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100 Best Western Movies Of All Time

Updated on June 17, 2013

List of Greatest Western Movies

Western genre is among the most stylish movie genre. Though not many films in this genre are produced now a days but people still love watching old and classic westerners. No genre influenced people as much as the western genre.

Films turn into classics and Dialogues(or titles) turn into proverb or catchphrase,that is the magic of this genre. Most of the western films have greed,gun fighting,betrayal and cowboys in common.

Personally what I like most in such movies is the portrayal of rough and tough outlaws who have guts of a bull, who talk less and have such perfection with gun that they can face a gang single handedly.

Clint eastwood is my favorite actor in this genre. When I saw his character Blondie (or the man with no name) in the Dollars trilogy I was so impressed that for several days I tried to stand, talk and walk like blondie. My obsession with Clint√Ęs style further increased when I saw Unforgiven. I could never even imagine that a 60 year old person can have such attitude and machoism. No wonder he is one of the greatest actor of all time.

This page here includes the list of 100 greatest western movies. Not only these films were loved by all but also had impact on pop culture. Among the list of 100 westerners I selected my favorite 10 flicks which I consider the greatest in genre.

If you find any of your favorite western flick missing then do let me know in comments. Enjoy reading the list.

Photo Credit : Museum of Cinema

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Top 10 Western Movies

Below Is The list of my personal favorite Top Ten western movies.

# 10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Together For The First Time - James Stewart - John Wayne - in the masterpiece of four-time Academy Award winner John Fo

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Centennial Collection 2-Disc Special Edition)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Centennial Collection 2-Disc Special Edition)

Description :-

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is seen as the last great film of John ford,the director of many classic western films.John ford was able to bill two of the most famous western actors,James Stewart and John wayne for his movie.The film is not just a mere western movie but a film that progresses with a sadistic theme but ends with a pessimistic message.In fact the movie covers all the thoughts of John ford about west.The film follows James stewart's character who is a US senator.He comes to a western town to bid farewell to a Nobody and tells the press about the truth of the Killing of Liberty Valance a notorious outlaw.

Director :- John Ford

Star-Cast :- James Stewart, John Wayne and Vera Miles

Plot :- Story about a senator in his own words about his adventures.

 

# 9. True Grit - Retribution

True Grit
True Grit

Description :-

True grit is remake of 1969 movie of same name which stars John wayne in lead role (He won Oscar for his performance). Both the films are adapted from the novel of same name by Charles Portis.The film follows the story of a Young girl who is determined to take revenge of her father's death from the notorious outlaws.She is joined by a US Marshall whose career is declining and a young Texas Ranger.Jeff bridges and Matt Damon played their roles beautifully while young Hailee Steinfeld wows you with her performance.Though the film was not able to win any Oscar out of 10 nominations but for sure it won the heart of western movie lovers.

Director :- Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Star-Cast :- Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld

Plot :- A U.S. marshal helps a young woman to track down his father's murderer.

 

# 8. The Wild Bunch - Suddenly a new West has emerged. Suddenly it was sundown for nine men. Suddenly their day was over. Suddenly the sky was bathed in blood.

The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)
The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Description :-

The wild bunch was a film that was equally hated and loved by the audience at the time of its release.The reason of hate was due to its controversial graphic violence.The film focuses on the betrayal,greed and gun fight that is symbol of western films.The climax scene of the film is considered as one of the most influential scene in the history of film making.The bloody gun fight shown at the end inspired many other films to experiment with violence in movies.This 1969 classic then inspired many controversial and violent movies of the 70s.

Director :- Sam Peckinpah

Star-Cast :- William Holden, Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan

Plot :- A Aging outlaw tries to survive in the changing world.

 

# 7. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - The nearer they get to their treasure, the farther they get from the law.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Description :-

Treasure of the Sierra Madre explores the theme of greed and corruption that is often shown in the western films.The film is adaption of novel of same name by B. Traven.The novel was published in 1927 and revolves around a treasure hunt by a group of people.Both the novel and movie were set in 1920s.Though the movie was not a hit at the time of release.People didn't accepted Humphrey Bogart as a western hero.But later on it turned to be the most classic film of all time.John Huston won an Oscar too for the film.

Director :- John Huston

Star-Cast :- Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston and Tim Holt

Plot :- 3 friends set up a journey in search of gold.Will they return successful?

 

# 6. High Noon - There Is Nothing Under The Sun Like The High Adventure Of "High Noon"!

High Noon (Two-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition)
High Noon (Two-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition)

Description :-

Portrayal of Will kane by Gary cooper in this western film is considered to be one of the greatest character ever portrayed on screen.He was awarded the prestigious Oscar for his electric performance.Though the film was criticized by many critics and actors like john wayne as it depicted cowardice character.But later on the fact was accepted that no one would ever dare to do what Will kane did in the wild west.

Director :- Fred Zinnemann

Star-Cast :- Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly and Thomas Mitchell

Plot :- A Marshall has to face a gang of killers by himself.

 

# 5. Once Upon a time in the west - There were three men in her life. One to take her... one to love her... and one to kill her.

