Best Western film from the year you were born

June 8, 2020
Produzioni Europee Associate

Best Western film from the year you were born

The Western is one of the oldest genres of cinema, with many of the earliest big-screen adventures recounting tales of rough-and-tumble life in the Old West. The first Western film ever produced wasn’t made in the Wild West itself, but in the countryside of England. That short 1899 film, “Kidnapping by Indians,” was just a minute long (and filled with stereotypes about Native Americans, which had been conveyed through tales brought back to the U.K. by cotton workers).

That was followed up by 1903’s “The Great Train Robbery,” which was inspired by Butch Cassidy and is considered to be the movie that brought the genre into public view. Since then, these yarns have progressed from simply amusing stories about cowboys and Native Americans to deeply-compelling motion pictures in which the lines between lawman and outlaw are blurred. Westerns launched the careers of some of film history’s most iconic actors, including John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Clint Eastwood. And this genre inspired movies made all over the world—perhaps most famously seen in Italy’s Spaghetti Westerns, but also in films made in Korea, Russia, Germany, and beyond.

From silent films to recent Hollywood blockbusters, Stacker has put together a list of the best Western films—one representing each year since 1920. Data was pulled from IMDb (as of May 27, 2020), with the rankings based on user votes. Years without enough Westerns made were excluded. To make this list, movies had to be both the highest-rated Westerns in their given years and have more than 2,000 IMDb user votes.

Now it's time to giddy up and begin a journey through the years. Along the way, you will find not only the best Western film from the year you were born, but also a few ace-high Westerns with which you may have yet to be acquainted. Head 'em up and move 'em out, because this is one chronological hoedown that will turn even a tenderfoot into a true buckaroo.

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1 / 100
Douglas Fairbanks Pictures

1920: The Mark of Zorro

- Director: Rouben Mamoulian
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 94 min

Tyrone Power plays a swordsman who masquerades as a bandit in an effort to save California’s common folk from an oppressor (J. Edward Bromberg) in “The Mark of Zorro.” During his quest to restore justice, he falls in love with the oppressor’s daughter (Linda Darnell). The movie is a remake of a 1920 silent film by the same title, and has since led to the creation of various other movies and properties based on the character.

2 / 100
Mesco Pictures

1921: Jesse James as the Outlaw

- Director: Franklin B. Coates
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: data not available

“Jesse James as the Outlaw” depicts the title character (portrayed by his own son, Jesse James Jr.) as he returns to his Missouri home after the Civil War. His hopes for a quiet and peaceful life are dashed when he is falsely accused of robbing a bank and is branded an outlaw. The story was retold in 2007’s “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” in which Brad Pitt played the protagonist.

3 / 100
Fox Film Corporation

1922: Sky High

- Director: Lynn Reynolds
- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 58 min

In "Sky High," Tom Mix plays a government agent, whose investigation into the smuggling of undocumented Chinese workers across the border from Mexico takes him to the Grand Canyon. It is there that he crosses paths with a beautiful and mysterious young woman who happens to have ties to the illegal operation.

4 / 100
Paramount Pictures

1923: The Covered Wagon

- Director: James Cruze
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 98 min

J. Warren Kerrigan, Alan Hale, and Lois Wilson star in “The Covered Wagon,” a silent film in which a pair of wagon caravans converge in Kansas and embark on a trek toward Oregon. Along the way, they experience several challenging situations including sweltering heat, frigid snow, hunger, and an attack by Native Americans. However, the most challenging situation of all is the love triangle that develops. The movie was a passion project for producer Jesse L. Lasky, who, according to his son, saw it as an "opportunity to lift the Western, which had always been a rather low-budget kind of potboiler film, into an epic."

5 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corporation

1924: Greed

- Director: Erich von Stroheim
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 140 min

In “Greed,” Gibson Gowland plays a dentist whose fiancee (ZaSu Pitts) wins a $5,000 lottery. The situation spurs jealousy in the woman’s ex-boyfriend (Jean Hersholt), who reports the dentist for operating without a license. This sends the newlyweds into poverty and kickstarts a series of events that eventually leads to a murder and a final confrontation in Death Valley. Turner Entertainment reconstructed the silent film in 1999 to create an extended 250-minute version.

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6 / 100
Charles Chaplin Productions

1925: The Gold Rush

- Director: Charles Chaplin
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 95 min

In this silent comedy, Charlie Chaplin plays a prospector named Little Tramp who joins the Klondike Gold Rush, gets trapped in a blizzard with another prospector (Mack Swain) and a fugitive (Tom Murray), and falls for a barmaid (Georgia Hale). Some of the movie’s famous scenes include Chaplin making dinner rolls dance on the end of his forks, and another where he tries to eat a boiled shoe.

7 / 100
Buster Keaton Productions

1926: The General

- Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 67 min

Buster Keaton stars as a locomotive engineer in “The General,” a silent film inspired by the true story of the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase. Although initial critical reviews and box office returns were weak, Keaton maintained the motion picture was one of his favorite projects. The movie has since received acclaim from modern critics, who call it the “greatest comic epic of all time.”

8 / 100
Action Pictures

1927: The Desert of the Lost

- Director: Richard Thorpe
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 58 min

In “The Desert of the Lost,” Hal Taliaferro plays a man who, having shot someone in self-defense but being unable to prove it, flees to Mexico with a detective (Edward Cecil) in tow. Once there, he befriends the daughter (Peggy Montgomery) of a renegade American innkeeper (William Dyer) and defends her honor against her father and the bandit (Richard Neill) she is being forced to marry.

9 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1928: The Wind

- Director: Victor Sjöström
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 95 min

In “The Wind,” Lillian Gish plays an impoverished young woman from Virginia who moves in with her cousin (Edward Earle) in Texas and has trouble adapting to life in the Wild West. The silent film was originally set to end with Gish’s character being driven to insanity and wandering off into the desert. However, MGM ordered a happy ending before the movie’s release.

