The Bronze Wrangler is an award presented annually by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to honor the top works in Western music, film, television and literature.
The awards were first presented in 1961. The Wrangler is a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback, and is designed by artist John Free.
The awards program also recognizes inductees into the prestigious Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers as well as the recipient of the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award, named in honor of the Museum’s founder.
1961 The Alamo /1962 The Comancheros /1963 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance /1964 How the West Was Won /1965 Cheyenne Autumn /1966 The Sons of Katie Elder /1967 Appaloosa /1968 The War Wagon /1969 Will Penny / 1970 True Grit / 1971 A Man Called Horse / 1972 The Cowboys / 1974 The New Land / 1976 Bite the Bullet /1981 Heartland / 1984 Never Cry Wolf / 1989 Young Guns / 1991 Dances With Wolves / 1992 Thousand Pieces of Gold / 1993 Unforgiven / 1994 Geronimo: An American Legend / 1995 Legends of The Fall / 1999 Hi-Lo Country /2003 Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron /2004 Open Range / 2006 The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada / 2007 Truce / 2008 3:10 to Yuma / 2009 Appaloosa / 2011 True Grit / 2012 Yellow Rock …
Past individual winners have included Owen Wister, William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard, Tim McCoy, Harry Carey, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Rex Allen, John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Richard Widmark, James Stewart, Buck Taylor, Howard R. Lamar, Ben Johnson, Pernell Roberts, and Tom Selleck …
(MFW: lots of worthy films and folks on those lists. Surprised to see Never Cry Wolf (1984) on there though – not really a Western (IMO) – but a great movie to be sure. (I have a couple of ‘suspect’ inclusions on my own lists so I can’t say much). However in researching 1984 I find it truly was a bad year for Westerns. BUT one film that was made in 1984 (that I have never seen) was Draw with Kirk Douglas and James Coburn. It’s listed as a TV Movie, but you’d figure that anything with Douglas and Coburn would automatically be pretty good. ?? I’ll have to check that out.)