Top 10 Lawmen in Westerns

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Better put your hands up, partner; these pistol-packing peace officers aren't messing around. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Lawmen in Westerns. Click here to subscribe: or visit our channel page here: Also, check out our interactive Suggestion Tool at :) Special thanks to our user MikeyP for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at Check out the voting page here, /> If you want to suggest an idea for a WatchMojo video, check out our interactive Suggestion Tool at :) Check us out at and Want a WatchMojo cup, mug, t-shirts, pen, sticker and even a water bottle? Get them all when you order your MojoBox gift set here: /> WatchMojo is a leading producer of reference online video content, covering the People, Places and Trends you care about. We update DAILY with 2-3 Top 10 lists, Origins, Biographies, Versus clips on movies, video games, music, pop culture and more!

movies films lawmen westerns western movies cowboys western films lawmen in westerns top 10 WatchMojo Lawless (Film) Appaloosa (Film) True Grit (Award-Winning Work) High Noon (Film) Blazing Saddles (Award-Winning Work) Hang 'Em High (Film) A Fistful Of Dollars (Film) No Country For Old Men (Award-Winning Work) Shootout (Cause Of Death) American Frontier (Literature Subject) O.K. Corral (Tourist Attraction) Western (TV Genre) old west

Kurt russel played an exceptional Wyatt Earp. Not even an honorable mention?
Daniel Stetson
You screwed up with your choice of Burt Lancaster over Kurt Russell in Tombstone. For starters, the script was closer to the truth. After Tombstone, nobody ever needs to play Wyatt Earp again. It's done.
Lawless wasn't a western. It took place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Aaron Fraser
sorry watch mojo but by having lawless and no country for old men you have this wrong. There are literally thousands of westerns set in the old west and you had only had to pick 10 lawmen from them and you can only find 8. Whoever voted on this list has no idea what a western is. Good work on the stereotypical choice of high noon as well
Ben Roark
I am sorry Val's doc holiday is the best......
Robert Collings
John Wayne,The best example of what American manhood should be. Strength,honesty and to hell with political correctness.
Now that you've covered lawmen, what are your picks for the top 10 Outlaws in Westerns?
Don Knotts the Shakiest Gun in the West.
Brian Jones
Will kane (Gary Cooper) is the complete opposite of John T Chance (John Wayne) , Kane spends the whole film running around the town trying to get the ordinary towns people to help him , then reluctantly has to fight on his own , chance on the other hand Turns Down Help And Clearly States that its his job As A paid Lawman to deal with any Trouble And Does not Want To Risk The Lives of the Towns people in a fight , It's This Action To Me That Makes Sheriff John T Chance The Better LawMan Than Marshal Will Kane , ThereFore I Find Your List Wrong As The Number 1 Slot Should Go To Sheriff John.T.Chance "Rio Bravo" And The Honourable Mention Should Go Marshal Will Kane "High Noon" ....... P,S "Lawless" is Not a Western It's a Gangster FILm and should not Be onThe List , It Should Be Replaced By 1971's "Lawman" With Burt Lancaster Playing Marshal Jered Maddox , A Tough Lawman Who will let Nothing or Nowone Stop Him From Finishing The Job That Brings Him To Town .......
Wildman Samurai
Ed Harris and Vigo Mortensen in Appaloosa are Epic...
Juan Carandell Rojo
My favourite western Lawman is John T Chance. Is the best!
Michael Chacon
Watchmojo you guys need to stop being such hipsters and choosing things just cause they are old.. I'm specifically talking about how you chose Wyatt Earp from Gunfight at The O.K. Corral.. Yahh it's the older one but Kurt Russell in Tombstone in my opinion is better and to me more iconic... Kurt Russell actually looks like Earp unlike the guy in the older film.. Tombstone's Wyatt Earp is more remembered and done better.. Stop being such hipsters...
i'm sorry - using "lawless" as a western is a long stretch! (1) it takes place in virginia. that is about as east as you can get. (2) cars. cars and lots of them. while there are modern westerns - which take place in the west with cars, one quintessential element of a western is the horse! if you don't have horses, you do at least HAVE TO be in the WEST - i mean for the love of God it's in the genre TITLE. virginia is only west if your frame of reference is ENGLAND. (3) "lawless" is a wonderful film and fast became one of my favorites - but it is NOT, and i repeat, NOT A WESTERN. period costumes and guns do not a western make. (4) making pat garrett an honorable mention is unforgivable in this list!
Jess James
Lawless is an excellent movie but not a Western. It took place in 1930's Virginia.
Plot Twist
Clint Eastwood > John Wayne Grab your winchesters, rascals!
Pat Powers
James Garner in "Support Your Local Sheriff" would be my number one pick. Such a rational and intelligent man!
David Key
Of all of your mostly silly lists, this has to be the worst. Is there a 5-6 year boy with a crayon picking from all of your so called westerns. I say no, as it would have been better list. I
You guys are slipping a bit, Mojo. Lawless is not a western.
Sergio Ramón Rodríguez Cajiga
A great lawman is Maddox performed by Burt Lancaster in the film Lawman. Sorry, but some of your choices are simply awful.
