30 Finest Western Films of All Time  – The Hollywood Reporter


Western movies have been a staple of American cinema for virtually so long as motion pictures have been made.

Films within the Western style are set within the American West, usually between the 1850s to the tip of the nineteenth century. Whereas it has been a secure style — no pun supposed! — it has additionally been the beginning floor for a number of hybrid genres like Western comedies, Western musicals and horror Westerns

No different style’s historical past goes again fairly so far as that of Westerns. In keeping with documentarian David Gregory, “It has been estimated that as much as 40 p.c of all movies made earlier than 1960 have been Westerns.” 

Though the class reached its biggest recognition within the early and center many years of the twentieth century, with a number of changing into cult classics, movies continued to be made even by means of droughts for Westerns within the late ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Actors have additionally made their identify starring in Western movies, together with Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, James Stewart and Jeff Bridges, to call a number of. 

In 2017, Bridges, the star of the Oscar-nominated style titles True Grit and Hell or Excessive Water, advised The Hollywood Reporter, “The whole lot’s magnified: the wrestle, the intense decisions, what you do, the bravery, all these issues. I like and admire the paradox of telling proper from incorrect,” in reference to Westerns. 

Whereas the style might not be what it was within the early twentieth century, Westerns have continued to evolve to stay a notable class within the trade, as seen within the final decade with True Grit, Hell or Excessive Water and Django Unchained

Discover a listing of the 30 most memorable Western motion pictures of all time under.

‘The Nice Practice Theft’ (1903)

Robbers hold up the train in GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, 1903.

Robbers maintain up the practice in ‘The Nice Practice Theft’

Howard Mandelbaum/Everett Assortment

In one of many earliest Westerns in American cinema, the movie depicts a gaggle of outlaws who rob passengers on a practice and threaten the operator. When attempting to run away, they shoot a passenger. The sheriff and his males embark on a manhunt of the boys. 

‘Stagecoach’ (1939) 

Andy Devine, George Bancroft, John Carradine, Donald Meek, Louise Platt, Claire Trevor, John Wayne in STAGECOACH.

Andy Devine, George Bancroft, John Carradine, Donald Meek, Louise Platt, Claire Trevor and John Wayne in ‘Stagecoach’

twentieth Century Fox Movies/ Courtesy: Everett Assortment

The 2-time Oscar profitable movie, directed by John Ford, follows a collective group of passengers aboard a stagecoach, together with a drunken physician, two girls, a financial institution supervisor who stole his consumer’s cash and escaped outlaw Ringo Child. As they make their journey throughout the wild west to New Mexico within the Eighties, they need to face the specter of Geronimo within the space. 

‘Pink River’ (1948)

John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in RED RIVER, 1948.

John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in ‘Pink River’

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After working 14 years to construct his cattle ranch in Texas, Tom Dunston (John Wayne) is able to drive them to the market, which is in Missouri. With the assistance of his trailhand, Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), and protégé, Matthew Garth (Montgomery Clift), an orphan who Dunston took underneath his wing, they head out on their journey. However alongside the way in which, within the movie directed by Howard Hawks and Arthur Rosson, cussed Dunston and Garth start to feud, resulting in a tense voyage. 

‘Winchester ’73’ (1950)

James Stewart, Millard Mitchell, and Tony Curtis in WINCHESTER '73 , 1950.

James Stewart, Millard Mitchell, and Tony Curtis in ‘Winchester ’73’

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Lin McAdam (James Stewart) finds himself chasing after a rifle that he gained in a contest, however was stolen by the runner-up, Dutch Henry Brown (Millard Mitchell). Within the movie, directed by Anthony Mann, McAdam pursues all efforts to retrieve the rifle, even ending up in a shoot-out. 

‘Excessive Midday’ (1952)

Gary Cooper in HIGH NOON, 1952.

Gary Cooper in ‘Excessive Midday,’ 1952

CBS Movies/Everett Assortment / Everett Assortment

The film, directed by Fred Zinnemann, options Gary Cooper as former marshal Will Kane, who’s making ready to go away a small city in New Mexico together with his new spouse, Amy, performed by Grace Kelly. Earlier than heading out, Kane realized the native legal, Frank Miller, whom he turned in, has been let loose and is looking for revenge. The marshal tries to recruit deputies within the city to assist, however they activate him, leaving Kane to battle Miller and his crew alone. 

‘The Searchers’ (1956)

Harry Carey Jr., John Wayne, and Hank Worden in THE SEARCHERS, 1956.

Harry Carey Jr., John Wayne and Hank Worden in ‘The Searchers’

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The movie, directed by John Ford, reveals how one man will undergo nice lengths for his household. When Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) returned house to Texas after the Civil Struggle, he learns members of his brother’s household have been killed or kidnapped by Comanches. He then embarks on harmful mission to save lots of the surviving members, together with his neice and her adopted brother.  

