This 1966 epic spaghetti Western stars Clint Eastwood, who teams up with an outlaw in the Southwest during the Civil War to take out a sinister villain. It has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is widely regarded as the best of all Spaghetti Western films.
Many more recent films have paid tribute to the classic western. One of them is Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs when he creates a cinematic nod to the famed standoff scene. Stephen King also said that the film was his inspiration behind his novel, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger.
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)
In this classic revisionist western, a cold-blooded killer turned pig farmer begrudgingly accepts one last job, and of course, all hell breaks loose. This film is entirely a Clint Eastwood production with him in front of and behind the camera. No wonder it's a masterpiece that deservedly won an Oscar.
Eastwood in a western? It's a guaranteed success.
Tombstone (George P. Cosmatos, 1993)
Most people know about the 1993 classic American Western film Tombstone. Thanks to its star-studded cast, the film was somewhat of a renaissance for the genre and helped it gain popularity once again.
While the production of the film was shrouded in controversy, the film, starting the brilliant Val Kilmer and Kurt Russel, brought the western back to life for people in the 90s.
Blazing Saddles (Mel Brooks, 1975)
Since it hit the theaters, the film has become a multi-generational classic. It took the audience by storm, shining a satirical light on social issues like no other film before it. There were countless firsts that resulted from the film, and several of those who were brave enough to partake in its making wound up being nominated for (and some even winning) awards for their efforts.
But putting the finished product together was no easy feat. From casting to getting the studio's approval, writer/director Mel Brooks and his team had a tough time bringing the story to life. In fact, there was one point at which the film was nearly canceled entirely.
The Wild Bunch ( Sam Peckinpah,1969)
The film, which stars William Holden, Robert Ryan, and Ernest Borgnine, is known for being controversial for its time. These days, graphic violence is pretty much expected in certain types of films. But in the late ’60s, it was just starting to emerge.
Sam Peckinpah directed and co-wrote the revisionist movie, which was deemed as “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant,” by the U.S National Film Registry in 1999. Now, it’ll be forever preserved in the Library of Congress as such.