My Top 30 Favorite Westerns

by mescal-1 | created - 06 Mar 2011 | updated - 18 Nov 2018 | Public

In chronological order.

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1. Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 39,831

2. The Westerner (1940)

Approved | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western

78 Metascore

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport, Fred Stone

Votes: 4,716

3. They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Approved | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 5,474

4. The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western

When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn

Votes: 19,645 | Gross: $1.64M

5. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Western

Three outlaws on the run find a dying woman in the desert who gives birth to a baby. The mother entrusts the care of the child to the three men.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 7,771

6. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

98 Metascore

Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 107,118 | Gross: $5.01M

7. Westward the Women (1951)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Western

A trail guide escorts a group of women from Chicago to California to marry men that have recently began settling there.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, Hope Emerson, John McIntire

Votes: 2,584

8. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Drama, Thriller, Western

89 Metascore

A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 92,770 | Gross: $9.45M

9. The Last Hunt (1956)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Western

In 1883 South Dakota, two buffalo hunters start a personal feud over a captured squaw and a stand-off with a Dakota raiding party over some stolen horses.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Lloyd Nolan, Debra Paget

Votes: 1,294

10. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Passed | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 12,888 | Gross: $11.75M

11. Rio Bravo (1959)

Passed | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 52,581 | Gross: $12.54M

12. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Western

94 Metascore

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin

Votes: 64,529

13. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

R | 132 min | Western

74 Metascore

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Mario Brega

Votes: 215,957 | Gross: $15.00M

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

R | 178 min | Western

90 Metascore

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 647,406 | Gross: $6.10M

15. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heels. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 192,984 | Gross: $102.31M

16. The Wild Bunch (1969)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Western

95 Metascore

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien

Votes: 73,977 | Gross: $12.06M

17. A Man Called Horse (1970)

M | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

46 Metascore

In 1825, an English aristocrat is captured by Native Americans. He lives with them and begins to understand their way of life. Eventually, he is accepted as part of the tribe and aspires to become their leader.

Director: Elliot Silverstein | Stars: Richard Harris, Judith Anderson, Jean Gascon, Manu Tupou

Votes: 7,740 | Gross: $1.94M

18. Bad Company (1972)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

A god-fearing Ohio boy dodging the Civil War draft arrives in St. Joseph, MO where he joins up with a hardscrabble group of like runaways heading west.

Director: Robert Benton | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Barry Brown, Jim Davis, David Huddleston

Votes: 3,387

19. High Plains Drifter (1973)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Western

69 Metascore

A gunfighting stranger (Clint Eastwood) comes to the small settlement of Lago and is hired to bring the townsfolk together in an attempt to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill, Mitchell Ryan

Votes: 46,813 | Gross: $15.70M

20. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG | 135 min | Western

69 Metascore

Missouri farmer Josey Wales joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George, Bill McKinney

Votes: 61,926 | Gross: $31.80M

21. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 227,368 | Gross: $184.21M

22. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and a young man, The "Schofield Kid" (Jaimz Woolvett).

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 352,975 | Gross: $101.16M

23. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western

62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange Native American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen

Votes: 85,933 | Gross: $1.04M

24. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

Director: Andrew Dominik | Stars: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker

Votes: 160,864 | Gross: $3.90M

25. Appaloosa (2008)

R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

Director: Ed Harris | Stars: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Jeremy Irons

Votes: 56,623 | Gross: $20.21M

26. Django Unchained (2012)

R | 165 min | Drama, Western

81 Metascore

With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington

Votes: 1,263,290 | Gross: $162.81M

27. The Good the Bad the Weird (2008)

R | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Western

69 Metascore

The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Byung-Hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung, Je-mun Yun

Votes: 31,560 | Gross: $0.13M

28. Aferim! (2015)

Not Rated | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

Set in early 19th century Romania, a policeman, Costandin, is hired by a nobleman to find a Gypsy slave who has run away from his estate after having an affair with his wife.

Director: Radu Jude | Stars: Teodor Corban, Mihai Comanoiu, Toma Cuzin, Alexandru Dabija

Votes: 5,976 | Gross: $0.10M

29. The Hateful Eight (2015)

R | 168 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

68 Metascore

In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins

Votes: 472,178 | Gross: $54.12M

30. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

R | 133 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

79 Metascore

Six tales of life and violence in the Old West, following a singing gunslinger, a bank robber, a traveling impresario, an elderly prospector, a wagon train, and a perverse pair of bounty hunters.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Willie Watson, Clancy Brown, Danny McCarthy

Votes: 101,945



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