Best John Wayne Movies


The Top TenXW

1The Searchers

Wayne's performance as Ethan Edwards was dead on. A man obsessed with his mission. The scene where he describes finding his niece, Debbie, dead and burying her is raw emotion. The timbre in his voice when he says "don't ask me more. As long as you live don't ever ask me more." tells so much about this 'tough guy' that he was playing. Such a complex character and John Wayne nailed it. He should have been nominated for an Oscar for this role.

I was inspired to watch this movie because I listened to a band called The Searchers. The Searchers named themselves after the John Wayne movie. Also Buddy Holly wrote the song "That'll Be The Day" because of John Wayne's catch phrase in The Searchers - beatles5

A rare combination of one of the finest actors of his time, playing a character of his own age, a great cast, great director, locales and story. One for the ages.

Clearly an Oscar winning role for John Wayne.

V13 Comments
2The Cowboys

I always remember this movie when I was young. John Wayne at his best! This shows that young boys were true men and respectful.

I LOVE this movie! With all the little boys and john it's a perfect movie I think it should be #1!

The young boys added to the depth of this film.

3Red River

Red river should have won him an Oscar, the acting was great montgomery Clift was great too. Walter Brennan was also a good supporting cast member.

Red river is the best

My top two john Wayne movies not listed. The quit man. McClintock.

4Big Jake

A great Duke movie.

I belive this to be best jhon Wayne movie ever

6The Quiet Man

This might be one of the best movies about Ireland ever made. It has a little of everything and is great fun.

A colorful film very beautifully directed.

The story content was exceptional.

No shot em up here just a great Wayne movie.

V10 Comments
7The Shootist

John Wayne played a dying man when he himself was dying. He played a gunslinger whose glory days had passed as America was at the cusp of a new century. He played the role in a very moving, heartfelt manner. It was if he knew this movie was a symbolic passing of the torch as western movies' glory days were also passing, but he wanted to go out on a high note. In my humble opinion, this silver screen giant gave the best performance of his legendary career. There will never be another like him.

This movie just summed it all up. The most honest movie I have seen to date.

One of John Wayne's best performances. He was quiet and reflective in this performance, but reached down to pull up some classic Duke when needed.

This movie for me is the best western staring the Duke. Rest in peace Duke.

V11 Comments
8The Sons of Katie Elder

John Wayne did an exceptional acting job in this film. This was his first movie after having a lung removed. It was filmed in Mexico at high altitude and required Wayne to use oxygen between takes. He also insisted on performing his own stunts. Amazing when you consider he was only months out from major surgery. Also amazing because the filmgoers watching never realized how difficult the many actions scenes were for him.

The duke actually was not dying in 1976 when this movie was made, he died in 1979. He was not dying yet. Look it up.

Mr. Wayne was great in this movie. Cause All The Brother Likes All Brother FAUGHT With Him, But he Was The Elder And They Did What He said. To say I love all his movies. John Wayne is my hero. And always will be.

9True Grit

This movie defines the meaning of a man with 'grit'. John Wayne shows many sides to his talents, grit, compassion and determination... a real treat. The Best in my humble opinion.

His best, no doubt about it. At least higher than some of the others above it.

A more mature performance being someone other than john Wayne.

A hard drinking Duke with heart.

V6 Comments
10The War Wagon

The Contenders


Good movie to watch

12El Dorado

Add this to your"must see"John Wayne movies. This should be in the top five. Also had great performances by Robert Mitchum and a young up and comer named James Caan.

How could this movie not be in the top 5.

Best JW movie because of Dean and Walter.

13Rio Bravo

My all time favorite! Was surprised it wasn't in the top ten!

15Tall in the Saddle
16Rio Lobo

I can't belive this isn't in top 10

17She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

I miss TheTopTens as it was once upon a time. Nothing happens whenever I vote anymore and I find that sad, because it's certainly not right not to count votes, just because people want their lists to remain unchanged. That is bigotry, though. Anyway, if you don't want us to vote, then what's the purpose of voting? I hope this time you will publish my complaint, because it really comes from my heart and I hope that you will think a little on that.

Yellow Ribbon is a great movie, indeed Hal! I also agree with you as it comes to The Searchers and Rio Bravo. Both are movies with a poor script that ranked so high because of the beautiful cinematography and direction.

19The Sands of Iwo Jima
20The High and the Mighty

John Wayne is a highly experienced co-pilot on a flight from Hawaii to San Francisco when and engine fails, loses its propeller and catches fire. His character convinces the pilot not to ditch at sea try to make San Francisco. The first of the disaster flying movies. It boasts an All-Star cast and some beautiful aerial footage of the DC-4 airliner. Again, not you typical John Wayne movie, but proves he can act in a non-western.

My favorite John Wayne movie. It has a great ensemble cast and Wayne plays a great older haunted role

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List StatsUpdated 30 Nov 2015

200 votes
27 listings
2 years, 292 days old

Top Remixes

1. The Searchers
2. Red River
3. The Cowboys



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