I love Westerns. It"s something ns inherited from mine father, with whom I used to clock them while i was growing up. In current years the Western has fallen into disrepute, progressively being viewed as an archaic and also irrelevant genre. Once done well, however, couple of films are as thrilling and emotionally satisfying together a an excellent Western.

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My dad and also I in Tombstone, AZ.

I"ve to be pleased the Quentin Tarantino"s recent initiative Django Unchained has been restoring, in the public"s eye at least, credibility come the genre. Django‘s big box office earnings and Oscar nominations (for ideal Picture, best Screenplay, ideal Cinematography, and Best sustaining Actor) have been opened the eyes of contemporary audiences come something countless of us have always known: Westerns are awesome.


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Here"s the thing: Django Unchained is rated R, a rating that countless (but not all) Latter-day Saints avoid due to a talk given given by so late church chairman Ezra Taft Benson in 1986. A an excellent number that Mormons believe that staying clear of R-rated movie is a commandment provided by a prophet that God, i beg your pardon they obey on principle, when others have actually a various perspective…

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Avoid R-rated movies? I believed that was an ext “guidelines” 보다 an yes, really rule.

For what it"s worth, my place on media standards is synthetic up here. Now, for those of you who space considering seeing Django Unchained, Mormon Media Reviews has a good review of that to help you decide. For those who"re remaining away, I"ve got twenty-five an excellent Westerns, rated PG-13 and under, that"ll aid you gain your fix. I"ll sheathe the 1930"s to the present. There"s important something because that everyone, through action, romance, comedy, animation, science fiction, martial arts, and even musicals mix it up through the Old West.

STAGECOACH (G, 1939)


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One needs to start here, because that not only did Stagecoach offer John Wayne his big breakthrough role, yet the film established much the the Hollywood mythos surrounding the Wild West. Nearly every Western since has been influenced in some method by this masterpiece which, I might add, is sitting pretty v a 100% score in ~ Rotten Tomatoes.


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“Badges? us don"t need no stinkin" badges!” Yep, that line comes from this movie, in which American yellow prospectors search for treasure in 1920"s Mexico, running right into danger native bandits along the way. Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca) is in ~ the optimal of his game here.


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One the the good morality story in the background of cinema. Gary Cooper dram a sheriff who wedding (to elegant Kelly) is disrupted by lawless criminals. Once no one in the town has actually the vessel to sign up with him, that stands alone to safeguard what"s right. The dynamic use of camera placement and editing in this film is means ahead of its time and the stress is incredible.
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Iconic tale about a drifter that helps safeguard a Wyoming family members from a livestock baron and his cruel henchman (Jack Palance, City Slickers) who"re make the efforts to force the household off that their own land.


Sweet and also funny musical about rough n"tumble mountain men that kidnap their sweethearts, who fathers won"t allow them marry. Sealed in the mountains by one avalanche, the understandably angry ladies prosper fond of your captors once again, to teach the guys responsibility, tenderness, and (some) civility in the process. The course, once the eye melts and also their fathers come looking, the fun really begins. The barn-raising step is terrific.


It"s so good they placed an exclamation point in the title! complete of wonderful songs and lovely romance, this tale of cowboys feuding v farmers is lot of of fun, v just sufficient menace to administer some exciting drama follow me the way.


Entertainment Weekly referred to as it the best Western of all time. The American movie Institute inserted it 12th ~ above their list of the optimal 100 American movies ever made. John Wayne"s many critically-lauded movie is a masterpiece. That plays a Civil war vet who, in addition to his embraced nephew (Jeffrey Hunter), security years in search of his walk away niece, who abduction Wayne blames on the indigenous Americans. As a blistering examination of racism, The Searchers was much ahead that its time, together it was in its portrayal of ind as much more than the savages lock were frequently made to be in previously Westerns. Funny trivia: Hunter played Jesus Christ in King of Kings, a big-budget MGM epic whose musical score was performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


John Wayne romances Angie Dickinson and joins pressures with a drunk (Dean Martin), a crippled man, and also an inexperienced gunfighter to make a stand versus the corrupt criminals of their town. Well-acted, taking its time to create its characters and give the audience a opportunity to connect with them.


This Western work again, please again of Akira Kurosawa"s 7 Samurai finds a tiny Mexican town terrorized through a bandit and his gang. The townspeople enlist 7 warriors (including Yul Brynner the The King and I and The Ten Commandments, Steve McQueen the The an excellent Escape, and also Charles Bronson that The Dirty Dozen). The characters are unique rounded, through each that the seven starting as men plagued with assorted imperfections however growing right into selfless heroes together they connect with and have compassion because that the villagers. The movie was later on parodied in 3 Amigos!


James Stewart (It"s a exorbitant Life, Vertigo) and also John Wayne re-publishing the display as a turbulent cowboy and also a learned city-slicker who compete for the same girl but team approximately fight Liberty Vallance, a criminal terrorizing your town. It"d be worth watching just to watch these two in the same film, but the story is actually pretty solid as well.


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Here"s a distinctive one: it"s a musical Western through a female command (Jane Fonda, in what ns think is her best role). Lee Marvin won an Oscar because that his twin role as a psycho killer and the comically drunken gunfighter hired to take him down, if Nat King Cole co-narrates v some good tunes. This one"s lightweight but loads of fun.


Robert Redford and also Paul Newman star in the ultimate buddy adventure, together outlaws through hearts of gold whose high-rolling way of living of robbing trains and also enjoying the wealth ultimately captures up to them. There"s some truly great dialogue here, and the friendship between the 2 actors equates well onscreen.


