100 Greatest Westerns

(NEW: June 2019) The Old West has been a source of American mythology for well more than a century. The genre grew alongside the birth of cinema. The character of the “cowboy” is instantly recognizable across the globe - and is synonymous both with Hollywood and the United States itself. These 100 films explore the varied ways filmmakers have creatively used the Western and created these larger-than-life legends.  You can see a list of sources used to compile the list here.

 
 
romans.jpg

ANCIENT WARFARE

Spartacus.jpg

#1) Spartacus

(1960 - dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Cabiria.jpg

#2) Cabiria

(1914 - dir. Giovanni Pastrone)

300.jpg

#3) 300

(2006 - dir. Zack Snyder)

Intolerance.jpg

#4) Intolerance

(1916 - dir. D. W. Griffith)

Cleopatra.jpg

#5) Cleopatra

(1963 - dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz)

Medieval-Warfare.jpg

MEDIEVAL & EARLY MODERN

Le passion de Jeanne D'Arc.jpg

#1) Le passion de Jeanne d’Arc

(1928 - dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer)

Barry Lyndon.png

#2) Barry Lyndon

(1975 - dir. Stanley Kubrick)

Braveheart.jpg

#3) Braveheart

(1995 - dir. Mel Gibson)

Chimes at Midnight.jpg

#4) Chimes at Midnight

(dir. 1965 - dir. Orson Welles)

Richard+III.jpg

#5) Richard III

(1955 - dir. Laurence Olivier)

american-revolution-hero.jpg

AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Drums Along the Mohawk.jpg

#1) Drums Along the Mohawk

(1939 - dir. John Ford)

Johnny+Tremain.jpg

#2) Johnny Tremain

(1957 - dir. Robert Stevenson)

The+Crossing.jpg

#3) The Crossing

(2003 - dir. Robert Harmon)

The Scarlet Coat.jpg

#4) The Scarlet Coat

(1955 - dir. John Sturges)

John Adams.jpg

#5) John Adams

(2008 - dir. Tom Hooper)

French+Revolution.jpg

FRENCH REVOLUTION

Marie+Antoinette.jpg

#1) Marie Antoinette

(2006 - dir. Sofia Coppola)

Danton.jpg

#2) Danton

(1983 - dir. Andrzej Wajda)

La Marseillaise.jpg

#3) La Marseillaise

(1938 - dir. Jean Renoir)

That Night in Varennes.jpg

#4) That Night in Varennes

(1983 - dir. Ettore Scola)

A+Tale+of+Two+Cities.jpg

#5) A Tale of Two Cities

(1935 - dir. Jack Conway)

Napoleonic.jpg

NAPOLEONIC

Master and Commander.jpg

#1) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

(2003 - dir. Peter Weir)

Napoleon.jpg

#2) Napoléon

(1927 - dir. Abel Gance)

Love and Death.jpg

#3) Love and Death

(1975 - dir. Woody Allen)

The Duellists.jpg

#4) The Duellists

(1977 - dir. Ridley Scott)

War and Peace.jpg

#5) War and Peace

(1966 - dir. Sergei Bondarchuk)

Civil War.jpg

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

Gone with the Wind.jpg

#1) Gone with the Wind

(1939 - dir. Victor Fleming)

The+Ox-Bow+Incident.jpg

#2) The General

(1926 - dir. Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton)

Glory.jpg

#3) Glory

(1989 - dir. Edward Zwick)

Lincoln.jpg

#4) Lincoln

(2012 - dir. Steven Spielberg)

Gettysburg.jpg

#5) Gettysburg

(1993 - dir. Ronald F. Maxwell)

Cold+Mountain.jpg

#6) Cold Mountain

(2003 - dir. Anthony Minghella)

The Good the Bad and the Ugly.jpg

#7) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

(1966 - dir. Sergio Leone)

Ride with the Devil.jpg

#8) Ride with the Devil

(1999 - dir. Ang Lee)

The Horse Soldiers.jpg

#9) The Horse Soldiers

(1959 - dir. John Ford)

The Beguiled.jpg

#10) The Beguiled

(2017 - dir. Sofia Coppola)

World War I.jpg

WORLD WAR I

Lawrence+of+Arabia.jpg

#1) Lawrence of Arabia

(1962 - dir. David Lean)

