Best Westerns of All Time

What is the best Western 'Cowboy' film of all time?
The Top Ten
1 The Good The Bad & The Ugly

No doubt the best western of all time. It has beautiful acting, directing, and is just awesome. I guess I could type on this comment all night about this movie, but it would all lead to one thing: this is the best western ever, and if you are a western fan and have not seen it, do yourself a favor and do so. Enough said.

An epic tale of testosterone and greed, this masterpiece includes the greatest shootout and score in cinema history. Blondie is simply the "baddest" man in movie history!

No. 2 on my list of Sergio Leone westerns. The best theme song ever, and the Ecstasy of Gold sequence illustrates how movies can do so much more than other media.

2 Unforgiven

Man, this list is basically all Clint Eastwood movies... as well it should be. He and John Wayne are the two best, no doubt. Tough to choose between The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Outlaw Josey Wales, For a Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars, and Unforgiven, but I chose Unforgiven. The aging gunslinger goes on one final tear. And Gene Hackman was just amazing in this, and he won an Oscar for his performance, as he should have.

Amazing! Wow! This movie is unbelievable! I'll never forget this movie! It is my all-time favorite movie! It's number one! How is it number three? This is the only one out of the top three that won Best Picture! Its story is great. The ending of this film couldn't be better! Definitely the best!

3 Once Upon A Time In The West

GBU will go down as the quintessential western, and fair enough, it is an incredible film. However, three years after Leone made the best western, he made one better that I don't think can be topped. Sure, GBU has the best score, but that's about it. Acting, characters, cinematography, choreography, narrative, and scope are all greater. An intense, epic film that demonstrates the power of cinema and epitomizes everything great about westerns.

A great, haunting story. Three great acting performances by Bronson, Fonda, and Robards. Claudia Cardinale elevates this beyond GBU because of a female character equally as great as each of the male ones.

4 Tombstone

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday makes the movie great, but Kurt Russell plays Wyatt Earp well. Overall, Tombstone is the best western. It came out at a time when westerns were not the genre of movie, and it completely surpassed "Wyatt Earp" with Kevin Costner. Not to mention, the shootout at the O.K. Corral was a monumental event in the West. This movie not only depicts it but relives it. Try and name a better western. You're a daisy if you do.

This is my third favorite western. Great story and great acting, but the primary reason I love this movie is the libertarian sense of life projected by Wyatt Earp and the girl he wins at the end. They are not primarily after law and order, revenge, or duty. No! Life is an adventure to be lived to the fullest extent!

5 The Magnificent Seven

Translates the story of Seven Samurai rather nicely. Only a handful of characters receive any complexity, like Horst Buchholz's Chico, but it's entertaining enough, and Elmer Bernstein's score is lovely.

Great tale of a group of good people doing questionable things to save their town. My favorite performance has to be Chris Pratt.

The old version is way better than the 2016 reboot (in my opinion).

6 A Fistful of Dollars

"The Good, the Bad & the Ugly," "Once Upon a Time in the West," and "A Fistful of Dollars." Those are the top three, hands down. The rest trail far behind!

7 For a Few Dollars More

One of the best, if not the best, endings ever. Leone was forever going against typecasting. Lee Van Cleef as a hero was a masterstroke. Eastwood was his usual cool, deadly self.

Should definitely make the top 5 best westerns of all time.

This is, for me, the best western of all time.

8 The Searchers

Like Hombre, this film took a close look at racism and the hatred behind the U.S. systemic genocide of Native Americans. John Wayne played a very unlikeable main character. Wayne and director John Ford at their best.

Huge John Wayne fan. The performance of a lifetime. A film that is, scene for scene, a true definition of movie perfection. The number one western of all time. The number one character study ever. The number one film with the most glorious cinematography ever captured on film.

Obviously, a lot of people haven't seen this masterpiece. John Wayne's BEST performance, hands down. It's an epic that stands the test of time.

9 The Outlaw Josey Wales

This is Eastwood's best film - better even than Unforgiven. It is epic in nature and illustrates that people from different cultures could live together while maintaining everyone's dignity.

Clint is the icon of Western films, even surpassing John Wayne. This is my favorite Western of all time.

Vote for this movie, or Wales is gonna send you on a Missouri boat ride.

10 Django Unchained

Django is in my top 3 Tarantino films, next to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Pulp Fiction. My favorite performance has to be Christoph Waltz.

This is the craziest western movie that I've ever watched.

The Contenders
11 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The best chemistry I've ever seen between two leads. Redford and Newman are incredible in this movie.

Excellent western. I'm surprised it is not in the top 10 - it should be!

The ending was the greatest ending.

12 Dances with Wolves

Great movie told from a Native American perspective. Great score and scenery. The plains are the star.

A masterpiece. As good as, if not better than, the book.

Told a very sad but true story of the West.

13 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
14 High Noon

High Noon is the best western because of the simplicity of its conflict and the clarity of its themes. "Do Not Forsake Me, O My Darlin'" is a perfect theme song because it is essential to the story. Grace Kelly initially forsakes Gary Cooper but ultimately returns to kill one of the outlaws and save him from certain death.

Single-handedly created the illusion of the one-on-one street gunfight at noon on Main Street happening in the Old West all the time. In fact, it never happened once in documented history.

15 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

This is my second favorite western. Like Gone with the Wind - in which Ashley represents the Old South and Rhett represents the New South - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance uses characters that represent ideas. John Wayne represents the Old West, and Jimmy Stewart represents the New West. There is also a love triangle in each movie where the woman leaves the Old for the New. Brilliantly constructed plot and great acting!

Even though Wayne and Stewart were a tad old for their roles, this film is just outstanding! Sure, I think The Searchers and Unforgiven are the top two, but this film at number 20 is way too low. It's a top ten western without a doubt.

16 Pale Rider

Really good movie! Clint Eastwood played this to perfection.

Authentic scenery and true down-to-earth meaning of a western.

17 There Will Be Blood
18 The Cowboys

I remember the first time I watched this. I felt so bad for Bruce Dern. He was the most hated man in America for killing John Wayne, and that jumpstarted his career.

19 Shane

This is the best western ever made. It has to be Alan Ladd's most iconic character role that captured it best. A reformed gunfighter must revert to save those he loves and rid the valley of the corruptive effects of guns and power. Shows the power of the rugged individualism needed on the frontier for nation-building.

This is the greatest western ever made. Shows how hard frontier living was, coupled with the greed and corruption of the time. Alan Ladd's performance is a thing of understated perfection, and Jack Palance is the most menacing of bad guys. The whole movie is perfect from start to finish.

20 The Quick and the Dead
21 Stagecoach

This movie changed cinema forever.

22 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
23 The Wild Bunch

The end of that movie was insanely badass!

24 A Man Called Horse
25 Young Guns

Best soundtrack of any western.

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