda Evans
    228
    103

    Released1980

    Directed byWilliam Wiard

    Runtime98

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations, Violence

    A renowned gunslinger with a storied past, Tom Horn (Steve McQueen) opts for a reclusive life until he starts working for rancher John Coble (Richard Farnsworth). Though Horn begins seeing pretty  ...more

    #62 of 400 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#231 of 451 The Best Movies For Guys#16 of 139 The Best R-Rated Western Movies

  • 7
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    Glory

    Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington
    246
    118

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Runtime122

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations, Graphic Violence

    PremieredDecember 15, 1989

    Following the Battle of Antietam, Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is offered command of the United States' first all-African-American regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.  ...more

    #127 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#22 of 367 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#7 of 315 The Best Movies Based On True Stories

  • 8

    Heaven's Gate

    Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken
    213
    110

    Released1980

    Directed byMichael Cimino

    Runtime218

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations, Nudity, Violence

    PremieredNovember 19, 1980

    Harvard graduate James Averill (Kris Kristofferson) is the sheriff of prosperous Jackson County, Wyo., when a battle erupts between the area's poverty-stricken immigrants and its wealthy cattle  ...more

    #517 of 552 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#20 of 33 The Best Historical Movies Released in the 1980s#51 of 101 The Best Christopher Walken Movies

  • 9

    The Grey Fox

    Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs
    207
    106

    Released1982

    Directed byPhillip Borsos

    Runtime92

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations

    PremieredDecember 16, 1982

    In this film based on a true story, Bill Miner (Richard Farnsworth) is a fearless stagecoach robber in the days of the Wild West. After he is arrested and jailed for more than 30 years, he re-emerges  ...more
  • 10

    The Shadow Riders

    Tom Selleck, Sam Elliott
    182
    102

    Released1982

    Directed byAndrew V. McLaglen

    Runtime100

    Mac Traven (Tom Selleck) is a Civil War veteran who fought for the North, while his brother, Dal (Sam Elliott), was allied with the South. In spite of this considerable point of contention, the  ...more
  • 11
    Willie Nelson, Gary Busey
    188
    107

    Released1982

    Directed byFred Schepisi

    Runtime90

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations, Violence

    In pre-Civil War Texas, naïve Karl Westover (Gary Busey) accidentally kills his brother-in-law, and heads to Mexico to escape the consequences. Along the way, he encounters Barbarosa (Willie Nelson),  ...more
  • 12
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    The Tracker

    Kris Kristofferson, Scott Wilson
    181
    107

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn Guillermin

  • 13

    The Quick and the Dead

    Sam Elliott, Kate Capshaw
    170
    102

    Released1987

    Directed byRobert 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 Clark.  ...more
  • 14
    john greyflinn addedSam Elliott, Donald Moffat
    170
    102

    Released1986

    Directed byPeter 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.  ...more
  • 15
    iknowwhatawesternis added

    North and South

    Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley
    186
    119

    Released1985

    Directed byDavid L. Wolper

    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

    #11 of 28 The Best Movies About the Civil War#597 of 632 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch#19 of 46 The Best ABC Dramas of All Time

  • 16
    anne flynn added

    Stagecoach

    Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson
    170
    106

    Released1986

    Directed byTed 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
  • 17
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    Where the Hell's That Gold?

    Willie Nelson, Delta Burke
    166
    104

    Released1988

    Directed byBurt Kennedy

    Where the Hell's That Gold? is a Western film starring Willie Nelson and Jack Elam.  ...more
  • 18
    anne flynn added

    The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James

    Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson
    165
    108

    Released1986

    Directed byWilliam A. Graham

    The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James is a 1986 tv film directed by William A. Graham.  ...more
  • 19
    iknowwhatawesternis added

    Once Upon a Texas Train

    Willie Nelson, Angie Dickinson
    159
    104

    Released1988

    Directed byBurt 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 robbery  ...more
  • 20
    iknowwhatawesternis added

    Billy the kid

    Val Kilmer, Wilford Brimley
    176
    123

    Directed byWilliam 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
  • 21
    john greyflinn added

    Down the Long Hills

    Jack Elam, Bruce Boxleitner
    153
    105

    Released1986

    Directed byBurt 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
  • 22

    The Mountain Men

    Charlton Heston, Brian Keith
    154
    107

    Released1980

    Directed byRichard Lang

    The Mountain Men is a 1980 adventure/Western film starring Charlton Heston and Brian Keith.  ...more

    #11 of 33 The Best Movies About Hunting#31 of 88 The Best Charlton Heston Movies of All Time, Ranked

  • 23
    Chevy Chase, Steve Martin
    163
    116

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Landis

    ¡Three Amigos! is a 1986 American comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Randy Newman. The plot is loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven  ...more

    #81 of 929 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#28 of 96 The Best Trios Of All Time#85 of 1,142 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • 24

    Red Headed Stranger

    Willie Nelson, Morgan Fairchild
    150
    107

    Released1986

    Directed byWilliam D. Wittliff

    Red Headed Stranger is a 1986 American western drama film written and directed by William D. Wittliff. The film stars Willie Nelson and Morgan Fairchild. It is based on Nelson's album Red Headed  ...more
  • 25
    Tony Anthony, Victoria Abril
    147
    107

    Released1981

    Directed byTed Kaplan

    Runtime90

    AdvisoriesAdult Language, Adult Situations, Graphic Violence, Nudity

    A gunslinger rescues his fiancee from the white slavers who abducted her.  ...more