Gregory Matya
Ever seen El Dorado? J.P. Hara
ahh...John Wayne. I pretty much grew up with his films. that's what happens when your dad likes his films, tho. 😉
Steve Waddell
where is wild bill..jeff bridges...damn good movie.
Paul Cipollini
10:20 is that Bon Dylan?
Ruben Rodriguez
My favorite western lawman was the uncompromising Burt Lancaster in 'Lawman'. My favorite version of Wyatt Earp was Henry Fonda in 'My Darling Clementine'.
Isaac Cannon
#2 jed cooper #1 wyatt earp tombstone
Brendan Garrison
No country for old men? So what classifies a movie as a western?
Blazing Saddles... Really?
Donry Fetor
How is Lawless a western?  It takes place in Virginia....and Rakes is from Chicago.
Hoping for top Lawmen from tv list with Raylan Givens (Justified) AND Seth Bullock (Deadwood).
billybleeds crimson
Bend the law? Don't you know you cant serve papers on a rat ? He just won't listen. You either got kill him, or let him be.
you don't seem to understad gene hackman's character. he is determined to keep the piece and makes a bloody example of criminals to discourage others. I'd have said kurt russel's earp was better as he's flwed, not whistle clean but who's sense of fair play drags him back into a business he'd wanted to be free of. #1 though. no question. when i saw the title of thel ist it had to be will Kane
Michael Manning
James Garner played Wyatt Earp very well twice, once in "Hour of the Gun" and once in "Sunset". Henry Fonda played him in "My Darling Clementine" and then reprised him in a darker way in "Warlock". The character name was different but was obviously supposed to be Wyatt Earp. Henry Fonda also played a retired sheriff who backs up inexperienced Anthony Perkins in "The Tin Star".
Wilson Goodson
Marshal Wistful McClintock (Harry Carey) in The Angel and the Badman.
emilio adame
4:30 a little late on the bleep
Nathan Drake
Does Watch Mojo understand the term "western"?
Red Philip
John Marston?
Russell Sykes
First of all, 'Lawless' is not a western, it's in the 1930s. Great movie though. I don't agree with Burt Lancaster's Wyatt Earp. Henry Fonda and James Garner's Wyatt were IMO better and more realistic. But Lancaster was great in 'Lawman' from 1971, I don't know why he's not on this list. And also Henry Fonda with Anthony Quinn in 'Warlock', the predecessor to 'Appaloosa'. Honorable mention to Richard Widmark, also from 'Warlock'.
Jack The Film Fanatic
Lawless isn't a western It's a gangster film.
I'm assuming a bounty hunter isn't a lawman? That would explain the lack of Dr. Schultz...
Patrick Welch
Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo was made as the anti High Noon. Hawks felt Cooper's character was unprofessional. A good lawman would have had his underlings taken care of early and then handled the Frank Miller alone and not be saved his wife. The irony of this is John Wayne accepted Cooper's Oscar for High Noon.
Tommy Haynes
"Lawless" was set in Appalachia ,it's not a western. Also Kevin Cosner played Wyatt Earp too
Joe Faber
I can only agree with three of these. This list is a joke.
Jasbir Dhaliwal
Do I feel lucky? Do you feel lucky? punk!
And I now want to play Red Dead again. Thanks, Watchmojo :D
where is LAWMAN ? with Burt Lancaster
Vector Productions
How about: *Top 10 Movie Characters that didn't get enough screen time* or *Top 10 Movie Characters that need their own standalone film* or *Top 10 Short but action-packed scenes*
h lynn keith
Lawless? In West Virginia? During Prohibition? That's your idea of a Western? You forfeited your credibility. Hell, if you're gonna choose Lawless -- Charley Rakes (Guy Pearce), I will take R.I.P.D. -- Roycephus Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges). At least Roy Pulsipher lived in the old west. A Fistful of Dollars -- Sheriff John Baxter (Wolfgang Lukschy) was not the iconic bad sheriff. Both Silverado -- Sheriff Cobb (Brian Dennehy) and Open Range -- Marshal Poole (James Russo) were better. I have no complaints about No Country for Old Men, but I will add Lone Star -- Sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper). Two more you should have considered: The Long Riders -- Mr Rixley (James Whitmore, Jr) and Waterhole #3 -- Sheriff Copperud (Caroll O'Connor). Oh, BTW, Kurt Russell portrayed Wyatt Earp a thousand times better than Burt Lancaster.
#7 & #5 should not be on here, they are NOT westerns!!!
Is/will there be a Top 10 TV Western Lawmen? And.....John Wayne is the only Rooster Cogburn
Danielle Le'mond
I modern times there were three ( 3 ) TV series that come to mind. Deadwood sherrif Seth Bullock and Justified's law representative Raylan Givens was the shit!! Timothy Olyphant gave outstanding performances in both and should had gotten more recognition than he received. With around 100 combined episodes this guy knew his way around a gun, and bad people.
Baseball Fanatic
What about Walker Texas Ranger? It’s Chuck Norris
Noah North
kurt russell played the best lawman and the best wyatt earp
Bball NISH
They call him Trinity.
