If you love cowboy movies, then you need to read through this post. I have compiled a list of the best cowboy movies ever released in Hollywood. Each movie on this list has been selected due to their wide-spread acceptance by fans of cowboy films as well as the general public.
The Best Cowboy Movies Ever Made
First on the list is of the best cowboy movies is this all-time classic “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. This epic Western cowboy movie stars Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach as the good, the bad and the ugly guys respectively. The plot of this enthralling movie involves these three men as gunfighters as they compete to find a fortune that is buried in a stash of Confederate gold during the raging moments of the American Civil War. The movie follows the adventures of the men as they participate in various gun duels and battles in their road to the fortune.
True Grit (2010)
Secondly, is one of the best cowboy movies titled “True Grit”. The movie is about a 14 year old girl named Mattie Ross as she narrates the murder of her father by an outlaw. Mattie then hires the services of a Deputy US Marshall to help hunt the outlaw that is now on the run. They are joined later in their quest by a Ranger named Laboeuf. While on their quest, each of the three main characters would have his or her grit tried in several ways. This movie is a must watch for every cowboy fan.
The third movie on the list of best cowboy movies is Tombstone. A 1993 classic action-adventure film; with an all-star cast that includes Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehn, Powers Boothe and a host of other talented actors. This movie centers on the events in Tombstone, Arizona in the late 19th Century. Directed by George P. Cosmatos, the film revolves around a number of outlaws and lawmen in the West. The film became a success when it was released. Kurt Russell plays the role of the legendary Wyatt Earp, who is a retired law enforcement office with Sam Elliot and Bill Paxton playing his brothers Virgil and Morgan respectively. This high-octane cowboy thriller would keep you glued to your screen.
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Fourth on the list of best cowboy movies is this enthralling action-adventure, Western movie titled “The Magnificent Seven”. The theme of the film centers on a peasant Mexican village that is periodically oppressed by a group of bandits led by a man named Calvera. The villagers then decide to hire the services of gunslingers to help defend their village. The hired gunfighters dubbed “the magnificent seven” while helping to protect the village get bonded to some of the villagers. This magnificent movie stars the likes of Yul Brynner (who plays Chris, the leader of the group), Eli Wallach (who plays Calvera); Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and James Coburn play the remaining members of the group. It is no wonder there had to be remake of this all-time classic in 2016. This movie is also included in my list of best guys’ movies.
This 1992 Oscar-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood, who also plays the lead role, is truly a classic. Set in the 1880’s America, this film is based on the story of a retired old gunslinger named William Munny who unwillingly takes on a group of cowboys with the assistance of a young boy and his old partner. In a film that stars Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris, you are promised more than two hours of action and adventure. The film went on to claim several awards for its actors and director.
High Noon (1952)
Sixth on the list of the best cowboy movies comes “High Noon”. This is another cowboy movie that stars actor Gary Cooper taking on the lead role of Marshal Will Kane who prepares to retire as he is just recently married. But things changed when Frank Miller – an outlaw that Kane put in prison – is released and plans on revenging. This classic film was nominated for 9 awards at the Oscars, eventually going on to win four including Best Actor and Best Editing. This film has been selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Set in 1874 American Old West, Blazing Saddles is included in this list of best cowboy movies due to the positive reception and reviews that it received when it was released. The film plot is on a corrupt politician that appoints an African-American railroad worker awaiting to be hanged as the town sheriff as part of his plans to ruin a town in order for its inhabitants – mostly white people – to abandon it. Blazing Saddles is directed by Mel Brooks, who also stars in the film, and features actors Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman and others in its casts.
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Next on the list of the best cowboy movies is this American Western film based on the short story “Three-ten to Yuma” by Elmore Leonard. The film features Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda, Gretchen Mol, Ben Foster and a host of other actors. This film promises two hours of action and cowboy adventure. It was released to the public with positive reception. This movie is included in my list of best guys’ movies due to its exhilarating action.
Young Guns (1988) –Six reasons why the West was wild
For our penultimate pick of the best cowboy movies, we’ll be looking at Young Guns. Released in 1988, this film set in 19th Century New Mexico retells the story of Billy the Kid during the Lincoln County War. Starring Emilio Estevez in the lead role of Billy the Kid, Kiefer Sutherland as Doc, Charlie Sheen as Dick, and a number of other talented actors; Young Guns remains one of the most historically accurate movies ever made.
The Searchers (1956)
Lastly, based on the 1954 novel of the same name, “The Searchers” is one of the best cowboy movies ever released. Directed by John Ford and set in 1868 Texas, the film stars John Wayne in the lead role as Ethan Edwards who returns to his brother Aaron’s (played by Walter Coy) home, after eight years. Ethan, who fought in the American Civil War as well as in the Mexican Revolutionary War, joins a group of Rangers to help Rev. Captain Clayton to recover stolen cattle belonging to his neighbor. The film was released with wide reception and has being cited as one of the greatest films of all time and is included in my list of ten awesome films.
And that’s it! My list of the best cowboy movies ever released in Hollywood. If you think I missed anyone or you have any other suggestions, please do let me know in the comments below. Additionally, if you enjoyed this article, you may want to read our Best Adventure Movies.