Top 50 Greatest Western Movie Posters of All-Time

by Pierre Vudrag on Sunday, September 13, 2020

Dear Poster Fans!

Western movies have been one of the most popular film genres of the 20th century American film industry.  One of the first western was the silent film The Great Train Robbery (1903), which set the motif of crime, pursuit, and retribution for Western films as a genre which can be traced throughout the genre included in the 1992 Clint Eastwood masterpiece Unforgiven.  Enormously popular in the silent era by the major studios who lost interest in the genre with the advent of sound.  Still enormously popular with the public the genre continued to be produced by smaller low budget studios like Monogram and Republic.  In the late 30’s several major studio revived the genre with enormously successful films like, Dodge City starring Errol Flynn, Jesse James with Tyrone Power, Union Pacific with Joel McCrea, Destry Rides Again featuring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, and John Ford’s landmark Western adventure Stagecoach, which became one of the biggest hits of 1939 and made John Wayne a bonafide movie star.  As author William Indick, noted in The Psychology of the Western, after the Western’s renewed commercial successes in the late 1930s, the popularity of the Western continued to rise until its peak in the 1950s, when the number of Western films produced outnumbered all other genres combined.  Westerns gained an enormous resurgence in the 60s with western coming out of Italy. Known as the “Spaghetti Westerns”, these films demythologized the genre when characters often acted out of greed rather than noble deeds and were often more violent and included more action.  Spaghetti Westerns rarely portrayed American Indians as the villains, if ever including them at all.  Often the villains in these films were the traditional “good guys” like the sheriff or the lawmen.  Italian director Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and the epic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), epitomized this new direction and made an international star of Clint Eastwood.  Westerns still hold a place for movie fans and although not as many western are made in the 21st century but when they are, they push the genre often with inventive plot lines and clever dialogue, such as Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 western The Hateful Eight.

Here we’ve pulled together the 50 greatest western movie posters of all time.  As is our custom we judge posters from all over the world to come up with this list.  This list mostly contains U.S. posters but does include some international surprises.

We hope you enjoy these vintage posters and admire the artwork, and if you’re just starting to collect vintage posters, we know you’ll discover some great designs as you countdown the top 50 greatest western movie posters of all-time. Enjoy.

50. Bandolero! (20th Century Fox, 1968) Czech
Artist: Alexej Jaros


49. In Old Cheyenne (Republic, 1941) One Sheet


48. King of the Sierras (Grand National, 1938) One Sheet


47. Hell-Fire Austin (Tiffany, 1932) Three Sheet


46. Rio Bravo (Warner Brothers, 1959) French Grande


45. Sudden Bill Dorn (Universal, 1937) Title Lobby Card


44. 100 Rifles (20th Century Fox, 1969) Czech
Artist: Zdenek Ziegler


43. Gold and the Girl (Fox, 1925) One Sheet


42. The Naked Spur (MGM, 1953) French Grande
Artist: Roger Soubie


41. The Cactus Kid (William Steiner, 1935) Six Sheet


40. Ghost City (Monogram, 1932) One Sheet


39. Days of Jesse James (Republic, 1939) One Sheet

38. Last of the Comanches (Columbia, 1953) Italian 2 – Folio
Artist: Anselmo Ballester


37. Smoke Tree Range (Universal, 1937) One Sheet


36. Trouble in Texas (Grand National, 1937) One Sheet


35. Lawless Riders (Columbia, 1935) One Sheet


34. Destry Rides Again (Universal, 1932) Three Sheet


33. Devil’s Canyon (Sunset Productions, 1935) One Sheet


32. The Phantom of the West: Chapter 3 “The Horror in the Dark” (Mascot, 1931) One Sheet


31. Trouble Busters (Majestic, 1933) One Sheet


30. Ghost Valley (RKO, 1932) One Sheet


29. The Return of the Cisco Kid (20th Century Fox, 1939) One Sheet


28. Gunsmoke Ranch (Republic, 1937) One Sheet


27. Ned Kelly (United Artists, 1970) International Six Sheet


26. Somewhere in Sonora (Warner Brothers, 1933) One Sheet


25. Gun Fury (Columbia, 1954) Italian 2 – Fogli
Artist: Anselmo Ballester


24. The Cattle Thief (Columbia, 1936) One Sheet


23. Blood on the Moon (RKO, 1948) Italian 2 – Foglio



22. Joe Kidd (Universal Pictures, 1972) Czech A3


21. Shine On Harvest Moon (Republic, 1938) Three Sheet


20. Deadwood Pass (Monarch, 1933) One Sheet


19. Riders of the Deadline (United Artists, 1943) One Sheet


18. Westbound Mail (Columbia, 1937) One Sheet


17. Neath Western Skies (Syndicate Pictures, 1929) One Sheet


16. The Lone Rider (Columbia Pictures, 1930) One Sheet


15. The Outlaw Josey Wales (Warner Brothers, 1976) One Sheet


14. The Forty-Niners (Freuler Film, 1932) One Sheet


13. The Showdown (Paramount, 1940) One Sheet


12. The Outlaw (United Artists, 1946) One Sheet


11. A Fistful of Dollars (United Artists, 1964) One Sheet


10. High Noon (United Artists, 1952) Three Sheet

9. Unforgiven (Warner Brothers, 1992) Advance One Sheet

8. Custer’s Last Fight (Quality Amusement Corporation, R-1925) One Sheet


7. Col. Tim McCoy’s Real Wild West (1936) One Sheet, Style D


6. The Man From Laramie (Columbia Pictures, 1955) Italian 2-Folio
Artist: Anselmo Ballester


5. The Light of Western Stars (Paramount, 1930) One Sheet, Style A

4. The Mysterious Rider (Paramount, 1927) French Grande


3. For a Few Dollars More (United Artists, 1965) Italian 2-Folio


2. The Oregon Trail (Republic, 1936) One Sheet

1. Stagecoach (United Artists, 1939) One Sheet

See all our list of the best movie posters of all-time:

The Top 50 Greatest Film Noir Movie Posters Of All-Time
The Top 25 Greatest Prison Movie Posters Of All-Time
The Top 50 Greatest Horror Movie Posters Of All-Time

The Top 25 Best Rock Movie Musical Posters Of All-Time
The Top 24 Best Political Movie Posters Of All-Time

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