IMDB Best Movies in the Western Genre

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

To determine the IMDB best movies in the western genre, all you have to do is visit the popular film website, Internet Movie Database. There, you’ll find each genre has 50 films listed, based on the number of user votes and the average rating. In order to save you time, I’ve compiled the current top 10 westerns from the site and provided a brief description for each.

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1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – In this spaghetti western classic from director Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood headlines as the good, while Lee Van Cleef is the bad and Eli Wallach the ugly. Set during the events of the American Civil War, the three gunslingers compete to be the first to reach a stash of stolen Confederate gold. Stylistic shots abound, influencing such diverse filmmakers as Quentin Tarantino and Sam Raimi. Tarantino has even went so far as to call it the best-directed film ever made. And let’s not forget about the legendary score from Ennio Morricone.

2. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) – Sergio Leone also takes second place for his epic spaghetti western starring Charles Bronson as a mysterious harmonica-playing gunslinger on a mission of revenge. Jason Robards is the likable bandit, Cheyenne, while the lovely Claudia Cardinale is a prostitute turned homesteader. But they’re all upstaged by Henry Fonda in his role as the villainous Frank. As a recently-widowed beauty fights with a railroad tycoon over the rights to an important piece of land, Harmonica and Frank head towards an epic showdown. Fonda, known for playing a succession of decent men during his noteworthy screen career, would call this role his personal favorite.

3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) – Three Americans (Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt and Walter Huston) head into the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico to search for gold. In order to strike it rich, they’ll have to survive encounters with bandits (“I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”), Federales, and the growing paranoia that each prospector with betray his partners. Directed by John Huston, the film would go on to win three Oscars (one for Huston, and another for his father).

4. The Wind (1928) – One of the last silent films released by MGM, The Wind stars Lillian Gish as Letty, a young woman who moves from Virginia to West Texas. Along the way, she’s constantly harassed by the unceasing wind, and this only intensifies throughout the film. Once she’s reached her destination, Letty must deal with jealousy, a loveless relationship, impending insanity…and that damnable wind. Based on the novel of the same name by Dorothy Scarborough.

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5. Unforgiven (1992) – Clint Eastwood stars in and directs this film about the truths and falsehoods surrounding events and people in the Old West. William Munny (Eastwood) is a widower and unsuccessful pig farmer trying desperately to raise two children. When a group of Wyoming prostitutes offers $1000 to anyone can kill the two cowboys who disfigured one of them, Munny teams up with old pal Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) and the youthful Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to collect the bounty. But the brutal local sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) doesn’t tolerate assassins in his town–something gunfighter English Bob (Richard Harris) finds out the hard way. Unforgiven won Best Picture at the Oscars, and both Hackman (Best Supporting Actor) and Eastwood (Best Director) collected a trophy.

6. For a Few Dollars More (1965) – Eastwood and Sergio Leone teamed up again for this tale of two bounty hunters (Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef) in pursuit of the same murderous fugitive. After initially trying to thwart one another, they team up in order to take down El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte) and his gang (including Klaus Kinski in a supporting role). If you’ve enjoyed other Leone films, you won’t want to miss this one. The second picture in “The Man with No Name” trilogy.

7. High Noon (1952) – Will Kane is a marshal who’s recently married a Quaker (Grace Kelly), which means no more violence for him. He’s about to leave town and become a shopkeeper, but then hears that criminal Frank Miller is heading to town to get revenge. Afraid of what he might do to the locals, Kane has no choice but to stay and await Miller and his men. But when nobody in the town will help him, Kane is forced to wait it out alone. Meanwhile, that sexy Quaker chick continues to give him grief over his decision.

8. No Country for Old Men (2007) – The Coen brothers cranked out a modern western based on the bleak novel by Cormac McCarthy and won themselves a Best Picture Oscar in the process. Josh Brolin plays a Vietnam vet who finds a satchel filled with drug money, but he’s quickly pursued by a psychotic hitman (Javier Bardem) thanks to a tracking device hidden inside. Meanwhile, Tommy Lee Jones is a weary sheriff who feels that the times have passed him by. As he cautiously pursues both men, he considers hanging up his hat for good. Meanwhile, the assassin works over a number of unfortunate locals with a device used to stun cattle before the slaughter.

9. The Gold Rush (1925) – Chaplin stated that he wanted to be remembered most for this film, and for good reason. This classic silent comedy includes come of the most iconic scenes in motion picture history, including Chaplin’s Little Tramp eating his own boot to stave off starvation and simulating a dance routine using two rolls and a couple of forks. A new version (including a musical score and narration) was released by Chaplin in 1942.

10. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) – Receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, this film stars Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Anthony Quinn and Harry Morgan. With cattle rustlers and murderers on the loose in 1885 Montana, a pair of cowboys (Fonda and Morgan) join a posse to hunt down the individuals involved. The well-armed mob finds some men in the Ox-Bow canyon, but are they as guilty as they seem? A fascinating look at the consequences of vigilante justice.

All of these IMDB best movies in the western genre are available from Netflix, along with thousands of other films. We do get a small commission for sending you there, but that doesn’t affect your final cost at all.

I’d also recommend checking out the following links:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 at 11:50 am and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “IMDB Best Movies in the Western Genre”

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February 23, 2011


I think Tombstone was a very good movie and can’t believe it was overlooked!!

February 23, 2011


I’ve always been a big Tombstone fan, myself. It’s hard to beat the combo of Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, and Sam Elliott.

March 22, 2011


Sorry but No country for Old men isnt a western – just b/c it takes place in Texas during the 80’s doesnt make it a western

March 25, 2011


Just keep in mind that IMDB compiled this list, not me. However, it could be interpreted as a modern western.


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