Can You Guess the Movie From a Cowboy Star Screenshot?
By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA), Arturo González Producciones Cinematográficas, Constantin Film
About This Quiz
Can you "Duke" it out with the best of them? Then get ready for some rootin'-tootin' fun with this Western films quiz!
The Western genre holds many of the film industry's most enduring classics. That's no surprise, really, since Westerns tend to provide all the romance, action and epic adventure moviegoers seek. Those ingredients can help to make any film great but at the forefront of what makes each of these Western films unforgettable is the performance of its stars. Each one showed "true grit" in portraying life on the open range.
Names like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and James "Jimmy" Stewart dominate the list of prolific cowboy stars, and many fans can readily spot their films in an instant. But there are so many other actors who helped to define Hollywood's version of the Wild West. For instance, Alan Ladd and Gary Cooper took on two of the most famous Western roles ever. Do you know which two we're hinting at? Take the quiz and see if you are right!
Think you are quick on the draw when it comes to cowboy legends and the roles they played? Start the quiz and let's see if you can rustle up the name of each of these classic Westerns!
Danger arrives on the train at midday for Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) in which of these classic films?
Stanley Kramer Productions
Gary Cooper often appeared as a straight-shooting cowboy hero, and his portrayal of Marshal Will Kane in "High Noon" is among his most heroic and well-known roles. Elegantly beautiful Grace Kelly, who stars as Cooper's wife, would go on to give up Hollywood stardom to become Princess of Monaco.
Which of these films stars Clint Eastwood as the loner horseman known only as "Preacher"?
The Malpaso Company
Eastwood directs, produces and stars in "Pale Rider" as the mysterious "Preacher" with six bullet holes in his back. Eastwood was 30 years into his acting career at the time and had already received high praises for films in which he directed himself, beginning with "Play Misty for Me" (1971).
Can you name this classic in which James Stewart portrays a cowboy who wins a rifle while hunting a killer?
Universal International Pictures (UI)
James Stewart is already an established actor when he appears in "Winchester '73," hailed as one of the best Westerns ever made. Movie buffs with a keen eye will recognize three soon-to-be-famous actors among the cast: James Best, Rock Hudson and Tony Curtis (billed as Anthony Curtis).
Burt Lancaster is Wyatt Earp headed for an historic shootout in which of these films?
This film is a true classic and is credited with making the actual gunfight legendary, but some of its "facts" are a bit off. For instance, the epic gun battle depicted in the film only lasted about 30 seconds in reality. Plus, it did not take place at the O.K. Corral but down the road in a vacant lot.
Alan Ladd stars as the title character in his last feature film and only color film. Can you name this enduring classic?
One of Ladd's co-stars in "Shane" is legendary actor Jack Palance, who seems like a natural fit in his many cowboy roles. Surprisingly, Palance wasn't any good with horses early in his career, when "Shane" was filmed. In fact, the one good mount he got on his horse was the one used in the film!
You can watch bravery flow through every scene in this definitive John Wayne film, but can you name it?
Warner Bros., Armada Productions
Many fans of the Duke know that his real name isn't John Wayne — it's Marion Morrison. Thanks to the film roles he took on, the name John Wayne has become synonymous with manliness, strength of character and unfailing courage, much like his Sheriff John T. Chance in "Rio Bravo."
Robert Redford's character in this film is the reason behind the name of a popular film festival. Which movie is it?
20th Century Fox
Paul Newman co-stars as Butch Cassidy alongside Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid. The film was released to rave reviews and won numerous awards, including a Best Actor BAFTA for Redford. In 1991, the United States' largest independent film festival (which Redford spearheaded) was renamed "Sundance."
Clint Eastwood is the Man with No Name, but can you name this film in which he appears?
Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA), Arturo González Producciones Cinematográficas, Constantin Film
Clint Eastwood stars in each of the Dollars Trilogy films and although his character is popularly known as the iconic Man with No Name, he does, in fact, have a name in each film. Apart from Blondie and Joe, he is also The Good in the third movie's title "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
Montgomery Clift's first film role is in this classic, ranked by the AFI as the fifth best Western ever made. Do you recognize it?
Monterey Productions, Charles K. Feldman Group
The American Film Institute's 10 Top 10 list places "Red River" at fifth among the all-time best Westerns. The film was a promising start to Clift's career which, sadly, was cut short a few years later by a car accident. "Red River" also starred John Wayne as the father figure to Clift's character.
Which film about an 1836 battle stars John Wayne as Davy Crockett and also marks his directorial debut?
Batjac Productions, The Alamo Company
John Wayne was very intent on directing "The Alamo" and retelling the story of the famous battle. Initially, he did not intend to act in the film at all. With pressure from investors, however, he decided to take a small role and then the lead. The film ended up receiving seven Oscar nominations and won one.
Yul Brynner leads a splendid band of hired guns to face off against the bandit Calvera in which of these films?
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Columbia Pictures, LStar Capita
"The Magnificent Seven" is based on the Japanese film "Seven Samurai" released six years earlier, which is over an hour longer at three hours and 27 minutes. Both films are widely regarded as being among the best films ever made.
Henry Fonda is very good at playing the bad guy in which "fairytale" spaghetti Western by director Sergio Leone?
Rafran Cinematografica, San Marco, Paramount Pictures
Typically the hero, Fonda goes against the grain as the villain in "Once Upon a Time in the West." Among his co-stars is Charles Bronson as Harmonica, a role which Clint Eastwood had turned down. Interestingly, it was Bronson years earlier who turned down Eastwood's iconic role of the Man with No Name.
Clint Eastwood is both director and title character in which film about a not-so-bad bad guy bent on revenge?
Warner Bros., The Malpaso Company
Among the many memorable quotes in "The Outlaw Josey Wales" is an exchange between Wales and a bounty hunter who explains his choice of profession by saying "A man's got to do something for a living these days." Wales calmly replies from the shadows "dyin' ain't much of a living, boy."
The cards are stacked against Marlon Brando's Rio in which of these Westerns?
"One-Eyed Jacks" went through several directors and writers before Brando himself took on the role of director. It is the only film which Brando directed in his long-running career, and it often gets described as a brooding classic — very much in keeping with the brooding nature Brando regularly exhibited in his roles.
In which of these films is Henry Fonda a drifter who joins a posse in an ill-fated search for rustlers?
Twentieth Century Fox
Its grim plot makes "The Ox-Bow Incident" more of a social commentary film than a shoot-'em-up Western flick. That might explain why it was a box office failure when it was released in 1943. The film has since gone on to become one of the classics of the Western genre.
William Holden is Pike Bishop, the leader of an aging but untamed band of outlaws in which film about the dying West?
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
True to form, Sam Peckinpah directs yet another gory epic about the end of the wild western frontier. Despite (or perhaps due to) its almost mind-numbing level of violence, "The Wild Bunch" is often labeled as a classic film. In fact, it holds sixth place on the AFI's 10 Top 10 in the Western category.
There are no low points in this Peckinpah film featuring Randolph Scott in his final film appearance. Can you name it?
Throughout his 30-year acting career, Randolph Scott appeared in over 60 Westerns, earning a reputation as one of the true Western heroes. In "Ride the High Country," he is again cast as a brave (though aging) lawman, a role he has taken on many times over the years.
John Wayne's first major role is in this film about a journey through Apache territory. Can you name the classic?
John Wayne credited stuntman Yakima Canutt as the role model for his iconic walk and drawling speech. You can see Canutt in "Stagecoach" performing one of movie history's most famous stunts: a jump from a galloping horse onto a fast-moving team of horses, then falling to the ground for the stagecoach to drive right over him!
In which of these films is James Stewart a stranger caught up in a family feud while searching for gunrunners?
