The Definitive - All Time 20 Greatest Westerns

by sandy1873 | created - 27 May 2011 | updated - 27 May 2011 | Public

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1. The Searchers (1956)

Not Rated | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 68,231

2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
58 Metascore

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 169,943 | Gross: $102.31M

3. The Big Country (1958)

Unrated | 166 min | Romance, Western

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston

Votes: 12,696

4. Unforgiven (1992)

R | 130 min | Drama, Western

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
85 Metascore

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

Votes: 310,587 | Gross: $101.16M

5. How the West Was Won (1962)

G | 164 min | Western

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda

Votes: 15,698 | Gross: $46.50M

6. The Wild Bunch (1969)

R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien

Votes: 67,793

7. Rio Bravo (1959)

Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson

Votes: 47,177 | Gross: $12.54M

8. Northwest Passage (1940)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.1
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Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.

Directors: King Vidor, Jack Conway, W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, Walter Brennan, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 2,744

9. Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.0
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72 Metascore

Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

Votes: 204,797 | Gross: $184.21M

10. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
89 Metascore

A town marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 85,554 | Gross: $9.45M

11. The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

Approved | 122 min | Western

7.2
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Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer, Michael Anderson Jr.

Votes: 11,778 | Gross: $6.00M

12. Wyatt Earp (1994)

PG-13 | 191 min | Adventure, Biography, Crime

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
47 Metascore

The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews

Votes: 38,728 | Gross: $25.05M

13. Appaloosa (2008)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
64 Metascore

Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.

Director: Ed Harris | Stars: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, Jeremy Irons

Votes: 53,376 | Gross: $20.21M

14. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.8
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76 Metascore

Three trappers protect a British Colonel's daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig

Votes: 125,456 | Gross: $75.51M

15. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Western

8.1
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A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin

Votes: 58,527

16. Tombstone (1993)

R | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre | Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton

Votes: 105,441 | Gross: $56.51M

17. Pale Rider (1985)

R | 115 min | Western

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
61 Metascore

A mysterious preacher protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress, Sydney Penny

Votes: 43,873 | Gross: $41.41M

18. Open Range (2003)

R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
67 Metascore

A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director: Kevin Costner | Stars: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Diego Luna, Abraham Benrubi

Votes: 58,243 | Gross: $58.33M

19. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Not Rated | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

7.8
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An oppressed Mexican peasant village hires seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach

Votes: 75,479 | Gross: $4.91M

20. Young Guns (1988)

R | 107 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.8
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50 Metascore

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Director: Christopher Cain | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen

Votes: 46,549 | Gross: $45.66M