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Best Classic Western Movies According to Rotten Tomatoes

By    |   Thursday, 23 April 2015 10:37 AM

When people think of classic western movies, they may think of John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. For many years the cowboy has been a symbol of individualism and stoic bravery.

While the myth of the American cowboy began in the late 1800s, during the mid-20th century Hollywood began to embrace the story on the big screen. As a result, a number of classic western genre films were produced.

Here are the best classic westerns based on movie reviews as seen on the website Rotten Tomatoes:

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1. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948)
Time magazine considers this treasure hunt classic to be one of the best creations to come from Hollywood since it began making movies. Legendary actor Humphrey Bogart stars in this John Huston film, which brought home Oscars for director and screenplay.

2. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (1966)
Critics consider this "spaghetti western," which stars Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef, to be one of the greatest of its kind, noting the memorable performances and haunting score.

"Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing," wrote David Kehr in his Chicago Reader review.

3. "The Searchers" (1956)
This film is considered one of director John Ford's greatest accomplishments. In "The Searchers," John Wayne is in lead role, playing a loner who finds himself in a battle with the Comanches.

Film critic Roger Ebert gave a four-star review and wrote, "John Ford's 'The Searchers' contains scenes of magnificence, and one of John Wayne's best performances."

4. "High Noon" (1952)
Gary Cooper gives an Oscar-winning performance in this film, which is considered a controversial western classic. Copper stars alongside Grace Kelly, waiting to fight off outlaws who plan to kill him.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times called the film "Meaningful in its implications, as well as loaded with interest and suspense, "High Noon" is a western to challenge Stagecoach for the all-time championship."

5. "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968)
This western is a story of revenge turned to epic contemplation, starring Henry Fonda.
Douglass Pratt of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "One of the greatest face movies ever made."

6. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962)

This John Wayne tale takes a look at morality and heroes, and the fine line between good and evil.

"There's much to say about it; the simplest is that it's both the most romantic of Westerns and the greatest American political movie," wrote Richard Broker of the New Yorker

7. "True Grit" (1969)

John Wayne earned an Oscar for this performance, playing a pot-bellied United States marshal hired to find the men who killed a young girl's father. The film was remade in 2010.

Critic Roger Ebert noted Wayne's performance and "special presence" is one of the highlights of the film.

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When people think of classic western movies, they may think of John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. For many years the cowboy has been a symbol of individualism and stoic bravery.
classic western movie reviews, westerns
Thursday, 23 April 2015 10:37 AM
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