Columbia Pictures, William Goetz Productions
James Stewart's appearance in "The Man from Laramie" is just one of seven times he performs under the direction of Anthony Mann. Stewart began his illustrious six-decade acting career in 1935 in the film "The Murder Man," which starred Spencer Tracy (also in his acting debut).
Lee Van Cleef is a bounty hunter in the second installment of a spaghetti western trilogy. Can you name the film?
Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA), Arturo González Producciones Cinematográficas, Constantin Film
Lee Van Cleef had his first major roles in "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966). His first (non-speaking) role was in "High Noon" after he turned down a better part which would have required him to have his very distinctive nose altered.
James Stewart stars as a deputy who gets back in the saddle to clean up a violent town. Which of these films is it?
Stewart has the part of Deputy Tom Destry in "Destry Rides Again." Confusingly, there is another film which was released in 1932 with the same name but is unrelated to this one. Adding to the confusion is that the earlier show starred Tom Mix as Tom Destry.
Howard Keel's character falls in love with a fellow sharpshooter and title character in this Western. Can you name it?
Frank Butler (Howard Keel) falls in love with Annie Oakley (Betty Hutton) with music, sharpshooting and Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West show as the backdrop. It was very different in reality, however, as the two stars (Keel and Hutton) reportedly never got along!
James Garner takes the lead in this spoof of the classic Western storyline. Do you recognize the film?
Cherokee Productions, Three Pictures
James Garner was already well into his prolific TV and film career when he took on the role of Sheriff Jason McCullough in "Support Your Local Sheriff." The film poked fun at the traditional Western theme of a heroic sheriff cleaning up a dangerous town.
John Wayne is Rooster Cogburn, a really tough guy, in which film remade in 2010 with Jeff Bridges in the lead?
They don't come much grittier than John Wayne's portrayal of an eye-patch wearing hired gun in "True Grit." The film industry certainly thought so and Wayne ended up being named best actor at the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. Jeff Bridges was also nominated for the Oscar in 2010 but did not win.
Going from East Coast sea captain to cowboy in the Wild West is no small feat for Gregory Peck in which epic Western?
Anthony Productions, Worldwide Productions
Gregory Peck takes the lead role in "The Big Country" with a supporting cast which includes big names such as Jean Simmons and Burl Ives. Among the supporting actors is none other than Charlton Heston, who almost always plays a lead role as he did in "The Ten Commandments" (1956) and "Ben Hur" (1959).
This is the first in a trilogy of films which launched Clint Eastwood in one of his most iconic roles. Do you know the title of the film?
Jolly Film, Constantin Film, Ocean Films
"A Fistful of Dollars" is the first film in the Dollars Trilogy, but it is the events of the third film, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," which actually take place first. This fact is proven at the end of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" when Eastwood's character acquires the distinctive poncho he wears in the other two films.
In which of these films does James Stewart lead a star-studded cast in a trek from New York to California?
A cast packed full of stars helps "How the West Was Won" to take on epic proportions. Apart from Stewart, other big names in the cast include John Wayne, Lee Van Cleef, Gregory Peck and Henry Fonda. Carroll Baker and Debbie Reynolds take on two of the film's lead female roles.
Kurt Russell is the legendary Wyatt Earp in which film named for the town the Earp brothers made famous?
Hollywood Pictures, Cinergi Pictures Entertainment, Alphaville Films
Kurt Russell leads a cast full of very manly mustachioed men in "Tombstone," an account of the events leading up to the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Fans of Wild West history may already know that apart from Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan, there are seven other Earp siblings who are not featured in the film.
Antonio Banderas portrays a vigilante in disguise in which film co-starring Catherine Zeta-Jones?
TriStar Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, David Foster Productions
The Zorro character was created in 1919 and has since appeared in books, TV series, films, stage productions and video games. While Antonio Banderas is definitely not the first actor to portray Zorro, he was rewarded for his efforts with a Golden Globe Best Actor nomination.
