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11 Westerns Every Guy Should See

11 Westerns Every Guy Should See


No film genre is as American as the Western. Greats like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood gained a helping of their machismo from starring in a handful. Many made us long for having a cold beer in a hot saloon and taking a stroll down a dusty trail. Of course, like any movie genre, they aren’t all good. These are the 11 Westerns Every Guy Should See.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Any list of great Westerns will include at least one Clint Eastwood movie. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is arguably (and in our opinion) his best. Quick on the draw, Eastwood (The Good), searches after the most desired object in many Westerns: Gold. One of the true classic spaghetti Westerns ever made. Amazon Instant iTunes

Django Unchained

Someone forgot to inform Quentin Tarantino that the Western was dead. Is Django Unchained your classic Western? No. But when is anything from Tarantino grouped in a specific genre. Django Unchained is a Western, in a sense, and a damn good one at that. Tracking the plight of Django (Jamie Foxx), the movie is a nearly three-hour adventure full of action and well-scripted dialogue. Oh, and just a heads up, it’s got a tad bit of blood in it. Amazon Instant iTunes


An amusement park for adults doesn’t sound like the setting for a great Western. In fact, it doesn’t sound like the setting for a great movie at all. Factor in robots who are quick on the draw and kill people visiting, and you have a recipe for a low-budget comedy. Only Westworld isn’t. It’s good. Really good. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, Westworld is goofy, original, and, thanks in part to Yul Brynner, definitely worth a watch. Amazon Instant iTunes

True Grit

No disrespect to John Wayne and the 1960’s version of True Grit, but the 2010 film is better (though both are excellent). When the Coen brothers take on a project, you know it’s probably going to be solid, and True Grit doesn’t disappoint. If it wasn’t for being The Dude, this is what we would think of most when seeing Jeff Bridges. Amazon Instant iTunes Netflix Instant

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

It would to be tough to assemble a more manly duo than Paul Newman and Robert Redford (we don’t think Chuck Norris and The Rock made a movie together), and that’s what you get in this classic. It’s funny, well-scripted, and makes for something super enjoyable and easy to watch. The buddy Comedy/Western plot map has been followed many times, but Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid is one of the originals. Amazon Instant iTunes Netflix Instant


One of the few great, somewhat modern-day Westerns, Unforgiven is a lesson in character development. It unrolls like a slow drawl but is completely brilliant as it does so. Not just jam-packed with shootouts and shots of whiskey, Unforgiven will make you think from a moral perspective on the idea of violence. Amazon Instant iTunes

Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in the West is a meticulously orchestrated masterpiece. Henry Fonda steals the show as a dude you’d love to crush with an empty beer bottle and a six-shooter. It’s aesthetically brilliant and holds up to the test of time. Amazon Instant iTunes Netflix Instant

Blazing Saddles

Many Westerns are funny in a campy, internal chuckle kinda way. Blazing Saddles is not. It’s flat-out hilarious. One of Mel Brooks’ finest works, Blazing Saddles is a Western spoof that was really ahead of its time (we mean it had fart jokes before fart jokes were even a thing). It’s also the only movie we can recall where a dude coldcocks a horse. Amazon Instant iTunes 

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Money can make or break a man. That simple idea is at the heart of the brilliant characterizations in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Unlike many Westerns, the fight scenes aren’t what’s so great here. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre will make you look at yourself and be brutally honest about your level of greed and the role wealth plays in your daily life. Oh, and Humphery Bogart ain’t half bad either. Amazon Instant iTunes

Rio Bravo

Simply another classic Western. Rio Bravo features, perhaps, The Duke’s finest work. John Wayne leads a solid cast in this marathon flick. Rio Bravo has got all your Western bases covered: Saloon shootouts, sing-alongs, and plenty of booze. Amazon Instant iTunes

A Fistful of Dollars

– In a way, A Fistful of Dollars is exactly what we’d expect in a Western. And that’s a good thing. Clint Eastwood plays an uber-cool protagonist, it’s made by a classic Spaghetti Western director, and there’s no overly complicated plot. Just straightforward badassery. Amazon Instant iTunes