Watchworthy

The Best Sam Shepard Movies 

Reference
Updated September 23, 2019 1k votes 191 voters 13.9k views 64 items

List Rules Vote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Sam Shepard movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Sam Shepard's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Sam Shepard movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Sam Shepard movies will be at the top of the list. Sam Shepard has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Sam Shepard movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Sam Shepard films to end the squabble once and for all.

On July 27, 2017, Sam Shepard died from ALS complications at his Kentucky home. 

If you think the best Sam Shepard role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Sam Shepard performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

List features films like The Right Stuff, Black Hawk Down, and more!

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Sam Shepard movies?" and "What are the greatest Sam Shepard roles of all time?"

Robert Altman and Terrence Malick are among those who have directed Sam Shepard at one point or another during their careers in the film industry.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid

Released: 1983

Directed by: Philip Kaufman

The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in ...more

More The Right Stuff 

#180 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #370 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Ranker Video
Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner

Released: 2004

Directed by: Nick Cassavetes

The Notebook is a 2004 American romantic drama film directed by Nick Cassavetes and based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a ...more

More The Notebook 

These Quotes From 'The Notebook' Will Have You In Tears #225 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #12 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

3
Ranker Video
Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine

Released: 1989

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Steel Magnolias is a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross, based on the 1987 play by Robert Harling. A young beautician (Daryl Hannah), newly arrived in a small Louisiana ...more

More Steel Magnolias 

#115 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #144 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #151 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
Ranker Video
Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more

More Black Hawk Down 

#6 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #82 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Ranker Video
Richard Gere, Sam Shepard, Brooke Adams

Released: 1978

Directed by: Terrence Malick

Days of Heaven is a 1978 American drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard and Linda Manz. Set in 1916, it tells the story of Bill ...more

More Days of Heaven 

#291 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #84 of 591 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Ranker Video
Nastassja Kinski, Sam Shepard, Dean Stockwell

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas is a 1984 drama film directed by Wim Wenders and starring Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski, and Hunter Carson. The screenplay was written by L.M. Kit Carson and ...more

More Paris, Texas 

#420 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #359 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #15 of 19 What Is The Most Texas Movie Of All-Time?

7
Ranker Video
Brad Pitt, Zooey Deschanel, Jeremy Renner

Released: 2007

Directed by: Andrew Dominik

This film is a 2007 American western drama film written and directed by Andrew Dominik. Adaptated from Ron Hansen's 1983 novel of the same name, the film dramatizes the relationship between ...more

More The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 

#95 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #222 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books #75 of 242 The Best Movies Based on True Stories

8
Ranker Video
Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, John Lithgow

Released: 1993

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

The Pelican Brief is a 1993 legal thriller based on the novel of the same name by John Grisham. Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film stars Julia Roberts in the role of young law student Darby ...more

More The Pelican Brief 

#12 of 23 The Very Best Courtroom Thriller Movies #11 of 28 The Best Movies With A Bird Name In The Title #406 of 740 The Greatest Action Movies of All Time

9
Ranker Video
Diane Keaton, James Spader, Harold Ramis

Released: 1987

Directed by: Charles Shyer

Baby Boom is a 1987 comedy film starring Diane Keaton. The film also launched a subsequent television show, running from 1988 to 1989. The original music score was composed by Bill Conti and the ...more

More Baby Boom 

#180 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #840 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #13 of 38 The Best Single Mom Movies

10
Ranker Video
Val Kilmer, David Crosby, Sam Shepard

Released: 1992

Directed by: Michael Apted

Thunderheart is a 1992 contemporary western mystery film directed by Michael Apted from an original screenplay by John Fusco. The film is a loosely based fictional portrayal of events relating ...more

More Thunderheart 

#165 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #9 of 116 The Best Native American Movies #49 of 106 The Best Detective Fiction Movies

11
Ranker Video
Randy Quaid, Eric Roberts, Donnie Wahlberg

Released: 1999

Directed by: Uli Edel

Purgatory is a 1999 western fantasy film directed by Uli Edel.
12
Ranker Video
Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Dakota Fanning

Released: 2006

Directed by: Gary Winick

Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action/computer-animated feature film based on the popular book of the same name by E. B. White. It is directed by Gary Winick and produced by Paramount ...more

More Charlotte's Web 

Every Song in Charlotte's Web, Ranked by Singability #214 of 366 The Best Movies Based On Books #75 of 83 The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids

