The Best Rodeo Movies

The best rodeo movies take you deep inside a lifestyle most of us are unfamiliar with. These are tales of men and women with very specific skills, working a job in which there's always an element of danger. That allows for drama, but also some romance and even a little comedy at times. The top rodeo movies include The Electric Horseman, 8 Seconds, and, on a lighter note, Stir Crazy. Other examples go back to the 1930s, while a few, like The Rider, are very recent. All of the rodeo films on this list provide entertainment by giving audiences a look at the behind-the-scenes operation of rodeos.

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list ordered by
  • An ex-bull rider (James Rebhorn) trains his son (Luke Perry), who becomes the world rodeo champion in 1987 Oklahoma.
  • When wandering middle-aged rodeo rider Junior Bonner (Steve McQueen) returns to his Arizona hometown, he reunites with his family, which includes his charming, troublemaking father, Ace (Robert ...more
  • Ben Jones (Glenn Ford) and Howdy Lewis (Henry Fonda) are cowboys who spend their days breaking horses and flirting with two sisters (Kathleen Freeman, Joan Freeman). When Ben and Howdy trade Ol' ...more
  • J. W. Coop is a 1972 Western film set in the world of the modern American rodeo circuit. It stars and was directed by Cliff Robertson who also co-scripted the film. Featuring footage from actual ...more
  • Young Native American Tom Black Bull (Frederic Forrest) is uneducated and unsociable, but he knows how to ride a horse. When aging rodeo cowboy Red Dillon (Richard Widmark) sees him best a bucking ...more
  • The Honkers

    The Honkers

  • Filmmaker Kieth Merrill chronicles the hardened lives of professional American rodeo riders and workers as they travel across the country and participate in grueling events. The film draws ...more
  • H.D. Dalton (Scott Glenn) is a big-name rodeo rider until an injury forces him to give up the sport. He returns home to start over, but the life he expects is nowhere to be found. The family farm is ...more
  • One of the biggest stars in country music, Dusty Wyatt Chandler (George Strait) grows disillusioned with the hollow performances and overly produced arena shows he's contractually obligated to play. ...more
  • The Longest Ride is a 2015 American romantic drama film directed by George Tillman, Jr., based on Nicholas Sparks' 2013 novel of the same name. The lives of a professional bull rider, an art lover ...more
  • The Rider
    After a riding accident leaves him unable to compete on the rodeo circuit, a young cowboy searches for a new purpose.
  • The Ride is a 1997 western, sports, drama, family film written and directed by Michael O. Sajbel.
  • When their friend and mentor Nacho (Joaquín Martínez) goes missing after trying to bring his daughter, Teresa (Cara Buono), to the U.S. from Cuba, rodeo riders Pepper (Woody Harrelson) and Sonny ...more
  • A former champion rodeo rider is reduced to using his saddle skills to promote a breakfast cereal in a gaudy Las Vegas show. When he's asked to perform with a $12 million horse that he discovers is ...more
  • In the American West of the 1950s, talented rodeo rider Jeff McCloud (Robert Mitchum) quits after an injury. Returning to his hometown, he gets a job on a ranch. He strikes up a friendship with Wes ...more
  • Cowboy Up
    Cowboy Up is a 2001 film directed by Xavier Koller. It stars Kiefer Sutherland and Marcus Thomas. It won the Crystal Heart Award at the 2001 Heartland Film Festival.
  • New inmate Clay Treyton (Kyle Chandler), doing time for fisticuffs, is sent to a Montana ranch where prisoners spend time working with horses. Encouraged by the jail's warden (Ben Gazzara), the men ...more
  • Rodeo Girl is a 1980 American family drama film directed by Jackie Cooper. Sammy Garrett, the wife of a champion rodeo performer, is tired of her subsidiary role at home as a housewife. So she ...more
  • Nationally ranked barrel racer Amberley Snyder barely survives an automobile accident. Now paralyzed from the waist down, she fights to earn back her place in the sport she loves.
  • After he loses control of his truck and causes the drunken traffic accident that kills his loving wife, neglectful father and fading rodeo hero Josh Morgan (Ron White) sinks into depression and ...more
  • Smoky
    Smoky is a 1966 film directed by George Sherman.
  • Black Rodeo is a 1972 documentary by filmmaker Jeff Kanew.
  • Cowgirls 'N Angels is a 2012 American family film starring Young Artist Award winner Bailee Madison, Oscar nominee James Cromwell, and Jackson Rathbone. The film was directed by Timothy Armstrong ...more
  • With a jailbreak offering them their only way out, a despondent duo rack their brains to figure out a foolproof plan. Fortuitously, one of them discovers an unexpected talent as a rodeo rider, and an ...more
  • Arena
    Rodeo star Hob Danvers (Gig Young) faces trouble with his wife, Ruth (Polly Bergen), who cannot stand the constant touring that his profession requires. When Hob shows up to his latest contest, he is ...more