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10 Best Westerns Of All Time

Top 10: Western Films

The following films are solely the opinions of the Smashing UK production team! Have your own opinions? Post them in the comments below!  Smashing UK Website –, IMDd –, Facebook and

WESTERN_2556469b10 best westerns of all time, chosen by David Gritten. From A Fistful of Dollars to Unforgiven, Telegraph film critic David Gritten lists his 10 best westerns of all time.

MPW-131121. A Fistful of Dollars (1964) 
The first “spaghetti western,” a violent, lurid, game-changing Italian variation on the genre. It turned Clint Eastwood, as the taciturn Man With No Name, into a global star; director Sergio Leone, with his penchant for melodramatic close-ups, quickly became a cult figure.

the-magnificent-seven-800-752. The Magnificent Seven (1960) 

An impeccable story adapted from Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, featuring seven gunmen hired to save a Mexican village from bandits. In a terrific cast, Yul Brynner has the lead role, but Steve McQueen steals every scene. Thrilling theme tune from Elmer Benstein.

man_of_the_west3. Man of the West (1958) 
Gary Cooper stars as a weary, reformed gunslinger persuaded by former sidekicks to rob a bank. There’s an almost noirish quality to his character, but Anthony Mann’s direction has big-screen scope that does justice to a literate, intriguing script.

liberty4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) 

Late period John Ford classic, with James Stewart as a senator who helped bring law to the west, partly through having killed an outlaw. The truth behind this legend is finally unveiled. Utterly absorbing; its reputation has grown over time.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST - bluray5. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) 

Sergio Leone finally went to Hollywood and created this ravishing epic western, making waves by casting American hero Henry Fonda as a rapacious would-be tycoon aiming to drive a widow off her land. Ennio Morricone’s score, composed in advance, is a masterpiece.

Redriver16. Red River (1948) 

John Wayne near his best as a tough, headstrong cattle boss, locking horns through a crucial cattle drive with his educated foster son, played brilliantly by Montgomery Clift in his film debut. A classic western that looks wonderful on the big screen.

Rio Bravo-37. Rio Bravo (1959) 
There’s a raucous male-bonding spirit to this Howard Hawks western, starring John Wayne as a sheriff, aiming to protect a town against bandits with only a drunk, a naive teenager and a crippled old man to help. But its insolent, generous spirit has rightly helped its reputation grow in recent years.

the-searchers-original18. The Searchers (1956) 
A complex story of revenge, reconciliation and loss, even encompassing racism. Director John Ford and John Wayne, as an ex-war hero tracking down Indians who murdered his relatives and abducted their daughter, combine to shape a troubling masterpiece.

WayneStagecoach019. Stagecoach (1939) 
The great Monument Valley western with director John Ford at his most visually poetic. Eight characters, some decidedly flawed, board a stagecoach besieged by an Indian war party. John Wayne stars; stunt man Yakima Canutt takes the honours. Virtually unimprovable.

unforgiven210. Unforgiven (1992) 
Sombre, thoughtful, genre-reinventing western directed by Clint Eastwood, who stars as a violence-weary gunman lured back for one last job. It’s a smart, assured piece of film-making, acutely aware of the western’s history, its limitations and the dubious truths of its legends. ℗ is your source to learn about the broad and beautiful spectrum of our shared History.