‘Yellowstone’ Fans Say You Should Watch These Westerns Too

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Paramount)

With Yellowstone season 4 still a few weeks out, fans are getting antsy for some of that good western ranch content. Leave it to Yellowstone fans to find all the most excellent westerns to fill the void until season 4. A few fans took to Reddit to discuss their favorite westerns.

“There is an older show (WAY OLDER), called The High Chaparral, & it is fantastic,” wrote the original poster. “It takes place on a ranch but in the 1870s. A must watch if youre [sic] into yellowstone for sure.”

Made by the creator of Bonanza, 1967’s The High Chaparral starred Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell. It was set in the 1870s, on the High Chaparral ranch in the Arizona territory. The ranch was run by Big John Cannon, his son Billy Blue, and his brother Buck. The High Chaparral ranchers have to deal with the hostile Apache on the neighboring land; Don Sebastian Montoya, another huge rancher in the area; and U.S. Cavalry interference with fragile truces.

Another commenter recommended Lancer. The show aired from 1968 to 1970 and starred Andrew Duggan as Murdoch Lancer and James Stacy and Wayne Maunder as half-brothers Scott Lancer and Johnny Madrid Lancer. Scott was the educated Civil War veteran, while Johnny Madrid was a rough and tumble gunslinger.

‘Yellowstone’: Films to Watch if You’re Hankering for the Show

“Three older western films I’d recommend,” wrote another commenter, “are “The Cowboys” with John Wayne (and a very young A Martinez), “Catlow” (Richard Crenna & Yul Brenner) and “Two Mules For Sister Sara” (Clint Eastwood & Shirley MacLaine).”

In The Cowboys, John Wayne plays Wil Andersen, a rancher without ranch hands; he rides into Bozeman, Montana to look for new hands, where his friend Anse Petersen, played by Slim Pickens, recommends he hire schoolboys. Andersen is unconvinced that the schoolboys can do the job, and leaves. But, of course, the schoolboys show up the next day to prove themselves. Cue the rascally, goofy, emotional training montage as the boys learn to rope and brand cattle.

Catlow follows two former Civil War buddies now on opposite sides of the law. Jed Catlow, played by Yul Brynner, is planning a gold heist, and his former friend Ben Cowan, played by Richard Crenna, is the marshal sent to stop him. The film also stars Leonard Nimoy in a breakaway from his Star Trek role.

Two Mules for Sister Sara stars Clint Eastwood and Shirly McClaine as a former Civil War soldier and a nun during the French intervention in Mexico. Eastwood’s character, Hogan, rescues Sister Sara from bandits and the two travel to a Mexican Juarista rebel camp.

Fans also recommend the classics: Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian, and The Rifleman. Check those out ahead of season 4 if you’re longing for sprawling vistas and complex Yellowstone storylines.