The epic film gives a historic account of the railroad development and modernization of the west. It’s a work of epic scale that ambitiously depicts a turning point in the region.
Once viewers get over the fact that their beloved Henry Fonda is a cold-hearted killer, it evolves into an astonishingly beautiful film with powerful imagery.
High Noon (Fred Zinnemann,1952)
"High Noon" has been regarded as an allegorical tale of the McCarthy witch hunts in Hollywood. With that said, it should, above all, be embraced as a Western.
Lawman Gary Cooper gets deserted by his town and is left to face the bad guys all by himself.
Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
This is the film that established John Wayne's career and made him the star we know today. The film balances a good amount of character study with thrilling action sequences (thanks to the daring antics of stuntman Yakuma Canutt!)
It also iconized the Arizona- Utah border as one of the most recognizable locations in the western movie genre.
Shane (George Stevens, 1953)
"Shane" is based on Jack Schaefer's popular novel of the same name. This incredible film adaptation features Alan Ladd perfectly cast as a tough gunfighter trying to quit the game and live a peaceful, of course, that turns out to be harder than he realized.
With Oscar-winning cinematography and Jack Palance’s masterful acting, both in emotion and physicality, the film will leave you pretty choked up.
Westward the Women (William A. Wellman, 1951)
Originally written by Frank Capra, "Westward the Women" sounds rather absurd on paper: A sizeable California farm is suffering from a shortage of women, so naturally, to balance things out, a train is sent out to haul back 150 brides to the farm.
Throw in some treacherous landscapes and tragic death in the mix; the film becomes a telling tale of hardship and gender politics. Not exactly your run-of-the-mill western.