50 Greatest Westerns of All Time

by Greeleyguy55 | created - 16 Dec 2011 | updated - 24 Aug 2012 | Public
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1. Dances with Wolves (1990)

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

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
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: 205,887 | Gross: $184.21M

2. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
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: 85,849 | Gross: $9.45M

3. Red River (1948)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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: 23,616

4. Shane (1953)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Western

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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: 31,201 | Gross: $20.00M

5. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

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

Votes: 312,328 | Gross: $101.16M

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

PG-13 | 164 min | Western

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
80 Metascore

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 246,240 | Gross: $5.32M

7. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.0
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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: 68,551

8. My Darling Clementine (1946)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Western

7.8
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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: 18,101

9. Fort Apache (1948)

Not Rated | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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: 13,821

10. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

7.8
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An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach

Votes: 75,844 | Gross: $4.91M

11. The Westerner (1940)

Approved | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western

7.5
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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: 4,098

12. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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: 17,608

13. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Not Rated | 104 min | Western

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson

Votes: 13,182

14. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Western

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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: 58,767

15. Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

GP | 108 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

7.6
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A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians, and proves to be a match for their warriors in one-on-one combat on the early frontier.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Redford, Will Geer, Delle Bolton, Josh Albee

Votes: 23,503 | Gross: $47.74M

16. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
58 Metascore

Two Western bank and train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

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

Votes: 170,805 | Gross: $102.31M

17. Broken Arrow (1950)

Approved | 93 min | Drama, Romance, Western

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget, Basil Ruysdael

Votes: 6,133

18. Rio Bravo (1959)

Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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: 47,406 | Gross: $12.54M

19. How the West Was Won (1962)

G | 164 min | Western

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda

Votes: 15,792 | Gross: $46.50M

20. Stagecoach (1939)

Not Rated | 96 min | Adventure, Western

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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: 34,836

21. Ride the High Country (1962)

Approved | 94 min | Western

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An ex-union soldier is hired to transport gold from a mining community through dangerous territory. But what he doesn't realize is that his partner and old friend is plotting to double-cross him.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Joel McCrea, Randolph Scott, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr

Votes: 10,229

22. Silverado (1985)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
64 Metascore

A misfit bunch of friends come together to right the injustices which exist in a small town.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover

Votes: 30,729 | Gross: $33.20M

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

R | 178 min | Western

8.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
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: 566,665 | Gross: $6.10M

24. Dodge City (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Western

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 3,786

25. The Wild Bunch (1969)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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: 68,079

26. My Name Is Nobody (1973)

PG | 116 min | Comedy, Western

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young, easygoing gunman (Hill) worships and competes with an old gunfighter (Fonda) who only wants to retire.

Director: Tonino Valerii | Stars: Terence Hill, Henry Fonda, Jean Martin, R.G. Armstrong

Votes: 19,556

27. The Big Country (1958)

Not Rated | 166 min | Romance, Western

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston

Votes: 12,778

28. The Plainsman (1936)

Approved | 113 min | Biography, History, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Wild Bill Hickok attempts to stop an Indian uprising that was started by white gun-runners.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison, Charles Bickford

Votes: 1,664

29. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG | 135 min | Western

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
69 Metascore

A Missouri farmer 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: 55,752 | Gross: $31.80M

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

Not Rated | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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: 11,479 | Gross: $11.75M

31. They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Approved | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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. He has little ... See full summary »

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

Votes: 4,933

32. The Left Handed Gun (1958)

Approved | 102 min | Western

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Paul Newman, Lita Milan, John Dehner, Hurd Hatfield

Votes: 3,250

33. A Man Called Horse (1970)

M | 114 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

6.9
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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: 7,140

34. Tombstone (1993)

R | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre | Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton

Votes: 105,907 | Gross: $56.51M

35. Hondo (1953)

PG | 83 min | Drama, Romance, War

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Army despatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and young son living in the midst of warring Apaches and becomes their protector.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond, Michael Pate

Votes: 7,568

36. Duel at Diablo (1966)

Approved | 103 min | Western

6.7
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In Apache territory, a supply army column heads for the next fort, an ex-scout searches for the killer of his Indian wife, and a housewife abandons her husband in order to re-join her Apache lover's tribe.

Director: Ralph Nelson | Stars: James Garner, Sidney Poitier, Bibi Andersson, Dennis Weaver

Votes: 2,311

37. Union Pacific (1939)

Not Rated | 135 min | Drama, Western

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff, Robert Preston

Votes: 2,009

38. Buffalo Bill (1944)

Approved | 90 min | Biography, Romance, Western

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, legendary westerner, from his days as an army scout to his later activities as owner of a Wild West show.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Joel McCrea, Maureen O'Hara, Linda Darnell, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 1,057

39. Winchester '73 (1950)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Drama, Western

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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: 13,917

40. Chisum (1970)

G | 111 min | Biography, Western

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Cattle baron John Chisum joins forces with Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett to fight the Lincoln County land war.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Christopher George, Ben Johnson

Votes: 7,499 | Gross: $6.00M

41. The Comancheros (1961)

Approved | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne | Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff

Votes: 6,708

42. Open Range (2003)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
67 Metascore

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna, Abraham Benrubi

Votes: 58,434 | Gross: $58.33M

43. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

7.4
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Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado

Votes: 15,026

44. Young Guns (1988)

R | 107 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
50 Metascore

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Director: Christopher Cain | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen

Votes: 46,757 | Gross: $45.66M

45. Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)

Passed | 99 min | Western

6.7
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During the Civil War, a group of Confederates escapes from the Union POW camp at Fort Bravo but has to contend with the desert, the Mescalero Indians and the pursuing Union troops.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: William Holden, Eleanor Parker, John Forsythe, William Demarest

Votes: 1,967 | Gross: $1.45M

46. They Call Me Trinity (1970)

G | 113 min | Comedy, Western

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A lazy, unorthodox gunfighter and his portly, horse-thieving brother defend a Mormon settlement from a land-grabbing Major and his henchmen.

Director: Enzo Barboni | Stars: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Steffen Zacharias, Dan Sturkie

Votes: 15,698

47. The Shootist (1976)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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: 18,786 | Gross: $5.99M

48. The Cowboys (1972)

GP | 134 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

7.4
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Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst

Votes: 11,263 | Gross: $7.50M

49. A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

Approved | 95 min | Western

7.4
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Comedy western in which a traveler bets more money than he can afford in a poker game, and unusual events follow.

Director: Fielder Cook | Stars: Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards, Paul Ford

Votes: 3,334

50. Maverick (1994)

PG | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene

Votes: 89,958 | Gross: $101.63M