Thomas Reilly
#7 Charlie Racks??? come on.. Lawless, an atypical western??? Lawless isn't a Western; it's an Eastern or maybe just a Prohibition-era film. Even if you want to stretch the "Western" form of film to make Lawless fit, Charlie Racks does not deserve to make the top 200 Lawmen in Westerns.
Joseph Gordon
My choice would be Kirk Douglas in Last train from Gunhill. Simply classic and Errol Flynn for Dodge City.
Ruston Henry
Lawless isn't a western.
Lawless was good, but it took place in Virginia, on the EAST coast.
Machine gun DAD.
Tombstone was the best Wyatt Earp. Rio bravo. John Wayne’s best lawman movie.
Myron Mullen
Best lawman of all time is Chuck Norris as Lone Wolf McQuade.
Ashton Millard
Why the hell is John Wayne not number one pilgrims?
Duke Makedo
Matt Dillon. I know that he was TV, but he belongs.
Tj the Squishy Legomanic!
How dare you not include Matt Dillion Shame .....SHAME
Leslie Hampton
John Wayne only got "honerable mention"? Unacceptable!!
No I don't agree with y'all list because first of all High Noon the sheriff for instance is a coward and this movie provided a lot of communist ideas also John Wayne and Howard Hawks hated it so much that they made a better film and what some might consider the greatest western of all time 1959s Rio Bravo!!! So no this list sucked because u only included Rio Bravo in the honorable mentions when it should have been number 1!!
joshua Pannell
My favorite Lawman will always be Terrance Hill as Trinity.
Fighting Irish
Are you seriously not going to even mention the best Wyatt Earp film out there, my Darling Clementine (1946) starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford? There've been so much Wyatt Earp films but they're so inferior in comparison yet Clementine seems to always be the one that goes unmentioned. Gunfight at the OK Corral is so mediocre compared to it.
Rip Torn played an awesome modern Texas Sheriff in two movies.
robert chandler
Jimmy Stewart was a SHARAFF.Misspelled by his kids with Henry Fonda
Gregory Peck McKenna Gold not in the list?
Ahem. Dirty Harry. The modern wild west lol.
jimmy rock
Appaloosa and Yuma are my favourite. But no match of classic Western from 50 to 70
Burt Lancaster as Jared Maddox the Marshall of Bannock in Lawman. Great movie, great cast, great plot #1 Lawman IMHO.
Oscar Brigman
What NO.."High Plains Drifter" Clint Eastwood the sheriff with no name..?????
Raylan Givens
Bettiann Gold
John Wayne
Terry Gascay
MoJo, your list here sucks, has anyone on staff ever even seen a western? Eastwood #10? Hackman in there at all? Lawless, a moonshine sheriif is NOT western. Comedy blazing saddles? ok, once upon a time in the West, MoJo gets gunned down by this gunless critic.
luke hoffman
Lawless is not a western...
Marcus Alm
Just curious. What does Clint Eastwoods' "nameless wanderer" classify as?
That "man with no name" chacter in Fistful of Dollars actually did have a name: Joe! It was mentioned in the end of that film by that mexican saloon owner who did help him in that last gunfight.
Philip Ladefoged Mogensen
Next do: 10 most iconic western figures
yeah, I was wondering where the Marshall from High Noon was. He just got married, which is his last day as Marshall as well, and defended a town by himself!
Doron Berger
Can you do a Top 10 Heart Songs? PLEASE!!!!!!!???????
Swear I'm the only person who has seen young guns
As soon as the video started I immediately thought about "High noon" as the top pick
Anton Chigurh
"If it ain't loaded and cocked, it don't shoot." *Does if it's double action* 😜
Frank Miller as nemesis? a random lol to that.
สิทธิศักดิ์ แสนคํา
Yeee Haooooo !
Daenerys Targaryen
MikeyP the guy who suggested this, he's going to be in a video later today am I right?
Darius Whited
I knew they'd add some movie that wasn't a western-.- i was just waiting for it to be freakjng django unchained...thank god it wasn't
What about J.P. Harrah in "El Dorado"?
paul mcmorran
Got to be old roster or wyatte joint first john w was best western actor of all time
Meh, I don't see Lawless or No Country as westerns.
James Howard
Hello tales of Wyatt Earp was a TV Western seies and you took away Matt Dillion for Gunsmoke you very picky
ralph crosby
There is some winners here
Sean Connery in Outland was a remake of High Noon.
Ashley Greene
Lawless wasn't a Western and the sheriff in a fistful of dollars is in the movie for maybe 5 or 6 minutes
Phil M
I believe John Wayne didn't like High Noon as it depicted frontier town folks as cowards unwilling to defend themselves. That wouldn't have happened, and a righteous lawman would not have tossed his badge in the dirt. Even though I like the story JW may have had a point.
Vince Testosterone Mannson
i like how in old American westerns people have the CLOSEST shaves there isnt even an hair atom on their chins and they are living on the american fronts thats comitment right there
baker sam
john Baxter featured no more than 10 minutes in that movie, why is he on the list? he really didn't do anything special