Detailed Findings and Methodology:
Classic Western films are dominated by a few names such as John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, who created enduring archetypes in the genre. Similarly, directors like John Ford and Sergio Leone also dominated the genre. Wayne worked with Ford on some of the greatest Westerns ever, including the “Cavalry Trilogy’’ of the late 40s. Eastwood created the iconic man with no name character in Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns of the early and mid 60s.
As movie genres go, the Western is among the most-maligned and disparaged for its one-dimensional depictions of stoic, heroic men.
Quality and popularity often do not go hand in hand, particularly when it comes to film. But this list arguably represents those rare films that transcended the limitations of the genre while still making money for the studio. Many of the films on this list were wildly popular at the box office, and are also well represented among the American Film Institute’s top 100 movie list.
To determine the best western films of all time, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating and Internet Movie Database average user rating, To be considered, each film needed to have at least 1,000 Rotten Tomatoes user ratings, 10 approved tomatometer critic reviews, and 1,000 IMDb user ratings,.
We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. The year the movie was released as well as the actors and actresses starring in each film came from IMDb.
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