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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
    Young Guns
    Young Guns
    Paint Your Wagon
    Paint Your Wagon
    High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter
    Young Guns II
    Young Guns II
    The Magnificent Seven
    The Magnificent Seven
    Open Range
    Open Range
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
    Tom Horn
    Tom Horn
    American Outlaws
    American Outlaws
    Woman Walks Ahead
    Woman Walks Ahead
    News of the World
    News of the World
    Two Mules for Sister Sara
    Two Mules for Sister Sara
    Dances with Wolves
    Dances with Wolves
    All the Pretty Horses
    All the Pretty Horses
    Tombstone
    Tombstone
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    The Warrior's Way
    The Warrior's Way
    Hang 'Em High
    Hang 'Em High
    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    River of No Return
    River of No Return
    Convict Cowboy
    Convict Cowboy
    The Long Riders
    The Long Riders
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Rango
    Rango
    8 Seconds
    8 Seconds
    A Man Called Horse
    A Man Called Horse
    Slow West
    Slow West
    Hondo
    Hondo
    100 Rifles
    100 Rifles
    Hud
    Hud
    Hombre
    Hombre
    Rustlers' Rhapsody
    Rustlers' Rhapsody
    California
    California
    Django Unchained
    Django Unchained
    Quigley Down Under
    Quigley Down Under
    Almost Heroes
    Almost Heroes
    Johnny Guitar
    Johnny Guitar
    Lawless
    Lawless
    The Quick and the Dead
    The Quick and the Dead
    The Magnificent Seven Ride
    The Magnificent Seven Ride
    The Far Country
    The Far Country
    Hannie Caulder
    Hannie Caulder
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    Rio Bravo
    Rio Bravo
    Angel and the Badman
    Angel and the Badman
    Blue Steel
    Blue Steel
    Flaming Star
    Flaming Star
    The Revenant
    The Revenant
    Fighting Caravans
    Fighting Caravans
    Jericho
    Jericho
    Old Yeller
    Old Yeller
    They Call Me Trinity
    They Call Me Trinity
    The Man from Snowy River
    The Man from Snowy River
    True Grit
    True Grit
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    The Hateful Eight
    The Hateful Eight
    Warpath
    Warpath
    The Salvation
    The Salvation
    All Hat
    All Hat
    Partners of the Plains
    Partners of the Plains
    Bandolero!
    Bandolero!
    Johnny Reno
    Johnny Reno
    Bite the Bullet
    Bite the Bullet
    Barbarosa
    Barbarosa
    The Canadians
    The Canadians
    Rawhide
    Rawhide
    The Dawn Rider
    The Dawn Rider
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    Big Jake
    Big Jake
    Mackenna's Gold
    Mackenna's Gold
    Shane
    Shane
    Support Your Local Gunfighter
    Support Your Local Gunfighter
    Little House on the Prairie: The Last Farewell
    Little House on the Prairie: The Last Farewell
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Support Your Local Sheriff!
    Support Your Local Sheriff!
    The Ridiculous 6
    The Ridiculous 6
    The Outpost
    The Outpost
    My Name is Nobody
    My Name is Nobody
    For a Few Dollars More
    For a Few Dollars More
    The Hangman
    The Hangman
    The Proud Rebel
    The Proud Rebel
    The Bravados
    The Bravados
    Adventures of Gallant Bess
    Adventures of Gallant Bess
    Ain't Them Bodies Saints
    Ain't Them Bodies Saints
    Revolt at Fort Laramie
    Revolt at Fort Laramie
    Rawhide
    Rawhide
    Mystery Man
    Mystery Man
    Apache Territory
    Apache Territory
    Gunsmoke Ranch
    Gunsmoke Ranch
    The Good, the Bad, the Weird
    The Good, the Bad, the Weird
    The Deadly Companions
    The Deadly Companions
    Soldier Blue
    Soldier Blue
    Five Fingers for Marseilles
    Five Fingers for Marseilles
    Trinity Is STILL My Name!
    Trinity Is STILL My Name!
    Mrs. Sundance
    Mrs. Sundance
    Wagon Trail
    Wagon Trail
    The Red Stallion
    The Red Stallion