Revisionist Western filmsby nscivoletto | created - 24 Jul 2016 | updated - 31 Aug 2016 | Public
Some post-WWII Western films began to question the ideals and style of the traditional Western. Elements include a darker, more cynical tone, with focus on the lawlessness of the time period, favoring realism over romanticism. Anti-heroes are still common, but with stronger roles for women and more-sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans and Mexicans. Regarding power and authority, these depictions favor critical views of big business, the American government, masculine figures (including the military and their policies), and a turn to greater historical authenticity. (consider Spaghetti Western as a separate category)
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1. High Noon (1952)
PG | 85 min | Drama, Thriller, Western
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.
Votes: 91,175 | Gross: $9.45M
Gary Cooper Thomas Mitchell Lloyd Bridges Katy Jurado Grace Kelly
2. Shane (1953)
Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Western
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.
Votes: 33,894 | Gross: $20.00M
Alan Ladd Jean Arthur Van Heflin Brandon deWilde Jack Palance
3. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western
Seven gunfighters are hired by Mexican peasants to liberate their village from oppressive bandits.
Votes: 81,643 | Gross: $4.91M
Yul Brynner Eli Wallach Steve McQueen Charles Bronson James Coburn
4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Western
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.
John Wayne James Stewart Vera Miles Lee Marvin Edmond O'Brien
5. The Professionals (1966)
PG-13 | 117 min | Action, Adventure, Western
An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four adventurers to rescue his kidnapped wife from a notorious Mexican bandit.
Votes: 12,557 | Gross: $19.54M
Burt Lancaster Lee Marvin Robert Ryan Woody Strode Jack Palance
6. Will Penny (1967)
Approved | 108 min | Romance, Western
Aging cowboy Will Penny gets a line camp job on a large cattle spread and finds his isolated cabin is already occupied by a husbandless woman and her young son.
Charlton Heston Joan Hackett Donald Pleasence Ben Johnson Bruce Dern
7. Hang 'Em High (1968)
M | 114 min | Drama, Western
When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.
Clint Eastwood Inger Stevens Ed Begley Pat Hingle Ben Johnson
8. The Wild Bunch (1969)
R | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Western
An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.
William Holden Ernest Borgnine Robert Ryan Edmond O'Brien Warren Oates
9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
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.
Votes: 189,259 | Gross: $102.31M
Paul Newman Robert Redford Katharine Ross Strother Martin Jeff Corey
10. Little Big Man (1970)
PG-13 | 139 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Native Americans and fighting with General Custer.
Votes: 30,821 | Gross: $31.56M
Dustin Hoffman Faye Dunaway Chief Dan George Martin Balsam Richard Mulligan
11. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
R | 120 min | Drama, Western
A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.
Warren Beatty Julie Christie René Auberjonois Michael Murphy William Devane
12. The Hired Hand (1971)
R | 90 min | Drama, Western
Harry returns home to his wife and farm after drifting with his friend Arch and has to make a difficult decision regarding his loyalties.
Peter Fonda Warren Oates Verna Bloom
13. Bad Company (1972)
PG | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
A god-fearing Ohio boy dodging the Civil War draft arrives in St. Joseph, MO where he joins up with a hardscrabble group of like runaways heading west.
Barry Brown Jeff Bridges
14. Ulzana's Raid (1972)
R | 103 min | Adventure, Western
After fierce war chief Ulzana and a small war party jump the reservation bent on murder and terror, an inexperienced young lieutenant is assigned to track him down.
Burt Lancaster Bruce Davison Richard Jaeckel Jorge Luke Joaquín Martínez
15. Chato's Land (1972)
PG | 100 min | Western
In 1870s New Mexico, a half-breed kills a bigoted sheriff in self-defense but the posse that eventually hunts him finds itself in dangerous territory.
Charles Bronson Jack Palance James Whitmore Simon Oakland Richard Basehart
16. Joe Kidd (1972)
PG | 88 min | Western
An ex-bounty hunter reluctantly helps a wealthy landowner and his henchmen track down a Mexican revolutionary leader.
Clint Eastwood Robert Duvall John Saxon Don Stroud Stella Garcia
17. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)
PG | 91 min | Drama, Western
The gangs of Jesse James and Cole Younger join forces for a bungled robbery of the bank in Northfield, Minnesota.
Cliff Robertson Robert Duvall Luke Askew R.G. Armstrong Matt Clark
18. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
PG | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
In Vinegaroon, Texas, former outlaw Roy Bean appoints himself the judge for the region and dispenses his brand of justice as he sees fit.
Paul Newman Jacqueline Bisset Anthony Perkins Victoria Principal Ned Beatty
19. Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
GP | 108 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by the Crow tribe, and proves to be a match for their warriors in single combat on the early frontier.
Votes: 26,276 | Gross: $47.74M
Robert Redford Will Geer
20. High Plains Drifter (1973)
R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Western
A gunfighting stranger 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.
Votes: 45,811 | Gross: $15.70M
Clint Eastwood Verna Bloom Billy Curtis Mitchell Ryan Geoffrey Lewis
21. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
R | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Western
Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid.
James Coburn Kris Kristofferson Bob Dylan Slim Pickens Jason Robards
22. The Shootist (1976)
PG | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western
A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.
John Wayne Lauren Bacall Ron Howard James Stewart Richard Boone
23. The Missouri Breaks (1976)
PG | 126 min | Drama, Western
Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.
Votes: 8,718 | Gross: $14.00M
Marlon Brando Jack Nicholson Randy Quaid Frederic Forrest Harry Dean Stanton
PG | 123 min | Comedy, Western
A cynical Buffalo Bill hires Sitting Bull to exploit him and add his credibility to the distorted view of history presented in his Wild West Show.