Clint Eastwood is a gunslinger-turned-farmer who has no pardon for the bad guys he is hunting in which film?
Warner Bros., Malpaso Productions
In "Unforgiven," producer, director and lead actor Clint Eastwood gave history its third Western to win the Best Picture Oscar. Only "Dances with Wolves" (1990) and "Cimarron" (1931) had earned the honor before it.
John Wayne is an uncle determined to find his kidnapped niece in which of these films?
C.V. Whitney Pictures
In "The Searchers," John Wayne delivers what many consider to be one of his best performances ever. It is not surprising that this is under the direction of John Ford. Wayne acted in over 20 Ford films, beginning as an extra in the 1920s and then getting his big break in Ford's "Stagecoach" (1939).
In which of these films is Glenn Ford a vicious criminal being escorted to meet a train on time?
Audiences may not have been used to seeing Ford as a villain, but they certainly loved how he played one in "3:10 to Yuma." The film opened to rave reviews, both for Ford's acting and the directing skills of Delmer Daves, who had also directed the much acclaimed "Broken Arrow" several years earlier.
Richard Dix portrays a young settler in a film which won the Western genre its first Best Picture Oscar. Can you name it?
RKO Radio Pictures
"Cimarron" won three Oscars, including the Academy Award for Best Picture back when the category was called the Academy Award for Best Production. The film was remade in 1960 with Glenn Ford in the lead role.
Audie Murphy is a hired killer with a rancher as his target in which of these films?
Universal International Pictures (UI)
In "Gunsmoke," Audie Murphy's character faces the timeless dilemma of being hired to kill a man whose daughter he has fallen in love with. The film bears the same name as a classic TV Western, but dedicated fans of the genre will know that the two are unrelated.
Which of these films stars Charlton Heston as a cavalry officer leading a rogue army?
Jerry Bresler Productions
Charlton Heston was already hugely popular by the time he appeared in "Major Dundee." His talents were not enough, however, to save the film from the many negative reviews it got upon release. Since then, the perception of the film has changed and it is now regarded as one of the Western classics!
In which of these films does Steve McQueen portray the title character of an aging rodeo rider?
Joe Wizan-Booth Gardner Productions, Solar Productions
Legendary action star Steve McQueen and prolific director Sam Peckinpah collaborated on only two films. Both were released in 1972: "Junior Bonner" in August and "The Getaway" in December.
Lee Marvin appears opposite Jane Fonda in which hilarious Western comedy?
Columbia Pictures, Harold Hecht Productions
Lee Marvin won the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for his unforgettable performance as the hero Kid Shellen AND the villain Tim Strawn in "Cat Ballou." The film's success was tempered by sorrow as famed singer Nat King Cole, who played the Sunrise Kid, died a few months before its release.
Dean Martin stars as one of four brothers fighting for a common cause in which of these films?
Along with Dean Martin and John Wayne, the other two sons of Katie Elder are played by Earl Holliman and Michael Anderson Jr. It may surprise some fans of this classic film to learn that Wayne (born in 1907) is actually 36 years older than Anderson Jr., who was born in 1943!
In which of these films does Clint Eastwood play an innocent man hunting the men who were too eager to string him up?
Leonard Freeman Production, The Malpaso Company
Clint Eastwood turned down an offer to lead an all-star cast in "MacKenna's Gold" (1969) to play the lead role of Jed Cooper in "Hang 'Em High." In retrospect, it was a wise decision, since "Hang 'Em High" received far greater critical acclaim and success, especially in the U.S.
Can you name this romantic Western in which John Wayne is joined by Maureen O'Hara for the first of their five films together?
Republic Pictures (I), Argosy Pictures
Many fans of classic films consider John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara to be among the best on-screen movie couples from Hollywood's Golden Age. O'Hara, who died in 2015, was more than a co-star to the Duke, however, as the two were also lifelong friends.
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