Western films will always have a special place in our hearts. They are movies that talk about the wild frontier, of gunslinging heroes and evil bank-robbing villains. They're the kind of films that you feel tough just watching, and as a result, give us an wild ride in the world of yesterday every single time.
Of all the movie tropes found in Western movies, Western saloon fights are the most well-known. They're entertaining, and make bar fights look way more action-packed than they probably were.
We decided to scope out the best Western saloon fights in films as a way to celebrate the cowboy-friendly genre. Here are our favorite picks...
Blazing Saddles is one of those Western films you really can't hate, even if you detest the genre as a whole. The entire movie features insane slapstick comedy, crazy characters, and some of the most timeless lines in all of movie history.
Of all the saloon fights you'll see, this one has to be one of the most comedic — and one of the least threatening. This is one of the only Western saloon fights that has no guns, but plenty of pies. They call it "The Great Pie Fight," and man, does it look like it'd be fun to join in.
Cowboys And Aliens
Cowboys and Aliens might just be the only Western film we've ever seen that had cowboys, Native Americans, and aliens from outer space. The film itself has a lot of elements that most films wouldn't touch, including topics like masculinity, atonement, and even the stigma that comes with crime.
A truly underrated film if there ever was one, Cowboys and Aliens has one of the best Western saloon fights in recent film history. It's high tension, and doesn't go for the "full scale chaos" approach that so many other saloon fights do. It grips you, and makes you want to know what'll happen next.
In a word? It's genius.
The Magnificent Seven
The Magnificent Seven is an amazing remake of a classic tale, and the 2016 release definitely didn't go unnoticed among Western film fans. The costumes were superb, there were knee-slappingly funny moments, and of course, there were plenty of fights throughout the flick.
People who want to see Western saloon fights that actually involve guns will find this scene in particular to be a refreshing twist. That being said, this isn't the only time that cowboys will end up showing their fighting skills in this movie.
Love brawls? Yes, you'll adore The Magnificent Seven.
The Long Riders
The Long Riders is one of the few films in the Western genre that doesn't really glorify cowboys and sheriffs in the classic way. Rather, the film gives a very sympathetic look at the life of Jesse James and his gang — and does so quite poignantly.
Almost all of the Western saloon fights so far had a lot of tension, but few really add the undertone of brotherhood and support for one another like this saloon fight. Yes, it's tense. Yes, it's one of the only ones on here that also had rules to it. But, you can see concern in a number of peoples' eyes in this scene, and that's what really adds a cool layer of reality to it.
If you love Jackie Chan, then you already have watched Shanghai Noon, an action-adventure flick with plenty of Western saloon fights that just so happen to have lots of Eastern martial arts moves in them. Well, okay, there was really just one real major saloon fight but still — it's a good one.
Overall, this isn't a movie for someone who wants realism. The fact is that fans of over the top saloon fights will love a lot of the fights in this movie, and that's the group who this film was really made for. The choreography is amazing, and some of the stunts are just absolutely hilarious.
For Just A Dollar More
This gritty Clint Eastwood film has everything that you would expect to see in classic Western films. It also happens to have one of the most brilliantly acted Western saloon fight scenes in film making history — but that's to be expected considering who's in the movie.
For Just A Dollar More is one of those films that really makes it easy to feel like you can unleash your inner badass after watching it. As one of the top Western fights of all time, it's hard not to cheer for the badass poncho wearer after watching him in action.
Unforgiven has a lot of elements that make it one of the best Western films of recent history. The excellent plot and rich characters really get you sucked into the film, almost to the point that you forget that you're watching a movie.
But, if you love Western saloon fights, you'll probably say that it's the movie's top quality cinematography and sets that really make it great. The saloon shootout is pulse-pounding and at the same time, incredibly beautiful.
To fully understand why this is one of the top saloon fights in recent years, you really do need to watch it and absorb its aesthetic. Trust us, it's worth it.
Top Secret! is one of the first movies we've ever seen that features Western saloon fights that happen underwater. Actually, it's the only movie we've ever seen that has a full saloon fight underneath the ocean. That alone makes the film worth seeing.
Surreal and impressively well-made, the underwater bar fight scene really shows what happens when you turn Western films on their heads and add a slick twist to things. For a comedy film, Top Secret! really managed to leave us hanging on the edge of our seats during this fight.
Whoever thought that Western saloon fights were just for guys was wrong, and Westworld proves it. This highly dramatic saloon fight features "ladies of sin" taking the reigns and firing guns at the men who hurt them. Of course, there's also a couple of quick and subtle signs at the futuristic weaponry that shows Westworld to be way more advanced than it appears.
Fans of sci-fi will already know this scene fairly well, as will Western film aficionados. It's well-known because it's so artfully made, and because it's so powerful in its own right.
It would be very hard to make a Western movie list without one of the greatest ones ever made...Desperado!
This 1995 movie isn't your typical "cowboys and Indians" style Western. Rather, it focuses on a more modern view of the West —the world where drug cartels, gun traffickers, and mayhem still is more the norm than the exception.
Of all the modern Western saloon fights out there, the one presented to us in Desperado feels the most realistic. Or, perhaps, it resembles the way we think we'd want the New Wild West to be. In its own weird way, this movie makes you wonder where you'd land if you were in the main character's boots, and that alone makes it a great movie to enjoy.