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.
Directed by: Kevin Jarre, George P. CosmatosTombstone is a 1993 American western film directed by George P. Cosmatos, written by Kevin... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: John SturgesThe Magnificent Seven is an American western film directed by John Sturges and starring Yul... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: John Landis¡Three Amigos! is a 1986 American comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Lorne... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Kevin CostnerOpen Range is a 2003 American western film directed and co-produced by Kevin Costner, starring... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: George Roy HillButch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a 1969 American Western film directed by George Roy Hill... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: George StevensShane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Christopher CainYoung Guns is a 1988 Western action film directed by Christopher Cain and written by John... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Sergio LeoneA Fistful of Dollars, titled on-screen as Fistful of Dollars, is a 1964 spaghetti western film... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: John FordMy Darling Clementine, a 1946 film, regarded as one of the best Western movies made by... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Ron UnderwoodCity Slickers is a 1991 American western comedy film directed by Ron Underwood and starring... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Sergio LeoneThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Richard DonnerMaverick is a 1994 Western comedy film directed by Richard Donner and written by William... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Gore VerbinskiRango is a 2011 American computer-animated action comedy western film directed by Gore... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Alan RafkinThe Shakiest Gun in the West is a 1968 Western comedy film starring Don Knotts. It was... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Elliot SilversteinCat Ballou is a 1965 comedy Western film, the story of a woman who hires a notorious gunman to... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Joe JohnstonHidalgo is a 2004 film based on the legend of the American distance rider Frank Hopkins and... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: George T. MillerThe Man from Snowy River is a 1982 Australian drama film based on the Banjo Paterson poem The... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Sergio LeoneOnce Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 Italian/American epic Spaghetti Western film directed... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Robert ZemeckisBack to the Future Part III is a 1990 American science fiction Western film. It is the third... more on Wikipedia
Directed by: Gore VerbinskiThe Lone Ranger is a 2013 action adventure film written by Ted Elliott, Justin Haythe and... more on Wikipedia