10 / 100
Universal Pictures

1929: Hell's Heroes

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 68 min

Directed by William Wyler (who also directed “Ben-Hur,” “The Best Years of Our Lives,” and “Funny Girl”), “Hell’s Heroes” chronicles a crew of bank robbers (Charles Bickford, Fred Kohler, and Raymond Hatton) who promise a dying woman they’ll take her son to his father—who just happens to be the bank cashier they killed. This film was originally released in two alternate formats: silent and “talkie.”

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11 / 100
Fox Film Corporation

1930: The Big Trail

- Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 125 min

John Wayne’s first big role came with “The Big Trail,” playing a fur trapper who seeks revenge for his friend’s death and takes to the Oregon Trail to track the potential killers. Director Raoul Walsh told Wayne, then an inexperienced actor, that he only had to “sit good on a horse and point.” Though the Library of Congress deemed the film of historical importance, it wasn’t the film that launched Wayne to mega-stardom; credit for that goes to 1939’s “Stagecoach.”

12 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

1931: Cimarron

- Directors: Anthony Mann, Charles Walters
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 147 min

The plot of “Cimarron” spans 40 years, beginning with the Oklahoma land rush of 1889. A newspaperman (Richard Dix) and his young wife (Irene Dunne) move to the town of Osage. They begin a life there, one marked by outlaws, conflict, and oil drilling. In recent years, the film has come under fire for its portrayal of racist stereotypes.

13 / 100
Leon Schlesinger Studios

1932: Haunted Gold

- Directors: Mack V. Wright, Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising
- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 58 min

“Haunted Gold” is a remake of “The Phantom City,” a 1928 film featuring Western star Ken Maynard and his famous white stallion Tarzan. The story follows John Mason (John Wayne) and Janet Carter (Sheila Terry), a pair who receive a mysterious letter that promises a stake of gold if they go to an abandoned mine in a ghost town.

14 / 100
Mary Pickford Company

1933: Secrets

- Director: Frank Borzage
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 90 min

“Secrets” tells the story of a New England debutante (played by Mary Pickford) who accompanies her husband (Leslie Howard) to California on a quest to build a fortune and a family. Once there, the couple is challenged with the Wild West’s way of life, but finds success and happiness nonetheless. A remake of a 1924 silent film by the same name, Pickford was originally set to star in an adaptation three years earlier, but was unhappy with the results and ordered the footage to be destroyed.

15 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1934: Viva Villa!

- Directors: Jack Conway, Howard Hawks, William A. Wellman
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 115 min

This fictional retelling of the life of Pancho Villa stars Wallace Beery as Villa, and Fay Wray, fresh off of “King Kong,” as a character named Teresa. The movie opens in 1880s Mexico with a young Villa avenging his father’s death, and spans his entire life through to his assassination. At the time, the film was criticized for its violence—not for the fact that its plot strays far from reality.

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16 / 100
20th Century Pictures

1935: Call of the Wild

- Director: William A. Wellman
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 89 min

Based on the classic Jack London novel, “Call of the Wild” features Clarke Gable playing Jack Thornton, a man who travels through Alaska during the brutal Klondike Gold Rush in 1900. The film famously features Thornton’s trusty St. Bernard, Buck. The movie was filmed at Mt. Baker, Washington, during a particularly harsh winter. There have since been many film and TV adaptations of London’s famous novel.

17 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1936: Three Godfathers

- Director: Richard Boleslawski
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 81 min

“Three Godfathers” stars Chester Morris, Lewis Stone, and Walter Brennan as outlaws who rob a bank and retreat to the desert. Once there, the fugitives find a wagon with a dying mother and her baby, for which they are suddenly tasked with caring. The movie was remade in 1948 by director John Ford, with John Wayne in a leading role.

18 / 100
Hal Roach Studios

1937: Way Out West

- Director: James W. Horne
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 65 min

William Haines plays a carnival barker who cons a group of cowboys out of their money in “Way Out West.” When his con is discovered, the cowboys force him to work off his debt on their ranch, where he falls in love with its owner (Leila Hyams), who is also the love interest of the ranch foreman (Francis X. Bushman Jr.). Haines was one of MGM's top stars when "Way Out West" was released, and though his movie career would end just a few years later, he is now remembered as Hollywood's first openly-gay celebrity.

19 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1938: Of Human Hearts

- Director: Clarence Brown
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 103 min

This film adaptation of the book, “Benefits Forgot,” this movie chronicles a family comprised of a preacher father (Walter Huston), a kind mother (Beulah Bondi), and a petulant son named Jason, who is played by a young James Stewart—more famously known as Jimmy Stewart. When Jason goes off to fight in the Civil War, abandoning his mother without writing to her for years, President Lincoln himself (John Carradine) tells the young man he’s ungrateful and inspires him to return home.

20 / 100
United Artists // Wikimedia Commons

1939: Stagecoach

- Director: John Ford
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 93
- Runtime: 96 min

A group of strangers rides a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory in “Stagecoach.” John Wayne and Claire Trevor lead a cast that also includes Thomas Mitchell, Louise Platt, and Donald Meek, with Andy Devine playing the stage driver and George Bancroft playing his shotgun guard. Director John Ford was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film, which was also nominated for Best Picture and scored a Best Supporting Actor win for Mitchell.

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21 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

1940: The Mark of Zorro

- Director: Rouben Mamoulian
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 94 min

Tyrone Power plays a swordsman who masquerades as a bandit in an effort to save California’s common folk from an oppressor (J. Edward Bromberg) in “The Mark of Zorro.” During his quest to restore justice, he falls in love with the oppressor’s daughter (Linda Darnell). The movie is a remake of a 1920 silent film by the same title, and has since led to the creation of various other movies and properties based on the character.

22 / 100
Warner Bros.

1941: They Died with Their Boots On

- Director: Raoul Walsh
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 140 min

“They Died with Their Boots On” is a fictionalized account of the life of General George Custer, beginning with his training at West Point United States Military Academy, continuing through his time in the American Civil War, and culminating with his death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. General Custer was portrayed by Errol Flynn in this, his last of eight roles opposite actress Olivia de Havilland.

