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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.

    Django Unchained
    Django Unchained
    Wyatt Earp
    Wyatt Earp
    8 Seconds
    8 Seconds
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Open Range
    Open Range
    Young Guns
    Young Guns
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Lawless
    Lawless
    The Harder They Fall
    The Harder They Fall
    They Call Me Trinity
    They Call Me Trinity
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Rango
    Rango
    Rio Bravo
    Rio Bravo
    Blazing Saddles
    Blazing Saddles
    Old Yeller
    Old Yeller
    Cowboy Up
    Cowboy Up
    Stolen Women: Captured Hearts
    Stolen Women: Captured Hearts
    Dances with Wolves
    Dances with Wolves
    The Hateful Eight
    The Hateful Eight
    Gunsmoke
    Gunsmoke
    Pale Rider
    Pale Rider
    A Million Ways to Die in the West
    A Million Ways to Die in the West
    The Man from Snowy River
    The Man from Snowy River
    The Magnificent Seven
    The Magnificent Seven
    3:10 to Yuma
    3:10 to Yuma
    The Revenant
    The Revenant
    Hang 'Em High
    Hang 'Em High
    Last of the Dogmen
    Last of the Dogmen
    Unforgiven
    Unforgiven
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    For a Few Dollars More
    For a Few Dollars More
    Quigley Down Under
    Quigley Down Under
    High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter
    Chisum
    Chisum
    Big Jake
    Big Jake
    Joe Kidd
    Joe Kidd
    A Fistful of Dollars
    A Fistful of Dollars
    Tombstone
    Tombstone
    The Alamo
    The Alamo
    Appaloosa
    Appaloosa
    Hondo
    Hondo
    Giant
    Giant
    The Ridiculous 6
    The Ridiculous 6
    Forsaken
    Forsaken
    El Dorado
    El Dorado
    My Name is Nobody
    My Name is Nobody
    Return to Snowy River
    Return to Snowy River
    The Magnificent Seven
    The Magnificent Seven
    North to Alaska
    North to Alaska
    Rio Lobo
    Rio Lobo
    Young Guns II
    Young Guns II
    The Ballad of Cable Hogue
    The Ballad of Cable Hogue
    The Shadow Riders
    The Shadow Riders
    Trinity Is STILL My Name!
    Trinity Is STILL My Name!
    El Diablo
    El Diablo
    Far and Away
    Far and Away
    Calamity Jane
    Calamity Jane
    Hidalgo
    Hidalgo
    The Big Country
    The Big Country
    Cry Macho
    Cry Macho
    Hombre
    Hombre
    Two Mules for Sister Sara
    Two Mules for Sister Sara
    Geronimo: An American Legend
    Geronimo: An American Legend
    True Grit
    True Grit
    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    The Cowboy Way
    The Cowboy Way
    The Apple Dumpling Gang
    The Apple Dumpling Gang
    The Searchers
    The Searchers
    The Lone Ranger
    The Lone Ranger
    All the Pretty Horses
    All the Pretty Horses
    The Wild Bunch
    The Wild Bunch
    Three Amigos
    Three Amigos
    Legends of the Fall
    Legends of the Fall
    The Born Losers
    The Born Losers
    The Power of the Dog
    The Power of the Dog
    Silverado
    Silverado
    Buck and the Preacher
    Buck and the Preacher
    Brimstone
    Brimstone
    Saddle Tramp
    Saddle Tramp
    Death Hunt
    Death Hunt
    Texas Across the River
    Texas Across the River
    The Long Riders
    The Long Riders
    Mackenna's Gold
    Mackenna's Gold
    The Shootist
    The Shootist
    The Professionals
    The Professionals
    Support Your Local Sheriff!
    Support Your Local Sheriff!
    Something Big
    Something Big
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    Hell or High Water
    Hell or High Water
    The Fastest Gun Alive
    The Fastest Gun Alive
    Riders of the Purple Sage
    Riders of the Purple Sage
    Rooster Cogburn
    Rooster Cogburn
    Blood Moon
    Blood Moon
    Goin' South
    Goin' South
    September Dawn
    September Dawn
    Paint Your Wagon
    Paint Your Wagon
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    The Shepherd of the Hills
    The Shepherd of the Hills