Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time till 2017. For over many years the western movies have been very popular and uniquely American staple, even though this genre has seen both lows and high in its popularity. As a matter of fact, the Westerns film genre has been dominant since the start of cinema up to about the year 1960. At the moment they seem to be making a major comeback, at least on Television. Among the people who have contributed to the Western movies iconography are Anthony Manns and John Fords, just to mention a few. Below is a list of the top 10 best classic western movies of all time that you might be interested in. Let’s take a look.

List of Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time till 2017

10. Dances with Wolves

Dances with Wolves Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time 2017

This is a 1990 movie directed by Kevin Costner. The movies highlights the journey of John Dunbar, a lieutenant who somehow finds himself standing at a position where the path to future has been split in two. Dunbar who is sent to a remote settlement located in the Dakota’s territory wilderness at the time where America was involved in a civil war, comes into an encounter with the native tribe of Sioux who eventually accepts him into the tribe, naming him “Dances with Wolves”. While staying here he gets deeper into the tribal ways, neglecting his army duties. After some time the army invades the plains, and Dunbar is caught in a dilemma to make a decision whose consequences will also affect the lives of his people (the natives).

9. The Wild Bunch


Produced in the year 1969, and directed by Sam Peckinpah. Had an IMDb rating of 8.1. This movie unfolds when a gang of timeworn bandits makes its attempt to achieve their last job, in the growing modern world of the year 1913. But their retirement strategy is as rusty as the guns they plan using on their mission. This modern western movie depicts the death of the wild west. Movie’s main cast included Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, and William Holden.

8. Stagecoach

Stagecoach Top Famous Classic Western Movies of All Time 2019

This movie was directed by John Ford and had an IMDb rating of 8.0. This movie narrates the story of some fascinating individuals travelling via a stagecoach. This story is even made more interesting by the presence of Geronimo accompanied by his Apaches in this area, who were on a war path in the same area. This movie was the first super hit done by John Wayne. Other members of the cast included John Carradine, Andy Devine, and Claire Trevor.

7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

This movie was directed by George Ray Hill and scored 8.2 in the IMDb rating. This movie is ranked as one of the classic western movies. This is a hilarious western action movie basing its story on the adventures of the historical characters. Sundance and Butch are the leaders of a gang called the ‘Hole in the Wall’. Sundance is the strongest member of the gang and Butch its brain. These characters accomplish several adventurous robberies together but soon the west starts changing into a civilized society that does not harbor outlaws. As a result, Butch comes up with an idea that they go to Bolivia. You will enjoy watching last days of these outlaws! This movie was selected for purposes of preservation in the National Film Registry of the United States in 2003.

6. Red River

Red River Top Popular Classic Western Movies of All Time 2018

This classic western movie was directed by Arthur Rosson and Howard Hawks, and acquired 7.9 in the IMDb rating. This movie unfolds when Dunson who was driving his heard of cattle to Kansas, from Texas along the trail of Chisholm is stood against by Matthew, his adopted son. The turn of events is unpredictable. The movie’s main cast includes Joanne Dru, Montgomery Cliff, and John Wayne.

5. Unforgiven


This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood. This movie unfolds when William Munny, an old time outlaw, for the sake of his kids’ future sets out for his last job. Other members of his gang are his old friend known as Ned, and ‘The Schofield Kid’. This gang is employed by the prostitutes of the ‘Big Whisky’ town who get mad after a fellow prostitute is cut by drunken cowboys. This movie is considered the only 3rd western to take the Oscar award for the best picture. This is one of the Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time till 2017.

4. Shane

Shane Top Most Popular Classic Western Movies of All Time 2018

Directed by George Stevens in the year 1953. Gained 7.7 in the IMDb rating. This movie is based on the story of a boy’s love for a mysterious stranger after he rescued his family. This movie was ranked number 45 in the AFI’s 100 movies list, in 2007, and number three on the top 10 AFI’s western category. Its main cast included Jack Palance, Brandon De Wilde, Jean Arthur, and Alan Ladd.

3. High Noon

High Noon Top Most Classic Western Movies of All Time 2017

Was directed by Fred Zinnemann. High Noon is characterized by components such as witty dialogues, tight knit scripts, and impeccable performances, which gives it an age over all classic western movies. This movie unfolds when a town sheriff, Will Kane, on his wedding and retirement day, discovers that Miller was on his way to this town to take his revenge on him. Miller is a man he sent to prison in the past years, and had just been released. This movie leaves one wondering whether Mr. Kane will be supported against Miller by the town he protected for several years. Sit tight and watch the real heat of High Noon. It’s just beginning to get tough!

2. The Searchers

The Searchers Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time

Directed by John Ford in 1956 and had an IMDb rating of 8.1. Here, John Wayne plays an ex-army veteran, Ethan Edwards, who on returning from the civil war finds out that his brother’s ranch in Texas had been destroyed and his family massacred during the Comanche raid lead by Chief Scar. He also discovers that his niece Debbie had been abducted by Indians. He then sets out to search for his niece accompanied by Martin, his nephew (half Indian). On this journey, they also have to face their demons. This movie is a must watch for every lover of John Wayne movies, and a nice catch in this list!

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


This movie was directed by Sergio Leon in 1996. Its main cast included Lee Van Cleef, Clint Eastwood, and Eli Wallach. This movie stands out in each feature of a classic western movie, and is the perfect movie for top position on this list. Even though some people criticize this movie as a spaghetti western, there is no other western that could compare to this movie in terms of camera work or dialogues, background music, characters, the acting, and its direction. This movie is hilarious, violent, entertaining, and has everything to expect from a classic western movie. This is a movie you wouldn’t want to miss!

These are the Top 10 Best Classic Western Movies of All Time till 2017. If you are a western film freak you probably have most of these classic western movies in your collection already. If you haven’t yet watched these movies, this is your chance!