Westerns are films set in the American West which harbors many stories. They reveal the traditional customs and belief systems of the old American West, thereby giving you a good knowledge of history. Western movies are characterized by gunslingers, cowboys, horses, trains, outlaws, etc. It is easy to find props and scenery to film them.
Hollywood has produced many Westerns for the audience and more are still being produced. So, if you are a lover of action, or you love suspense or perhaps, you like to have a good laugh while learning more about American history, then seeing a western movie is a good choice. Below is a list of the best western movies that you can stream right away on Hulu.
15 Best Western Movies Available On Hulu
- The Kid (2019)
- Bad Company (1972)
- The Sisters Brothers (2018)
- True Grit (2010)
- Meek’s Cutoff (2010)
- Damsel (2018)
- Hell On the Border (2019)
- The Furies (1950)
- Johnny Guitar (1954)
- Heaven’s Gate (1980)
- Breakheart Pass (1975)
- For a Few Dollars More (1965)
- The Lone Ranger (2013)
- The Hangman (1959)
- Law of the Lawless (1964)
1. The Kid (2019)
The Kid is an engaging Western that is a little different from the other Western movies. It is an interesting story about a young boy who is forced to be on the run, with his older sister after an unfortunate event happened at home. While on the run, they come across an infamous outlaw and his gang, who are being pursued by a Sheriff. The gang sees this Sheriff as their arch enemy.
The young boy, who has prior exposure to violence, then finds himself having to choose between embracing the life of a villain or the life of justice and virtue.
The film is a quite depressing one, given the way the young boy, who was exposed to violence, also enacted it. He spent most of his life trying to forget the sad and hurtful memories of his past. The Kid shows how most people who live ruthlessly, live that way because they are in pain or are insecure due to their past.
2. Bad Company (1972)
Bad Company is about an upright young man who is sent West by his Methodist family to avoid the horrors of the civil war. They send him away to prevent him from getting drafted into the army like his older brother. Unfortunately, he becomes part of a gang of young desperadoes led by a con man. These bandits go through a series of challenging situations including their constant fear of worse criminals and their mistrust for one another.
The movie tries to distinguish good from bad and also shows how a supposedly good and safe intention can turn out to be a bad one. The movie had an abrupt ending, as it did not conclude like one would have expected; however, there were some funny and interesting moments along the way.
3. The Sisters Brothers (2018)
The Sisters Brothers which is originally “Les Freres Sisters” is based on a novel by Patrick DeWitt. It is about a gold prospector who is pursued by two notorious assassins, the sisters brothers. However, one of the assassins begins to doubt this path he has chosen and looks forward to living a peaceful life.
The Sisters Brothers has its dose of horror but at the same time, it is fun and surprisingly emotional. It is different from other Western movies. It is a great movie with its own unique music and very good actors.
4. True Grit (2010)
True Grit is about a 14-year-old farm girl whose father was killed by a hired man. To assist her with finding the hired killer and avenging her father, she hires the toughest but boozy US marshal. She accompanies the marshal in the search and is later joined by another man, who is also searching for the killer, for his reasons. Together, the trio set out on their journey and are faced with danger and surprises during the journey.
The movie is a beautiful masterpiece – a job well done. From the casting to the cinematography, everything accurately depicts the Western life.
5. Meek’s Cutoff (2010)
Meek’s Cutoff is about three families who embark on a journey along the Oregon Trail. They hire a mountain man to guide over the mountains, only for him to lead them astray. Being lost in the high plain desert, they are left to face hunger, thirst, and also, have to depend on each other’s instincts for survival. When a lone wanderer, crosses their path, the settlers are torn between trusting in a man who is seen as the natural enemy or in their unreliable guide.
Meek’s Cutoff is more of a life experience than it is a narrative. It is a beautiful Western drama that showed the kind of hardships that were endured by most travelers along the Oregon Trail.
6. Damsel (2018)
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Damsel is a Western comedy-drama that happens in Oregon, a small town in the year 1870. In Damsel, a wealthy man hopes to marry his love, Penelope. To meet her, he embarks on a dangerous journey; however, he does not go on this journey alone. He is accompanied by his miniature horse and a companion who he hires to officiate at his marriage to Penelope.
The behaviors of the characters in Damsel was a complete subversion of old Westerns. The acting was quite good as the lead actors portrayed their characters well.
7. Hell On the Border (2019)
Hell on the border is based on the incredible true-life story of Bass Reeves. He was an African American cowboy who became the first deputy US marshal in the Wild West. Having escaped from slavery, he seeks a job with the law in Arkansas and hunts down a deadly outlaw with the help of a journeyman.
The movie is a good and educational one as it lets us know about the remarkable man, Bass Reeves; however, one would have expected more. If you like history and Westerns, then Hell On the Border is a good choice.
8. The Furies (1950)
In the Furies, a cattleman, Jeffords, from New Mexico has a ranch called the Furies, which he built from scratch and ruled with an iron hand. Jeffords has a daughter, Vance, who falls for a bad guy, Rip Darrow. Rip happens to be the son of the man who her father took land from. Vance and her father clash when he decides to marry a new bride and things get worse when he hangs his daughter’s lover.
This movie is a beautiful American Western that draws its audience’s attention and shows an amusing and touching father and daughter bond. It also brings both sexes into its story of land ownership.
9. Johnny Guitar (1954)
Johnny Guitar is a Western drama about a woman, Vienna, who has built a saloon on the outskirts of town but she hopes to build her saloon in town, once the railroad is put through; however, the townsfolk don’t want her. A heist is pulled in town which results in the death of a man and Vienna’s rival plans to take revenge on her for the man’s death, without proof that Vienna is responsible for the man’s death. Vienna is then aided by her old acquaintance, Johnny Guitar, a former gunslinger, and her lover.