‘Rio Bravo’ (1959)

John Wayne and Dean Martin in RIO BRAVO, 1959.

John Wayne and Dean Martin in ‘Rio Bravo’

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When small-town sheriff John T. Likelihood (John Wayne) arrests gunslinger Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) for homicide, he should face Burdette’s brother Nathan (John Russell) who desires him out of jail. However with the assistance of an aged deputy, the city drunk and a younger gunfighter, Likelihood makes a stand towards Nathan, within the movie directed by Howard Hawks. 

‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960) 

McQueen, Coburn, Buchholtz, Brynner, Dexter, Vaughn, Bronson in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, 1960.

McQueen, Coburn, Buchholtz, Brynner, Dexter, Vaughn, Bronson in ‘The Magnificent Seven’

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When a small Mexican farming village is terrorized by a band of outlaws yearly, a number of of the townspeople rent seven American gunmen to defend them. The movie, directed by John Sturges, follows the gunslingers as they practice and put together the village for the outlaws who might be arriving quickly. 

‘One-Eyed Jacks’ (1961) 

Karl Malden in Marlon Brando in ONE-EYED JACKS , 1961.

Karl Malden and Marlon Brando in ‘One-Eyed Jacks’

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Following a financial institution theft, outlaw Rio (Marlon Brando) and his associate, Dad Longworth (Karl Malden) are on the run from the regulation, however Dad has totally different plans. Within the movie, directed by Brando, Dad betrays Rio and takes off with the gold as Rio is captured. Years later, when Rio escapes from jail, he hunts down his ex-partner, who’s now a sheriff, in California for revenge. 

‘Trip the Excessive Nation’ (1962) 

Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott in RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, 1962.

Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott in ‘Trip the Excessive Nation’

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Within the movie directed by Sam Peckinpah, retired lawman Steve Judd (Joel McCrea) hires his pal Gil Westrum (Randolph Scott) and his younger protégé Heck to assist transport a gold cargo from a financial institution by means of a harmful space. However Gil and Heck devise a plan to steal the gold. Alongside the way in which, the three additionally become involved with a lady attempting to flee her father and fiancé.  

‘A Fistful of {Dollars}’ (1964)

Clint Eastwood in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, 1964

Clint Eastwood in ‘A Fistful of {Dollars}’

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As drifter gunman Joe (Clint Eastwood) enters the Mexican village of San Miguel, he learns of an influence wrestle between two gangs — John Baxter (Wolfgang Lukschy) and Ramón Rojo (Gian Maria Volontè). Within the movie, directed by Sergio Leone, Joe finds himself between the 2 sides, taking part in each for his personal profit. 

‘The Good, the Dangerous and the Ugly’ (1966) 

Clint Eastwood in THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, 1966.

Clint Eastwood in ‘The Good, the Dangerous and the Ugly’

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This Western traditional, starring Clint Eastwood, follows three males on a tense journey, all vying for a stash of gold. Within the movie, directed by Sergio Leone, Blondie, The Good, who’s knowledgeable gunslinger, ruins his partnership with Tuco, The Ugly (Eli Wallach), who’s a Mexican outlaw. As Tuco units out to homicide Blondie, alongside the way in which, they each study of $200,000 price of gold buried in a cemetery. However every man has totally different data on its location, so they need to preserve one another alive as they set out on a journey to seek out the gold. Alongside the way in which, Angel Eyes, The Dangerous (Lee Van Cleef), who’s a hitman, learns in regards to the gold, which results in Blondie and Tuco teaming up as soon as once more, to get their fingers on the gold earlier than anybody else. 

‘As soon as Upon a Time within the West’ (1968)

Henry Fonda in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, 1968.

Henry Fonda in ‘As soon as Upon a Time within the West’

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A girl strikes from New Orleans to Utah, simply to seek out her new husband and household killed. When she learns the person accountable pinned it on a identified bandit, Cheyenne (Jason Robards), she groups up with him to seek for the true killer, henchman Frank (Henry Fonda). Additionally they have assist from a mysterious gunslinger on a mission to get even. The movie is directed by Sergio Leone. 

‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Child’ (1969) 

Robert Redford and Paul Newman in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, 1969.

Robert Redford and Paul Newman in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Child’

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The movie primarily based on real-life outlaws is ready at a time when the west begins to turn into extra civilized. The leaders of a small gang, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Child, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, are on the run from a particular posse who begins trailing them after their common practice theft. Irrespective of how far they go, the group appears to be proper behind them. However after they lastly escape them, their journey takes them to Bolivia, due to a suggestion from Butch. The movie was directed by George Roy Hill. 

‘True Grit’ (1969)

John Wayne and Kim Darby in TRUE GRIT, 1969.

