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AFI's Top 10 Westerns

AFI's top ten list of Western movies.

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  • #10. CAT BALLOU

    Catherine Ballou, an aspiring schoolteacher, is traveling by train to Wolf City, Wyoming, to visit her rancher father, Frankie Ballou. En route she unwittingly helps accused cattle rustler Clay Boone elude his captor, the sheriff, when Boone's Uncle Jed, a drunkard disguised as a preacher, distracts the lawman. She reaches the ranch to find that the Wolf City Developing Company is trying to take away the ranch from her father, whose only defender is an educated Indian, Jackson Two-Bears... More at


    In 1855, the Overland stage from Tonto to Lordsburg leaves town with eight people on board. In the front, sit Buck the driver and Marshal Curley Wilcox, who is riding shotgun to protect the stage from hostile Indians and from the Plummer brothers, a vicious band of outlaws. The passengers consist of Doc Josiah Boone, the town drunk; Dallas, a woman of ill repute, who, like Doc, has been banished from town; the pregnant Lucy Mallory, who is taking the stage to meet her husband... More at

  • #8. McCABE & MRS. MILLER

    In the autumn of 1902, brash, small-time gambler John McCabe arrives in the rough-hewn northwest mining town of Presbyterian Church and at Patrick Sheehan’s saloon asks about buying property. Sheehan, Reverend Elliott, Mr. Smalley and several of the townsmen speculate that the overconfident McCabe might be a gunfighter, but McCabe insists he is a businessman and announces his intention to open the town’s first bordello. After purchasing a partially finished building with his gambling winnings... More at


    Dismayed by the extreme measures to prevent robberies taken by a small-town western bank, notorious bank robber Butch Cassidy wanders over to a saloon to meet his partner, The Sundance Kid, who is in the middle of a card game. One of the players, Macon, unaware of Sundance’s identity, accuses the outlaw of cheating and, refusing to surrender his money, prepares to fight it out. When Butch attempts to intervene, Macon orders him away until he learns Sundance’s identity after which he meekly... More at


    By 1913, the outlaw gangs of the Old West are rapidly disappearing. Under the leadership of aging Pike Bishop, one such gang rides into San Rafael, Texas, to rob the local railway office. Though dressed in U. S. Cavalry uniforms, Bishop and his men--Dutch Engstrom, brothers Lyle and Tector Gorch, and a young Mexican, Angel--are ambushed by bounty hunters led by ex-convict Deke Thornton, a former member of Bishop's gang who must pursue his old friend or return to prison. When a group of... More at

  • #5. RED RIVER

    In 1851, Thomas Dunson and his friend, Groot Nadine, leave St. Louis and join a wagon train headed for California. When they reach the northern border of Texas, they decide to remain there and establish a cattle ranch. Fen, Tom's sweetheart, wants to stay with him, but he tells her that he will send for her later and gives her his mother's bracelet. Soon after Tom and Groot take their wagon and bull and head south to the Red River, they look back and see that the wagon train has been attacked... More at


    Disgusted by Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett's decree that several ponies make up for a cowhand's slashing a whore's face, Big Whiskey prostitutes, led by fierce Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), take justice into their own hands and put a $1000 bounty on the lives of the perpetrators. Notorious outlaw-turned-hog farmer William Munny (Eastwood) is sought out by neophyte gunslinger the Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett) to go with him to Big Whiskey and collect the bounty... More at

  • #3. SHANE

    While playing on his Wyoming homestead, young Joey Starrett spies a lone rider approaching his house, then listens with great curiosity as Shane, the buckskin clad stranger, reveals to his father Joe that he is heading north, toward home. When Joey cocks the rifle he has been toting, Shane, startled by the noise, draws his gun with the speed of a gunslinger. Joe is disturbed by Shane’s behavior and, as a group of men ride up, sends him on his way... More at

  • #2. HIGH NOON

    At 10:30 on a quiet morning in 1870, three outlaws ride into the western town of Hadleyville just as its marshal, Will Kane, is being married to a pretty Quaker named Amy Fowler. To please Amy, Will resigns his post immediately after the ceremony, but he is troubled because the new marshal has not arrived to take his place. Suddenly the station master rushes in with the terrible news that Frank Miller, a wild outlaw whom Will had arrested for murder five years earlier... More at


    Martha Edwards opens the door of her cabin to the arid Texas landscape outside just as her brother-in-law, Ethan Edwards, approaches on horseback. Although it is 1868, Martha, her husband Aaron, their children Debbie, Lucy and Ben, and their adopted son, Martin Pawley, have not seen Ethan since he left them to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War...More at