I think it’s fair to say that over the past three decades, the Western genre has gone through something of a torrid time, suffering the same fate as the musical in that it was for a long time considered outdated and not in keeping with modern cinema audience’s tastes. Seen so often as the preserve of old men, with heroes to match (Open Range
, anyone?), it is often forgotten that this most American of cinematic oeuvres has the potential to be powerful, dangerous and subversive.
While Western films are ostensibly about a very specific place and a startlingly brief period in American history, they can still talk to audiences across the globe and touch on the universal themes of loss, redemption and farting around a fire.
On that note, we’ve compiled a list of 10 films that we feel are perfect representations of the genre at its best.