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The Best Rodeo Movies

Updated October 9, 2019 554 votes 99 voters 5.2k views33 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. 

  • 1
    Renée Zellweger, Luke Perry
    42
    12

    Released1994

    Directed byJohn 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 Luke...  more
  • 2
    Steve McQueen, Ida Lupino
    26
    6

    Released1972

    Directed bySam 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
  • 3
    Cliff Robertson, Geraldine Page
    22
    4

    Released1972

    Directed byCliff 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
  • 4
    Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford
    18
    3

    Released1965

    Directed byBurt 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....  more
  • 5
    George Strait, Lesley Ann Warren
    18
    9

    Released1992

    Directed byChristopher 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 Chandler....  more
  • 6
    TravisCockerell added
    14
    4
  • 7
    Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau
    16
    8

    Released2018

    Directed byChloé 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 means to be...  more
  • 8
    Richard Widmark
    13
    4

    Released1972

    Directed byStuart Millar

    When The Legends Die is both a novel, by Hal Borland, and a film released by Twentieth Century-Fox....  more
  • 9
    Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson
    23
    17

    Released2015

    Directed byGeorge 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 lover...  more
  • 10
    Kate Capshaw, Scott Glenn
    14
    10

    Released1991

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys is a 1991 Western drama film starring Scott Glenn and Kate Capshaw and directed by Stuart Rosenberg....  more
  • 11

    Released1973

    Directed byKieth 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 the...  more
  • 12
    Kiefer Sutherland, Daryl Hannah
    10
    8

    Released2001

    Directed byXavier 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....  more
  • 13
    Kiefer Sutherland, Woody Harrelson
    8
    6

    Released1994

    Directed byGregg Champion

    The Cowboy Way is a 1994 comedy film directed by Gregg Champion and starring Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland....  more
  • 14
    Jane Fonda, Robert Redford
    10
    9

    Released1979

    Directed bySydney 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
  • 15
    Michael Biehn, Jennifer O'Neill
    6
    4

    Released1997

    Directed byMichael O. Sajbel

    The Ride is a 1997 western, sports, drama, family film written and directed by Michael O. Sajbel....  more
  • 16
    Jon Voight, Marcia Gay Harden
    6
    6

    Released1995

    Directed byRod Holcomb

    Convict Cowboy is a 1995 TV film directed by Rod Holcomb....
  • 17
    Fess Parker
    5
    5

    Released1966

    Directed byGeorge Sherman

    Smoky is a 1966 film directed by George Sherman....
  • 18
    Robert Mitchum, Susan Hayward
    6
    6

    Released1952

    Directed byRobert 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 by...  more
  • 19
    Katharine Ross, Wilford Brimley
    7
    8

    Released1980

    Directed byJackie Cooper

    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
  • 20
    Archie Wycoff, Clarence Gonzalez
    6
    7

    Released1972

    Directed byJeff Kanew

    Black Rodeo is a 1972 documentary by filmmaker Jeff Kanew....  more
  • 21
    John Wayne, George "Gabby" Hayes
    5
    5

    Released1934

    Directed byRobert 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 directed by...  more
  • 22
    Gig Young, Harry Morgan
    5
    5

    Released1953

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Arena is a 1953 3-D film directed by Richard Fleischer....  more
  • 23
    Ron White, Zachary Ansley
    6
    7

    Released1988

    Directed byAnne Wheeler

    Cowboys Don't Cry is a 1988 Canadian drama film directed by Anne Wheeler, based on the novel by Marilyn Halvorson....  more
  • 24
    Missi Pyle, Spencer Locke
    6
    8

    Released2019

    Directed byConor Allyn

    Walk Ride Rodeo is a 2019 American biopic directed by Conor Allyn. Nationally-ranked rodeo barrel racer Amberley Snyder (Spencer Locke) barely survives a car accident that leaves her paralyzed from...  more
  • 25
    Roy Rogers, Ray "Crash" Corrigan
    5
    7

    Released1937

    Directed byGeorge 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