The western genre emerged onto the scene in the early 20th century, and with it came a host of iconic characters who have since become beloved icons of the film medium. The western approach to filmmaking perhaps peaked in the 1960s with the 'Spaghetti' sub-genre thanks to Sergio Leone's revered Dollars Trilogy bringing Clint Eastwood's iconic snarl into households across the globe.
Western films place heavy emphasis on gunslingers, tumbleweed and wayfaring strangers and are largely set around the closing stages of the 19th century. Though the reality of cowboy culture in the late 1800s is far less interesting than its (typical) onscreen depictions, there's simply no denying that the genre has spat out a heap of exceptional narratives and mesmerising characters.
Protagonists in the western genre often share a handful of similarities, from frightening frowns to dashing good looks, so it stands testament to the talented actors who make a role their own and in turn provide cinema with performances fitting of the films they inhabit.
The influence of western films are felt in a plethora of movies outside the genre, and while what is considered a 'western' is expanding by the day, so too are the Oscar-worthy performances.