SUPPORT YOUR regional SHERRIFF / support YOUR regional GUNFIGHTER (G, 1969 & 1971)
Marvelously clever and witty comedies certification James Garner. Raucous and hilarious stuff.

THE male FROM SNOWY flow (PG, 1982)


One the the good love story in movie history as much as I"m concerned, v a bad cattle driver falling in love through a well-off rancher"s daughter and also trying to prove himself worthy of her. Has a gorgeous musical score, beautiful scenery, and awe-inspiring cattle-driving clip (I know, it sound hokey, yet wait till you check out it).


I"ve shed track the how plenty of times I"ve watched this uproarious family favorite. 3 silent-film cowboys (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short) room mistaken because that actual heroes and recruited to conserve a Mexican town from the knavish El Guapo. The trouble is, lock think they"re just there come perform. Chock complete of classic comedy.


Kevin Kline, a really young Kevin Costner, Scott Glen, and also Danny Glover star in this rip-roaring action film written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan (who likewise wrote The empire Strikes Back, Raiders that the lost Ark, and Return the the Jedi). A group of cowboys take it on one unscrupulous rancher and also a corruption sheriff.
After travel to 1955 in the an initial film and 2015 in the 2nd (we"re walk to have actually hover-boards in two years!), the trilogy closes through this rollicking adventure in 1885, together Marty goes back in time to conserve Doc from being murdered by one outlaw. There"s simply one problem: Doc falls in love with a schoolmarm (Mary Steenburgen) and doesn"t desire to go back.
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This is my favourite film on this whole list. Brimming v drama, romance, humor, action, and great performances. American marksman Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck, in his finest role) bring away a job in Australia through a brothers rancher (a delightfully wicked Alan Rickman, take care of Potter, Robin Hood: Prince that Thieves, Die Hard). When it turns out the job requires killing chaste aborigines, Quigley turns against his employer. Laura mountain Giacomo (Just shooting Me) co-stars as an insane woman who starts together comic relief however displays how amazing depth together the story progresses.
This Best-Picture winner is a western the focuses an ext on the natives 보다 the cowboys. A Civil battle vet (Kevin Costner, who also directed) travel to the American frontier and has his eyes opened up to the beauty of native American culture. Avatar obtained heavily from this story, however Dances through Wolves is much more emotionally satisfying. It"s precious noting that the music score is one of the ideal ever.

Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and also James Garner (who originated the character years earlier) charm in this great comedy revolving about a big riverboat poker tournament. Double-crosses and also dazzling one-liners abound. Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) co-stars together the villain. Directed by Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon).


This is Jackie Chan"s most obtainable film, combine his trademark kung-fu razzle-dazzle and physical humor v a funny script, solid production values, and also the laid-back wit that Owen Wilson (a large improvement over chris Tucker; rush Hour has nothing on this). Chan dram an imperial guard sent out to America to rescue a kidnapped princess (Lucy Liu), teaming up through Wilson"s hapless outlaw follow me the way. There are plenty the nods to standard Westerns in the clever screenplay, and also Chan"s brand of action proves a surprisingly great mix through the universe of cowboys and also Indians.


Though there"s a man Wayne version, I like this one, written and also directed by the Coen brothers. The screenplay is brilliant, as room the performances, not simply by seasoned veterans Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and also Josh Brolin, but by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld. A young girl enlists a U.S. Marshall and also a Texas Ranger to help her lug justice to she father"s killer. Genuine my complete review here.
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Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates that the Caribbean) re-teams with Johnny Depp (doing wonderful voice work) as a wimpy pets lizard facing an identity crisis. Fate find him stranded in the harsh desert, whereby he pretends to be a difficult lawman to impress the locals, just to have actually his facade crumble once a drought and genuine outlaws come to call. His journey from zero come hero provides a how amazing engaging personality arch. The computer animation is amazingly rich v detail, the morbid humor is genuinely funny, and also the activity sequences space thrilling. If the film has a flaw, it"s that is pacing: that sags in the middle, is conveniently 20 minutes too long, and also begins come bore. The finale however, well-off in iconic west imagery, humor, and action, hits the bullseye. Check out my full review here. 

This is a thoughtful, well-acted, and powerfully understated independent film the was a hit in ~ both the Heartland movie Festival and the LDS movie Festival. Set in the Utah Territory in the 1860"s, Redemption is a compelling true story about an impoverished immigrant-turned grave-robber who"s exiled and left because that dead ~ above a barren island in the Great Salt Lake as punishment for his crimes. The bitterness sheriff who arrested the takes pity ~ above him, bringing him food and also water, to the disgust of the still-grieving community. Striking up a slow-building friendship, the two men assist one another to take duty for their past mistakes and allow God right into their hearts. Much more character-driven than action-driven, fans of smart storytelling will want to provide this a look. Review my complete review here. 


While plenty of seemed disappointed in this sci-fi/Western mashup native Iron male director john Favreau, I assumed it to be good, rough-and-tumble fun in spite of its flaws. Check out my complete review here.
2013"s big Western providing is The Lone Ranger, an update of the classic TV present that reunites director Gore Verbinski through his Pirates and Rango star Johnny Depp (who gets peak billing in a sidekick role). We"ll see how it stacks up.

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Now, for what it"s worth, some of the very best Westerns space rated R, and being a completist i can"t stand up to listing mine top five favorites. If you want to watch toned-down versions, these space all ~ above TV native time to time (though in fairness, the an initial two would likely be PG-13 today).