Best Classic Westerns Available to Stream from Home

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

5. High Noon (1952)
> Available on: Pluto TV, Amazon Prime
> IMDb Rating: 8/10 (100,798 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (25,494 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (58 reviews)
> Director: Fred Zinnemann

Another Western starring Gary Cooper, “High Noon” broke the mold of what a Western was and could be. Previously, Westerns were usually packed with gunfights and chase scenes. “High Noon” follows Marshal Will Kane, who must either face a gang of killers alone or flee with his wife. Instead of nonstop shootouts, “High Noon” focuses on dialogue and moral questions of duty versus survival as the lawman scours the town looking for some backup in the impending showdown.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

4. Unforgiven (1992)
> Available on: HBO Max
> IMDb Rating: 8.2/10 (391,927 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (122,861 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (106 reviews)
> Director: Clint Eastwood

“Unforgiven” was part of the revival in popularity of Westerns during the 1990s. The film won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Clint Eastwood. Eastwood also starred as former outlaw Will Munny. Two cowboys slash a prostitute’s face, setting off a chain of events that drags Munny back into a life of violence. The local sheriff makes the cowboys turn over some horses to the brothel owner as payment. However, the brothel’s employees aren’t satisfied and put a $1,000 bounty on the offenders’ heads.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
> Available on: Criterion Channel
> IMDb Rating: 8.2/10 (119,669 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 93% (26,178 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (52 reviews)
> Director: John Huston

Based on the B. Traven novel of the same name, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” follows two men who team up with an old prospector on a quest to find gold in Mexico. They head off into the Sierra Madre Mountains, arduously traversing the harsh terrain for days. Their fortunes begin to look up, but distrust and greed quickly set in. Humphrey Bogart stars in this classic.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

2. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
> Available on: Hulu Plus, Paramount+
> IMDb Rating: 8.5/10 (314,446 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 95% (65,906 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (65 reviews)
> Director: Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone’s Western epic is a tale of moral ambiguity and harsh living on the frontier. The film tells the interwoven stories of a land conflict over a new railroad and a quest for revenge against a feared local outlaw. A mysterious gunslinger and his harmonica arrive in the windswept, wayward town of Flagstone and things quickly get interesting. The film was originally a flop at the box office after studio executives cut out key scenes to reduce runtime. However, it’s now restored and is available to watch at its intended length.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
> Available on: HBO Max
> IMDb Rating: 8.8/10 (718,036 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 97% (239,989 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 97% (77 reviews)
> Director: Sergio Leone

One of the most famous Westerns of all-time, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is another Sergio Leone epic, this one following three gunslingers who are as similar as they are different. All three are on the hunt for stolen Confederate gold as frontier battles of the Civil War rage around them. They must navigate their treacherous world and their relationships with each other as they race to the hidden cache. The film is acclaimed for its beautiful cinematography, haunting music, and masterfully built tension.