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Like Horizon: An American Saga? Then watch these 3 great Westerns now

Brad Pitt as Jesse James sitting in a chair.

After plenty of anticipation, Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga is about to debut in theaters. Costner bet big on these projects, and he also bet that there is still plenty of interest in watching Westerns on the big screen. Although Westerns are rare now, they used to be one of the most popular genres in Hollywood, and they still get a resurgence every once in a while.

If you watched Horizon and enjoyed it, then we’ve put together a list of three other Westerns that you may also like. These Westerns run the gamut from classic to more modern, so there should be something that appeals to every taste.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Ennio Morricone - Once upon a time in the West (Sergio Leone film)

The end of an era of great classic Westerns, Once Upon a Time in the West tells the story of the battle for a single piece of land in Flagstaff, Arizona, that will make its owner insanely wealthy.

Featuring an extended opening sequence that is one of the tensest in the history of the genre, the kinds of beautiful vistas you rarely see anymore, and wonderful performances from Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson, and the rest of the ensemble cast, Once Upon a Time in the West feels almost like the definitive Western of its day, and one that holds up incredibly well all these years later.

Once Upon a Time in the West is streaming on Paramount+.

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

3:10 To Yuma (2007) Official Trailer #1 - Russell Crowe, Christian Bale Movie

All the proof you need that the classic Western formula can still be wildly entertaining, 3:10 to Yuma is actually a remake of a classic 1957 film of the same name starring Glenn Ford. Both the original and the remake tells the story of a unsuccessful farmer who volunteers to escort an outlaw to a train that will take him to justice.

As the two form a fragile friendship on the road together, we come to appreciate how each of them fell into the lot they now have in life. Batman actor Christian Bale and Russell Crowe bounce off each other perfectly, and the movie’s many set pieces are a reminder that Westerns were action movies before action became a genre unto itself.

3:10 to Yuma is streaming on Peacock.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) Official Trailer #1 HD

More of a revisionist Western than the other two entries on this list, Jesse James tells the story of the mythical outlaw (Wolfs star Brad Pitt), but it also follows Robert Ford (Casey Affleck, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work), the lowly henchman who was fated to kill him.

This movie is much more about breaking down the myths around James than building them up, and as a result, it feels like a more honest depiction of what life in the Wild West was like. James was a thief to be sure, but it wasn’t until Ford’s jealousy drove him to kill his boss that Jesse James became the iconic outlaw that we all know and revere today.

The Assassination of Jesse James can be rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video.

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
10 best Westerns of all time, ranked
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Of the many genres in cinema, none is as distinctively American as the Western. Typically set in the American frontier during the mid to late 1800s, the Western is crucial to the very fabric of American cinema. It features numerous archetypes that would become deeply ingrained in pop culture, most notably the cowboy, who has outright become synonymous with the United States.

Although the Western has been part of American cinema since the medium's inception, it experienced a boom during Hollywood's Golden Age, where many of the genre's undisputed classics were born. The following is a collection of the all-time best Western movies, undisputed classics that have heavily contributed not only to the genre itself but to the overall lexicon of the United States. Be it for their memorable plots, characters, or conventions, these Westerns stand tall among their peers.
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