You know, western movies always bring to my mind one thing―dust. Oh, they also bring to mind horses, Stetson's, spurs, and 'Yee haw's', but through it all, there's dust. The horses are dusty, the roads are dusty, the bars, and well, the men, they're dusty too, and so much the hotter for it! There's something about men and horses that's intrinsic to westerns, as are gunslingers, damsels in distress, and the wilderness that most relate with the wild west―so whether it's the honorable nomadic cowboy that catches your fancy, or the quicksilver gun-slinging that's your favorite part, there ain't no denying, that western movies have more than their fair share of je ne sais quois.
With their fearless heroes that embody the complex, stoic character that you can't take your eyes off, to the vast expanse of barren beauty that is the wild west, there's a reason that westerns spawned a genre of their own. Take a look at some of the top western movies listed below.
High Noon, is one of those rare movies that garner universal appeal. A classic western with a tight knit script, brilliant screen play, and incredible performances, this movie had Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, and Lloyd Bridges come together in one of the most powerful movies of all time. High Noon, isn't just an entry on this list―it's a classic movie, period.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
No top 10 western movies list should bypass this unmissable film. If you haven't seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, stop what you're doing right now, and run out, get your hands on a DVD and watch it; the world can wait. The incredibly good looking Paul Newman and Robert Redford don't just steal hearts in this crazy, zany adventure, they do it with style, more so because they make you laugh, and how many westerns can do that?
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston star in this film that travels through the miles that are covered in the hunt for treasure and the change in character that money can, and inevitably does bring. Bandits, rogues, loot and chases galore, this movie, released in 1948, had all the trademarks of a good old western.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
A young, incredibly handsome Clint Eastwood, may have set hearts on fire with his portrayal of Blondie, in this iconic classic western movie released in 1966, but Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef more than just hold their own in this Spaghetti Western that makes it to any list of the best western movies of all time. Famous not only for its incredible direction, complex characterization, and brilliant performances, The Good, the Bad and The Ugly has one of the best background movie scores of all time, with the trademark tune still instantly recognizable more than 40 years after its release.
Released in 1950, what western movie list would be complete without the legendary John Wayne? In all his glory, Wayne stars alongside Maureen O'Hara in this epic adventure set in typical western style, against the backdrop of the American Civil War. Packed to the hilt with everything you could ask for in a true blue western, Apaches and all, Rio Grande makes its presence felt in a way that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
These were just five picks of the top western movies of all time, so once you're done with those, you could give some of the suggestions below a whirl:
- Dances with Wolves
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Searchers
- Little Big Man
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance
- The Magnificent Seven
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- No Country for Old Men
- Soldier Blue