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20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Westerns

Updated May 28, 2019 463 votes 58 voters 2.5k views20 items

List RulesVote 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. 

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  • 1
    Tombstone
    28
    7

    Tombstone

    Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell

    Released1993

    Directed byKevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

    Tombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    The Magnificent Seven
    22
    5

    The Magnificent Seven

    Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson

    Released1960

    Directed byJohn Sturges

    The Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    ¡Three Amigos!
    24
    11

    ¡Three Amigos!

    Chevy Chase, Steve Martin

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Landis

    ¡Three Amigos! is a 1986 American comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Lorne... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Open Range
    19
    5

    Open Range

    Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall

    Released2003

    Directed byKevin Costner

    Open Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    18
    6

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    Paul Newman, Robert Redford

    Released1969

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 American Western film directed by George Roy Hill... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Shane
    15
    4

    Shane

    Jack Palance, Jean Arthur

    Released1953

    Directed byGeorge Stevens

    Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Young Guns
    17
    6

    Young Guns

    Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland

    Released1988

    Directed byChristopher Cain

    Young Guns is a 1988 Western action film directed by Christopher Cain and written by John... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    A Fistful of Dollars
    18
    8

    A Fistful of Dollars

    Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté

    Released1964

    Directed bySergio Leone

    A Fistful of Dollars, titled on-screen as Fistful of Dollars, is a 1964 spaghetti western film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    My Darling Clementine
    19
    10

    My Darling Clementine

    Henry Fonda, Walter Brennan

    Released1946

    Directed byJohn Ford

    My Darling Clementine, a 1946 film, regarded as one of the best Western movies made by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    City Slickers
    14
    6

    City Slickers

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Crystal

    Released1991

    Directed byRon Underwood

    City Slickers is a 1991 American western comedy film directed by Ron Underwood and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    21
    16

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Maverick
    12
    8

    Maverick

    Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster

    Released1994

    Directed byRichard Donner

    Maverick is a 1994 Western comedy film directed by Richard Donner and written by William... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Rango
    12
    8

    Rango

    Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher

    Released2011

    Directed byGore Verbinski

    Rango is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy western film directed by Gore... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    The Shakiest Gun in the West
    10
    6

    The Shakiest Gun in the West

    Don Knotts, Pat Morita

    Released1968

    Directed byAlan Rafkin

    The Shakiest Gun in the West is a 1968 Western comedy film starring Don Knotts. It was... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Cat Ballou
    10
    7

    Cat Ballou

    Jane Fonda, Nat King Cole

    Released1965

    Directed byElliot Silverstein

    Cat Ballou is a 1965 comedy Western film, the story of a woman who hires a notorious gunman to... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Hidalgo
    10
    7

    Hidalgo

    Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif

    Released2004

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    Hidalgo is a 2004 film based on the legend of the American distance rider Frank Hopkins and... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The Man from Snowy River
    7
    6

    The Man from Snowy River

    Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson

    Released1982

    Directed byGeorge T. Miller

    The Man from Snowy River is a 1982 Australian drama film based on the Banjo Paterson poem The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    8
    13

    Once Upon a Time in the West

    Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale

    Released1968

    Directed bySergio Leone

    Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian/American epic Spaghetti Western film directed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Back to the Future Part III
    8
    14

    Back to the Future Part III

    Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue

    Released1990

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Back to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western film. It is the third... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    The Lone Ranger
    4
    14

    The Lone Ranger

    Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter

    Released2013

    Directed byGore Verbinski

    The Lone Ranger is a 2013 action adventure film written by Ted Elliott, Justin Haythe and... more on Wikipedia

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