The Worst Classic Westerns Available to Stream Right Now

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

25. The Hired Hand (1971)
> Available on: Tubi
> IMDb Rating: 7/10 (3,237 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 74% (1,587 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 81% (16 reviews)
> Director: Peter Fonda

“The Hired Hand” was directed by Peter Fonda who also stars as Harry Collins. Collins has traveled the American Southwest for seven years and finally decides to return to his estranged family. However, his wife refuses to take him back unless he agrees to be a hired hand in the family home. As the two begin to rekindle their love, Collins’s past comes to catch up with him. The movie was a box office failure and did poorly with critics — one thought that “too much time was spent on ‘cinema trickery.'” — but has seen a resurgence in popularity.

Source: Courtesy of National General Pictures

24. A Man Called Horse (1970)
> Available on: Tubi
> IMDb Rating: 6.9/10 (8,477 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 60% (9,706 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 86% (14 reviews)
> Director: Elliot Silverstein

Based on a short story of the same name by Dorothy M. Johnson, “A Man Called Horse” follows an English aristocrat who is captured by a Sioux tribe. At first the Sioux treat him viciously, but he gains some respect from them as his own respect for their culture and way of life grows. The movie was a decent success, and two sequels were eventually made. However, some critics saw it as just non-stop senseless violence, with one describing it as “a test to see how much pain its hero and the audience can take before yelling Uncle.”

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

23. McLintock! (1963)
> Available on: Fubo TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime, Philo, IMDbTV
> IMDb Rating: 7.2/10 (13,985 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 85% (16,647 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 57% (7 reviews)
> Director: Andrew V. McLaglen

“McLintock!” is a Western comedy starring John Wayne and his son Patrick Wayne. The film is loosely based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” but not quite held in the same regard. One critic simply described it as “disappointing” and another complained that it was “a fairly interminable Western.” G. W. Mclintock (John Wayne) is a mining and cattle baron living on his ranch whose wife (Maureen O’Hara) has left him because she suspects him of cheating. Meanwhile, local settlers start creating all sorts of problems for McLintock.

Source: Courtesy of Republic Pictures

22. Rio Grande (1950)
> Available on: Pluto TV, Amazon Prime
> IMDb Rating: 7.1/10 (15,342 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 70% (8,774 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 71% (17 reviews)
> Director: John Ford

“Rio Grande” is the third installment in director John Ford’s “cavalry trilogy” (following “Fort Apache” and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”) — but unfortunately, as one critic put it, it’s “a forgettable Ford Western.” John Wayne stars as Lieutenant Colonel Kirby Yorke, who is stationed at a Texas frontier fort, protecting settlers from attacks by Apaches. Yorke’s son soon arrives as an enlisted soldier and is eager to prove himself. Shortly after, Yorke’s estranged wife also comes to the fort, to bring her underage son back east. The Lieutenant Colonel must deal with family affairs while under siege from Apache raiders.

Source: Courtesy of Republic Pictures

21. Angel and the Badman (1947)
> Available on: Fubo TV, Tubi, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime, Paramount+, Philo, Vudu Free
> IMDb Rating: 6.9/10 (5,600 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 67% (6,992 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 71% (7 reviews)
> Director: James Edward Grant

“Angel and the Badman” is another of the many John Wayne Westerns. Wounded gunslinger Quirt Evans (John Wayne) staggers onto Quaker Thomas Worth’s farm and collapses. Evans mumbles about having to send a telegram and Worth assists him. He then helps nurse Evans back to help despite warnings from other townspeople that he’ll only bring trouble. Sure enough, trouble starts to show up. One reviewer noted simply that “It’s just not quite as exciting as an average John Wayne western usually is.”