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The 10 Greatest Black and White Westerns

Western films began in the silent era and continued to be successful well into the age of coloured television. Westerns follow a typical plot pattern of good versus bad, with the bad guys wearing black and the good guys wearing white; however, each films brings its own unique story to the screen and its own heroes to the forefront. The black and white age of film brought many great Western Films. The following is a list of some of the greatest Westerns everyone should see:

Virginia City (released 23 March 1940) was written by Robert Buckner and directed by Michael Curtiz. Captain Kerry Bradford (played by Errol Flynn) escapes a confederate prison during the American Civil War. Bradford gets caught in a cross fire as he falls in love with a conspirator, fights the Confederate captain over a delivery of $5 million in gold, and fights off a bandit who is also after the gold.

Stagecoach (released 2 March 1939) was directed by John Ford and was a breakout role for the famous Western star, John Wayne. A misfit group of people are traveling on a stagecoach which becomes problematic due to the threat of Geronimo. Throughout the story the group all learn about one another while at the same time trying to stay safe.

High Noon (released 30 July 1952) was directed by Fred Zinnemann. A marshal (played by Gary Cooper) is determined to fight off a dangerous enemy that is rumored to be returning to town. Little does the Marshal know that his own town will not help him win his battle.

The Big Sky (released 19 August 1952) was written by Dudley Nichols and directed by Howard Hanks. A frontiers man who is also an Indian trader, sets off on a journey to collect furs from friendly Indians. The journey becomes unpleasant when he and his group of men run into an obstacle of hostile Indian grounds.

The Gunfighter (released 21 August 1950) was written by William Bowers and directed by Henry King. An infamous gunfighter named Jimmy Ringo (played by Gregory Peck) rides into town to see the love of his life, only to be shunned by her. This isn’t the only trouble that Ringo will find; everywhere he turns trouble is starring him in the face.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (released 28 May 1962) is yet another film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. As well as Wayne, James Stewart also plays a big part in the movie. Stewart’s character, Ransom Stoddard, is considered to be a local hero for killing outlaw, Liberty Valance. Once he returns home, the real story of the shooting is told by Stoddard.

The Ox-Box Incident (released 21 May 1943) was directed by William A. Wellman. A local farmer gets murdered and his cattle are stolen. Two drifters, passing through the town, join up with the residents to find who is responsible for the crime.

The Great Train Robbery (released 1 December 1903) was written, directed, and produced by Edwin S. Porter. This is a silent film that depicts a group of bandits robbing a train, only to meet their match. A posse is right on their trail and determined to stop them.

Red River (released 17 September 1948) was directed by Howard Hawks and Arthur Rosson. Tom Dunson and his adopted son, Matthew, build a cattle business together. Once they set out on a long cattle drive, Matthew figures out Tom’s oppressive tendencies and moves the cattle in a different direction.

True Grit (released 11 June 1969) was directed by Henry Hathaway and stars John Wayne and Glen Campbell. A U.S. Marshal (played by Wayne) who is always drinking, and a Texas Ranger (played by Campbell) help a young woman find her father’s killer.