The Top Ten Clint Eastwood Western Movies
Clint Eastwood is an incredible actor and director
His career has spanned the gamut from WWII biopics to incredible dramas. The roles that Eastwood is most famous for, however, are his western movies that he starred in during the 1960s and 1970s. Clint Eastwood is practically made for western movies, from his gruff raspy voice to his towering frame, and he solidified his position as the best western actor of all time with these ten films.
Here are the Clint Eastwood movies list:
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Chances are if you’ve never seen another western movie, you’ve still seen this incredible Sergio Leone film. From the musical score to the brutal plot, many film critics consider this to be the best western (if not the best film in general) of all time.
- For a Few Dollars More – This was the first of Clint Eastwood’s most famous series of western movies – the so-called “man with no name” trilogy that completely changed the way that westerns were written and produced. Sergio Leone proved that western movies didn’t have to rely on campy special effects or constant dialogue to engage audiences – and Clint Eastwood wore a pretty amazing poncho throughout the movie as his character reveled in anonymity and mystique.
- A Fistful of Dollars – It is no coincidence that a list of the ten best Clint Eastwood westerns starts out with the three that were produced by Sergio Leone. In a way, these three movies “created” the character that Clint Eastwood would go on to draw from in his other hits westerns. Clint Eastwood showed that the ‘hero’ of a western movie could sometimes blur the lines between the traditional good-guy and the villain.
- Unforgiven – Unforgiven is a relatively recent entry into the Eastwood canon, but it demonstrated that age has only deepened Eastwood’s characterization of the reluctant western hero. In this movie, Eastwood comes out of retirement to take on a corrupt group of villains – and Morgan Freeman guest stars as his trustworthy companion.
- Pale Rider – In this Clint Eastwood movie, the hero protects a mining village from the company that is trying to steal their land in the name of profits. The idea of “man versus corporation” was popular in Western movies, tying into the resentment that many movie-goers have towards the establishment in their own countries.
- The Outlaw Josey Wales – After the American Civil War, many former Confederate soldiers joined guerrilla units that operated throughout the United States. Some of these guerrilla units sought to avenge the deaths of friends and family at the hands of Union soldiers, such as the “outlaw” in this film.
- Two Mules for Sister Sara – This is one of the most underrated westerns that Clint Eastwood has been in – and it received only limited release in the United States when it was produced. Clint Eastwood occupies a nun named Sara after rescuing her from bandits – and the contrast between Eastwood’s hard personality and Shrley MacLaine’s femininity makes for a very different dynamic than the normal “buddy-cop” type western.
- Hang ‘Em High – In one of the most brutal of the Clint Eastwood movies – this time the hero returns after almost being killed during a lynching to bring the entire town to justice for its vigilante error.
- High Plains Drifter – This is actually an adaptation of a popular Japanese movie, but set in a very different time period and environment. Instead of a samurai training a village to defend itself, this time Eastwood plays a gunfighter that helps a town band together to hold off three outlaws and their henchmen.
- Joe Kidd – If you are interested in the historical tensions that permeated the American border with Mexico, this is a great movie to demonstrate how ranchers, landowners, and Mexicans lived in an uneasy alliance on the great plains. Joe Kidd is a bounty-hunter that comes out of retirement to track down a Mexican revolutionary leader, only to learn that his employer (a wealthy landowner) is using his skills to turn a profit on land seizures.