13 Classic 1980s Cowboy Movies to Make You Yee-haw!

The American cowboy is one of the most romantic figures in all of film, and he even pushed his way into the glitz and glitter of the loudest, most boisterous decade ever. Indeed, these classic 1980s cowboy movies may change the way you think about the era of MTV, legwarmers, and Atari forever!

Bronco Billy (1980)

The story of a down and out rodeo cowboy, Bronco Billy Thompson (played by Clint Eastwood) who is given one more shot at fame.

The Long Riders (1980)

Four members of the James-Younger Gang lead double lives as law abiding citizens in order to rob banks during their spare time with little or no fear of retribution. However, when events lead to the capture and hanging of one member by a large posse back east, they all agree that the rest should go their separate ways in order to avoid future detection and possible death.

Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981)

Based on the true story of two teenage girls who become involved in a series of robberies and killings, this movie follows Annie (played by Jodie Foster), an uneducated teen living with her father on their run-down ranch. When he dies, she is left to care for herself and her younger sister alone. She falls in with a group of cattle rustlers, led by Curly (played by Beau Bridges).

The Legend of The Lone Ranger (1981)

Tonto, played by Jay Silverheels, recounts the story of how he met up with and joined forces with The Lone Ranger, played by Klinton Spilsbury, in 1849.

Draw! (1984)

Judge Roy Bean, a gunfighter of the old west in 1882, decides to appoint himself sheriff and justice for an isolated town. He makes up his own brand of law with shootouts as trials and undertakers practicing their trade full-time. But when he meets the woman who may be the love of this life he is faced with a choice.

Pale Rider (1985)

A mysterious gunslinger, who calls himself the “Pale Rider” (played by Clint Eastwood), strolls into a small mining town ruled by vicious outlaws and bullies. His sudden appearance leads to murder and chaos as he defends a young woman from his old nemesis…and then takes on the corrupt leaders of her town, one by one.

Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)

A cowboy, played by Tom Berenger, a former ranch hand who has left his past behind to become sheriff of an Arizona town and finds himself caught in the middle of two feuding families.

Silverado (1985)

Three estranged brothers reunite in the old west town of Silverado. The sheriff’s corrupt brother set his sights on driving them away, but they soon find themselves caught up in a struggle to save the town from being taken over by an evil rancher and her hired gunmen.

Gone to Texas (1986)

A gambler and his girl, on the run from a former boss who wants to collect an old debt, are taken in by a cattleman.

Desperado (1987)

A mysterious stranger seeks revenge against the ruthless gang who murdered his family and left him for dead on a roadside.

The Tracker (1988)

A man is hired to track down a woman’s beloved horse, but what he finds instead is not only the animal and his old flame, but an entire town of people in need.

Young Guns (1988)

Set in Arizona during the Mexican Revolution, Billy Joe’s gang of outlaws are recruited by a greedy rancher to help him steal land from his poor neighbors. But when they uncover what it means to be in real trouble, the gang must choose between their own personal glory and loyalty to one another.

Billy the Kid (1989)

The real story of the legendary outlaw, Billy the Kid. He’s got only one friend in life; his horse called Old Paint. Together they travel from town to town trying to out-draw and outwit lawman Pat Garrett with their lightning fast shooting skills.

(Like1980s Cowboy Movies? Then you might like our article about 1970s Western Movies, click here.)

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