The gold standard.
Every other western film ever made, even classics like Unforgiven and The Wild Bunch, fall short when compared to Sergio Leone’s melancholy masterpiece.
At least in my eyes.
You’ve got a flinty-eyed Charles Bronson stalking the prairie, accompanied by the wail of a harmonica and the scent of death.
Jason Robards as a more honorable than you might think bandit, Claudia Cardinale at her most breathtaking, and Henry Fonda going against type as a black-hearted killer who shoots kids, a smile/grimace on his face.
Add in Ennio Morricone’s career-best musical score, and this can’t be beat.