Once upon a time, western movies were an important part of all kids’ lives. They could be found in theaters and on TV sets across the country, providing entertainment for generations. These days westerns are more niche-oriented, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good ones out there! In this blog post, we will explore 12 western movies for kids both old and new to help you find the perfect movie to watch with your family or friends around the campfire.
What Amazing Movies in It for You?
- Horse Crazy
- Back to the Future Part III
- The Man from Snowy River
- The Shakiest Gun in the West
- The Gunfighter
- A Fistful of Dollars
- High Noon
- Outlaw Trail
- True Grit (1969)
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Horse Crazy is a western adventure about two people from different worlds, who find themselves thrown together in an unlikely alliance. The film stars Daniel Craig and Emily Blunt as the sharp-shooting hero Jack Crabbe and his beautiful love interest Grace Reynolds. When they meet by chance on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport, both are determined to get back home again – but it’s all uphill from there!
Described as “a family western movie with heart” Horse Crazy is a witty comedy for kids of any age – particularly those obsessed with horses like its heroine Grace (Emily Blunt) or fantasising about being heroes such as selfless cowboy Jack (Daniel Craig).
The humour in Horse Crazy is excellent with plenty of slapstick scenes and witty banter which will have the whole family in fits of giggles. There are also a couple of heart-warming moments when Jack nurses a sick horse back to health and, as it turns out, Grace hasn’t lost her cowboy skills either!
Back to the Future Part III
Back to the Future Part III is one of those western movies for kids that you’ll find hard to top. If your family has seen all the other westerns in this list, and want something different, then try out Back to the Future! This movie will be sure not only to entertain but also to keep your family talking about it for weeks on end as they wait for their next adventure together.
-This film features Michael J. Fox’s character Marty McFly travelling back into time from 1985 so as to save his future children who are being held hostage by a corrupt businessman intent on changing history with particle accelerators and heavy water which he steals during an experiment gone wrong at Hill Valley High School -Marty must stop him before he alters.
This one is a real classic cowboy movie which features Gene Autry’s character as Singing’ Sandy Saunders who is asked to come out of retirement by the mayor in order for him to track down and stop a gang splitting the town in two -this cowboy adventure film should be enjoyed by boys and girls alike.
The Man from Snowy River
The western movie The Man from Snowy River is a classic, based on the poem by Banjo Patterson. Set in Australia, this western tells the story of a horseman who makes his living breaking wild horses for other people.
After he breaks one particular stallion that no one else could tame, word gets out and soon everyone wants him to break their dangerous cattle as well. But most importantly of all are the cattle barons down south who need several hundred heads broken if they want to keep them safe from robbers and criminals; so much so that they’re willing to pay an extreme fee just to have him come over and do it!
The Shakiest Gun in the West
The Shakiest Gun in the West is a western movie directed by Mel Brooks and written by Michael Wilson.
This western takes place around 1874 when lawlessness was rampant in many places, including San Francisco City Hall where Mayor Dapper Danforth had to employ some of his most notorious outlaws as deputies just to keep order. One such bandit is Bart Jason who has been terrorizing the town but Sheriff JW Pepper knows how to handle him with a stern warning – “I’ll give you five minutes.” The mayor hires two more outlaws for help: Dakota (Danforth’s nephew) and Jeff Tatum, an expert shot-putter turned gunslinger under pressure from his wife whose father needs money fast so he can move on.
The Gunfighter is a western film directed by Henry King and starring Gregory Peck. Written for the screen by Burt Kennedy, it also features Jimmy Stewart as a veteran gunfighter who comes out of retirement to face off against his old enemy Ben Miller.
In Shane, Alan Ladd plays the title character in Jack Schaefer’s classic western novel about a mysterious stranger who saves homesteaders from greedy cattlemen. Released in 1953, this was one of Hollywood’s first attempts at making “adult westerns” with serious themes like violence and moral ambiguity.
Shane is a western movie for kids which follows the story of an ex-gunslinger (Shane) who enters into a conflict with two local ranchers and tries to convince them that they should share their land. In these western movies, you get to see how Shane and his friend Joey work together on getting rid of one of the ranchers because he has hurt some innocent people in order to take all their cattle. It’s such a remarkable western film!
A Fistful of Dollars
-This western movie is set during the early 1900s in a town controlled by two gangs. Clint Eastwood, a stranger who just arrived from parts unknown, decides to play one side against the other and offers his services as an expert gunfighter for hire – thus setting out on what would become known as “a fistful of dollars.”
High Noon is a western movie about a sheriff who was faced with impending doom. The film’s story is set in the western frontier of New Mexico in 1881, where Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) strives to do what he thinks is right and just amidst violence and chaos.
Despite being advised by his new bride Amy (Grace Kelly), Kane elects not to flee from murderous Frank Miller or turn him over to Judge Henry Garth but instead faces Miller with only one day left until noon at Fort Hays, Kansas.
Outlaw Trail is a western movie for kids. In this western film, the McCall family must leave their home in North Dakota and head to California because they can’t find work after an economic disaster has hit their town.
They are determined that no matter what obstacles come up on their journey, they will make it to California where there might be greater opportunities available than before. Along the way, they meet some interesting characters who help them along the way or provide assistance when needed like Coyote Sam (played by William Katt). When confronted with rough terrain, narrow passages filled with snow and ice as well as attacks from men wanting revenge against one of our heroes – Hootch McCall (played by Ryan Merriman).
True Grit (1969)
There is a western movie that kids will love to watch, and it’s True Grit. This western cowboy-themed film was directed by Ted Kotcheff for Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Marguerite Roberts who adapted the novel of the same name authored by Charles Portis in 1968. It stars John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, Kim Darby as Mattie Ross, Glen Campbell (guitarist) as La Boeuf, Robert Duvall as Tom Chaney and Dennis Hopper (actor)as Texas Ranger Moon.
True Grit is a story about revenge served at high noon with bullets flying from six-shooters instead of lead soldiers on a battlefield like those we see during wartime films set in Vietnam. A western frontier is a place where the lawless still reign supreme and conquering territory in pursuit of justice isn’t easy.
The western landscape during this time was not lost on American cinema-goers who were growing weary of war films, preferring instead to watch tales set in familiar western settings that promised moments of action punctuated with periods of calm for reflection.
To sum up, we can say that True Grit is an epic western shootout played out amidst the craggy mountain peaks and valleys dotted by herd animals grazing at their peril like John Wayne’s parched Rooster Cogburn riding his horse. It stars Glen Campbell as La Boeuf, Kim Darby as Mattie Ross and Dennis Hopper (actor)as Texas Ranger Moon.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a western movie that was released in 1969. It follows two outlaws, one of which we know as “Butch” (Paul Newman), who get caught up in a series of train robberies with their mentor/partner Robert LeRoy Parker aka ‘The Sundance Kid’ (Robert Redford). The pair are eventually hunted by an army led by detective Etta Place.
This interesting western film has won awards including Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay; Golden Globe Awards for Actor in Motion Picture Drama – Paul Newman; People’s Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture.
As you can see, there are many Western movies for kids that would be a great addition to your family’s movie night. Whether it is the old classics or newer releases, these films will have everyone in the house on their feet cheering and clapping! Remember not to forget snacks too so they don’t get bored during the film. It may take some time but we hope this blog post has helped you find one of your new favourites!