13
Ranker Video
Kevin Costner, Jessica Lange, Anjelica Huston

Released: 1982

Directed by: Graeme Clifford

Frances is a 1982 American biographical film starring Jessica Lange as actress Frances Farmer. Kim Stanley and Sam Shepard appeared in supporting roles. The film chronicles Farmer's life from ...more

More Frances 

#438 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,591 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 80 The Best Movies About Depression

14
Ranker Video
Jack Nicholson, Mickey Rourke, Helen Mirren

Released: 2001

Directed by: Sean Penn

The Pledge is a 2001 American mystery film directed by Sean Penn. The film features an ensemble cast, starring Jack Nicholson, Aaron Eckhart, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, ...more

More The Pledge 

#261 of 293 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #323 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies #485 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

15
Ranker Video
Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, Wilford Brimley

Released: 1984

Directed by: Richard Pearce

Country is a 1984 American film which follows the trials and tribulations of a rural family as they struggle to hold on to their farm during the trying economic times experienced by family farms ...more
16
Ranker Video
Jessica Lange, Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek

Released: 1986

Directed by: Bruce Beresford

Crimes of the Heart is a 1986 American black comedy, southern gothic film directed by Bruce Beresford. The screenplay by Beth Henley is adapted from her Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same

More Crimes of the Heart 

#346 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #78 of 85 The Best Movies Based on Plays #34 of 41 The Best Movies About Sisters

17
Ranker Video
Ethan Hawke, Max von Sydow, James Cromwell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Scott Hicks

Snow Falling on Cedars is a film directed by Scott Hicks. It is based on David Guterson's award-winning novel of the same title. It was released in 1999 and was nominated for an Academy Award ...more

More Snow Falling on Cedars 

#42 of 78 The Best Period Romance Movies #74 of 105 The Best Valentine's Day Movies #18 of 50 The Best Ethan Hawke Movies

18
Ranker Video
Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, Eva Marie Saint

Released: 2005

Directed by: Wim Wenders

Don't Come Knocking is a 2005 film, a comedy-drama road movie directed by German director Wim Wenders and written by Wenders and actor/playwright Sam Shepard. The two had previously collaborated ...more
19
Ranker Video
Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga

Released: 2012

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa

Safe House is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It was released on February 10, 2012, in North America by Universal ...more

More Safe House 

#19 of 75 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives #19 of 49 The Best Denzel Washington Movies #71 of 163 The Best Spy Movies

20
Ranker Video
Halle Berry, John Travolta, Hugh Jackman

Released: 2001

Directed by: Dominic Sena

Swordfish is a 2001 American action thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Vinnie Jones. The film centers on Stanley ...more

More Swordfish 

#1,167 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #280 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movieslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

21
Ranker Video
Bill Murray, Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles

Released: 2000

Directed by: Michael Almereyda

Hamlet is a 2000 American film written and directed by Michael Almereyda, set in contemporary New York City, and based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. Ethan Hawke plays Hamlet as a ...more

More Hamlet 

#74 of 85 The Best Movies Based on Plays #30 of 37 The Best Shakespeare Film Adaptations #62 of 125 The Best Movies About Tragedies

22
Ranker Video
Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan

Released: 2009

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

Brothers is a 2009 American psychological drama war film directed by Jim Sheridan, and a remake of Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish film Brødre. Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) returns from being ...more

More Brothers 

#15 of 35 Great Movies About Secret Love Affairs #3 of 9 Every Movie & TV Show Written By David Benioff, Ranked #130 of 201 The Best R-Rated Psychological Thriller Movies

23
Ranker Video
Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, Isabella Rossellini

Released: 2008

Directed by: Griffin Dunne

The Accidental Husband is a 2008 American romantic comedy film directed by Griffin Dunne, and starring Uma Thurman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Firth, Isabella Rossellini, and Sam Shepard. The ...more
24
Ranker Video
Sissy Spacek, Eric Roberts, Sam Shepard

Released: 1981

Directed by: Jack Fisk

Raggedy Man is a 1981 film starring Eric Roberts and Sissy Spacek. It was filmed in Lockhart, Texas. The story is about people in the small Texas town of Gregory during World War II. Raggedy Man ...more
25
Ranker Video
Penélope Cruz, Matt Damon, Bruce Dern

Released: 2000

Directed by: Billy Bob Thornton

All the Pretty Horses is a 2000 American romance western film, directed by Billy Bob Thornton and based on the novel of the same name by author Cormac McCarthy. It stars Matt Damon as John Grady ...more

More All the Pretty Horses 

#358 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #38 of 59 The Best Western Movies of the 21st Century #104 of 144 The Best Films Directed by Famous Actors