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ucme's avatar

For you, who played the best cowboy in a movie western?

Asked by ucme (50047points) November 1st, 2013

Such a massive group to choose from, makes no difference if they played the good guy or the bandido nastie. Be good if you can select the specific character/movie rather than just the actor in question.

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52 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Clint Eastwood, Josie Wales- no contest. John Wayne is second.

elbanditoroso's avatar


One of the WORST was Yul Brynner. He was in the Magnificent Seven, and he wasn’t even remotely convincing.

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL Check out my topics, we seem to be in complete agreement, i’ll even forgive that you spelt his name wrong :)
@elbanditoroso Can’t agree, Brynner put in a fine performance, one which he repeated in Westworld.

Coloma's avatar

Oh man….the 90’s film ” Tombstone” with Kurt Russel, Val Kilmer and Sam Elliot…my heart be still. BEST western to come down the old trail in decades
Oooh, I’ll be your Huckleberry Val. lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ucme Dang it, sorry. You’ve got excellent taste then.

@Coloma Love it, my husband recites it often.

Kardamom's avatar

Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Take a Look. His sidekick, on the left, wasn’t bad either.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Who was the whiny Mexican bad guy, with the scruffy beard that always tried to convince Clint he wasn’t a bad guy, then would pull his gun and Clint would shoot him? He was in 8 or 10 movies. He made the best guy that ever got popped.

Kropotkin's avatar

Henry Fonda
Charles Bronson
Lee Van Cleef

wildpotato's avatar

John Wayne, in the John Ford films – especially The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Woody from Toy Story!

tom_g's avatar

Does Johnny Depp in Dead Man count? (Great movie. My favorite “western” by far.)

Smitha's avatar

Robert Duvall. His character of Gus MacRae in Lonesome Dove, was simply great!

Headhurts's avatar

Clint Eastwood. Fantastic actor all round.

Response moderated
Seek's avatar

Eastwood, but William Munny in Unforgiven.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Sorry my money is on Terence Hill.

flutherother's avatar

Dale Robertson in Wells Fargo. He died in February this year aged 89. R.I.P.

Pachy's avatar

For me they are Randolph Scott and Jimmy Stewart. Both actors made good Westerns with various directors both early and late in their long careers. But it was in the ‘50s, when Stewart teamed with Anthony Mann and Scott with Budd Boetticher, each for five or six movies, when they truly hit their peaks in that genre.

My love of Stewart and Scott goes back of course to my Texas childhood when I saw a lot of Westerns. But it was in my adulthood and had grown to understood movie-making and could really appreciate fine direction and acting that I realized how unique each of these guys’ “adult” Westerns were.

lx102303's avatar

Morgan Woodward , who was mostly known as a supporting actor but every role he ever acted in was memorable especially in the Gunsmoke series with nineteen appearances .
Some may remember him in the original Star Trek series as the renegade Starship Captain Ronald Tracey in ‘the Omega Glory” and as Simon Van Gelder in “Dagger of the Mind” .
He is also often remembered as “Boss” Godfrey who wore the mirror-sunglasses in “Cool Hand Luke” .

ucme's avatar

Kilmer was fantastic as Doc Holliday, properly good, as was Newman as Butch.
Gene Hackman in both Unforgiven & The Quick & the Dead deserves a mention.
Of course, who can forget Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles? Certainly not me.

Blondesjon's avatar

Newman and Redford were no slouches as Butch and Sundance.

There is also no better western villain than Lee Van Cleef.

ucme's avatar

@Blondesjon Agreed, Van Cleef was menacing as fuck, came into acting late too.

flip86's avatar

Clint Eastwood as the man with no name in The Dollars Trilogy.

ucme's avatar
For any Comic Strip fans out there.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

As @KNOWITALL said Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales is my all time favorite, although Alex Karras’ Mongo in Blazing Saddles was right up there.

Kropotkin's avatar

Terence Hill for the funniest cowboy.

Rarebear's avatar

Gary Cooper. High Noon.

Pachy's avatar

Ben Johnson made a great Western hero and villain. Remember him in Shane”?

Coloma's avatar

Don’t forget Bruce Dern in “The Cowboys” with John Wayne.

ucme's avatar

Quite surprised no one mentioned Jack Palance, not my fave by any means, but still.

Coloma's avatar

@ucme What’cha gonna do boy, just stand there and bleed, I said skin that smokewagon! lol

ucme's avatar

@Coloma Wow, you use your tongue prettier than a two dollar whore.

Coloma's avatar

@ucme Why thank you ya old coot. ;-)

filmfann's avatar

To quote Pete, all the best cowboys have chinese eyes.
Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven is a revelation, and combined with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, he is easily the screens greatest cowboy. John Wayne and James Stewart were great, but Clint got game.

Seek's avatar

It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got, and all he’s ever gonna have.

filmfann's avatar

Holy Shit! I see they are remaking Unforgiven as a samurai film! Here it is

Seek's avatar

Payback for Yojimbo?

Coloma's avatar

Okay…jump start to the present. I LOVED ” Django Unchained”...not quite a true ” western”....but…awesome film!

Pachy's avatar

@Blondesjon, I loved Newman and Redford as Butch and Sundance but I never bought them as real cowboys, not like some of the others mentioned on this thread. To me, they were just dressed up as cowboys. Don’t get me wrong, they were great in the parts, yet I always felt they were just playing the parts. Great acting, but acting nevertheless.

Pachy's avatar

Boy, this thread has got me fired up!!!

I loved Alan Ladd as Shane, but like Redford and Newman, he just didn’t seem to me like a real cowboy, just duded up like one. For one thing, he was too short, and for another, he didn’t talk how I imagined a gunfighter would talk. But damn he was good (as was everyone else in the film) and it was such a great movie. if you’ve never seen it or haven’t seen it for a while, do.


Coloma's avatar

One little kiss and Feliiiiiina, gooooodbye!

Blondesjon's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room . . . How about Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal?

TheRealOldHippie's avatar

Clint Eastwood. Need more be said? As “Josey Wales” or “The Man With No Name,” in the spaghetti Westerns, he was the best.

tom_g's avatar

Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski?

filmfann's avatar

Worst cowboy ever? Jeff Goldblum in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension

He wasn’t much better in “Silverado”

ucme's avatar

@Coloma “Old coot!?!”

Worst cowboy has got to be George dubya, or fucking Billy Ray Cyrus!

OneBadApple's avatar

I’m glad to see so many votes for Butch and Sundance….

“Aww, come on, Woodcock…..don’t make me blow this up with you still in there…..”

“I am employed by Mr. E.H. Harriman of the Union Pacific Railroad…”

“Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch…??”

Kardamom's avatar

I almost forgot about These Space Cowboys!

GloPro's avatar

I’m going to cheat because this isn’t a movie character (not by this actor anyway), but James Garner’s Bret Maverick has always been one of my favorites. I have seen every single episode of the old black and white show.

Nods to those that said anyone from Tombstone. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood. Heath Ledger actually played a believable cowboy.

@ucme -GQ

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I like both Clint Eastwood & John Wayne.
My question is why were JW’s pants always too short??

kritiper's avatar

A cowboy herds cows. Is this what you meant by “cowboy”?? Or did you mean gunfighter/gunslinger??

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