Classic Cowboy Movies For Men

Friday, April 1 by Karen Murdock

You may not have a ranch to defend or outlaws to fight, but you will still find plenty of inspiration from these classic cowboy movies for men. Whether you are cheering on Gary Cooper as he prepares for a standoff at high noon or secretly wishing you were Clint Eastwood, you will dig these classic cowboy movies for men. After all, nothing teaches you to man up like the hero of a good cowboy movie. 

  1. “High Noon” (1952) – With a cast including Gary Cooper, Lloyd Bridges and Grace Kelly, this western could make the list of classic cowboy movies for men based on its star power alone. In fact, Gary Cooper won an Oscar for his portrayal of freshly retired and newlywed lawman Will Kane, who faces one last showdown with an outlaw before he can relax into married bliss. With just-released convict Frank Miller coming on the noontime train to seek revenge on Kane, this cowboy movie shows a man at his best: Kane stands up to an outlaw bully in spite of the whole town abandoning him.
  2. “Shane” (1953) – In this classic cowboy for men, a common theme emerges: the clash between the desire to settle down, and the need to intervene in dangerous conflicts. The hero, Shane, stumbles into a conflict between ranchers and settlers, and even though the classic cowboy setting may look different from your digs, you might just recognize your own inner battles. Are you ready to ride into the sunset like a cowboy?
  3. “3:10 to Yuma” (1957) – Although “3:10 to Yuma” was remade in 2007, see the 1957 version to fully appreciate this classic cowboy for men. What makes this a great cowboy movie for men is its tale of one ordinary rancher’s courage in the face of a criminal gang. Maybe you do not have a ranch to defend, and maybe you will never escort a captured outlaw to court, but you might just face gangs in your neighborhood or have to stand up when you witness a crime.
  4. “The Searchers” (1956) – No list of classic cowboy movies for men would be complete without a John Wayne movie. If John Wayne is not enough to convince you to see this cowboy movie, consider that the stunning Natalie Wood also stars. Even better, though, the theme will resonate with contemporary times, as a civil war veteran finds his hopes of settling down dashed by Comanche attacks. While modern men do not face Native American raids, they might just know what it is like to return from war and find their battles not quite over.
  5. “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966) – A list of classic cowboy movies for men would be utterly worthless without at least one Clint Eastwood film. After all, Clint Eastwood is the ultimate tough guy. This spaghetti western about an unholy alliance between bounty hunters will keep you on the edge of your seat despite the length—almost three hours.
  6. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) – With Paul Newman and Robert Redford starring as leaders of the train-robbing “Hole-in-the-Wall” gang, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” practically screams testosterone. This classic cowboy movie for men is based on real historical train robbers, and it might just take you back to your days playing cops and robbers as a kid.
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