Top 10 Best Western Movies

Choosing the best western movies ever made is a subject of hot debate. Some people base the decision on box office receipts while others base it on critical acclaim. However, to truly determine the best western movies, you need to take all factors into account. Among the best of the best are the following ten films.

  1. The Great Train Robbery, 1903. Though this short tale of a train robbery is dull by today's standards, it was the first western movie ever made and revolutionizing both the technical and artistic aspects of the movie making world.
  1. Red River, 1948. Starring John Wayne, the long tale involves two friends going out west and cattle ranching. It's an epic story and a classic John Wayne performance. It balances dramatic and somber aspects without overdoing things.
  1. High Noon, 1952. Starring Gary Cooper, the film tells the tale of a sheriff who learns that a man he sent to prison is coming for revenge. At first he runs away, but eventually returns for the fight. The intense drama forgoes the need for special effects. It is a stoic and engaging story that focuses on excellent acting.
  1. The Searchers, 1956. Starring John Wayne, the story is about a man who searches for his niece who has been kidnapped by Indians. The film focuses on the story and acting, though there is some action as well. It displays all the classic qualities of a true western movie while managing to throw in a little humor.
  1. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 1967. Starring Clint Eastwood, the tale involves three men racing to find a treasure. It's brutal, funny, intense and a classic "spaghetti western." The unpredictable nature of the story and quintessential Clint Eastwood performance combine to create a fantastic film.
  1. The Wild Bunch, 1969. Starring William Holden, is a story about some aging outlaws and their last big job. It's an action packed tale that was rather bloody considering the year of its release. It helped push the boundaries of the western genre, focusing on the real grit of outlaw life. The acting is exceptional and the entire cast combines flawlessly to create a powerful tale.
  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969. Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the story revolves around the two men and their "Hole in the wall" gang of robbers. The screenplay is excellent and the movie combines humor, action and suspense perfectly. The ending of the story has an overwhelming impact that helps keep the film forever popular.
  1. Dances with Wolves, 1990. Starring Kevin Costner, the tale is about a civil war officer sent to the frontier, where he ends up befriending the local Indian tribe. The movie is not only wonderfully written, it shows a very realistic side of life on the frontier. Though action packed, it also focuses more on compassion than it does on violence.
  1. Unforgiven, 1992. Starring Clint Eastwood, the film tells the tale of three men who decide to pursue a bounty for two wanted cowboys. The movie offers an intense tale with intense acting and a very intense ending. From the cinematography to the basic editing, every aspect of the movie is an individual piece of art.
  1.  No Country for Old Men, 2007. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, this modern western is the story of the trouble that ensues after a hunter stumbles upon dead bodies. The stunning tale invokes all the aspects of a classic western while incorporating contemporary issues. The movie has you riveted from beginning to end with not only the script, but the performances and cinematography as well.
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