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The Western genre is a group of films set in a very particular place and time-specifically, the American West in the last half of the nineteenth century. These films include the typical "cowboys and Indians" films, with their horses, gunfights, saloons and dusty little towns. The genre also includes more modern Westerns. In these, the culture of the Old West is considered in more realistic and nuanced ways, and films set in the contemporary West but written in the spirit of classic Westerns.

Westerns were popular in the silent-film era, but they fell out of favor in the 1930s, when they were seen as low-brow entertainment. By the end of the 1930s, however, some new Westerns-most notably the work of director John Ford-were produced and promoted by the big studios and were able to bring the genre back to mainstream popularity. Ford's work made the dramatic landscape of the West a familiar sight for movie-goers, and the new Western made stars out of actors such as John Wayne.

The Western declined again in the 1960s, but a series of low-budget Western produced in Europe helped to bring about a modest revival of the genre in the late 60s and 1970s. These films, dubbed "Spaghetti Westerns" because of their Italian directors, were violent and gritty, and they are most well-known for giving a significant boost to the careers of actors such as Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson.

Modern Westerns have engaged in a fair amount of genre-mixing. Contemporary Westerns like the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men melds the Western spirit with a crime thriller, and Cowboys and Aliens combines science fiction with a Western-style plot, a tradition dating back to 1973's Westworld. Joss Whedon's Serenity goes a step further, transplanting a very Western-esque story into outer space.

    Forsaken
    Forsaken
    Lawless
    Lawless
    The Magnificent Seven
    The Magnificent Seven
    Young Guns
    Young Guns
    The Warrior's Way
    The Warrior's Way
    High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter
    Open Range
    Open Range
    Young Guns II
    Young Guns II
    Paint Your Wagon
    Paint Your Wagon
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    El Dorado
    El Dorado
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    Gunsmoke
    Gunsmoke
    Tombstone
    Tombstone
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Two Mules for Sister Sara
    Two Mules for Sister Sara
    Silverado
    Silverado
    The Shootist
    The Shootist
    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    Pale Rider
    Pale Rider
    Tom Horn
    Tom Horn
    River of No Return
    River of No Return
    American Outlaws
    American Outlaws
    8 Seconds
    8 Seconds
    Hondo
    Hondo
    Dances with Wolves
    Dances with Wolves
    The Long Riders
    The Long Riders
    Johnny Guitar
    Johnny Guitar
    The Revenant
    The Revenant
    Django Unchained
    Django Unchained
    Rio Bravo
    Rio Bravo
    Quigley Down Under
    Quigley Down Under
    Woman Walks Ahead
    Woman Walks Ahead
    Hannie Caulder
    Hannie Caulder
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Apache Territory
    Apache Territory
    All the Pretty Horses
    All the Pretty Horses
    McLintock!
    McLintock!
    Will Penny
    Will Penny
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Rango
    Rango
    The Man from Snowy River
    The Man from Snowy River
    They Call Me Trinity
    They Call Me Trinity
    Angel and the Badman
    Angel and the Badman
    100 Rifles
    100 Rifles
    Hombre
    Hombre
    The Hateful Eight
    The Hateful Eight
    40 Guns to Apache Pass
    40 Guns to Apache Pass
    Warpath
    Warpath
    Trooper Hook
    Trooper Hook
    News of the World
    News of the World
    A Fistful of Dollars
    A Fistful of Dollars
    Blazing Saddles
    Blazing Saddles
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    My Name is Nobody
    My Name is Nobody
    Slow West
    Slow West
    The Searchers
    The Searchers
    The True Story of Jesse James
    The True Story of Jesse James
    Flaming Star
    Flaming Star
    Hud
    Hud
    Rustlers' Rhapsody
    Rustlers' Rhapsody
    Almost Heroes
    Almost Heroes
    The Magnificent Seven
    The Magnificent Seven
    Support Your Local Sheriff!
    Support Your Local Sheriff!
    For a Few Dollars More
    For a Few Dollars More
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Lone Ranger
    The Lone Ranger
    The Missing
    The Missing
    The Far Country
    The Far Country
    Bad Company
    Bad Company
    Legends of the Fall
    Legends of the Fall
    The Big Country
    The Big Country
    Trinity Is STILL My Name!
    Trinity Is STILL My Name!
    Bad Day at Black Rock
    Bad Day at Black Rock
    Dust
    Dust
    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Convict Cowboy
    Convict Cowboy
    Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
    Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
    First Cow
    First Cow
    Bandolero!
    Bandolero!
    Hell On The Border
    Hell On The Border
    The Proud Rebel
    The Proud Rebel
    Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer
    Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer
    Pony Express
    Pony Express
    Shane
    Shane
    A Million Ways to Die in the West
    A Million Ways to Die in the West
    Big Jake
    Big Jake
    Old Yeller
    Old Yeller
    Chato's Land
    Chato's Land
    The Outpost
    The Outpost
    Unforgiven
    Unforgiven
    Return to Snowy River
    Return to Snowy River
    True Grit
    True Grit
    The Proud Ones
    The Proud Ones
    Deadly Shooter
    Deadly Shooter
    Mohawk
    Mohawk
    Comanche
    Comanche
    The Gunfighter
    The Gunfighter