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20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Westerns 

Ranker Film
Updated May 28, 2019 308 votes 51 voters 2.1k views 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. 

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1
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Val Kilmer, Kurt Russell, Charlton Heston

Released: 1993

Directed by: Kevin Jarre, George P. Cosmatos

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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#1 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #3 of 56 The Best '90s Western Movies #13 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

2
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Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn

Released: 1960

Directed by: John Sturges

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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#312 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #26 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

3
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Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening

Released: 2003

Directed by: Kevin Costner

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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#26 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #5 of 61 The 30+ Best Modern Western Movies #28 of 102 The Best Movies Directed by the Star

4
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Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Phil Hartman

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Landis

¡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

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#42 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #17 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

5
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Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Cloris Leachman

Released: 1969

Directed by: George Roy Hill

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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#848 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #55 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

Released: 1966

Directed by: Sergio Leone

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

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#1 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #97 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #225 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

7
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Jake Gyllenhaal, Billy Crystal, Danielle Harris

Released: 1991

Directed by: Ron Underwood

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

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8
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Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez

Released: 1988

Directed by: Christopher Cain

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

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#38 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #116 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

9
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Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

Released: 1964

Directed by: Sergio Leone

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

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#23 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #9 of 103 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time #14 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

10
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Jack Palance, Jean Arthur, Alan Ladd

Released: 1953

Directed by: George Stevens

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

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#12 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #1,067 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
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Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Corey Feldman

Released: 1994

Directed by: Richard Donner

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

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#57 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #16 of 56 The Best '90s Western Movies

12
The Shakiest Gun in the ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Westerns
Don Knotts, Pat Morita, Barbara Rhoades

Released: 1968

Directed by: Alan Rafkin

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

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13
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Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina

Released: 2011

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

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

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#218 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #143 of 598 The Best Animated Films Ever

14
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Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson, Gus Mercurio

Released: 1982

Directed by: George T. Miller

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

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#75 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #466 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

15
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Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson

Released: 1968

Directed by: Sergio Leone

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

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#13 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #1,002 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

16
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Henry Fonda, Walter Brennan, Linda Darnell

Released: 1946

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#374 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #1 of 50 The Best 1940s Western Movies #47 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

17
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Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd

Released: 1990

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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

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#228 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #82 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #34 of 56 The Best '90s Western Movies

18
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Jane Fonda, Nat King Cole, Lee Marvin

Released: 1965

Directed by: Elliot Silverstein

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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#331 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #298 of 1,015 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
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Viggo Mortensen, Omar Sharif, Malcolm McDowell

Released: 2004

Directed by: Joe Johnston

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

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20
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Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Armie Hammer

Released: 2013

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

The Lone Ranger is a 2013 action adventure film written by Ted Elliott, Justin Haythe and Terry Rossio and directed by Gore Verbinski.

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