John Wayne and Kim Darby in ‘True Grit’

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Nothing issues greater than bringing her father’s killer to justice, so Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) units out on a journey to hunt vengeance. She hires U.S. Marshal “Rooster” Cogburn (John Wayne) to assist her observe the assassin Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey) down, and alongside the way in which, a Texas Ranger, La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) joins the manhunt, hoping to seize Chaney for the homicide of a Texas senator. Within the film, directed by Henry Hathaway, all of them embark on the damaging trek collectively. 

‘The Wild Bunch’ (1969) 

Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, William Holden and Ernest Borgnine in THE WILD BUNCH, 1969

Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, William Holden and Ernest Borgnine in ‘The Wild Bunch’

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This Sam Peckinpah-directed movie, set in 1913, follows a gang often known as The Wild Bunch as they try one final theft earlier than retiring. As soon as outlaw Pike Bishop, performed by William Holden, and his gang make it to Mexico for the job, they find yourself in a violent final stand towards their enemies. The movie additionally stars Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson and Robert Ryan. 

‘Buck and the Preacher’ (1972) 

Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier in BUCK AND THE PREACHER, 1972.

Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier in ‘Buck and the Preacher,’ 1972.

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Put up-Civil Struggle, Buck (Sidney Poitier), a soldier turned path information, helps former slaves settle within the West. At one level, a con artist, Preacher (Harry Belafonte), joins the group and clashes with Buck. However the two should study to place their variations apart when a gaggle of bounty hunters, led by Deshay (Cameron Mitchell), tries to convey the freed slaves again to Louisiana. The movie is directed by Sidney Poitier and Joseph Sargent. 

‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ (1976)

Chief Dan George and Clint Eastwood in THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, 1976.

Chief Dan George and Clint Eastwood in ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’

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After Josey Wales’ (Clint Eastwood) household is killed by Union males led by Capt. Terrill (Invoice McKinney), Wales seeks revenge by becoming a member of the Accomplice Military. However when the battle ends, he refuses to give up and hand over his weapons. Josey then flees to Texas the place he meets a gaggle of settlers to begin a brand new life, however with a bounty on his head. Eastwood additionally directed the movie. 

‘Dance With Wolves’ (1990)

Kevin Costner and Graham Greene in DANCES WITH WOLVES, 1990.

Kevin Costner and Graham Greene in ‘Dance with Wolves’

Orion Photos Corp/Courtesy Everett Assortment

Directed by and starring Kevin Costner, the movie follows a Civil Struggle soldier, Lt. John Dunbar, (Costner) as he develops a relationship with a Native American tribe. As he will get nearer to them, he decides to go away his former life behind and be part of them. After getting the identify Dances With Wolves, he’s welcomed in as a member and stands with them in any battle. John additionally finds a shocking romance within the tribe. 

‘Unforgiven’ (1992)

Clint Eastwood in UNFORGIVEN, 1992.

Clint Eastwood in ‘Unforgiven,’

Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Assortment

One of many many Westerns starring and directed by Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven sees a prostitute disfigured, narrowly escaping dying, prompting co-workers to publish a reward for the homicide of these accountable. To the displeasure of the sheriff, two teams of outlaws head to Massive Whiskey, Wyoming, one led by William Munny (Eastwood) and the opposite by English Bob (Richard Harris), in the hunt for the boys behind the crime.  

‘Tombstone’ (1993)

Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott (n driver's seat), Bill Paxton in TOMBSTONE, 1993.

Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott (in driver’s seat) and Invoice Paxton in ‘Tombstone’

Buena Vista Photos/Courtesy Everett Assortment

Within the film directed by George P. Cosmatos and Kevin Jarre, Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his brothers, Morgan (Invoice Paxton) and Virgil (Sam Elliott), assume they’ve left their gunslinger methods behind them as they calm down in Tombstone, Arizona. However issues take a flip when hassle finds the trio as soon as once more, this time with a gaggle of outlaws. The lads crew up with Wyatt’s finest pal, Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer), to tackle the gang of cowboys.  

‘The Fast and the Useless’ (1995) 

Russell Crowe and Gene Hackman in THE QUICK AND THE DEAD, 1995.

Russell Crowe and Gene Hackman in ‘The Fast and the Useless’

TriStar Photos / courtesy Everett Assortment

A feminine gunslinger, Ellen (Sharon Stone), rides right into a small frontier city on the lookout for revenge for her father who was killed by the city’s mayor, Herod (Gene Hackman). Whereas there, she enters a violent competitors with different outlaws all there with their very own motive. Within the movie directed by Sam Raimi, Ellen fights to the dying to get justice. The flicks additionally stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. 

‘Lone Star’ (1996)

Chris Cooper in LONE STAR, 1996.

