The Western genre emerged in the early 20th century, with the release of The Great Train Robbery (1903)
The popularity of Western movies grew in the 1930s and 1940s, with the rise of the singing cowboy subgenre and the emergence of iconic stars such as John Wayne.
The 1950s saw the rise of darker, more complex Westerns, such as High Noon (1952) and Shane (1953), which explored themes of morality and the American frontier.
The 1960s saw a shift towards more violent and revisionist Westerns, such as The Wild Bunch (1969) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
The Western genre declined in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, but experienced a resurgence in the 1990s with the success of films such as Unforgiven (1992) and Tombstone (1993).
Famous Western stars include John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Gary Cooper, among others.
Recent examples include Django Unchained (2012) and The Hateful Eight (2015), both directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Classic Western films include "The Searchers," "High Noon," "The Magnificent Seven," and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," among others.