Best Western Movies Based on Historical Events or People

We all love a good western movie don't we? They are action packed and often end in revenge and retribution at the hands of the hero. Most Westerns are obviously fictional, but here is a list of western movies based on true stories and historical events.
The Top Ten
1 Tombstone

The film is loosely based on events in Tombstone, Arizona, including the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Earp Vendetta Ride, during the 1880s. It depicts several Western outlaws and lawmen, such as the Earp brothers, William Brocius, Johnny Ringo, and Doc Holliday.

The OK Corral gunfight might actually be the most well-known event to have happened in the Wild West.

2 The Alamo

The Alamo, starring John Wayne as Davy Crockett, offers a generally accurate look at how the sacrifice of a few patriots ultimately led to the creation of the new Republic of Texas.

3 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

The movie is based on a book of the same name by Dee Brown. This 1970 non-fiction book covers the history of Native Americans in the American West in the late nineteenth century. Be warned, though, this movie is not for the faint of heart.

I watched this movie a few years ago, and you are right. This movie is not for the faint of heart. It is, at times, very sad and makes you think a lot about the natives and what we did to them.

4 Hatfields & McCoys

Hatfields & McCoys is a 2012 American three-part Western television miniseries based on the Hatfield - McCoy feud, which involved two rural American families of the West Virginia - Kentucky area along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River from 1863 to 1891.

This three-part movie is action-packed. If you love Western movies like me, you'll enjoy this.

5 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The true story of the famous outlaws, members of the Wild Bunch, inspired the 1969 movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.

6 Jeremiah Johnson

I like this movie, although it is loosely based on the real-life John "Liver Eating" Johnson. A very good and accurate account of his life during this time can be found in the book Crow Killer.

7 The Revenant
8 Geronimo: An American Legend

While this movie isn't completely historically accurate, it provides a realistic glimpse into what Geronimo and many others went through following the expansion of the United States into the Southwest.

9 Free State of Jones

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Free State of Jones is a 2016 American historical war film inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his armed revolt against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi, throughout the American Civil War.

I watched it on Netflix. Very good.

10 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

As the title suggests, the movie is based on the events of Jesse James' last bank robbery and death at the hands of Robert Ford.

The Contenders
11 Wyatt Earp (1994)

Wyatt Earp is a 1994 American biographical Western film covering the lawman of the same name's life, from an Iowa farm boy to a feared marshal, to the feud in Tombstone, Arizona, that led to the O.K. Corral gunfight.

12 Young Guns

Young Guns is a retelling of the adventures of Billy the Kid during the Lincoln County War, which took place in New Mexico in 1877 - 78.

13 The Searchers

The film was based on a novel by Alan LeMay, who, in turn, based his book on the true-life story of Cynthia Ann Parker. As a nine-year-old girl, Parker was abducted by Comanche Indians from her prairie home in 1836 Texas.

A classic. I didn't know it was based on a true story though. That's cool.

14 True History of the Kelly Gang

A film loosely based on Ned Kelly and his gang of bushrangers. It is different from the other films on this list as it takes place in Australia.

15 Stolen Women, Captured Hearts

The film stars Janine Turner as Anna Morgan, a woman living on the plains of Kansas in 1868 who is kidnapped by a band of Lakota Indians. The story is loosely based on the real Anna Morgan, who was taken by Cheyenne Indians for approximately one year before being returned to her husband.

Their marriage was not a happy one, and Anna is reportedly quoted as saying, "I often wished they had never found me." I recommend checking the movie's Wikipedia page for more information.

16 Titanic
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