23 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

1942: The Ox-Bow Incident

- Director: William A. Wellman
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 75 min

In “The Ox-Bow Incident,” members of a posse capture three men suspected of killing a local farmer and debate whether or not to lynch them. Henry Fonda plays one of the members of the posse, while Dana Andrews plays one of the men suspected of murder. Other stars include Mary Beth Hughes, Harry Morgan, Harry Davenport, Frank Conroy, William Eythe, George Meeker, Anthony Quinn, and Francis Ford (brother of film director John Ford).

24 / 100
Republic Pictures

1943: In Old Oklahoma

- Director: Albert S. Rogell
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 102 min

John Wayne and Martha Scott star in the film “In Old Oklahoma,” about a former Rough Rider for Theodore Roosevelt and a schoolteacher-turned-romance-novelist. The film was reissued with the title “War of the Wildcats.” The movie was nominated for Oscars for both its music score and for its sound recording.

25 / 100
RKO Radio Pictures

1944: Tall in the Saddle

- Director: Edwin L. Marin
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 87 min

Starring John Wayne, “Tall in the Saddle” tells the story of a quiet cowboy who arrives in Arizona to begin his new job as a ranch hand, only to discover that his employer has been murdered. Ella Raines plays Wayne’s love interest, the fiery owner of a neighboring ranch, and other stars include Ward Bond, George “Gabby” Hayes, Audrey Long, Elisabeth Risdon, and Don Douglas.

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26 / 100
International Pictures

1945: Along Came Jones

- Director: Stuart Heisler
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 90 min

In “Along Came Jones,” Gary Cooper plays an easygoing man who is mistaken for an outlaw. Meanwhile, the real criminal (Dan Duryea) hides out in the home of his girlfriend (Loretta Young), who slowly but surely develops feelings for Cooper’s character. It is the only film for which Cooper served as a producer during his long movie career.

27 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

1946: My Darling Clementine

- Director: John Ford
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 97 min

“My Darling Clementine” starred Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp, who takes a job as the sheriff of Tombstone, Arizona, in an effort to bring in the men who stole his family’s cattle and killed his brother. John Ford directed the motion picture, which was inspired by the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The cast also included Victor Mature, Linda Darnell, Walter Brennan, Tim Holt, Cathy Downs, and Ward Bond.

28 / 100
United States Pictures

1947: Pursued

- Director: Raoul Walsh
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 101 min

In “Pursued,” Robert Mitchum plays a man who is haunted by the memory of the night his whole family was murdered. Having grown up with a neighboring family, he falls in love with his adoptive sister (Teresa Wright), much to the dismay of her brother (John Rodney) and dangerous uncle (Dean Jagger). Film historians refer to the film as the first “psychological” Western.

29 / 100
Warner Bros.

1948: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

- Director: John Huston
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 98
- Runtime: 126 min

In “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt play unemployed drifters who convince an old prospector (Walter Huston) to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Huston won an Academy Award for his performance in the film, as did his son John for his writing and directing duties. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture, but it lost to “Hamlet.”

30 / 100
Argosy Pictures

1949: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

- Director: John Ford
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 104 min

John Wayne plays an aging U.S. Calvary captain who, on the eve of retirement, takes out one final patrol to stop an impending attack by Native Americans, in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.” Director John Ford initially did not want to cast Wayne as the motion picture’s protagonist, due to the age difference between the actor and the character. However, once production had completed, Ford was far and away impressed with Wayne’s performance—as was Wayne himself.

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31 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

1950: The Gunfighter

- Director: Henry King
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 85 min

Gregory Peck is Jimmy Ringo, a gunslinger haunted by the cycle of violence perpetrated by his very existence. Though the script was written with John Wayne in mind, he turned it down because he refused to work for Columbia Pictures. The film is considered a classic, in part, because it was among the first in the subgenre of “psychological Westerns,” which prized character development over action scenes.

32 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1951: Westward the Women

- Director: William A. Wellman
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 118 min

In “Westward the Women,” Robert Taylor plays a wagon master who is hired to escort 140 women from Chicago to a ranching community in California, to marry the men who live there. Along the way, he falls in love with one of the women looking to start a new life (Denise Darcel). Frank Capra, who wrote the story, was originally set to direct the film himself, with Gary Cooper in the lead. However, Capra later sold the story to his neighbor, William A. Wellman.

33 / 100
Stanley Kramer Productions

1952: High Noon

- Director: Fred Zinnemann
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 89
- Runtime: 85 min

Gary Cooper plays a town marshal who resigns his post to please his new wife (Grace Kelly) in “High Noon.” However, as the town is threatened by the arrival of an outlaw and the new marshal fails to show up, Cooper’s character makes plans to face the foe himself at high noon. Cooper scored an Academy Award for his performance in the film, which won a total of four out of the seven Oscars for which it was nominated.

34 / 100
Paramount Pictures

1953: Shane

- Director: George Stevens
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 118 min

In “Shane,” Alan Ladd plays a weary gunfighter whose hopes of settling down with a family are dashed when a settler/rancher conflict forces him to take action. Brandon De Wilde and Jack Palance earned Academy Award nominations for their supporting performances in the film, and director George Stevens and screenwriter A.B. Guthrie, Jr. were also nominated. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture, but ultimately walked away with just one Oscar, for cinematography.

35 / 100
Republic Pictures

1954: Johnny Guitar

- Director: Nicholas Ray
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 83
- Runtime: 110 min

In “Johnny Guitar,” Joan Crawford plays a strong-willed saloon owner who helps a wounded gang member (Sterling Hayden), but is then framed for murder and bank robbery by a rival rancher (Mercedes McCambridge). Film historians claim the movie is particularly notable because it reverses the roles of the standard Western.

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36 / 100
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1955: Bad Day at Black Rock

- Director: John Sturges
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 81 min

Spencer Tracy stars in “Bad Day at Black Rock” as a one-armed veteran who arrives in an isolated desert town only to discover that its residents will go to violent lengths to keep its past a secret. Tracy earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the film, while John Sturges and Millard Kaufman scored nominations for their direction and writing, respectively.

