Great Classic Western Movies

Posted on 13 Mar 00:00


Whether you are looking to watch the golden age’s true classic masterpieces or want to lose yourself in wistful memory of times. Here are some of the Greatest Classic western movies from the archives of film history which are worth watching.

  1. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) 

This Western drama film directed by John Ford, based on a 1953 short story written by Dorothy M. Johnson, is a compelling story about a senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart). He returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of a local rancher Tom Doniphon (John Wayne), where he recounts to a reporter the story behind it all. From there the truth about his actions unfolds: about how he came to the town as a young lawyer and was attacked by the villain, Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). The slow and thrilling progression of the film keeps the viewer invested until the very end. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." 

  1. True Grit (1969)

Directed by Henry Hathaway this spectacular classic film grabs your attention from the very start. This story follows the vengeance sought by a 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby), who hires U.S. Marshal "Rooster" Cogburn (John Wayne) to track down Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey): the man who killed her father. The manhunt is joined by Texas Ranger, La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) to bring justice. The slow and unraveling tone of the film gives greater density to its scenes. This film was adapted from the 1968 novel by Charles Portis by the same name.

  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Based loosely on a true story, this film directed by George Roy Hill follows the themes of robbery, battles with posses and wild rides. But, most importantly, this film will captivate you with its complicated love affair and friendship aspect. After a train robbery goes wrong, Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), and his close associate Harry Longabaugh, the "Sundance Kid" (Robert Redford) find themselves on the run from various posses. Selected by the American Film Institute as the 7th greatest western of all time in the AFI's 10 Top 10 list in 2008, the film’s clever execution will certainly is captivating from beginning to end.

  1. The Professionals (1966)

Directed by Richard Brooks, this classic Western action film follows the story of wealthy rancher, J.W. Grant (Ralph Bellamy), who hires four men - all respective in their fields- to rescue his wife Maria (Claudia Cardinale) from the villainous and notorious Mexican bandit Jesus Raza (Jack Palance). The story takes a surprising turn when the men discover that Maria (Claudia Cardinale) wasn’t held against her will. This causes uncertainty among men as to whether they should honor their agreement or not. Praised by critics for its thrilling performance, this film won three Oscar nominations and titillated many viewers.

  1. The Wild Bunch (1969)

Directed by Sam Peckinpah the cast includes notable actors including William Holden, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O'Brien, Ben Johnson, and Warren Oates to name a few. The plot concerns an aging outlaw group that plots a grand heist as their final score before they retire. The film follows their journey as they ride into a Texas border town to rob a local railroad office. The exceptional and sensational performances given by the actors strengthen the plot even more. The Wild Bunch was chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”. 

  1. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

This notable film was directed by John Sturges. A gang of bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach) regularly raids and terrorizes a poor Mexican village for food and supplies. To liberate themselves from this cruelty and oppression a group of seven gunslingers is hired by the Mexican peasants. The seven gunslingers eventually come face to face with the thirty bandits and must protect them at any cost. Along with that, the film does a great job exploring the human side of these professional killers by recognizing their weaknesses. The absorbing and intriguing plot is worthy of watching. The film was also given the laurel by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

  1. The Searchers (1956)

A masterpiece directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, on this list. An American Civil War veteran, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), embarks on a journey with his young companion, Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) to track down the tribe that slaughtered his family and to rescue his kidnapped niece Debbie Edwards (Natalie Wood). This is a treacherous five-year odyssey of retribution. The excellent acting by John Wayne ties the narrative together and makes key scenes more impactful. This commercially successful film was named the greatest American western by the American Film Institute in 2008, and it placed 12th on the same organization's 2007 list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time.


Some of the great western movies have gone down in history and have made their mark in people’s hearts and minds. Not only did they pave the way for modern and digital movies, but they also serve as a nostalgic reminder for people. These classic western movies have had some of the most sensational plots, actors, and cinematography along with producing some of the best and famous movie quotes. They have inspired generations and indulged them for decades. From cinemas to DVDs these movies have been and will forever be timeless relics. 

Movie Buffs Forever stocks classic movies on DVD from the 1940's to the early 2000's. Browse our vast collection of old, rare and out of print classic movies on DVD.  

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