Once Upon a Time in the West [Blu-ray]
Once Upon a Time in the West [Blu-ray]

Description :-

Sergio Leone was master in making spaghetti Western movies (a sub genre of western in which Italian actor and director presents the far west).The film tells the epic tale of 'How the west was won?'The movie was simply brilliant and was huge success at box office.The plot of the movie is awesome and those who expect this movie to be just another western movie are wrong.In fact Sergio Leone redefined western genre by this movie.The portrayal of character was brilliant specially the character played by Sir Henry Fonda.

Director :- Sergio Leone

Star-Cast :- Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson and Claudia Cardinale

Plot :- A Stranger saves a widow from a being murdered.

 

# 4. The Searchers - He had to find her... he had to find her...

John Wayne: The Searchers
John Wayne: The Searchers

Description :-

Most of the people consider and agrees that John wayne is the greatest Western hero of all time and John Ford is the greatest Western movie director.The reason behind this is The Searchers,a western film which is not only a classic western movie but also favorite film of many mainstream actor and directors.The film was chosen as the greatest movie of all time by AFI. Not only the film has great plot but also has excellent cinematography which depicts the far west lands and deserts beautifully.John wayne and John ford collaborated many times together specially in western genre and The searchers is their best work.

Director :- John Ford

Star-Cast :- John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter and Vera Miles

Plot :- A Civil war veteran searches for his abducted niece.

 

# 3. Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid - Not that it matters, but most of it is true.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Description :-

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was among the earlier film of the famous duo of Blue eyed Paul newman and Robert Redford (who is older version of Brad pitt). This western movie is a blend of buddy film,spaghetti western and heist film.Butch cassidy is played by Paul newman.Cassidy is intelligent and want to get rich quick.Sundance kid (played by Robert Redford) is sharpshooter and has a girlfriend too.The film was inspired from the famous and notorious train robber Butch Cassidy and his wild bunch of which Sundance was a member.

Director :- George Roy Hill

Star-Cast :- Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katharine Ross

Plot :- The adventures of two western robbers.

 

# 2. Unforgiven - Starring Clint Eastwood

Unforgiven
Unforgiven

Description :-

Eastwood has always admired western movies.His love for western movies could be seen from his filmography which lists a dozen of western films as actor,director or producer.If 'Dollars Trilogy' was his best western movie as an actor then Unforgiven was his best western film as a Director.The film is about an aging western law who is living in era when western is turning to modern world and western heroes are becoming myths and legends.Eastwood was clever like his mentor Sergio leone while choosing actors for this classic.Morgan freeman did good job and Gene Hackman's performance won him an Academy award.In total the film won 4 academy awards Including best picture and Best director.

Director :- Clint Eastwood

Star-Cast :- Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman

Plot :- A retired hitman comes back to complete one last task.

 

# 1. Dollars Trilogy - A Fistful Of Dollars,For Few Dollars More,The Good The Bad and The Ugly

The Man with No Name Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)
The Man with No Name Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)

Description :-

Clint eastwood stars as a rough and tough western cowboy in Sergio leone's Spaghetti Westerns Dollars Trilogy(Also Known as Man With No Name Trilogy).Though Leone's intention was not to make a trilogy.But all the three western films were about the adventures of the Man With No Name.

The series first movie was Fistful of dollars which transformed the TV actor Eastwood into a western hero with critical acclaim. The second movie of the Series was For a few Dollars more which continued the adventure of anti-hero Blondie.But the most famous movie of the trilogy was The Good,The Bad and the ugly which has on going civil war as a backdrop in the plot.Eastwood continued delivering his best performances and the other man who grabbed attention was Eli Wallach.A masterpiece trilogy that pays tribute to the western genre.

Director :- Sergio Leone

Star-Cast :- Clint Eastwood

Plot :- The adventures of "Man With No Name" in the western deserts.

 

Top 10 Western Movies Actor

# 1. John Wayne

# 2. Clint Eastwood

# 3. James Stewart

# 4. Kevin Costner

# 5. Henry Fonda

# 6. William Holden

# 7. Gene Hackman

# 8. Paul Newman

# 9. Robert Redford

# 10. Robert Duvall

Westerns Are Best? - Share Your View

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  • poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

    I absolutely love the metaphysic of the Western

  • sandydez 6 years ago

    I Love Westerns Movies

No

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  • anonymous 6 years ago

    Western is Not The Best but is very good genre

  • BugsLv U All 6 years ago

    No

Which western movie is your favorite?

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    • Eric Mayo profile image

      Eric Mayo 4 years ago

      No "The Long Riders" or "Young Guns"

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Clint Eastwood's performance in the trilogy of spaghetti movies( so named because the movies were filmed in Italy) will always be in my top ten list of westerns. Also, Jim Brown who starred in "100 Rifles" w/ Sophia Loren as his leading lady is a 1966 classic.

    • BruceJackson1 profile image

      BruceJackson1 5 years ago

      Great lens!!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      My favourite is High Noon, with Gary Cooper; a Mac Carthy rage film, but Stagecoach with John Wayne is wonderful also.

    • profile image

      MasterExploder 6 years ago

      All these westerns and I've only seen like 15 of them - I have got to expand my horizons. This list is a great place to start. I also like the one at http://www.filmcrave.com/list_genre_movie.php?genr...

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Good to see "True Grit" on list.I loved this movie.

    • profile image

      BugsLv U All 6 years ago

      Nice lens

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      sandydez 6 years ago

      I Loved "The Good The Bad The Ugly".