37 / 100
C.V. Whitney Pictures

1956: The Searchers

- Director: John Ford
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 119 min

In “The Searchers,” John Wayne plays a Civil War veteran who tracks down the Native American tribe that slaughtered his family and abducted his niece (Natalie Wood). The movie was a financial success, but it failed to score any Academy Award nominations. However, it has since been the subject of several documentaries and earned a score of accolades, including a place at the top of the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 best Western films ever made.

38 / 100
Columbia Pictures Corporation

1957: 3:10 to Yuma

- Director: Delmer Daves
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 92 min

In “3:10 to Yuma,” Van Heflin plays a broke rancher who is hired for the simple task of putting a captured outlaw (Glenn Ford) on the 3:10 train to Yuma. However, things get far more complicated for him when the outlaw’s gang makes an attempt to free him. Ford was originally tapped to play the protagonist, but turned down the role for a chance to try his hand as the film’s villain. The movie was remade in 2007, with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in Heflin’s and Ford’s roles, respectively.

39 / 100
United Artists

1958: The Big Country

- Director: William Wyler
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 166 min

Gregory Peck plays a Maryland shipping magnate and former sea captain who travels west only to become embroiled in two families’ feud over a patch of land in “The Big Country.” Other key cast members include Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, and Burl Ives, the last of whom won an Academy Award for his supporting performance in the film.

40 / 100
Warner Bros.

1959: Rio Bravo

- Director: Howard Hawks
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 141 min

In “Rio Bravo,” John Wayne plays a small-town sheriff who enlists the help of a handicapped man (Walter Brennan), an alcoholic (Dean Martin), and a young gunslinger (Ricky Nelson) in an effort to keep the brother of a ruthless cattle baron behind bars. Angie Dickinson, Ward Bond, John Russell, and Claude Akins round out the cast. Wayne and director Howard Hawks later collaborated on two companion pieces to the motion picture: 1967’s “El Dorado” and 1970’s “Rio Lobo.”

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41 / 100
Mirisch Company

1960: The Magnificent Seven

- Director: John Sturges
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 74
- Runtime: 128 min

Seven American gunmen join together in an effort to protect a Mexican peasant village from bandits in “The Magnificent Seven,” a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese film “Seven Samurai.” The movie’s all-star cast includes Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, and Horst Buchholz. The property spawned three sequels, a 1990s television series, and a 2016 remake.

42 / 100
Seven Arts Productions

1961: The Misfits

- Director: John Huston
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 125 min

Marilyn Monroe stars in “The Misfits” as a divorcée who falls in love with an aging cowboy used to a life free from romantic entanglements (Clark Gable). The movie was both Monroe’s and Gable’s final film. Gable suffered a fatal heart attack less than two weeks after production ended, and Monroe died of a drug overdose just over a year later.

43 / 100
Paramount Pictures

1962: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

- Director: John Ford
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Metascore: 94
- Runtime: 123 min

“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” marked James Stewart and John Wayne’s first pairing on the big screen. Stewart played a senator famous for shooting a notorious outlaw. He attends the funeral of a rancher (Wayne) and recounts the true story of the incident. Unlike many other Westerns of the era, the movie was shot and released in black and white instead of in color.

44 / 100
Salem-Dover Productions

1963: Hud

- Director: Martin Ritt
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 62
- Runtime: 112 min

Paul Newman headlines as Hud Bannon, a heavy-drinking, womanizing man angling to seize control of his father’s cattle business. Patricia Neal won an Academy Award for her lead role as a housekeeper, and actor Melvyn Douglas won for his supporting role as Newman’s aging father. Chinese American cinematographer James Wong Howe also won one of his two Oscars for his camerawork on this film.

45 / 100
Jolly Film

1964: A Fistful of Dollars

- Director: Sergio Leone
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 65
- Runtime: 99 min

Spaghetti Westerns became popularized with this Clint Eastwood film, directed by Italian Sergio Leone. “A Fistful of Dollars” birthed Eastwood’s famous character, the “Man with No Name,” which he went on to play in “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Interestingly, the film was an unlicensed remake of the Japanese samurai film “Yojimbo”; director Akira Kurosawa successfully sued in return for a portion of the film’s rights.

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46 / 100
Produzioni Europee Associate

1965: For a Few Dollars More

- Director: Sergio Leone
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Metascore: 74
- Runtime: 132 min

The second part in the “Man with No Name” trilogy, Eastwood returns as a bounty hunter on the hunt for a villainous bank robber. “For a Few Dollars More” was an international co-production between Italy, Spain, and West Germany. Eastwood’s character wears the same poncho throughout the trilogy—a close viewing reveals bullet holes and mended sections from “wounds” inflicted during the first film.

47 / 100
Produzioni Europee Associate

1966: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

- Director: Sergio Leone
- IMDb user rating: 8.8
- Metascore: 90
- Runtime: 178 min

In “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef play men who form an uneasy alliance in an effort to track down a fortune in gold that has been buried in a cemetery. Its theme song is widely considered one of the most-recognizable and popular movie themes of all time, even climbing as high as #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

48 / 100
Paramount Pictures

1967: El Dorado

- Director: Howard Hawks
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 126 min

A companion piece to 1959’s “Rio Bravo,” “El Dorado” starred John Wayne and Robert Mitchum as a gunslinger and a sheriff, who join forces with a Native American and a gambler to help a rancher fight a rival who is trying to steal his water. The movie’s cast also includes James Caan, who was reportedly unaware until seeing the film that his part was intended to be comic relief.

49 / 100
Rafran Cinematografica

1968: Once Upon a Time in the West

- Director: Sergio Leone
- IMDb user rating: 8.5
- Metascore: 80
- Runtime: 165 min

A mail-order bride played by Claudia Cardinale arrives in Arizona to discover that her new husband has been killed by a gunman (Henry Fonda). He was hired by a mogul (Gabriele Ferzetti) who wants the land this distraught bride has inadvertently inherited. When another gunman played by Charles Bronson comes on the scene—carrying a vendetta against Fonda’s character—the three personalities become entangled, and violence ensues. Fonda famously plays against type in this film, taking on a villainous role.

