100 Westerns (BFI Screen Guides)

by KasparM | created - 30 Dec 2011 | updated - 30 Dec 2011 | Public
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1. Across the Wide Missouri (1951)

Passed | 78 min | Adventure, Romance, Western

Trapper Flint Mitchell and other mountain men from the Rendezvous join forces to enter virgin trapping territory but must contend with a resentful Blackfoot chief.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Clark Gable, Ricardo Montalban, John Hodiak, Adolphe Menjou

Votes: 1,716

2. Antonio das Mortes (1969)

100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Period piece about a Brazil that is no more. This movie is the sequel to "God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun" (Deus e o diabo na terra do sol), and takes place 29 years after Antonio ... See full summary »

Director: Glauber Rocha | Stars: Maurício do Valle, Odete Lara, Othon Bastos, Hugo Carvana

Votes: 1,577

3. Apache (1954)

Passed | 91 min | Western

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation, Massai, an Apache warrior, escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire, Charles Bronson

Votes: 3,719 | Gross: $6.00M

4. The Battle of Elderbush Gulch (1913)

Not Rated | 29 min | Short, Action, Western

The fact that an Indian tribe is eating puppies starts an action packed battle in a western town.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Mae Marsh, Leslie Loveridge, Alfred Paget, Robert Harron

Votes: 710

5. The Beguiled (1971)

R | 105 min | Drama, Thriller, War

66 Metascore

While imprisoned in a Confederate girls' boarding school, an injured Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women's hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris

Votes: 14,940

6. The Big Sky (1952)

Approved | 140 min | Drama, Western

The success of the journey focuses on keeping the Indian girl alive as well as themselves to complete trade with the Blackfeet.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt, Arthur Hunnicutt

Votes: 3,718

7. The Big Trail (1930)

Passed | 125 min | Adventure, Western, Romance

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler | Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Tully Marshall

Votes: 3,202

8. Broken Arrow (1950)

Approved | 93 min | Drama, Romance, Western

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches in Arizona territory.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget, Basil Ruysdael

Votes: 7,159

9. A Bullet for the General (1967)

M | 115 min | Action, Western

A band of Mexican gun-runners employed by a revolutionary general accept an American into their gang, unaware of his intentions.

Director: Damiano Damiani | Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick, Lou Castel

Votes: 3,732

10. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

Wyoming, early 1900s. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid are the leaders of a band of outlaws. After a train robbery goes wrong they find themselves on the run with a posse hard on their heels. Their solution - escape to Bolivia.

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

Votes: 195,154 | Gross: $102.31M

11. Calamity Jane (1953)

Passed | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

The story of Calamity Jane, her saloon, and her romance with Wild Bill Hickok.

Director: David Butler | Stars: Doris Day, Howard Keel, Allyn Ann McLerie, Philip Carey

Votes: 8,060

12. Comanche Station (1960)

Approved | 73 min | Drama, Western

A man saves a woman who had been kidnapped by Comanches, then struggles to get both of them home alive.

Director: Budd Boetticher | Stars: Randolph Scott, Nancy Gates, Claude Akins, Skip Homeier

Votes: 2,933

13. Cowboy (1958)

Approved | 92 min | Western

An idealistic tenderfoot Chicago hotel clerk is taken on a cattle-drive to Mexico by famous trail boss Tom Reece but discovers that cowboy life isn't what he expected.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Anna Kashfi, Brian Donlevy

Votes: 2,460

14. Dances with Wolves (1990)

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

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: 229,842 | Gross: $184.21M

15. Day of the Outlaw (1959)

Not Rated | 92 min | Western

Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.

Director: André De Toth | Stars: Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, Tina Louise, Alan Marshal

Votes: 2,792

16. Dead Man (1995)

R | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

62 Metascore

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange Native American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Lance Henriksen

Votes: 86,774 | Gross: $1.04M

17. Destry Rides Again (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Western

When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Votes: 9,526 | Gross: $0.35M

18. Django (1966)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Western

75 Metascore

A coffin-dragging gunslinger and a half-breed prostitute become embroiled in a bitter feud between a Klan of Southern racists and a band of Mexican Revolutionaries.

Director: Sergio Corbucci | Stars: Franco Nero, José Canalejas, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak

Votes: 23,404 | Gross: $0.03M

19. Dodge City (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 4,405

20. Duel in the Sun (1946)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, Romance, Western

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, William Dieterle, Sidney Franklin, William Cameron Menzies, David O. Selznick, Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 7,681 | Gross: $20.41M

21. El Dorado (1967)

Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Western

85 Metascore

Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt

Votes: 22,827 | Gross: $12.97M

22. Face to Face (1967)

R | 111 min | Western

A history professor has a chance meeting with an infamous outlaw and eventually assumes leadership of his gang.