Paths of Glory.jpg

#2) Paths of Glory

(1957 - dir. Stanley Kubrick)

La grande illusion.jpg

#3) La grande illusion

(1937 - dir. Jean Renoir)

All Quiet on the Western Front.png

#4) All Quiet on the Western Front

(1930 - dir. Lewis Milestone)

Gallipoli.jpg

#5) Gallipoli

(1981 - dir. Peter Weir)

Sergeant York.jpg

#6) Sergeant York

(1941 - dir. Howard Hawks)

Wings.jpg

#7) Wings

(1927 - dir. William A. Wellman)

The Big Parade.jpg

#8) The Big Parade

(1925 - dir. King Vidor)

The African Queen.jpg

#9) The African Queen

(1952 - dir. John Huston)

Wonder Woman.jpg

#10) Wonder Woman

(2017 - dir. Patty Jenkins)

Russian Revolution.jpg

RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS & CIVIL WAR

Battleship Potemkin.jpg

#1) Battleship Potemkin

(1925 - dir. Sergei Eisenstein)

October.jpg

#2) October: Ten Days That Shook the World

(1927 - dir. Sergei Eisenstein)

Doctor+Zhivago.jpg

#3) Doctor Zhivago

(1965 - dir. David Lean)

Chapaev.jpg

#4) Chapaev

(1934 - dir. Georgi & Sergei Vasilyev)

The Red and the White.jpg

#5) The Red and the White

(1967 - dir. Miklós Jancsó)

World War II European.jpg

WORLD WAR II - ATLANTIC/EUROPEAN THEATER

Saving+Private+Ryan.jpg

#1) Saving Private Ryan

(1998 - dir. Steven Spielberg)

Come and See.jpg

#2) Come and See

(1985 - dir. Elem Klimov)

Das+Boot.jpg

#3) Das Boot

(1981 - dir. Wolfgang Petersen)

Army of Shadows.jpg

#4) Army of Shadows

(1959 - dir. Jean-Pierre Melville)

Casablanca.jpg

#5) Casablanca

(1942 - dir. Michael Curtiz)

The+Dirty+Dozen.jpg

#6) The Dirty Dozen

(1967 - dir. Robert Aldrich)

The Great Escape.jpg

#7) The Great Escape

(1963 - dir. John Sturges)

Patton.jpg

#8) Patton

(1970 - dir. Franklin J. Schaffner)

Dunkirk.jpg

#9) Dunkirk

(2018 - dir. Christopher Nolan)

Inglourious+Basterds.jpg

#10) Inglourious Basterds

(2009 - dir. Quentin Tarantino)

World War II Pacific.jpg

WORLD WAR II - PACIFIC THEATER

The+Bridge+on+the+River+Kwai.jpg

#1) The Bridge on the River Kwai

(1957 - dir. David Lean)

The+Thin+Red+Line.jpg

#2) The Thin Red Line

(1998 - dir. Terence Malick)

Empire of the Sun.jpg

#3) Empire of the Sun

(1987 - dir. Steven Spielberg)

From Here to Eternity.jpg

#4) From Here to Eternity

(1957 - dir. Fred Zinneman)

Grave of the Fireflies.jpg

#5) Grave of the Fireflies

(1988 - dir. Isao Takahata)

Letters from Iwo Jima.jpg

#6) Letters from Iwo Jima

(2006 - dir. Clint Eastwood)

Hell in the Pacific.jpeg

#7) Hell in the Pacific

(1968 - dir. John Boorman)

They+Were+Expendable.jpg

#8) They Were Expendable

(1945 - dir. John Ford)

Hacksaw Ridge.jpg

#9) Hacksaw Ridge

(2014 - dir. Mel Gibson)

Air+Force.jpg

#10) Air Force

(1943 - dir. Howard Hawks)

Korean+War.jpg

KOREAN WAR

MASH.jpg

#1) MASH

(1970 - dir. Robert Altman)

Tae Guk Gi.jpg

#2) Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

(2004 - dir. Kang Je-gyu

The Steel Helmet.JPG

#3) The Steel Helmet

(1951 - dir. Samuel Fuller)

The Front Line.jpg

#4) The Front Line

(2011 - dir. Jang Hoon)

Men+in+War.jpg

#5) Men in War

(1957 - dir. Anthony Mann)

