Western Movies is one of those genres of Hollywood that has been the stepping stone, a steady pillar that you cannot just erase from the past. This genre has been reinvented time and time again with some of the all-time classics.
It helped redefine the film industry and make it what it is today. Some of the legendary actors like Clint Eastwood and Robert Taylor were the gift of this beautiful genre. Though, I must specify that it was quite men driven. The masculinity of a man wearing a cowboy dress, that’s what Western movies are all about.
Best Western Movies To Watch
In recent times, Western movies are not as popular as back in the days, but some of the streaming giants including Netflix and HBO are trying to bring the genre back on the map. Ballads of Buster Scruggs is one of the best examples of that. It even earned two nominations at Academy Awards – one was for the Best Writing Adapted Screenplay and the other one was for Best Costume Design.
All-in-all, I want to say that the genre is picking up the pace and we are bound to see some more magnificent pieces of work come our way. But, before you dive into today’s narrative of the Western culture and the Westerns you must know about the iconic films ever made in this genre.
Today, we are counting down our 10 best picks for Western movies. Keep reading to know them all.
Once Upon a Time in the West
Starting off with this movie is like honoring this list. Once Upon a Time in the West is the name of the masterpiece created by Sergio Leone is a classic tale of Westerns.
The movie revolves around a stranger who teams up with a desperate man who had a mission to save a widow from an evil, Henry Fonda. Many regard this as a slow-paced film, but it indeed redefined the genre completely.
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Directed by John Ford, this classic confused many Americans because they were unsure which side they should pick. The movie tells the story of an Indian-hating Civil War veteran who goes on a mission to save his family and niece from an Indian tribe.
Though, the racism this movie deals with is something you will never be able to remove from your head. Otherwise, you must watch this movie once in a lifetime.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The one with diverse opinions. I know many of you may not think this is a top 10 movie, but we think this is. The movie is a long tale of Robert Ford who joins the gang of Jesse James, a mid-30s leader of a gang whom he loved since his childhood. But somehow things change as gang disrupts and clashes begin to happen.
The movie is then stormed into the worst nightmare when Robert decides to kill his own idol Jesse, the man is unaware and feeding the snake, who would write an end that nobody could’ve thought about.
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The Wild Bunch
Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch is a gruesome, brutal and never-before-seen tale of four aging outlaws, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Dyan, and William Oates, who have one more robbery left in them before they could retire as the outlaws of their generation.
The film and especially Sam Peckinpah’s direction are considered revolutionary factors in shaping the violent and brutal shooting scenes in the film industry.
And, the first Clint Eastwood movie makes the list. After Dances of Wolves took home seven Academy Awards two years before, a lot of expectations were on Unforgiven to repeat the history and well, it didn’t disappoint.
Unforgiven went on to win three major awards, Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor. The movie tells the story of a widower who has given up everything after his marriage and he is encountered by a guy who brings him an interesting offer. Morgan Freeman also delivered a mind-blowing performance in the film.
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Easily the best Western movie ever made, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, tells the story of two men who form a group to find treasures, but the biggest obstacle in their goal is an outlaw who also wants to make a fortune for himself.
It is said that Clint Eastwood gave his best performance in the film and is also a big part of his legacy. Like every Western movie, this one was also targetted for its length, but director Sergio Leone justifies it brilliantly.
True Grit (1969)
No, not 2010 one but 1969 one. This John Wayne classic tells the story of a girl whose father is murdered by a man. She then seeks help from a man (John Wayne) to get revenge.
They both set out on an adventurous journey and then meet a man (Glen Campbell), who also joins them to find the man who murdered the girl’s father. The movie is an adventurous and gruesome tale that you must see.
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For a Few Dollars More
For many, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars are better films than this one, but Clint Eastwood said in his biography that this is the best one in the trilogy.
Directed by Sergio Leone, For a Few Dollars More tells the story of a man and a colonel who join hands to find a most wanted criminal. They decide to split the reward. Though, the only thing that lacks in the movie is a strong narrative.
The Magnificent Seven
Yes, the movie with the similar name was released in 2016, but it didn’t live up to the heights of this 1960 classic. The movie follows an experienced gunslinger who forms a group of six more men, who all have different purposes in their lives, to save a Michigan town from a group of bandits.
John Sturges not only created one of the best Western movies but also gave the world-famous Western theme songs.
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When you think about Western movies, you don’t imagine women having an upper-hand, but Cat Ballou proves everyone wrong.
The film tells the story of a young girl who after returning home finds out that the Wolf City Development Corporation has plans of taking her father’s ranch. She then takes on them to right for her father’s rights. It’s a must-watch movie, but there are many comedic elements to it.
So these are some of the classic and all-time best western movies which you can watch right away. Many of them are available on the streaming partners otherwise available for purchase from digital libraries.