America's 100 Greatest Movies
100 YEARS...100 MOVIES


AFI's 10 Top 10 Film Genres

Part 5 - Westerns



Western Films:
See Filmsite's extensive section on Western Films

AFI described western films as "a genre of films set in the American West that embodies the spirit, the struggle and the demise of the new frontier. Brimming with subtext and mythology, westerns offer iconic images of a time gone by and perhaps a time that never was. A man of action with an unspoken code of honor, the western hero faces gun-toting opponents, hostile natives, lawless towns, the harsh forces of nature, and the encroachment of civilization. But the westerner keeps going, drawn to the freedom of the open plains and the promise of a new life."

  1. BEND OF THE RIVER, Universal, 1952
  2. THE BIG COUNTRY, United Artists, 1958
  3. BLAZING SADDLES, Warner Bros., 1974
  4. BROKEN ARROW, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950
  5. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969 (# 7)
  6. CAT BALLOU, Columbia, 1965 (# 10)
  7. CHEYENNE AUTUMN, Warner Bros., 1964
  8. DANCES WITH WOLVES, Orion, 1990
  9. DESTRY RIDES AGAIN, Universal, 1939
  10. DUEL IN THE SUN, Selznick, 1946
  11. FORT APACHE, RKO, 1948
  12. GIANT, Warner Bros., 1956
  13. THE GUNFIGHTER, Twentieth Century-Fox , 1950
  14. HIGH NOON, United Artists, 1952 (# 2)
  15. HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, Universal, 1973
  16. HOW THE WEST WAS WON, MGM, 1962
  17. THE IRON HORSE, Fox, 1924
  18. JEREMIAH JOHNSON, Warner Bros., 1972
  19. JOHNNY GUITAR, Republic, 1954
  20. THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, Columbia, 1971
  21. LITTLE BIG MAN, National General, 1970
  22. LONE STAR, Columbia, 1996
  23. LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, Universal, 1962
  24. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, United Artists, 1960
  25. MAJOR DUNDEE, Columbia, 1965
  26. THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, Paramount, 1962
  27. McCABE & MRS. MILLER, Warner Bros., 1971 (# 8)
  28. MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1946
  29. THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, Warner Bros., 1976
  30. THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1943
  31. PALE RIDER, Warner Bros., 1985
  32. THE PLAINSMAN, Paramount, 1936
  33. RED RIVER, United Artists, 1948 (# 5)
  34. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, MGM, 1962
  35. RIO BRAVO, Warner Bros., 1959
  36. RIO GRANDE, Republic, 1950
  37. THE SEARCHERS, Warner Bros., 1956 (# 1)
  38. SHANE, Paramount, 1953 (# 3)
  39. SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, RKO, 1949
  40. THE SHOOTIST, Paramount, 1976
  41. SILVERADO, Columbia, 1985
  42. STAGECOACH, United Artists, 1939 (# 9)
  43. THE TALL T, Columbia, 1957
  44. TRUE GRIT, Paramount, 1969
  45. TUMBLEWEEDS, United Artists, 1925
  46. UNFORGIVEN, Warner Bros., 1992 (# 4)
  47. UNION PACIFIC, Paramount, 1939
  48. THE WESTERNER, United Artists, 1940
  49. THE WILD BUNCH, Warner Bros., 1969 (# 6)
  50. WILL PENNY, Paramount, 1968

Nominees: 11 of the 50 movies featured John Wayne; 10 of the 50 movies were directed by John Ford. Seven of these 21 movies featured both John Ford and John Wayne.

Winners: The Searchers (1956) (# 1), High Noon (1952) (# 2), Shane (1953) (# 3), Unforgiven (1992) (# 4), Red River (1948) (# 5), The Wild Bunch (1969) (# 6), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (# 7), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) (# 8), Stagecoach (1939) (# 9), Cat Ballou (1965) (# 10).

Comments: Cat Ballou (1965) doesn't belong in the top 10 - it's basically a comedy. I'm assuming that any of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, such as The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966) were not eligible, as well as Leone's excellent Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).


AFI's 10 Top 10 Film Genres
Introduction | Part 1 - Animated | Part 2 - Fantasy | Part 3 - Gangster | Part 4 - Science Fiction | Part 5 - Western
Part 6 - Sports | Part 7 - Mystery | Part 8 - Romantic Comedy | Part 9 - Courtroom Drama | Part 10 - Epic



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