10. Fort Apache (1948)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10 (17,222)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 83% (7,930 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (21 reviews)
> Directed by: John Ford
> Starring: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
“Fort Apache” is the acclaimed first installment of John Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy”. The film offers a sympathetic view of Native Americans, earning it the title of one of the first ‘pro-Indian’ Westerns. Tensions rise at an isolated U.S. cavalry post when an inexperienced and arrogant officer takes command, leading to a disastrous battle with local tribes.
9. Little Big Man (1970)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (34,080)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (17,453 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 96% (26 reviews)
> Directed by: Arthur Penn
> Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George
This a genre-bending Western stars Dustin Hoffman as a white man raised by the Cheyenne nation in the 19th century, and follows him as he attempts to reintegrate into white American society. The film cleverly parodies the Western genre, contrasting life for white settlers and Native Americans, while indirectly criticizing America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
8. Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (30,195)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (12,927 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 95% (20 reviews)
> Directed by: Sydney Pollack
> Starring: Robert Redford, Will Geer, Delle Bolton
“Jeremiah Johnson” depicts the life of a Mexican War veteran who becomes a mountain man. After learning survival skills from a fellow mountain man, adopting a son, and marrying an Indian chief’s daughter, his peaceful existence is shattered by the killing of his family by the Crow tribe, setting him on a path of revenge.
7. Winchester ’73 (1950)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (18,953)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (5,471 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (27 reviews)
> Directed by: Anthony Mann
> Starring: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea
This classic Western is about the main character’s pursuit of a murderer and a prized rifle across iconic Western landscapes. It traces the rifle’s journey between owners, while integrating themes of betrayal and redemption.
6. El Dorado (1966)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10 (25,687)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (12,709 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 100% (23 reviews)
> Directed by: Howard Hawks
> Starring: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan
Mitchum plays an alcoholic sheriff and Wayne is his old friend, a gun-for-hire. The plot involves the efforts of the two to defend a rancher who is being forced off his land.
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