Johnny Guitar is a masterpiece and it is a good movie for anyone who feels like an outsider – who is judged based on how they look or the way they choose to live.
10. Heaven’s Gate (1980)
In Heaven’s Gate, James Averill is the sheriff of Jackson County which is largely inhabited by foreign immigrants. The wealthy cattle farmers see the immigrant farmers as a hindrance to them expanding their land.
War begins between the wealthy cattle owners and the poor immigrants; however, the rich farmers are supported by the government and with the help of a soldier who is competing with Averill for the love of a local madam. As the struggle continues, both Averill and the soldier begin to question their decisions.
Heaven’s Gate is a very long drama but with great acting and wonderful music. It shows the challenges and battles that were faced in the past in America.
11. Breakheart Pass (1975)
Breakheart Pass, a Western mystery written by Alistair Maclean, starts with a train racing through the Rocky Mountains on a mission to a remote army post to save the plagued Fort Humboldt. The passengers of the train include the governor, civilians (a priest and a doctor), soldiers, and a US marshal with his prisoner, John Deakin. The train is also loaded with medical supplies and if these supplies don’t reach the post in time, everyone will die.
As time goes by, the passengers die one after the other and their only hope is one man who takes charge to solve the mystery and save the rest of the passengers.
Breakheart Pass is a thrilling western with excellent actors. Most of the fun in the movie is trying to figure out who the bad people are because no one is who they pretend to be. So if you are a western lover and/or a mystery fan, watching Breakheart Pass is a must.
12. For a Few Dollars More (1965)
For a Few Dollars More is about a bounty killer, Manco, chasing one of the most wanted fugitives, El Indino, and his gang. During his hunting, he meets another bounty hunter who is also looking for El Indino. They decide to partner, chase the bad guys together, and split the reward. In the end, one of the bounty hunters reveals the real intention of his hunting.
This movie is a beautiful work of art. It is difficult to believe that the production of the movie is about 55 years ago. The music and the performances were top notch. Throughout the movie, there was lots of action and also beautiful moments. If you are a true western fan, a cowboy movie lover, then For a Few Dollars More is a must-watch.
13. The Lone Ranger (2013)
In The Lone Ranger, an elderly tells a young boy the tale of John Reid, the lone ranger. The story is about John who rides with his brother and fellow Texas Rangers to chase down a gang of outlaws; however, the gang seemingly kills all the rangers. After a while, John, the survivor of the Rangers, is rescued by an American Indian who nurses him back to health.
The Ranger who becomes a masked rider on a mysterious white horse, teams up with the American Indian to bring the gang and others like them to justice.
The Lone Ranger is full of action and contains some horrific violence. The movie shows some deep corruption issues and how natives are treated cruelly; however, it is fun and at the same time, humorous. You definitely would not regret seeing this movie.
14. The Hangman (1959)
The Hangman is about a US marshal who takes his job seriously. Whenever he goes out to get a person that defies the laws of the land, he finds them and hangs them and that is why he is nicknamed “The Hangman”. On one occasion, he traces a robbery suspect to a local community; however, the man is known and liked by friends and neighbors, who band together to prevent him from getting captured.
The Hangman is an interesting story and is not like many other Westerns. It is full of strong emotions and a great western to watch.
15. Law of the Lawless (1964)
Law of the Lawless, a combination of action and drama, is about a former gunfighter, Roger, who is now a court judge. He then faces trouble from an old friend, Stone, after presiding over the murder trial of his friend’s son. Roger later learns that the man who killed his father is also working for his friend, Stone. To discredit the judge, Stone hires strangers to fill the courtroom on the day of the trial. Stone tells Roger that all the people in the courtroom are related to someone that Rogers has hanged, all to dare Rogers to sentence his son to death.
This movie just shows how so many criminals come up with several ways to force judges or anyone that comes in their way to drop charges. If you love suspense and western drama, The Law of the Lawless is a good movie to see.
Best Movie Writer
Breakheart Pass is a Western mystery written by Alistair MacLean and it happens to be the first adventure story that captivated me. The suspense and the mystery in the story kept me glued to my seat. This is why Alistair Stuart MacLean is my favorite movie writer to date.
Alistair Stuart MacLean (1922-1987) was a 20th-century novelist and a best-selling author for decades. He wrote popular books – thrillers and adventure stories and his books mostly centered around World War II and tales about the cold war.
MacLean became famous not just because celebrities expressed interest in his work, but his books were one of the few that were also read by film characters. Examples of his novels that were made into popular films are:
- Where Eagles Dare (1968),
- The Guns of Navarone, and
- Ice Station Zebra (1968).
Alistair has a great writing style. It is thrilling, engaging and he carries you along. Even when things get tense, he has a good way of chipping in humor.
Other movies that were written by him include:
- Breakheart Pass (1975)
- Night Watch (1995)
- When Eight Bells Toll (1971)
- The Way to Dusty Death (1995)
- The Hostage Tower (1980)
- The Secret Ways (1961)
- Puppet on a Chain (1971)
- Golden Rendezvous (1977)
- Bear Island (1979)
- River of death (1989)
He had two spouses: Gisela Heinrichsen and Mary Marcelle Georgius and three sons with Gisela. He died on February 2, 1987.
Western Movies on Hulu
Hulu is lined up with many old and new western movies that are available for streaming. So, if you are looking to see some cowboys or gunslingers, then streaming a western movie on Hulu is what you need.