50 / 100
Twentieth Century Fox

1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

- Director: George Roy Hill
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 66
- Runtime: 110 min

In “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” Paul Newman and Robert Redford play the title characters, the leaders of a band of outlaws. When their attempt to rob a train goes awry, they find themselves on the run with the hope of escaping to Bolivia. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It ultimately won four of those awards, including Best Original Song for Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head.”

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51 / 100
Lenfilm Studio

1970: White Sun of the Desert

- Director: Vladimir Motyl
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 84 min

“White Sun of the Desert” breaks the mold for Western films, taking place amid the Russian Civil War. Set in what’s now Turkmenistan, a Red Army soldier (played by Anatoly Kuznetsov) travels home, only to be caught up in a melee between the Red Army and Basmachi guerillas in the desert. Russian astronauts are known to watch the film before preparing for liftoff, as a sort of good luck ritual.

52 / 100
Rafran Cinematografica

1971: Duck, You Sucker!

- Director: Sergio Leone
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 77
- Runtime: 138 min

This is the second of Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time” trilogy, and is set amid the Mexican Revolution. A Mexican outlaw (Rod Steiger) and Fenian revolutionary (and explosives expert) form an unexpected friendship, team up to rob a bank, and become heroes of the Revolution. The Spaghetti Western was largely filmed in Andalusia.

53 / 100
Svensk Filmindustri (SF)

1972: The New Land

- Director: Jan Troell
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 102 min

This is part of a Swedish epic, which takes place over two movies and tells the story of a farming family that immigrates to America. “The New Land” followed “The Emigrants,” focusing on the family’s life in Minnesota. Lead actor Max von Sydow would later become famous for “The Exorcist,” while his co-star Liv Ullman became known as a muse of director Ingmar Bergman.

54 / 100
Universal Pictures

1973: High Plains Drifter

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 105 min

Clint Eastwood directed and starred in “High Plains Drifter,” a revisionist Western in which a mysterious gunslinger arrives in a small settlement and helps its residents hold off three approaching outlaws. Eastwood drew much of his inspiration for the direction of the film from his previous collaborations with directors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, and he gives them an honorary nod during the movie’s final scene, in which their names can be seen on tombstones in a graveyard.

55 / 100
Crossbow Productions

1974: Blazing Saddles

- Director: Mel Brooks
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 93 min

In “Blazing Saddles,” Harvey Korman plays a corrupt politician who convinces a dimwitted governor (Mel Brooks) to appoint a black railroad worker (Cleavon Little) as the new sheriff of an Old West town in an effort to create chaos. An alcoholic gunslinger (Gene Wilder), however, helps the new sheriff beat the odds and bring law and order to the town. Madeline Kahn earned an Academy Award nomination for her supporting performance in the comedic Western, which was also nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Original Song.

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56 / 100
Hal Wallis Productions

1975: Rooster Cogburn

- Director: Stuart Millar
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 108 min

In “Rooster Cogburn,” John Wayne stars as the title character, an aging U.S. Marshal who joins a minister’s daughter (Katharine Hepburn) on a quest to track down the band of outlaws who killed her father. Wayne reprised the character he originally played in 1969’s “True Grit”—a role for which he won his only Academy Award.

57 / 100
Warner Bros.

1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 135 min

In “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” Clint Eastwood plays a peaceful farmer who joins a Confederate guerrilla unit when his family is murdered by Union soldiers during the Civil War. After the war, he is branded an outlaw and pursued by bounty hunters. Eastwood directed the film himself after firing writer and director Philip Kaufman, who adapted the story from a book written by half-Cherokee poet Forrest Carter.

58 / 100
Devon Film

1977: A Man Called Blade

- Director: Sergio Martino
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 101 min

Maurizio Merli takes on the lead role as Blade, a hatchet-wielding bounty hunter. When he arrives in a mining town, he’s hired for a hit by the mayor but, in the process, disrupts the system of power and unleashes a cascade of violence. The film is also known by its original title, “Mannaja.”

59 / 100
Dargaud Films

1978: Lucky Luke: Ballad of the Daltons

- Directors: René Goscinny, Henri Gruel, Morris, Pierre Watrin
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 82 min

This French animated film chronicles the comic book character Lucky Luke, a cowboy known for shooting faster than his own shadow. The comic book series was created by the Belgian cartoonist Morris, who based Luke’s enemies, the Daltons, on the real Dalton brothers, a Wild West family of train and bank robbers.

60 / 100
Warner Bros.

1979: The Frisco Kid

- Director: Robert Aldrich
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: 38
- Runtime: 119 min

In “The Frisco Kid,” Gene Wilder plays a Polish rabbi who wanders around the Old West on his way to a San Francisco synagogue. Along the way, he meets and befriends an outlaw (Harrison Ford), who accompanies him on his journey. Ford’s role was originally intended for John Wayne, but the actor dropped out shortly before production as a result of salary disputes. Director Robert Aldrich was reportedly so disappointed that he put a tremendous amount of pressure on Ford, whose scenes were often left on the cutting room floor.

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61 / 100
United Artists

1980: The Long Riders

- Director: Walter Hill
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: 64
- Runtime: 100 min

Director Walter Hill sympathetically explored the origins, the adventures, and the ultimate fate of the James-Younger gang in 1980's “The Long Riders.” The film follows two bands of brothers who join forces to become bank robbers, and the actors who played the brothers were themselves related: James and Stacy Keach portrayed Jesse and Frank James, while David, Keith, and Robert Carradine played Cole, Jim, and Bob Younger. Dennis and Randy Quaid also played brothers in the film, as did Christopher and Nicholas Guest.

62 / 100
Golden Harvest Company

1981: Death Hunt

- Director: Peter R. Hunt
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Metascore: 40
- Runtime: 97 min

In “Death Hunt,” Charles Bronson plays a trapper whose feud with a dog owner escalates to him being wrongfully accused of murder. Suddenly finding himself a fugitive, his expert knowledge of the frigid Canadian wilderness allows him to survive and evade the law amidst the manhunt. Robert Aldrich was initially hired to direct the movie, originally titled “Arctic Rampage,” but he was fired and replaced by Peter R. Hunt.

