The first of several westerns on this list, the 1966 film “Nevada Smith” cast Hollywood star Steve McQueen in the title role, a renegade whose real name is Max Sand. When his American pioneer father and a Kiowa mother are killed by a trio of outlaws, Sand sets out on a quest for revenge, with nothing but the clothes he’s wearing. By chance, he comes across an old rifle in the desert. He then meets a retired gunsmith Jonas Cord (Brian Kieth), who takes pity on Sand, repairs the gun, and teaches him how to use his newly acquired six-shot.
With a deadly weapon and the skills to use it, Sand follows the first two men and crosses them off her target list. Now a known outlaw seeking revenge, he changes his name to Nevada Smith and infiltrates the gang of his final target, notorious criminal and feared gang leader Tom Fitch. Although the film received mixed reviews, most agreed that it had a strong story and good performances, along with some old-school Wild West acting that helped it succeed. While not a classic and the least of McQueen’s westerns, it’s still a fun revenge image that holds up well against its contemporaries. If you love McQueen and have read through his other western adventures, this one should be next on your watch list.