Paul Newman Geraldine Chaplin Burt Lancaster Joel Grey Harvey Keitel
25. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
PG | 135 min | Western
A Missouri farmer joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.
Votes: 60,698 | Gross: $31.80M
Clint Eastwood Chief Dan George Sondra Locke Bill McKinney John Vernon
26. Heaven's Gate (1980)
R | 219 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
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.
Votes: 12,434 | Gross: $3.48M
Kris Kristofferson Christopher Walken John Hurt Sam Waterston Jeff Bridges
27. The Long Riders (1980)
R | 100 min | Biography, Crime, Western
The origins, exploits and the ultimate fate of the Jesse James gang is told in a sympathetic portrayal of the bank robbers made up of brothers who begin their legendary bank raids because of revenge.
Votes: 9,000 | Gross: $23.00M
James Keach Stacy Keach David Carradine Keith Carradine Robert Carradine
28. Pale Rider (1985)
R | 115 min | Drama, Western
A mysterious preacher protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.
Votes: 48,351 | Gross: $41.41M
Clint Eastwood Michael Moriarty Carrie Snodgress Richard Dysart John Russell
29. Dances with Wolves (1990)
PG-13 | 181 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.
Votes: 222,882 | Gross: $184.21M
Kevin Costner Mary McDonnell Graham Greene Rodney A. Grant Floyd Red Crow Westerman
30. Unforgiven (1992)
R | 130 min | Drama, Western
Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.
Votes: 345,670 | Gross: $101.16M
Clint Eastwood Gene Hackman Morgan Freeman Richard Harris Saul Rubinek
31. Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
PG-13 | 115 min | Drama, History, Western
The story of the Apache chief and his armed resistance to the U.S. Government's subjugation of his people.
Votes: 8,118 | Gross: $18.64M
Jason Patric Gene Hackman Robert Duvall Wes Studi Matt Damon
32. Tombstone (1993)
R | 130 min | Action, Biography, Drama
A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.
Votes: 116,506 | Gross: $56.51M
Kurt Russell Val Kilmer Michael Biehn Powers Boothe Michael Rooker
33. The Quick and the Dead (1995)
R | 107 min | Action, Romance, Thriller
A female gunfighter returns to a frontier town where a dueling tournament is being held, which she enters in an effort to avenge her father's death.
Votes: 79,448 | Gross: $18.64M
Sharon Stone Gene Hackman Russell Crowe Leonardo DiCaprio Pat Hingle
34. The Missing (I) (2003)
R | 137 min | Adventure, Thriller, Western
In 1885 New Mexico, a frontier medicine woman forms an uneasy alliance with her estranged father when her daughter is kidnapped by an Apache brujo.
Votes: 31,289 | Gross: $26.90M
Tommy Lee Jones Cate Blanchett Evan Rachel Wood Jenna Boyd Aaron Eckhart
35. Open Range (2003)
R | 139 min | Action, Drama, Romance
A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.
Votes: 62,631 | Gross: $58.33M
Robert Duvall Kevin Costner Annette Bening Michael Gambon Michael Jeter
36. The Proposition (2005)
R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Western
A lawman apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him nine days to kill his older brother, or else they'll execute his younger brother.
Votes: 47,776 | Gross: $1.90M
Guy Pearce Ray Winstone Danny Huston John Hurt Emily Watson
37. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who's awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.
Votes: 272,058 | Gross: $53.61M
Russell Crowe Christian Bale Peter Fonda Ben Foster Dallas Roberts
R | 160 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.
Votes: 158,160 | Gross: $3.90M
Brad Pitt Casey Affleck Sam Shepard Mary-Louise Parker Sam Rockwell
39. There Will Be Blood (2007)
R | 158 min | Drama
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.
Votes: 469,102 | Gross: $40.22M
Daniel Day-Lewis Paul Dano Kevin J. O'Connor Ciarán Hinds Dillon Freasier
40. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007 TV Movie)
TV-14 | 133 min | Drama, History, Western
A historic chronicle based on the book by Dee Brown explains how Native Americans were displaced as the United States expanded west.
Aidan Quinn Adam Beach August Schellenberg Eric Schweig J. K. Simmons
41. Appaloosa (2008)
R | 115 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Two friends hired to police a small town that is suffering under the rule of a rancher find their job complicated by the arrival of a young widow.
Votes: 56,019 | Gross: $20.21M
Ed Harris Viggo Mortensen Renee Zellweger Jeremy Irons Lance Henriksen
42. True Grit (2010)
PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Western
A stubborn teenager enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer.
Votes: 287,170 | Gross: $171.24M
Jeff Bridges Matt Damon Josh Brolin Barry Pepper Hailee Steinfeld
43. Django Unchained (2012)
R | 165 min | Drama, Western
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
Votes: 1,229,939 | Gross: $162.81M
Jamie Foxx Christoph Waltz Leonardo DiCaprio Kerry Washington Samuel L. Jackson
44. Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Not Rated | 132 min | Drama, Horror, Western
In the dying days of the old west, an elderly sheriff and his posse set out to rescue their town's doctor from cannibalistic cave dwellers.
Kurt Russell Patrick Wilson Matthew Fox Richard Jenkins Lili Simmons
45. The Hateful Eight (2015)
R | 168 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
In the dead of a Wyoming winter, a bounty hunter and his prisoner find shelter in a cabin currently inhabited by a collection of nefarious characters.
Votes: 450,186 | Gross: $54.12M
Samuel L. Jackson Kurt Russell Jennifer Jason Leigh Walton Goggins Demián Bichir