They go under many names: Cowboy films, Sh1t Kickers, Gunslingers…but most people will simply call them Westerns. They are the original Wild West films and some of them earned more money than many of today’s big Hollywood blockbusters…
The Top 10 Most Successful Western Films of All Time
10 – Unforgiven (1992) (Gross Earnings: $101.16M)
Wiki Info: When prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald (Anna Thomson) is disfigured by a pair of cowboys in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, her fellow brothel workers post a reward for their murder, much to the displeasure of sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), who doesn’t allow vigilantism in his town. Two groups of gunfighters, one led by aging former bandit William Munny (Clint Eastwood), the other by the florid English Bob (Richard Harris), come to collect the reward, clashing with each other and the sheriff.
9 – Maverick (1994) (Gross Earnings: $101.63M)
Wiki Info: This film update of the “Maverick” TV series finds the title cardsharp (Mel Gibson) hoping to join a poker contest with an impressive payoff. In order to enter, Maverick must first put up a large cash sum. He scams hopeful contestants Annabelle (Jodie Foster) and Angel (Alfred Molina) in a preliminary card game to win the money he needs, making enemies of both players. While trying to evade Annabelle and Angel, the crafty Maverick realizes a cunning marshal (James Garner) is also on his tail.
8 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (Gross Earnings: $102.31M)
Wiki Info: The true story of fast-draws and wild rides, battles with posses, train and bank robberies, a torrid love affair and a new lease on outlaw life in far away Bolivia. It is also a character study of a remarkable friendship between Butch – possibly the most likeable outlaw in frontier history – and his closest associate, the fabled, ever-dangerous Sundance Kid.
7 – Wild Wild West (1999) (Gross Earnings: $113.75M)
Wiki Info: When President Ulysses S. Grant (Kevin Kline) learns that diabolical inventor Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) is planning to assassinate him, he orders Civil War hero James West (Will Smith) and U.S. Marshal Artemus Gordon (also Kline) to arrest him. West’s trigger-happy personality doesn’t always mesh well with that of the thoughtful Gordon, but they manage to work together. And with the help of a mysterious stranger (Salma Hayek), West and Gordon close in on Loveless.
6 – Blazing Saddles (1974) (Gross Earnings: $119.50M)
Wiki Info: In this satirical take on Westerns, crafty railroad worker Bart (Cleavon Little) becomes the first black sheriff of Rock Ridge, a frontier town about to be destroyed in order to make way for a new railroad. Initially, the people of Rock Ridge harbor a racial bias toward their new leader. However, they warm to him after realizing that Bart and his perpetually drunk gunfighter friend (Gene Wilder) are the only defense against a wave of thugs sent to rid the town of its population.
5 – Rango (2011) (Gross Earnings: $123.21M)
Wiki Info: A chameleon (Johnny Depp) who has lived as a sheltered family pet finds himself in the grip of an identity crisis. Rango wonders how to stand out when it is his nature to blend in. When he accidentally winds up in a frontier town called Dirt, he takes the first step on a transformational journey as the town’s new sheriff. Though at first Rango only role-plays, a series of thrilling situations and outrageous encounters forces him to become a real hero.
4 – Django Unchained (2012) (Gross Earnings: $162.80M)
Wiki Info: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) on a mission to capture the vicious Brittle brothers. Their mission successful, Schultz frees Django, and together they hunt the South’s most-wanted criminals. Their travels take them to the infamous plantation of shady Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), where Django’s long-lost wife (Kerry Washington) is still a slave.
3 – True Grit (2010) (Gross Earnings: $171.03M)
Wiki Info: After an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) murders her father, feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), a boozy, trigger-happy lawman, to help her find Chaney and avenge her father. The bickering duo are not alone in their quest, for a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) is also tracking Chaney for reasons of his own. Together the unlikely trio ventures into hostile territory to dispense some Old West justice.
2 – The Revenant (2015) (Gross Earnings: $183.64M)
Wiki Info: While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member (Tom Hardy) of his hunting team kills his young son (Forrest Goodluck) and leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, the legendary fur trapper treks through the snowy terrain to track down the man who betrayed him.
1 – Dances with Wolves (1990) (Gross Earnings: $184.21M)
Wiki Info: A Civil War soldier develops a relationship with a band of Lakota Indians. Attracted by the simplicity of their lifestyle, he chooses to leave his former life behind to be with them. Having observed him, they give the name Dances With Wolves. Soon he is a welcomed member of the tribe and falls in love with a white woman who has been raised in the tribe. Tragedy results when Union soldiers arrive with designs on the land.