63 / 100
Cambridge Productions

1982: The Man from Snowy River

- Director: George Miller
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 102 min

An Australian Western, “The Man from Snowy River” follows a cowboy played by Tom Burlinson who inherits his father’s ranch. However, other locals believe he’s too inexperienced and young. Complicating things, the cowboy falls for the daughter (Sigrid Thornton) of a rich man played by Kirk Douglas. Key to the plot is a black stallion who leads a band of wild horses.

64 / 100
1818

1983: Lone Wolf McQuade

- Director: Steve Carver
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: 65
- Runtime: 107 min

In “Lone Wolf McQuade,” Chuck Norris plays a Texas Ranger and martial arts expert whose attempt to catch a dangerous drug lord (David Carradine) selling U.S. military weapons to Central American terrorists results in the death of an old friend. He teams up with an FBI agent (Leon Isaac Kennedy) to bring a stop to the criminal and avenge his friend’s death. The movie was shot in Texas at locations including a desert with a high rattlesnake population. There are even reports of a rattlesnake crawling into bed and interrupting a love scene between Norris and his love interest in the film, Barbara Carrera.

65 / 100
Fox Run Productions Inc.

1984: Lust in the Dust

- Director: Paul Bartel
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 84 min

Divine stars in this Western spoof as Rosie Velez, a dancer who meets a gunman (Tab Hunter) who brings her to a local town called Chili Verde. Things heat up when she discovers that the local saloon owner has half of a treasure map tattooed on her buttocks—the other half of which is, coincidentally, tattooed on Rosie. A song by Divine, “These Lips,” was featured on the film’s soundtrack.

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66 / 100
Malpaso Company

1985: Pale Rider

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 61
- Runtime: 115 min

In “Pale Rider,” Clint Eastwood plays a mysterious preacher who helps defend the residents of a small village against a greedy mining company trying to take their land. The movie grossed $41 million against a $6.9 million production budget, earning it the title of the highest-grossing Western released in the 1980s.

67 / 100
L.A. Films

1986: Three Amigos

- Director: John Landis
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Metascore: 52
- Runtime: 104 min

In “Three Amigos,” Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short play a trio of silent movie stars who inadvertently find themselves mixed up with a ruthless Mexican gang leader (Alfonso Arau). Martin, who co-wrote the screenplay, had always been attached to the project. However, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were at one time tapped to co-star—as were Bill Murray and Robin Williams at a later date—before Chase and Short signed on to the project.

68 / 100
Mosfilm

1987: A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines

- Director: Alla Surikova
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 98 min

This Red Western comedy, filmed in then-Soviet Union and starring Andrei Mironov, is about a cinematographer named Mr. Jonny First, who comes to Santa Carolina with the goal of presenting his film. The movie was a satire of the Wild West, and film critics have often pointed to the film-within-the-film as an example of its own form of fable-making.

69 / 100
Morgan Creek Entertainment Group

1988: Young Guns

- Director: Christopher Cain
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Metascore: 50
- Runtime: 107 min

“Young Guns” stars Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, and Casey Siemaszko as gunslingers who become deputies in an effort to avenge a murder of one of their friends. Estevez portrays Old West gunslinger Billy the Kid in the film, which spawned a 1990 sequel in which Estevez, Sutherland, and Phillips reprised their roles.

70 / 100
Vestron Pictures

1989: Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

- Director: Anthony Hickox
- IMDb user rating: 6.1
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 104 min

In “Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat,” David Carradine plays the leader of a colony of vampires who reside in an isolated desert town. Their peaceful existence is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a descendant of Van Helsing (Bruce Campbell) who is hell-bent on destroying them.

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71 / 100
Tig Productions

1990: Dances with Wolves

- Director: Kevin Costner
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 72
- Runtime: 181 min

Kevin Costner plays a soldier who leaves his remote Civil War outpost to join a nearby Sioux tribe in 1990's “Dances with Wolves.” Costner also directed the film, which won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, making it the first Western to do so since 1931’s “Cimarron.” The movie was not just a critical success but a financial one, grossing $184.2 million at the U.S. box office and revitalizing the Western genre.

72 / 100
Castle Rock Entertainment

1991: City Slickers

- Director: Ron Underwood
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 70
- Runtime: 113 min

In this slapstick comedy, three city-dwelling friends, played by Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, and Bruno Kerby, take a vacation together on a dude ranch. Though they’re enamored with classic Western films of the past, the two-week cattle drive with other city slickers and a band of real cowboys (including Jack Palance playing the trail boss, a role which earned him an Oscar) ends up being more than they bargained for.

73 / 100
Warner Bros.

1992: Unforgiven

- Director: Clint Eastwood
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Metascore: 85
- Runtime: 130 min

Clint Eastwood plays a retired gunslinger who reluctantly agrees to take on a corrupt sheriff (Gene Hackman) in “Unforgiven.” Eastwood won an Academy Award for his directing duties on the film, which also won Best Picture. Hackman, meanwhile, won for his supporting performance. Audiences appreciated the movie—which Eastwood decided would likely be his last Western—to the tune of $101.2 million at the U.S. box office.

74 / 100
Hollywood Pictures

1993: Tombstone

- Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: 50
- Runtime: 130 min

In “Tombstone,” Kurt Russell portrays Wyatt Earp, whose hopes of retiring anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are dashed when he is called back into action to fight a vicious band of outlaws threatening the town. Val Kilmer costars in the film as Doc Holliday, with Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, and Dana Delany rounding out the principal cast. Western staple Robert Mitchum agreed to narrate the story after a back injury forced him out of a planned onscreen role.

75 / 100
TriStar Pictures

1994: Legends of the Fall

- Director: Edward Zwick
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 45
- Runtime: 133 min

Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, and Henry Thomas play a father and his three sons, respectively, who succumb to the tragedies of war and romantic rivalry in “Legends of the Fall.” Pitt’s popularity propelled the movie to a $160.6 million total gross at the worldwide box office. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, of which it won one for cinematography.

