25 best Western movies ever

With Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained hitting cinemas, we saddle up and look back over the best tales from the Wild West on the silver screen

The Searchers (1956)

The Searchers (1956)

John Wayne Westerns are often thought of as looking back at the Old West through rose-tinted specs – but The Searchers – possibly his finest collaboration with director John Ford – gives the lie to that idea. The film follows embittered Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards as he hunts for his niece, abducted by Comanches years before – but so virulent is his racism that there's no guarantee he won't kill her if he discovers that she's gone native.

Keep an eye out for the film's iconic shots, including the closing scene in which Edwards stands alone in a doorway, cut off from his family – they've been referenced in everything from Lawrence of Arabia to Star Wars to Saving Private Ryan.