Top 3 Western Sheriffs in Classic Movies

Posted by Claire Dunderman June 24, 2013 1 Comment 8242 views

The sheriffs in classic movies almost always gets the short end of the stick. They’re bullied, they’re bruised, and they’re always the ones that get shot or blamed. But these sheriffs in classic movies stand above the rest and proved to the wild West that nobody was going to mess with their towns.

Who’s your favorite sheriff in classic movies? Tell us in the comments!

3. Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) – James Garner

I grew up with this classic movie, and I continue to love it each time I watch it. It’s just a fun sort of story, but one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Garner is really the best part of the movie though, with his sarcastic, sly comments. It’s also hilarious to watch him joke about Joe Danby in front of his face, and I love the fact that Danby doesn’t really ever fully catch on. I sometimes feel like if Bugs Bunny was a classic movie sheriff, he’d be Jason McCullough. 


2. Blazing Saddles (1974) – Cleavon Little

This classic movie sheriff is a smooth-talking realist that takes a bad situation and turns into a good one for all of the good guys – and it includes an epic pie fight. Bart is exactly the kind of sheriff that you’d want in your town – he’s sly, he’s funny, he’s sexy, and he isn’t afraid to take you down if you mess with him. Also his cool sense of humor about the blatant racism about his position as sheriff is brilliantly acted and written. Plus, he’s got Gene Wilder as deputy Jim.


1. Rio Bravo (1959) – John Wayne

I mean… it’s John Wayne. I don’t think this classic movie sheriff needs any explanation.

Who’s your favorite sheriff in classic movies? Tell us in the comments!

About Claire Dunderman

Indie & classic rock nerd, writer and blogger, British comedy geek. Television-Radio-Film ’15 student at SU’s Newhouse School.

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There is 1 Comment

  1. Alana Dill
    - August 8, 2014
      -   Reply

    Oh, really, you should’ve made this a Top 5 list.
    Gary Cooper’s character in High Noon – determined and, under the cool exterior, pants-wetting terrified.

    Destry Rides Again is the prototype on which Blazing Saddles is based, and watching it first as a double feature makes BS just more hysterical than you already thought it was. It features Jimmy Stewart as Sheriff Tom Destry, at his absolute sexiest, and Marlene Dietrich at her most fun. It’s one of my favorite Westerns. It’s one of my favorite movies.

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