Last Updated on 20 September 2023

I searched the Internet for lists of the best or greatest western movies of all time. Criteria included the movies being ranked, not just listed, and generally created by groups, whether teams or committees or based on general public voting (like Ranker.com). Since some of the lists were rather old, I included a couple lists of “best westerns since 2000.”

I was able to find 38 lists. I took the 38 lists and added all their content into a spreadsheet, noting the rank of every film. The total number was over 2,200 including all the repeats. I experimented with different formulas, trying to balance the value of being ranked high on any list and being included on the most lists. I ended up averaging the rankings each movie got (there were 298 that were on at least 2 lists) and dividing that average by a factor of the number of lists that movie was on. The lowest score meant a high ranking average on many lists. The complete spreadsheet is attached at the bottom.

The movies that were on the most lists (out of 38) were:

  • Unforgiven (1992) – 35
  • The Searchers (1956) – 32
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – 32
  • High Noon (1952) – 31
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) – 31
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – 31
  • The Wild Bunch (1969) – 30
  • Shane (1953) – 29
  • Stagecoach (1939) – 28
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960) – 28

Here are links to the lists I used along with dates the lists were last updated:

Attached is the Excel spreadsheet with the raw data and the full list with scores and weighting.

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