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76 / 100
Pandora Filmproduktion

1995: Dead Man

- Director: Jim Jarmusch
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 62
- Runtime: 121 min

In “Dead Man,” Johnny Depp plays a wounded accountant who, while on the run for murder, travels to the Western frontier. Once there, he encounters a Native American (Gary Farmer) who prepares him for his journey into the next life. Director Jim Jarmusch has described his film as a “psychedelic Western.”

77 / 100
Warner Bros.

1996: North Star

- Director: Nils Gaup
- IMDb user rating: 4.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 88 min

Set during the Nome Gold Rush of 1899 and filmed in locations throughout Norway, “North Star” is about a Native American man who tries to prevent a nefarious gold prospector from taking over sacred family land—and kidnaps the prospector’s mistress in the process. James Caan, Christopher Lambert, and Catherine McCormack star in this movie based on the Henry Wilson Allen novel of the same name.

78 / 100
China Star Entertainment

1997: Once Upon a Time in China and America

- Director: Hung Kam-Bo
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 102 min

Variety’s Derek Elley deemed this martial arts Western crossover a “cross-cultural actionfest.” It is the sixth film in the “Once Upon a Time in China” series. Jet Li’s character, Wong Fei-Hung, travels to San Francisco from China. On the route, and once in the California city, Wild West-style chaos ensues, including a Native American ambush and a bank robbery.

79 / 100
TriStar Pictures

1998: The Mask of Zorro

- Director: Martin Campbell
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 63
- Runtime: 136 min

Antonio Banderas plays a thief seeking revenge for his brother’s death in "The Mask of Zorro." He is trained by an aging swordsman (Anthony Hopkins) who shares the same enemy. Catherine Zeta-Jones also stars in the film as the aging swordsman’s long-lost daughter and the eventual love interest of the thief. The movie earned $250.3 million worldwide against a $95 million production budget, and Banderas and Zeta-Jones reprised their roles seven years later in a sequel that was far less successful.

80 / 100
Universal Pictures

1999: Ride with the Devil

- Director: Ang Lee
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 138 min

In “Ride with the Devil,” Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich play friends who join a militant group loyal to the Confederacy during the Civil War. Jeffrey Wright, Jonathan Brandis, Mark Ruffalo, and musician Jewel round out the cast of director Ang Lee’s film, which was admired by many critics for its strong acting and arresting visuals, but generally ignored by moviegoers. It earned a mere $635,096 at the box office against a $38 million production budget.

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81 / 100
Globo Filmes

2000: A Dog's Will

- Director: Guel Arraes
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 104 min

A surrealistic Brazilian comedy, the original title of the film was “O Auto da Compadecida,” which translates to “The Compassionate Woman’s Play” in Portuguese. Actors Matheus Nachtergaele and Selton Mello play poor men in Northeast Brazil who, in the afterlife, face judgment for their wrongdoings. It was adapted from a play by Ariano Suassuna and was a major theatrical hit in Brazil.

82 / 100
herbX Medienproduktion GmbH

2001: Manitou's Shoe

- Director: Michael Herbig
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 87 min

This German film was intended to be a parody of Westerns. Not only did Michael Herbig direct the film, but he also wrote the screenplay, produced, and starred in it. He plays an Apache chief who, along with his “blood brother,” tries to buy a saloon. However, they end up making a bad deal with a fake investor named Santa Maria. The premise for the movie was based on the “Winnetou” sketches performed on the late-night comedy show “Bullyparade.”

83 / 100
DreamWorks Animation

2002: Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

- Directors: Kelly Asbury, Lorna Cook
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Metascore: 52
- Runtime: 83 min

Matt Damon narrates the thoughts of a wild stallion who is captured by human wranglers and taken to a U.S. cavalry post in “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” The animated film depicts the horse’s journey during the Indian Wars as it struggles with a life in captivity and hopes to one day return to its herd in the wild. Unlike the anthropomorphic way animals are portrayed in most other animated features, the movie’s horses do not speak and instead communicate with one another through sounds and body language.

84 / 100
Touchstone Pictures

2003: Open Range

- Director: Kevin Costner
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 67
- Runtime: 139 min

In “Open Range,” Kevin Costner plays a former Civil War soldier living a peaceful life as a hired hand for an open range cattleman (Robert Duvall). However, that tranquility is interrupted when a corrupt land baron (Michael Gambon) threatens his frontier friends, forcing him to take up arms once again. Costner also directed the film, which co-starred Annette Bening and Diego Luna and earned $58.3 million at the U.S. box office against a $22 million budget.

85 / 100
Touchstone Pictures

2004: Hidalgo

- Director: Joe Johnston
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 54
- Runtime: 136 min

In “Hidalgo,” Viggo Mortensen portrays cowboy Frank Hopkins, who travels to Arabia with his mustang Hidalgo to compete in a deadly cross-desert horse race. The titular mustang was portrayed by several American Paint horses, one of which was later purchased by Mortensen. Screenwriter John Fusco, who also worked on 1988’s “Young Guns” and 2002’s “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” bought the movie’s main stunt horse and retired him at his horse conservancy Red Road Farm.

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86 / 100
UK Film Council

2005: The Proposition

- Director: John Hillcoat
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 73
- Runtime: 104 min

The screenplay for this Australian Outback Western was written by rock musician Nick Cave. A renegade played by Guy Pearce can only save his younger brother from lawmen by hunting down and killing his murderous older brother. The movie takes on themes of racism, family bonds, and colonialism. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe called it, “a near-masterpiece of mood and menace, and one that deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible.”

87 / 100
Icon Productions

2006: Seraphim Falls

- Director: David Von Ancken
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Metascore: 62
- Runtime: 115 min

Liam Neeson played a Confederate colonel who, at the end of the Civil War, hunts down a Union soldier (Pierce Brosnan) against whom he has a grudge. Richard Gere was originally tapped to play Brosnan’s role in the film, which received mild praise from critics who appreciated its unique, sans-villain approach. Still, it failed to make much of a dent at the box office. The revisionist Western topped out with a mere $1.2 million gross worldwide.