Vietnam War.jpg

VIETNAM WAR

Apocalypse Now.jpg

#1) Apocalypse Now

(1979 - dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

Platoon.jpg

#2) Platoon

(1986 - dir. Oliver Stone)

Full Metal Jacket.jpg

#3) Full Metal Jacket

(1987 - dir. Stnaley Kubrick)

The Deer Hunter.png

#4) The Deer Hunter

(1978 - dir. Michael Cimino)

Born on the Fourth of July.jpg

#5) Born on the Fourth of July

(1965 - dir. Henry Hathaway)

Good Morning Vietnam.jpg

#6) Good Morning, Vietnam

(1987 - dir. Berry Levinson)

Casualties of War.jpg

#7) Casualties of War

(1989 - dir. Brian De Palma)

Hamburger Hill.jpg

#8) Hamburger Hill

(1987 - dir. John Irvin)

Rescue Dawn.jpg

#9) Rescue Dawn

(2006 - dir. Werner Herzog)

The Fog of War.jpg

#10) The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara

(2003 - dir. Errol Morris)

20th C.jpg

OTHER 20TH CENTURY WARS

The+Battle+of+Algiers.jpg

#1) The Battle of Algiers

(1966 - dir. Gillo Pontecorvo)

Three+Kings.jpg

#2) Three Kings

(1999 - dir. David O. Russell)

Persepolis.jpg

#3) Persepolis

(2007 - dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud_

Waltz with Bashir.jpg

#4) Waltz with Bashir

(2008 - dir. Ari Folman)

Black Hawk Down.jpg

#5) Black Hawk Down

(2001 - dir. Ridley Scott)

War in Afghanistan.jpg

WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

Zero+Dark+Thirty.jpg

#1) Zero Dark Thirty

(2012 - dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

Restrepo.jpg

#2) Restrepo

(2010 - dir. Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger)

Lone Survivor.jpg

#3) Lone Survivor

(2013 - dir. Peter Berg)

United 93.jpg

#4) United 93

(2006 - dir. Paul Greengrass)

Taxi to the Dark Side.jpg

#5) Taxi to the Dark Side

(2007 - dir. Alex Gibney)

Iraq War.jpg

IRAQ WAR

The+Hurt+Locker.jpg

#1) The Hurt Locker

(2008 - dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

Fahrenheit+911.jpg

#2) Fahrenheit 9/11

(2004 - dir. Michael Moore)

American Sniper.jpg

#3) American Sniper

(2014 - dir. Clint Eastwood)

Green Zone.jpg

#4) Green Zone

(2009 - dir. Paul Greengrass)

Stop-Loss.png

#100) Stop-Loss

(2008 - Kimberly Peirce)

2019 List Facts

Oldest Film: The Great Train Robbery (1902)
Newest Film: Hell or High Water (2016)

Number of Films by Decade:
1900s: 1
1910s: 0
1920s: 2
1930s: 5
1940s: 9
1950s: 24
1960s: 22
1970s: 15
1980s: 7
1990s: 4
2000s: 4
2010s: 6

Most Represented Year: 1939, 1950, 1956, 1957, 1966, 1967, 1969 with four each.

Directors with Multiple Films Listed:
9, John Ford (Fort Apache, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, My Darling Clementine, Rio Grande, The Searchers, Seven Women, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Stagecoach, Wagon Master)
6, Sergio Leone (Duck, You Sucker, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, My Name is Nobody, Once Upon a Time in the West)
4, Clint Eastwood (High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, Unforgiven)
3, Howard Hawks (Red River, El Dorado, Rio Bravo)
3, Anthony Mann (The Man from Laramie, The Naked Spur, Winchester ‘73)
3, Sam Peckinpah (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kidd, Ride the High Country, The Wild Bunch)
2, Robert Aldrich (Ulzana’s Raid, Vera Cruz)
2, Budd Boetticher (Decision at Sundown, Seven Men From Now)
2, Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit)
2, Sergio Corbucci (Django, The Great Silence)
2, Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, Open Range)
2, Delmer Daves (3:10 to Yuma, Cowboy)
2, Henry Hathaway (The Sons of Katie Elder, True Grit)
2, Arthur Penn (Little Big Man, The Missouri Breaks)
2, Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou, A Man Called Horse)
2, George Stevens (Giant, Shane)
2, John Sturges (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Magnificent Seven)
2, Fred Zinneman (High Noon, Oklahoma!)