Great westerns

by jgcorrea | created - 13 Jan 2014 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

For the record, the choices herein are, of course, strictly personal.The Western is a filmic genre devoted to telling stories set primarily in the later half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Revolutionary America (e.g. Drums along the Mohawk). There are also a number of films about Western-type characters in contemporary settings.

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1. Wyatt Earp (1994)

PG-13 | 191 min | Adventure, Biography, Crime

47 Metascore

The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews

Votes: 42,691 | Gross: $25.05M

2. 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: 160,010 | Gross: $3.90M

3. The Iron Horse (1924)

Passed | 150 min | History, Romance, Western

After witnessing the murder of his father by a renegade as a boy, the grown-up Brandon helps to realize his father's dream of a transcontinental railway.

Director: John Ford | Stars: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull, Cyril Chadwick

Votes: 1,802 | Gross: $2.06M

4. 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: 73,669 | Gross: $12.06M

5. 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: 52,271 | Gross: $12.54M

6. Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Passed | 137 min | Drama, Romance, War

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer

Votes: 5,946

7. Red River (1948)

Passed | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson | Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan

Votes: 26,134

8. 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: 350,642 | Gross: $101.16M

9. 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: 106,447 | Gross: $5.01M

10. Fort Apache (1948)

Passed | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendáriz

Votes: 15,289

11. 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: 64,175

12. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

R | 120 min | Drama, Western

A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois, William Devane

Votes: 20,365 | Gross: $8.20M

13. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

94 Metascore

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 74,950

14. 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: 2,567

15. Shane (1953)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Western

80 Metascore

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde

Votes: 34,413 | Gross: $20.00M

16. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly learns about the death of Doc Brown in 1885 and must travel back in time to save him. With no fuel readily available for the DeLorean, the two must figure out a way to escape the Old West before Emmett is murdered.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson

Votes: 372,292 | Gross: $87.73M

17. The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Approved | 120 min | Adventure, Romance, War

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt

Votes: 8,659

18. The Lusty Men (1952)

Approved | 113 min | Action, Drama, Sport

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish | Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Arthur Hunnicutt

Votes: 2,267

19. Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | 111 min | Crime, Western

Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, Constance Towers, Billie Burke

Votes: 3,623

20. Hombre (1967)

Approved | 111 min | Western

80 Metascore

John Russell, disdained by his "respectable" fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Native Americans, becomes their only hope for survival when they are set upon by outlaws.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento

Votes: 10,445

21. The Grey Fox (1982)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

When an aging, but gentlemanly stagecoach robber is released from prison, he decides to go to Canada to become a train robber.

Director: Phillip Borsos | Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs, Ken Pogue, Wayne Robson

Votes: 1,513

22. Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Western

83 Metascore

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

Votes: 14,320

23. True Grit (2010)

PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Western

80 Metascore

A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin

Votes: 291,379 | Gross: $171.24M

24. Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

Passed | 107 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

77 Metascore

The story of the great sharpshooter Annie Oakley, who rose to fame while dealing with her love/professional rival, Frank Butler.

Directors: George Sidney, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Betty Hutton, Howard Keel, Louis Calhern, J. Carrol Naish

Votes: 4,112 | Gross: $8.00M

25. Shenandoah (1965)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War, Western

During the Civil War, a Virginia farmer and his family vow to remain neutral, but one of the sons is captured by Union soldiers, sending the farmer to his rescue.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne

Votes: 7,426

26. The Beguiled (1971)

R | 105 min | Drama, Thriller, War

66 Metascore

While imprisoned in a Confederate girls' boarding school, an injured Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women's hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris

Votes: 14,561

27. 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: 39,564

28. The Wind (1928)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Western

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love, Dorothy Cumming

Votes: 5,662

29. The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A young Spanish aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard

Votes: 8,853 | Gross: $4.36M

30. Winchester '73 (1950)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Drama, Western

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally

Votes: 15,504

31. The Hired Hand (1971)

R | 90 min | Drama, Western

Harry returns home to his wife and farm after drifting with his friend Arch and has to make a difficult decision regarding his loyalties.

Director: Peter Fonda | Stars: Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Verna Bloom, Robert Pratt

Votes: 2,654

32. 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: 92,311 | Gross: $9.45M

33. Terror in a Texas Town (1958)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Western

A Swedish whaler is out for revenge when he finds out that a greedy oil man murdered his father for their land.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Sebastian Cabot, Carol Kelly, Eugene Mazzola

Votes: 1,622

34. The Gunfighter (1950)

Not Rated | 85 min | Western

94 Metascore

Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell, Jean Parker

Votes: 8,603

35. Deadwood (2004–2006)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif

Votes: 87,884

36. 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: 19,528 | Gross: $1.64M

37. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Not Rated | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A one-armed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger

Votes: 17,832

38. My Darling Clementine (1946)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Western

The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs

Votes: 19,958

39. The Shootist (1976)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western

77 Metascore

A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart

Votes: 20,706

40. Forty Guns (1957)

Not Rated | 80 min | Romance, Western

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger, John Ericson

Votes: 4,259

41. The Furies (1950)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Romance, Western

A firebrand heiress clashes with her tyrannical father, a cattle rancher who fancies himself a Napoleon; but their relationship turns ugly only when he finds himself a new woman.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Walter Huston, Judith Anderson

Votes: 2,537

42. The Man from Laramie (1955)

Not Rated | 103 min | Western

A stranger, Will Lockhart, defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, Cathy O'Donnell

Votes: 8,777

43. Giant (1956)

G | 201 min | Drama, Western

84 Metascore

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker

Votes: 31,918 | Gross: $35.00M

44. The Naked Spur (1953)

Passed | 91 min | Thriller, Western

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker

Votes: 9,345



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