This is my personal list of Westerns that I could spend a weekend power watching. And I am just going to warn you now you’re going to see a pattern. And here we go.
This 1985 movie was a throwback to the Westerns of my youth. With a stellar cast and great direction I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time I saw it and every other times I have watched it whether on cable or slipping the DVD in the player.
This classic 1939 movie with John Ford directoring and a young John Wayne staring as the Ringo Kid is the classic example of the genre. You see in this movie characters that will become icons in other western movies.
8. Open Range
I like this movie because the chemistry between Duvall and Costner is great and it has a certain something that speaks to me regarding loyalty, friendship, and standing up for what is right.
7. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
. John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Lee Marvin. Jimmy Stewart plays a lawyer from back east who travels west to setup a law practice. What he finds is that the west is barely civilized and law and order is more of who has the gun then what is written down in books. Lee Marvin plays Liberty Valance the town bully and hired gun and the man who Jimmy Stewart has to stand up against. John Wayne plays the rancher who teaches Stewart how things actually work in the west.
6. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
This adaption of the Seven Samurai is in my opinion the best version, way superior to the 2016 version of the film.
I get a lot of grief from my relatives and children for liking this movie. But it has classic scenes in it that are a pleasure to watch especially Jack Palance’s role as Jack Wilson. And the story of a gunfighter who is trying to change and hang up his guns only to find out that there are some roads you just can’t come back from and there is a price to pay. Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider was an unofficial remake of Shane.
4. Bite the Bullet
I’ve reviewed this movie before but let me again state this is a classic of men and a woman battling elements, each other, in a horse killing race that shows what loyalty, and friendship means.
3. The Searchers
Another John Ford/John Wayne film where John Wayne plays a man who is so obessed with hatred that he goes to extrordinary lengths to see it through. This is an intense film that deserves to be on any top ten list of Westerns.
There have been a few movies made about the shoot out at the OK corral and the events leading up to it. In my opinion this is the best. With stand out performance by Val Kilmer as the tuberculosis infected Doc Holiday and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp.
1. El Dorado
This is without a doubt my favorite western movie. I have watched it over twenty times and can quote multiple scenes from the movie much to the chagrin of my wife and children. There is an audible moan when I turn it on. But the interplay between James Can, Robert Mitchum, and John Wayne is well worth the watch alone.
And there you have it my top ten Westerns.