The Greatest Westerns of All-Time

by MovieWes | created - 17 Apr 2012 | updated - 24 Apr 2012 | Public
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1. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

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: 69,210

2. 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: 577,042 | Gross: $6.10M

3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

99 Metascore

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, 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: 94,625 | Gross: $5.01M

4. Shane (1953)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Western

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: 31,562 | Gross: $20.00M

5. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

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: 86,532 | Gross: $9.45M

6. The Wild Bunch (1969)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Western

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: 68,625

7. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

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: 319,151 | Gross: $101.16M

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

PG-13 | 164 min | Western

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: 252,661 | Gross: $5.32M

9. 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: 59,296

10. Stagecoach (1939)

Not Rated | 96 min | Adventure, Western

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: 35,291

11. Giant (1956)

G | 201 min | Drama, Western

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: 29,314 | Gross: $35.00M

12. 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: 188,653 | Gross: $15.00M

13. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama

93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 433,739 | Gross: $40.22M

14. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

58 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 heals. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

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

Votes: 175,850 | Gross: $102.31M

15. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

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: 17,829

16. Fistful of Dollars (1964)

R | 99 min | Western

65 Metascore

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volontè, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy

Votes: 166,936 | Gross: $14.50M

17. Red River (1948)

Not Rated | 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: 23,901

18. 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: 14,070

19. Blazing Saddles (1974)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Western

73 Metascore

In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman

Votes: 108,579 | Gross: $119.50M

20. Rio Bravo (1959)

Not Rated | 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: 47,889 | Gross: $12.54M

21. 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: 18,299

22. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

PG | 135 min | Western

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: 56,400 | Gross: $31.80M

23. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 712,060 | Gross: $74.28M

24. Destry Rides Again (1939)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Western

When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Votes: 8,629

25. 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: 16,304

26. Nybyggarna (1972)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Western

A Swedish immigrant family struggle to establish a new life for themselves in the forest of Minnesota in the mid 19th Century.

Director: Jan Troell | Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Eddie Axberg, Pierre Lindstedt

Votes: 2,899

27. The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

R | 121 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A hobo accidentally stumbles onto a water spring, and creates a profitable way station in the middle of the desert.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner, Strother Martin

Votes: 7,116 | Gross: $3.50M

28. 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: 12,776

29. The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A young 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: 8,186

30. Duck, You Sucker (1971)

PG | 138 min | War, Western

77 Metascore

An I.R.A. explosives expert on the run in Mexico meets an amoral Mexican bandit; together they are drawn into the Mexican revolution.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Rod Steiger, James Coburn, Romolo Valli, Maria Monti

Votes: 24,445

31. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Not Rated | 104 min | Western

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: 13,335

32. The Great Silence (1968)

Not Rated | 105 min | Western

A mute gunfighter defends a young widow and a group of outlaws against a gang of bounty killers in the winter of 1898, as a grim, tense struggle unfolds.

Director: Sergio Corbucci | Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Klaus Kinski, Frank Wolff, Vonetta McGee

Votes: 11,031 | Gross: $0.03M

33. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

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: 76,481 | Gross: $4.91M

34. Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Approved | 107 min | Drama, Western

A fiercely independent cowboy arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to then escape with an old friend, who has been sentenced to the penitentiary.

Director: David Miller | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau, Michael Kane

Votes: 6,739

35. 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: 18,514

36. Ride the High Country (1962)

Approved | 94 min | Western

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: 10,331

37. The Big Country (1958)

Not Rated | 166 min | Romance, Western

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: 12,919

38. The Gunfighter (1950)

Not Rated | 85 min | Western

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: 7,736

39. Fort Apache (1948)

Not Rated | 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: 13,969

40. Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)

GP | 116 min | Adventure, Romance, War

Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manolo Fábregas, Alberto Morin

Votes: 19,629

41. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Drama, Fantasy, Western

62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange North 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: 79,625 | Gross: $1.04M

42. The Bravados (1958)

Approved | 98 min | Drama, Western

A man is chasing four outlaws who killed his wife and finds them in a small town's jail but they escape to Mexico.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Joan Collins, Stephen Boyd, Albert Salmi

Votes: 3,739

43. True Grit (2010)

PG-13 | 110 min | Adventure, 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: 267,331 | Gross: $171.24M

44. 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: 208,162 | Gross: $184.21M

45. Django (1966)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Western

A coffin-dragging gunslinger and a half-breed prostitute become embroiled in a bitter feud between a Klan of Southern racists and a band of Mexican Revolutionaries.

Director: Sergio Corbucci | Stars: Franco Nero, José Canalejas, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak

Votes: 20,785 | Gross: $0.03M

46. Joe Kidd (1972)

PG | 88 min | Western

52 Metascore

An ex-bounty hunter reluctantly helps a wealthy landowner and his henchmen track down a Mexican revolutionary leader.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud

Votes: 14,079

47. Yellow Sky (1948)

Approved | 98 min | Crime, Western

A pistol-packing tomboy and her grandfather discover a band of bank robbing bandits taking refuge in the neighboring ghost town.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark, Robert Arthur

Votes: 3,545

48. True Grit (1969)

G | 128 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Jeremy Slate

Votes: 36,752 | Gross: $31.13M

49. Westward the Women (1951)

Not Rated | 118 min | Western, Drama

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: 2,158

50. 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: 150,359 | Gross: $3.90M

51. Rio Grande (1950)

Not Rated | 105 min | Romance, Western

7.2