10 Westerns I Like

In response to a challenge from Jim Coudal:

1. Once Upon a Time in the West
2. Blazing Saddles
3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
4. High Plains Drifter
5. Seven Samurai (because, c’mon, it’s a western…)
6. The Wild Bunch
7. The Searchers
8. Westworld
9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
10. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Edit: I just remembered a few more messed up ones: El Topo and Greaser’s Palace


  1. July 22nd, 2011 at 4:20 am

    rado says:

    noticed this blog initiative – it’s a great, a very pure, cinematic genre.
    didn’t anyone mention “Open Range” (2003)?

  2. July 25th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Steve Witten says:

    If you’re gonna include ‘Seven Samurai’ then you must include ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’! Also, ‘For A Few Dollars More’ is much better than ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ (as good as that one is). You leave off ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘Pale Rider’ — probably the two best non-Sergio-Leone-directed Westerns Clint Eastwood ever made! How can you leave off ‘My Darling Clementine’? It’s John Ford’s ‘film noir’ Western! Finally, I’d like to make a pitch for ‘Silverado’ — Lawrence Kasdan’s fabulously entertaining Western with great characters and a rollicking good-time story.

    ‘Nuff said…

    Steve Witten
    Portland, OR

  3. July 25th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Alex says:

    Hmm. I really don’t get all this love for Butch Cassidy. It wasn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t have any trouble coming up with 10 westerns that were better.

  4. July 25th, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Obeythefist says:

    But, Unforgiven!

  5. July 25th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Partridge Creek says:

    I got to #2 and then stopped reading.

  6. July 25th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Paul says:

    Seconds on “Open Range”. A great western. A great movie, period. One of my favorites. I think Costner and Duvall are perfect in this. It’s thrilling, brutal, sweet, funny and intense. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it. I caught it on AMC several years ago and loved it, and turned around two days later and rented the DVD so I could see the uncut, commercial-free version.

  7. July 25th, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    BD says:

    How about “Shane,” perhaps the quintessential western of all time?

  8. July 26th, 2011 at 3:26 am

    skylark says:

    Soldier Blue
    High Noon
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    The Big Country
    High Plains Drifter
    Rio Bravo
    The Searchers
    My Darling Clementine


    Red River
    Yojimbo (because, c’mon, it’s a western…)
    The 47 Ronin (the Kenji Mizoguchi version -241 mins epic)
    The Proposition (set in Australia)
    Fort Apache

    What about …

    Play Time (1967 Jacques Tati)

    Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953 Jacques Tati)

    La lune dans le caniveau (aka, Moon in the gutter by Jean-Jacques Beineix)
    Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix)

    … I think I might be losing the focus now.

  9. July 26th, 2011 at 5:40 am

    fausto says:

    I haven’t yet seen a list containing The Outlaw Josey Wales…

  10. July 26th, 2011 at 6:15 am

    skylark says:

    Duh! … I just realised that “Play Time” by Jacques Tati fits in pretty well with “Urbanized” how the sad, vapid characteristics of contemporaneous urbanity can foil the discrete spirt – past, pro tem and prospective. Much Lewis Mumford’s spiritual discomfort, I imagine.

    They civilize what’s pretty
    By puttin’ up a city
    Where nothin’ that’s
    Pretty can grow….
    They civilize left
    They civilize right
    Till nothing is left
    Till nothing is right.

    ~Alan Jay Lerner, “The First Thing You Know,” Paint Your Wagon, 1969.

  11. July 27th, 2011 at 10:17 am

    greck says:

    Ahh you must not forget the ultimate “messed up” Western: Jim Jarmusch’s _Dead Man_.

  12. August 11th, 2011 at 8:28 am

    UNCLE CRABBY says:

    BD and SKYLARK:

    I second you both on the shouts for SHANE, and RED RIVER?

    SHANE = has one of the best fight scenes of any movie of any genre.
    RED RIVER opening = “Among the annals of the great state of Texas may be found the story of the first drive on the famous Chisholm Trail. A story of one of the great cattle herds of the world, of a man and a boy – - Thomas Dunson and Matthew Garth, the story of the Red River D.”

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