The 10 classic western movies have existed since the early days of cinema and, once sound in cinema was invented, the genre created some of the greatest movies of all time. These movies include tales of outlaws, lawmen and the Wild West and provide some of the best action ever filmed.

  1. “The Big Trail” – One of the first talkie westerns, this remains a classic western movie for fans of the genre. Raoul Walsh directs the movie about settlers traveling the Oregon Trail and their trials and tribulations. It is also John Wayne’s first leading role.

  2. “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” – James Stewart and John Wayne star in this classic western movie about an attorney who seeks vengeance against an outlaw named Liberty Valance. He receives assistance from a rancher and earns recognition when he is labeled as the man who shot the evil Liberty Valance.

  3. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” – Oscar winning screenwriter William Goldman broke into Hollywood with his first script for this classic western movie. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star as the titular duo as they lived the life as Wild West outlaws. The movie won four Academy Awards.

  4. “The Searchers” – John Wayne stars in this classic western movie about a Civil War veteran who searches for his niece, who was abducted by Comanche Indians. The movie also features one of the most iconic scenes in western film history as John Wayne, silhouetted by an open doorway, walks into the distance.

  5. “Stagecoach”John Ford and John Wayne teamed for the first time in this classic western movie, the breakout role for The Duke. The movie set the template for the western movies that Ford specialized in for the next thirty years. Wayne plays The Ringo Kid, a man seeking vengeance for the death of his father and brother.

  6. “Shane” – Alan Ladd is Shane, a drifter who rides into town looking for peace in this classic western movie. The drifter is soon led into a fight between a good man and a powerful cattle baron who wants his land. Shane comes to the aid of the good man, only to find that when he is finished he must move on once again.

  7. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – This spaghetti western directed by Sergio Leone is one of the best classic western movies ever made. Clint Eastwood stars for the first time as the Man with No Name and takes place during the American Civil War. The film features the now famous Mexican standoff.

  8. “High Noon” – Gary Cooper stars in this classic western movie about a good marshal of a small town. When a man he arrested is released on a technicality, the criminal heads back to kill the marshal. Instead of helping him the town he long served turns their back on him and leaves him to fight this battle alone.

  9. Rio Bravo” – Howard Hawks directs this classic western movie about a siege on the jail that a powerful rancher is being held in. The movie starred John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson and was remade twice by Hawks himself, first in El Dorado and the second time in Rio Lobo, both movies starring John Wayne.

  10. “The Magnificent Seven” – A remake of the Akira Kurosawa classic, “Seven Samurai,” this classic western movie presents a group of gunslingers who arrive in a town who hired them to protect them from an evil bandit. The cast includes Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.