The Best Westerns You Probably Haven’t Seen

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

40. The Professionals (1966)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (15,262)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (3,973 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 88% (17 reviews)
> Directed by: Richard Brooks
> Starring: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan

In “The Professionals,” four experts are hired by a rancher to rescue his ‘kidnapped’ wife from a former revolutionary leader. The twist comes when the team discovers the wife is not a captive but the leader’s willing lover, leading to a moral standoff at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

39. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (18,848)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (7,669 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (21 reviews)
> Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
> Starring: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel

“Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” is a revisionist Western exploring the tumultuous friendship between aging lawman Pat Garrett and his former friend, Billy the Kid. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, the film is known for Bob Dylan’s Grammy-nominated score, and became notorious for behind-the-scenes battles leading to a re-edited version disowned by the cast and crew.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

38. The Cowboys (1972)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (13,780)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 88% (9,668 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 80% (15 reviews)
> Directed by: Mark Rydell
> Starring: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern

When his ranch hands abandon him for a gold rush, rancher Wil Andersen (Wayne) is forced to hire local schoolboys for a 400-mile cattle drive. The boys prove themselves, even as they face threats from a gang of cattle rustlers led by Asa “Long Hair” Watts.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

37. Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (7,222)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (1,646 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 91% (11 reviews)
> Directed by: John Sturges
> Starring: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones

In this gripping tale of law, loss, and retribution, Douglas and Quinn star as old friends turned enemies due to a horrific crime. Douglas plays a U.S. marshal seeking justice for his murdered Cherokee wife, who learns that the son of the wealthy cattle baron played by Quinn is the perpetrator.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

36. The Man From Snowy River (1982)
> IMDb user rating: 7.2/10 (9,651)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (26,356 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 85% (13 reviews)
> Directed by: George Miller
> Starring: Kirk Douglas, Tom Burlinson, Terence Donovan

This Australian Western features Douglas in dual roles, playing brothers Harrison and Spur. The film, based on a Banjo Paterson poem, follows Jim Craig, a young man who must prove his worth after his father’s death. He deals with familial secrets, forbidden love, and wild horse mobs, ultimately capturing an elusive prize colt, demonstrating his mettle.

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