11. The Revenant (2015)
The Revenant is a 2015 semi-autobiographical western film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The film’s screenplay is based in part on Michael Punke’s 2002 novel of the same name, describing frontiersman Hugh Glass’s experiences on the frontier in 1823. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and a big nasty grizzly bear. The story begins with DiCaprio’s character Hugh Glass leading a party of trappers through the wilderness and after Glass is mauled by a massive grizzly bear he’s left for dead. Glass begins an arduous journey through the wilderness back to civilization order to seek medical attention and revenge.
The film received glowing reviews from critics, with the highlights being the acting performances, direction, and cinematography. The film received 12 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Hardy, while Iñárritu, with Emmanuel Lubezki winning the awards for Best Director, and Best Cinematography, respectively. This would also be the first Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio who took home the award for Best Actor. The Revenant would become the fifth western film to win Best Picture in the history of the award.
10. Stagecoach (1939)
For many, 1939’s Stagecoach is the one that started it all, and this makes it the perfect film to kick off this list. Directed by John Ford, this would be the film that launched iconic figure John Wayne’s career and helped to define the Western genre. It was also the first of countless films that were shot using Monument Valley, which is what most people will imagine when they picture the American West. The story sees nine strangers board a stagecoach from Tonto, Arizona, headed for Lordsburg, New Mexico Territory.
This sees them travel through dangerous Apache territory, with each character battling their own demons that they are running from. Orson Welles considers Stagecoach to be the perfect film, and he watched it over 40 times whilst making Citizen Kane. In 1995, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.
http://www.timeout.com/london/film/the-50-greatest-westerns Source: Timeout.com