Westerns 20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Westerns  

Ranker Film
131 votes 25 voters 20 items

List Rules Vote up the classic films appropriate for kids and teens that will teach them to love and respect western movies.

What could be a more American genre of film than the western? If you're a cinephile, you probably want to sit down with your kids and introduce them to the wild west in film, but where do you start? Given the films are often violent - and sometimes a little raunchy - it can be hard to find classic western movies kids can watch. Do not fear, however! Here, you'll find a list of films from the genre made famous by John Wayne that are both appropriate and engaging for teens and tweens. These Western movies for beginners will ease your kids into the genre, introducing them to its tropes and conventions while keeping things in the G to PG-13 range. 

If you want to get kids into westerns, comedy is a great place to start. Three Amigos, starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Phil Hartman is a perfect choice. It uses more mature humor, without being inappropriate for kids. If you want your kids to understand all the "Shane, come back!" references in pop culture, why not show them Shane? The film is a bittersweet classic that's totally appropriate for a younger audience. There are plenty of other films listed below that feature the life in the wild west that will help teach your kids to love westerns! 

What are the best Western movies for kids? Vote up your favorites below. 

list ordered by

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Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening Open Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring Robert Duvall and Costner, with Annette Bening and Michael Gambon appearing in supporting roles. ...more

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Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Cloris Leachman Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 American Western film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West ...more

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Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The picture is an Old West-style remake of Akira Kurosawa's ...more

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Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The screenplay was written by Age ...more

5
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Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin Jarre and starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael ...more

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Don Knotts, Pat Morita, Barbara Rhoades The Shakiest Gun in the West is a 1968 Western comedy film starring Don Knotts. It was directed by Alan Rafkin and written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum. The film is a remake of The ...more

7
6 1
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Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez 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

8
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Henry Fonda, Walter Brennan, Linda Darnell My Darling Clementine, a 1946 film, regarded as one of the best Western movies made by Director John Ford, stars Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp during the period leading up to Gunfight at the OK ...more

9
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Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Crystal, Danielle Harris City Slickers is a 1991 American western comedy film directed by Ron Underwood and starring Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby and Jack Palance, with supporting roles by Patricia Wettig, ...more

10
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Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Corey Feldman Maverick is a 1994 Western comedy film directed by Richard Donner and written by William Goldman, based on the 1950s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins. The film stars Mel ...more

11
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Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Phil Hartman ¡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 ...more

12
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Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson, Gus Mercurio The Man from Snowy River is a 1982 Australian drama film based on the Banjo Paterson poem The Man from Snowy River. The film had a cast including Kirk Douglas in a dual role as the brothers ...more

13
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Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell A Fistful of Dollars, titled on-screen as Fistful of Dollars, is a 1964 spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne ...more

14
3 1
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Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Malcolm McDowell Hidalgo is a 2004 film based on the legend of the American distance rider Frank Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo. It recounts Hopkins' racing his horse in Arabia in 1891 against Bedouins riding ...more

15
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Jack Palance, Jean Arthur, Alan Ladd Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A. B. Guthrie, Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name ...more

16
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Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian/American epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone for Paramount Pictures. It stars Henry Fonda cast against type as the villain, ...more

17
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Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western film. It is the third and final installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and ...more

18
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Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina Rango is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy western film directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Verbinski, Graham King and John B. Carls. Rango was a critical and commercial ...more

19
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Jane Fonda, Nat King Cole, Lee Marvin Cat Ballou is a 1965 comedy Western film, the story of a woman who hires a notorious gunman to protect her father's ranch, but finds that the gunman is not what she expected. The movie stars ...more

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Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Armie Hammer The Lone Ranger is a 2013 action adventure film written by Ted Elliott, Justin Haythe and Terry Rossio and directed by Gore Verbinski.