watchworthy presents

The Best Rodeo Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated October 9, 2019 210 votes 47 voters 2.3k views 32 items

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.

Vote up the greatest rodeo movies from the list below. If there's a good one you don't see here, add it. Don't forget to check back later for new rodeo movies and to see how other users are ranking your addition. 

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
8 Seconds is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Renée Zellweger, Luke Perry, Stephen Baldwin

Released: 1994

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

8 Seconds is a 1994 American biographical drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. Its title refers to the length of time a bull rider is required to stay on for a ride to be scored. It stars ...more
2
J. W. Coop is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Cliff Robertson, Geraldine Page, Cristina Ferrare

Released: 1972

Directed by: Cliff Robertson

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
3
Junior Bonner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Steve McQueen, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson

Released: 1972

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

Junior Bonner is a 1972 film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Steve McQueen, Joe Don Baker, Robert Preston and Ida Lupino. The film focuses on a veteran rodeo rider as he returns to his ...more
4
The Longest Ride is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Jack Huston

Released: 2015

Directed by: George Tillman, Jr.

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 ...more
5
The Rounders is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, Warren Oates

Released: 1965

Directed by: Burt Kennedy

The Rounders is a lighthearted 1965 film starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda. The comedy was based on the novel of the same name by Max Evans.
6
Pure Country is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
George Strait, Lesley Ann Warren, Kyle Chandler

Released: 1992

Directed by: Christopher Cain

Pure Country is a 1992 American dramatic musical western film directed by Christopher Cain and starring George Strait in his acting debut, with Lesley Ann Warren, Isabel Glasser and Kyle ...more
7
When the Legends Die is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Richard Widmark

Released: 1972

Directed by: Stuart Millar

When The Legends Die is both a novel, by Hal Borland, and a film released by Twentieth Century-Fox.
8
The Electric Horseman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Willie Nelson

Released: 1979

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

The Electric Horseman is a 1979 adventure-romance film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and directed by Sydney Pollack. The film is about a former rodeo champion who is hired by a cereal ...more
9
My Heroes Have Always Be... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Kate Capshaw, Scott Glenn, Ben Johnson

Released: 1991

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys is a 1991 Western drama film starring Scott Glenn and Kate Capshaw and directed by Stuart Rosenberg.
10
Cowboy Up is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Kiefer Sutherland, Daryl Hannah, Molly Ringwald

Released: 2001

Directed by: Xavier Koller

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.
11
Cowboys Don't Cry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Cowboys Don't Cry Ron White, Zachary Ansley, Rebecca Jenkins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Anne Wheeler

Cowboys Don't Cry is a 1988 Canadian drama film directed by Anne Wheeler, based on the novel by Marilyn Halvorson.
12
The Rider is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau

Released: 2018

Directed by: Chloé Zhao

The Rider is a 2017 American drama film directed by Chloé Zhao. After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy (Brady Jandreau) undertakes a search for new identity and what it ...more
13
Rodeo Girl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Katharine Ross, Wilford Brimley, Bo Hopkins

Released: 1980

Directed by: Jackie Cooper

14
Stir Crazy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Craig T. Nelson

Released: 1980

Directed by: Sidney Poitier

Stir Crazy is a 1980 American comedy film directed by Sidney Poitier and starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor as down-on-their-luck friends who are given 125-year prison sentences after being ...more
15
The Cowboy Way is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Kiefer Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Marg Helgenberger

Released: 1994

Directed by: Gregg Champion

The Cowboy Way is a 1994 comedy film directed by Gregg Champion and starring Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland.
16
Everything That Rises is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Everything That Rises Dennis Quaid

Released: 1998

Directed by: Dennis Quaid

Everything That Rises is a film directed by Dennis Quaid released on July 12, 1998.
17
The Honkers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
TravisCockerell added The Honkers
18
The Great American Cowbo... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Larry Mahan

Released: 1973

Directed by: Kieth Merrill

The Great American Cowboy is a 1973 documentary film by Kieth Merrill. The film, which won the 1973 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, is about the battle between two rodeo stars for ...more
19
The Ride is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Michael Biehn, Jennifer O'Neill, Franklin Graham

Released: 1997

Directed by: Michael O. Sajbel

The Ride is a 1997 western, sports, drama, family film written and directed by Michael O. Sajbel.
20
The Man from Utah is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
John Wayne, George "Gabby" Hayes, Yakima Canutt

Released: 1934

Directed by: Robert N. Bradbury

The Man from Utah is a 1934 Western movie starring John Wayne, Polly Ann Young, Lafe McKee, Edward Peil Sr., and stuntman–actor Yakima Canutt. The film was written by Lindsley Parsons and ...more
21
Arena is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Arena Gig Young, Harry Morgan

Released: 1953

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

Arena is a 1953 3-D film directed by Richard Fleischer.
22
The Lusty Men is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Robert Mitchum, Susan Hayward, Arthur Kennedy

Released: 1952

Directed by: Robert Parrish, Nicholas Ray

The Lusty Men is a 1952 western film made by Wald-Krasna productions and RKO Radio Pictures. The film stars Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, and Arthur Hunnicutt. It was directed ...more
23
Wild Horse Rodeo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Roy Rogers, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Robert Livingston

Released: 1937

Directed by: George Sherman

Wild Horse Rodeo is a 1937 American Western film directed by George Sherman and starring Robert Livingston, Ray Corrigan, and Max Terhune. Written by Oliver Drake and Betty Burbridge, based on a ...more
24
Convict Cowboy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Convict Cowboy Jon Voight, Marcia Gay Harden, Kyle Chandler

Released: 1995

Directed by: Rod Holcomb

Convict Cowboy is a 1995 TV film directed by Rod Holcomb.
25
Smoky is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Rodeo Movies
Smoky Fess Parker

Released: 1966

Directed by: George Sherman

Smoky is a 1966 film directed by George Sherman.