88 / 100
Lionsgate

2007: 3:10 to Yuma

- Director: James Mangold
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 122 min

This 2007 remake of the 1957 film “3:10 to Yuma” tells the story of a broke rancher (Christian Bale) who is hired for the simple task of putting a captured outlaw (Russell Crowe) on the 3:10 train to Yuma. However, things get far more complicated for him when the outlaw’s gang makes an attempt to free him.

89 / 100
Barunson E&A

2008: The Good, the Bad, the Weird

- Director: Kim Jee-woon
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 69
- Runtime: 130 min

This South Korean Western action film was inspired by “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” The story takes place in Manchuria just before World War II. A bounty hunter (Jung Woo-sung), a thief (Song Kang-ho), and a hitman (Lee Byung-hun) set out on an adventure to get a treasure map which dates to the Qing Dynasty ... all while being pursued by bandits and the Imperial Japanese Army.

90 / 100
Baobab Films

2009: Bad Day to Go Fishing

- Director: Álvaro Brechner
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 110 min

Jacob van Oppen (Jouko Ahola) was once the strongest man on Earth. Now, he’s a has-been who makes money staging fixed fights with the help of his manager (Gary Piquer). But when they go to a town called Santa Maria for another fake match, they get more than they bargained for. A Spanish-Uruguyan film, it debuted at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

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91 / 100
Bandidos Films

2010: El Narco

- Director: Luis Estrada
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 145 min

A black comedy about organized crime in Mexico, “El Narco” is about a man named Benny (Damián Alcázar) who gets deported from the U.S. and falls into the narcotics trafficking business. Though he initially delights in the spoils of his newfound career, he quickly encounters its dark side. Alcázar later gained the most fame for a later role as a drug lord in the Netflix series “Narcos.”

92 / 100
Paramount Pictures

2011: Rango

- Director: Gore Verbinski
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 107 min

In “Rango,” Johnny Depp voices the title character, a pet chameleon who accidentally winds up in a lawless Wild West town in the middle of the Mojave Desert. He is appointed sheriff when he inadvertently kills the hawk that has been terrorizing the town’s residents. He quickly discovers, however, that he is in way over his head. The Best Animated Feature winner at that year’s Academy Awards was also a hit at the box office, earning $245.7 million worldwide against a $135 million production budget.

93 / 100
The Weinstein Company

2012: Django Unchained

- Director: Quentin Tarantino
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Metascore: 81
- Runtime: 165 min

Jamie Foxx plays a freed slave who, with the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), sets out to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in “Django Unchained.” Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the film, which grossed $425.4 million worldwide, making it the filmmaker’s biggest box office total ever. Tarantino also won an Academy Award for his writing duties on the motion picture, as did Waltz for his supporting performance.

94 / 100
Fogo Cerrado

2013: Brazilian Western

- Director: René Sampaio
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Metascore: data not available
- Runtime: 108 min

True to its name (which was inspired by a famous folk song), “Brazilian Western” is a crime-drama filmed in Brazil. Set primarily in the capital city of Brasilia in the 1980s, it follows an outlaw (Fabrício Boliveira) whose life in the drug trade and his romance with the daughter of a senator (Isis Valverde) quickly become complicated—and violent.

95 / 100
One World Films

2014: Far from Men

- Director: David Oelhoffen
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Metascore: 74
- Runtime: 101 min

Viggo Mortensen stars as a schoolteacher named Daru. In 1954 Algeria, on the cusp of the country’s fight for independence, Daru must travel through the desert to deliver a supposed murderer (Reda Kateb) to law enforcement. Directed and written by David Oelhoffen, the film takes inspiration from an Albert Camus short story.

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96 / 100
Regency Enterprises

2015: The Revenant

- Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Metascore: 76
- Runtime: 156 min

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a frontiersman who is mauled by a bear and left for dead during a fur trading expedition in “The Revenant.” He struggles to survive absolutely-brutal conditions on his journey home to confront his former friend (Tom Hardy). DiCaprio won an Academy Award for his performance, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu won another for his directing duties on the film, which earned 10 other Oscar nominations and a $533 million box office haul.

97 / 100
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

2016: Hell or High Water

- Director: David Mackenzie
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Metascore: 88
- Runtime: 102 min

In “Hell or High Water,” Chris Pine plays a divorced father who reunites with his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) to rob branches of the bank that is threatening to foreclose on their family’s ranch. Their plan appears to work until a retiring Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges), desperate for one last notch in his belt, begins to close in on them. The neo-Western crime thriller scored four Academy Award nominations and a lot of acclaim from critics for its complex narrative, confident pacing, and well-rounded characters.

98 / 100
Highwayman Films

2017: The Rider

- Director: Chloé Zhao
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Metascore: 92
- Runtime: 104 min

Sophomore writer and director Chloé Zhao broke onto the scene at Cannes Film Festival with "The Rider," the true story of rodeo bronc rider Brady Jandreau (renamed Brady Blackburn in the film) and his poor, fringe community in South Dakota. After suffering a severe head injury, Brady is forced to stop riding. What unfolds is a contemplative reflection on risk, family, and the value of living. Most remarkably, the movie is void of actors, with almost every character playing themselves as they relive beautiful and traumatic moments of their own lives.

99 / 100
Netflix

2018: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

- Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Metascore: 79
- Runtime: 133 min

Two years after their feature-length series of connected Golden Age Hollywood vignettes "Hail, Caesar!," the Coen brothers returned with a more-staunchly-divided feature-length piece. "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" is comprised of six short Western films with no plot connections, that are diverse in cinematography, style, and tone. The film's unique style, bombastic characters, sing-songy pleasantries, directorial stamps, and strong thematic throughline rendered it a popular and critical success.

100 / 100
Porchlight Films

2019: True History of the Kelly Gang

- Director: Justin Kurzel
- IMDb user rating: 6.1
- Metascore: 75
- Runtime: 124 min

Ned Kelly was an Australian escaped convict, gang leader, and a cultural icon akin to Robin Hood. His life has been fictionalized many times over the years, including in this 2019 film with George MacKay playing the titular character. The movie follows him and his gang as they try to escape law enforcement in the 1870s. Other actors in the film include Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam, Russell Crowe, and Nicholas Hoult.

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