20 Best Western Movies Of All Time

1. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Nobody has ever made a better Western. Once Upon A Time In The West, with its wide spaces, striking close-ups, and fantastic musical score, has long been regarded as one of the best works of Sergio Leone. Who said that movie heroes were invincible? Once Upon a Time in the West surely deviates from expectations, at least for a while.

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2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Another western movie masterpiece by Sergio Leone - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - is about a bounty hunting scam joining two men in an uneasy alliance against a third to find gold buried in a remote cemetery. Join me and click to admire the special quality of Clint Eastwood and the gang again!

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3. High Noon (1952)

Always stick to what you believe in, like Lawman Gary Cooper in High Noon does when he faces the bad guys alone after others have turned their backs on him. In 85 intense minutes, the filmmakers really did a great job and gave the audience a true classic.

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4. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Based on an earlier Japanese film, Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven was such a big success of the same genre in the 60s. An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to defend their home and the rest is history.

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5. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

3:10 to Yuma is a 1969 American epic western movie about an aging outlaw gang who attempts to adapt to the changing modern world of 1913 America. A great atmosphere, gritty drama, and thrilling plot make it one of the best of the era.

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6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The Oscar-riddled movie is set in Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid reflects the 60s-era hipsterdom, featuring a bunch of notorious gang leaders who don’t kill.

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7. The Wild Bunch (1969)

The aging outlaw Pike Bishop looks for one last big score before he retires from the disappearing traditional American West. The original 144-minute version was trimmed after the movie’s release, but fortunately we have access to the original cut the producers made on DVD.

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8. Unforgiven (1992)

Before old gunslinger William Munny played by Clint Eastwood retires for good, he takes on one last job with his old partner and a young man. The film won the Academy Award for Best Pictures and Clint was awarded Best Director at the age of over 60. Made decades after the heyday of western movies, Unforgiven is for all to appreciate.

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9. The Searchers (1956)

It seems safe to say that anyone who loves Westerns loves The Searchers because of its unique way of storytelling, awesome cinematography, and John Wayne’s uncompromising portrayal. In spite of being unheralded in its own time, the film is ranked as one of the most influential cinematic works in the genre.

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10. Tombstone (1993)

Lawman Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his friend Morgan (Bill Paxton) attempt in vain to settle down and find trouble when they become targets of a ruthless Cowboy gang. They have to grab their guns to fight once more.

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11. Rio Bravo (1959)

When Howard Hawks decided to come back to work at the age of 62 on Rio Bravo in 1958, he directed a masterpiece. In its 141-minute duration, not a single shot is wasted. The story of men and women, and a town under siege set in Texas really is everything we ask for from a Western movie.

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12. True Grit (2010)

In an era of unnecessary remakes, True Grit was made in 2010 and starred Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld and Matt Damon. Well, it certainly bucked the trend and was a huge success. Many think the movie to be tough, exciting, funny and pretty much close to perfection, thanks to the stellar performances of cast. If you are one of those who admires Western justice, try True Grit.

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13. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

As a last homage to the West, John Ford and his film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance centers on the conflict between civilization and wilderness, and the transition from old social order to today’s modern society. The movie can be safely considered as one of the most romantic of Westerns and the greatest American political movie.

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14. Shane (1953)

Another gunslinger who struggles to give up the old business and lead a normal life, this time saves the residents of a Wyoming valley town from being forced from their homes. The picture is a real visual treat with Wyoming's breathtaking scenic splendors, the sunshine, mountains and plains.

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15. Django Unchained (2012)

If anyone could bring the glamour of Westerns back to modern cinema, it would be Quentin Tarantino. With Django Unchained the director found a way in modern cinema to recreate the Western, despite the fact that many said there was no place left for the genre. Like it or not, the movie is quite influential.

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16. Pale Rider (1985)

Clint Eastwood is here to set things right again in Pale Rider. The movie was directed by and starred the actor who made his name in some of the greatest Westerns of the last century. The story of Pale Rider had been told a thousand times before it was made by Clint Eastwood, but filmgoers still couldn’t get enough.

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17. Red River (1948)

Based on Borden Chase’s novel The Chisholm Trail, the film Red River was directed and produced by Howard Hawks. Dunson (John Wayne) who has led a cattle drive for the past 14 years to Missouri is faced with a mutiny, led by his adopted son. The fight and relationship change between the father and son is nothing less than dramatic.

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18. Lonesome Dove (1989)

It’s bold to make a movie lasting six hours in an age when audiences tended to only care for a several-minute music video. Lonesome Dove in 1989 proves to us that the attraction of a good Western is fascinating. My favorite Western ever.

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19. One-Eyed Jacks (1961)

One-Eyed Jacks in the only film directed by Marlon Brando who also plays the lead character Rio in the movie. In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

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20. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

The American epic historical drama film The Last of the Mohicans is set in 1757 during the French and Indian War. After its release on September 25, 1992 in the US, the movie became a hit and was met with positive reviews.

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