Director: Sergio Sollima | Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Tomas Milian, William Berger, Jolanda Modio

Votes: 2,465

23. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

R | 99 min | Action, Drama, Western

65 Metascore

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volontè, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy

Votes: 186,602 | Gross: $14.50M

24. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

R | 132 min | Western

74 Metascore

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Mario Brega

Votes: 218,807 | Gross: $15.00M

25. Fort Apache (1948)

Passed | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendáriz

Votes: 15,564

26. Forty Guns (1957)

Not Rated | 80 min | Romance, Western

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger, John Ericson

Votes: 4,353

27. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

R | 178 min | Western

90 Metascore

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè

Votes: 654,720 | Gross: $6.10M

28. Go West (1925)

Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Western

With little luck at keeping a job in the city a New Yorker tries work in the country and eventually finds his way leading a herd of cattle to the West Coast.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Howard Truesdale, Kathleen Myers, Ray Thompson

Votes: 3,582

29. Great Day in the Morning (1956)

Approved | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A Confederate drifter wins a hotel-saloon at poker in Denver but two rival female admirers, local Union sympathizers, Southern gold miners and an orphaned boy complicate his life.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Virginia Mayo, Robert Stack, Ruth Roman, Alex Nicol

Votes: 686

30. The Great K & A Train Robbery (1926)

53 min | Western

Cullen has hired Tom to try and stop the robberies on his railroad. Knowing Cullen's secretary Holt is tipping off the gang, Tom works undercover by posing as a highwayman. To help him ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Tom Mix, Dorothy Dwan, Tony the Horse, Will Walling

Votes: 260

31. The Great Train Robbery (1903)

TV-G | 11 min | Short, Action, Crime

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter | Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes, Justus D. Barnes

Votes: 16,167

32. The Grey Fox (1982)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

When an aging, but gentlemanly stagecoach robber is released from prison, he decides to go to Canada to become a train robber.

Director: Phillip Borsos | Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs, Ken Pogue, Wayne Robson

Votes: 1,534

33. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)

Passed | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 13,211 | Gross: $11.75M

34. The Gunfighter (1950)

Not Rated | 85 min | Western

94 Metascore

Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell, Jean Parker

Votes: 8,962

35. The Hanging Tree (1959)

Not Rated | 107 min | Western

Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man, realizing that he can exploit his secret.

Directors: Delmer Daves, Karl Malden, Vincent Sherman | Stars: Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, George C. Scott

Votes: 3,397

36. Heaven's Gate (1980)

R | 219 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

57 Metascore

A dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming, in which a Sheriff born into wealth, attempts to protect immigrant farmers from rich cattle interests.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterston

Votes: 12,928 | Gross: $3.48M

37. Heller in Pink Tights (1960)

Passed | 100 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

Story of theatrical troupe that travels through the Old West.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Margaret O'Brien, Steve Forrest

Votes: 1,145

38. Hell's Hinges (1916)

Unrated | 64 min | Romance, Western

In the wayward western town known as Hell's Hinges, a local tough guy is reformed by the faith of a good woman.

Directors: Charles Swickard, William S. Hart, Clifford Smith | Stars: William S. Hart, Clara Williams, Jack Standing, Alfred Hollingsworth

Votes: 809

39. High Noon (1952)

PG | 85 min | Drama, Thriller, Western

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: 93,657 | Gross: $9.45M

40. High Plains Drifter (1973)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Western

69 Metascore

A gunfighting stranger (Clint Eastwood) comes to the small settlement of Lago and is hired to bring the townsfolk together in an attempt to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill, Mitchell Ryan

Votes: 47,332 | Gross: $15.70M

41. The Iron Horse (1924)

Passed | 150 min | History, Romance, Western

After witnessing the murder of his father by a renegade as a boy, the grown-up Brandon helps to realize his father's dream of a transcontinental railway.

Director: John Ford | Stars: George O'Brien, Madge Bellamy, Charles Edward Bull, Cyril Chadwick

Votes: 1,840 | Gross: $2.06M

42. Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Western

83 Metascore

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

Votes: 14,615

43. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

R | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

76 Metascore

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

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

Votes: 141,947 | Gross: $75.51M

44. The Last Sunset (1961)

Approved | 112 min | Drama, Romance, Western

At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 2,602 | Gross: $6.54M

45. The Last Wagon (1956)

Approved | 99 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

Wagon train survivors of an Apache attack entrust the sheriff's prisoner, scout Comanche Todd, with their lives despite his wanted-for-murder status.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Richard Widmark, Felicia Farr, Susan Kohner, Tommy Rettig

Votes: 2,658

46. The Law and Jake Wade (1958)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Western