There are the classic films like Stagecoach or Shane.
Cowboy Breaking a Horse, Frederick Remington, public domain image
Then a new period starting in the 1960s when the western was reconsidered. There are several variations: spaghetti westerns, like those starring Clint Eastwood - or sort of Pop westerns like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and many which modified or even shifted traditional audience sympathies from the white settlers to the displaced native peoples as did Little Big Man, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, or Dances With Wolves.
Now comes this tough strain of modern variations where the traditional western virtues exist alongside sympathy for the natives plus a sometimes bleak, even nihilistic, viewpoint ... 3:10 to Yuma, True Grit (tougher than its '70s predecessor), The Three Burials of Melquides Estrada, or There Will Be Blood. Or Blackthorn.
I'm impressed with this latest generation of westerns.