Published On: Fri, Aug 28th, 2020

Top 10 Best Western Movies Of All Time

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Who says Americans don’t have a culture? Just watch any of the popular western movies to experience how rich and distinct the American culture is. Western movie genre is unarguably the most related one to the American culture.

However, western culture is not only limited to the states; there are different parts of the world that have western influences. One major reason for this worldwide reach of the westerns is the contributions of Italian director Sergio Leone.

Regardless, today, we will be listing the ten best western movies of all time that you would thoroughly enjoy if you are a fan of Italian and American cinema.

So, without further ado, let’s move on to our first pick.

Pale Rider (1985)

This movie is a complete Clint Eastwood movie that has Eastwood as a director and lead actor. Eastwood unleashes his artistic mastery in this western movie, and due to this, 1985’s “Pale Rider” became the face of the western genre when it was released. The movie takes place in a town that is filled with outlaws that all work at a local mining company. In order to face down the outlaws, Eastwood heroically steps up in a true American fashion.

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

This is the last movie in this list from Sergio Leone, but it is certainly not the worst. It was one of the famous director’s first Western movies and is still very popular due to its well-shot fight scenes, dramatic use of widescreen, and its laconic protagonist who remains unnamed.   

The Wild Bunch (1969)

This movie tells the story of Pike Bishop (William Holden), who, along with his gang, decides to finish one last job before retiring as aging outlaws. The entire movie revolves around the alliances and betrayals between the outlaws and a crooked Mexican general. This is a top western movie that encompasses the glamorous western style of the Hollywood Golden Age.   

Django Unchained (2012)

The newest and probably the most famous western movie among the newest audiences is Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”. The movie’s story revolves around a freed slave played by Jamie Foxx, who, along with his partner, Dr. King Schultz, goes on a search for his long lost wife.

Along the way, of course, they encounter various ruffians and outlaws that they take revenge on. Later in the plot, Django and his partner meet the infamous slave owner Calvin Candie, played by a slim Leonardo DiCaprio)

High Noon (1952)

“High Noon” was the highlight of the western movie genre in the 1950s and 60s. It starred Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, in prominent roles. Gary Copper plays the role Will Kane, marshal of Hadleyville, and Grace Jelly plays the role of Amy Fowler, his recent wife.

The story’s plot involves a criminal who is unexpectedly released from jail by the criminal court. He later teams up with his gang to scare the marshal out of town. This leads to a memorable one-on-four shootout that inspired a lot of western movies. The inspiration can be seen in some of the best John Wayne movies.

Unforgiven (1992)

This is one of the most popular western movies, I mean, with a star-studded cast that included, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, and Clint Eastwood, the movie was always going to be this big. The story of “Unforgiven” revolves around a huge bounty set on two cowboys because they mistreated a prostitute, and the crookedness of Little Bill Daggett, who is the Big Whiskey Sheriff played by Hackman.

Moreover, the performance of Clint Eastwood, as a veteran gunman who is out for another bounty hunt, is nothing short of phenomenal. In the 1990s, there were very few good western movies and “Unforgiven” came out be as one of the best in the decade.    

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1966)

This is yet another movie by the legendary westerns director, Sergio Leone, and to be honest, he was one of the only directors that could make a masterpiece like “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”. This movie’s plot revolves around the three titular characters: Blondie, i.e., The Good, portrayed by Clint Eastwood, Angel Eyes, i.e., The Bad, portrayed by Lee Van Cleef, and The Rat, i.e., The Ugly, portrayed by Eli Wallach.

All of these three characters are up against each other, leading to some of the most spectacular and thrilling scenes in Western cinema history. 

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

1960’s “The Magnificent Seven” was an infamous remake of the Japanese flick Seven Samurai (1954). Despite being released over six decades ago, “The Magnificent Seven” still remains one of the best western movies ever made.

The movie had a top-tier celebrity star-cast which included Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, and Yul Brynner, this movie is also one of the most popular western movies ever and is still the second most shown film on the television in US history. The plot involves seven gunmen who are hired to defend a small border village form Mexican marauders. 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

This movie is based on the assassination of Jesse James by Robert Ford, who was his fellow gang member. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starred Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford and was a required revival of the westerns genre in the 2000s.

The titles pretty much explain the conclusion, but there are complex relationships and power struggles that led to the assassination, and they are all wonderfully depicted in this 2007 masterpiece.     

Once Upon a Time in The West (1968)

Throughout this list, you will see a lot of movies directed by the father of western spaghetti sub-genre, Sergio Leone. He has created some of the most famous western movies and 1968’s “Once Upon a Time in The West” was among the last classic westerns by him.

The movie stars Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda as arch-rivals. The movie takes place in a western boomtown, which has a cherished land named Sweetwater nearby. A railroad company and the actual landowners are pitted against each other for the possession of the Sweetwater.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different movie genres in Hollywood, but no other genre comes close to depicting the true American culture as the western genres. The number of good western movies in the current scenario is obviously not the same as Hollywood’s golden age.

Today, we have listed the best western movies of all time that encompass western American culture rather perfectly.   

Note – This list and placement are complete as per our personal opinion, and if you want any changes, you are more than welcome to use the comments section down below to drop your thoughts.

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