Some of the best western movies include “The Searchers,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Magnificent Seven.” From buddy comedies to philosophical investigations, these cowboy movies rank as some of the most acclaimed in the genre.
John Ford’s classic “The Searchers” is one of the director’s most celebrated films, recognized not just as a landmark western but as a landmark work of modern film in general. Based on the novel by Alan Le May, the film stars John Wayne as the tormented Ethan Edwards, who vows revenge against the Comanche raiders who murder his brother and sister-in-law. Offering no clear answers, “The Searchers” is a complex examination of revenge, morality and prejudice.
Loosely based on the true story of outlaw partners Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” offers a lighthearted take on the typically serious cowboy film. Robert Redford and Paul Newman star as two friends fleeing to Bolivia on the run from the law. While the source material is grim and violent, the film’s humorous screenplay and the charm of the leads keep it mostly upbeat.
An homage to Akira Kurosawa’s classic “The Seven Samurai,” John Sturges’ “The Magnificent Seven” tells the story of seven gunfighters who team up to defend a village against a band of marauders. Elmer Bernstein’s memorable score and the film’s diverse cast make “The Magnificent Seven” a classic of the western genre.