Chris Cooper in ‘Lone Star’

Sony Photos Classics/courtesy Everett Assortment

When native sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) is known as to research a 40-year-old skeleton discovered within the desert in Rio County, Texas, he begins to uncover the city’s darkish secrets and techniques. Within the film, directed by John Sayles, Deeds begins to study extra about his father, former legendary sheriff Buddy Deeds, all whereas attempting to resolve the thriller homicide and expose the city’s secrets and techniques. Alongside the way in which, he additionally rekindles an previous high-school romance. 

‘Open Vary’ (2003)

Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, and Diego Luna in OPEN RANGE, 2003.

Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Diego Luna in ‘Open Vary’

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On this Western, directed by Kevin Costner, Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall), Charley Waite (Costner), Mose Harrison (Abraham Benrubi) and Button (Diego Luna) have a detailed friendship as they drive their cattle throughout the West. However when Mose finds his strategy to a small city, he encounters a corrupt sheriff (James Russo) and rancher Denton Baxter (Michael Gambon) who run the village with worry and violence. When Mose doesn’t come again, Boss and his males head out to seek out. Alongside their journey to rescue Mose, they face all the pieces from heated exchanges, violence and an surprising romance. 

‘3:10 To Yuma’ (2007)

Alan Tudyk, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Peter Fonda, Lennie Loftin in 3:10 TO YUMA, 2007.

Alan Tudyk, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Peter Fonda, Lennie Loftin in ‘3:10 To Yuma’

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Rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale), who heads into Bisbee, Arizona, captures famed outlaw Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) who has been terrorizing the realm. The movie, set within the 1800s, follows Evan as he escorts Wade to the practice so he might be delivered to trial. All through their tense journey within the film, which was directed by James Mangold, they face hazard at each activate their strategy to the three:10 to Yuma practice.  

‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’ (2007)

Brad Pitt as Jesse James, Casey Affleck as Robert Ford in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, 2007.

Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in ‘The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford’

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Assortment

Jesse James (Brad Pitt) is a famed outlaw with many after him to gather the reward positioned on his head. However as Jesse continues his methods and plans his subsequent massive heist, two of his personal recruits produce other plans. As Robert (Casey Affleck) and Charley Ford (Sam Rockwell) develop jealous of Jesse, they resolve to attempt to kill him, however issues don’t go as deliberate, within the movie directed by Andrew Dominik. 

‘Appaloosa’ (2008)

Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris in APPALOOSA, 2008.

Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris in ‘Appaloosa’

New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Assortment

It’s the Eighties Southwest, and Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) are touring into lawless cities determined for them to convey justice. Alongside the way in which, they study the mining city of Appaloosa is being terrorized by Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), a newly arrived rancher and a gang. Within the movie, directed by Ed Harris, Virgil and Evertt should work collectively to convey them down, however when a mysterious widow (Renee Zellweger) arrives to city, their bond is examined. 

‘Rango’ (2011)

Rango (voice: Johnny Depp), Beans (voice: Isla Fisher) in RANGO, 2011.

Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) and Beans (voiced by Isla Fisher) in ‘Rango’

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Assortment

This animated Western follows the story of a pet chameleon named Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) who embarks on a way of life change following an identification disaster. Rango unintentionally finds himself in a frontier city as the brand new sheriff, the place he finally ends up taking up the hero function and faces thrilling encounters. The movie is directed by Gore Verbinski. 

‘Django Unchained’ (2012)

Jamie Foxx in DJANGO UNCHAINED, 2012.

Jamie Foxx in ‘Django Unchained’

Andrew Cooper/©Weinstein Firm/Courtesy Everett Assortment

With fairly the ensemble, together with Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerry Washington, the pre-Civil Struggle movie follows Django (Foxx), a slave who joins a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Waltz), on a mission to seek out two males. As soon as they’re discovered, Schultz presents to assist Django discover his long-lost spouse, Broomhilda von Shaft (Washington), if he agrees to be his associate. The 2 embark on a journey to seek out her after they study she was bought to a plantation in Mississippi. They work collectively to give you a plan in order that the proprietor, Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), welcomes them into his house to allow them to save his spouse.  

‘Hell or Excessive Water’ (2016) 

Ben Foster and Chris Pine in HELL OR HIGH WATER, 2016.

Ben Foster and Chris Pine in ‘Hell or Excessive Water’

Lorey Sebastian/CBS Movies/courtesy Everett Assortment

Within the movie directed by David Mackenzie, Toby Howard (Chris Pine) is a divorced father who’s about to have his household ranch foreclosed on. In an try at making a greater life for his sons, Toby and his brother Tanner (Ben Foster), who’s an ex-convict, plan a number of heists on the financial institution that’s foreclosing the ranch. On the identical time, Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges), who’s near retirement, is out to cease them. 


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