The Best Westerns You Probably Haven’t Seen

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

30. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (16,757)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 80% (8,882 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (22 reviews)
> Directed by: John Ford
> Starring: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar

In the iconic “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” one of nine Westerns in which Ford directed Wayne, a retiring cavalry veteran is assigned a final mission to thwart a potential frontier war. Amidst the tumult, romantic tensions rise among the troops. The film, part of Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy,” was well-received and notably earned an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

29. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (23,819)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (8,708 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 84% (56 reviews)
> Directed by: Robert Altman
> Starring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois

“McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” is an anti-Western, subverting genre conventions. John McCabe is a gambler in 1902 Washington state who builds a successful brothel with a madam, Constance Miller. Their prosperity attracts dangerous attention, leading to a tragic end.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

28. Jubal (1956)
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10 (3,696)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 78% (1,315 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (10 reviews)
> Directed by: Delmer Daves
> Starring: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger

Once informally dubbed “Othello on the Range,” “Jubal” is about a cowboy, Jubal Troop, who is given shelter on a large ranch, where he finds himself entangled in a web of deceit, jealousy, and violence involving the ranch owner, his wife, and a resentful cattleman.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

27. The Naked Spur (1953)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10 (10,690)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 76% (2,350 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (15 reviews)
> Directed by: Anthony Mann
> Starring: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan

Stewart plays a bounty hunter seeking justice for a murdered marshal. Forced to rely on two untrustworthy strangers, he embarks on a tumultuous journey through the Rocky Mountains. The film, noted for its original screenplay, marks the third Western collaboration between director Mann and Stewart.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

26. Hud (1963)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (20,859)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (8,455 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 83% (30 reviews)
> Directed by: Martin Ritt
> Starring: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal

“Hud” depicts the tension between a moral patriarch, Homer Bannon, and his self-centered son, Hud, amidst a threatening cattle disease outbreak. The film was celebrated for its revisionist take on the Western genre, and won three Academy Awards.

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