Best John Wayne Movies

The Top Ten
1 The Searchers

Not just one of John Wayne and John Ford's best films, not just one of the best films of the 50's, not just one of the best Westerns, but one of the best films ever made period. And Wayne's performance was clearly Oscar worthy.

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.

2 Red 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 was my all time favorite. I was only a kid but I loved him in this movie. He was great.

This is not only my favorite John Wayne movie, but its in the top 10 of my all favorite movies.

3 True Grit

The Oscar Wayne got for this film was the Academy making up for their sin of not giving him one for The Searchers, but Wayne still gives an excellent performance in a classic film.

True Grit, is a story where all the characters show true grit. So many characters in the story show grit the good guys, the bad guys, even John Wayne's horse. Then Maddie's horse little blackie shows true grit. One of the best.

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.

4 Big Jake

The most humor in a John Wayne movie! Can watch this one over and over.

John Wayne deserved an Oscar for Big Jake, more than for True Grit.

Don't see it often. But Big Jake is my all time favorite!

5 The 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.

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.

6 The 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!

Excellent Duke movie and the young boys were terrific.

7 Stagecoach

I love this movie because it shows John Wayne at his rawest. You know he hasn't had a lot of experience in movies, yet you still are able to catch glimpses of what is to come with him. It's like watching him sliding on his eventual star clothing. If you love John Wayne movies, you have to watch this. It is indeed the beginning.

8 The 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.

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.

9 The War Wagon

One of Wayne's best action efforts. Douglas was fantastic as well. A movie that will keep you in your seat. A little low on the rankings but certainly worth the watch if you are a western movie buff..

10 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

An excellent drama and commentary on the founding of the American West and how many of the men who made civilization possible were neglected and forgotten.

Just a great story and two solid performances from Wayne and Stewart!

The Contenders
11 El 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.

The Best, First movie I saw at a theater.

How could this movie not be in the top 5.

12 The Quiet Man

My favorite movie of all. The electricity between Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was palpable, especially the scene up in the ruins as the storm rolled in and they embrace. Humor, tough guys, beautiful scenery, romance, music, this one has it all. And with John Ford's great cast of supporting actors, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald, you can't go wrong.

John Wayne's performance was stellar - his voice, facial expressions and acting style were magnificent - and Maureen O'Hara was perfection - and the supporting actors were stars in their own right. One of the all-time great movies.

13 Rio Bravo

Howard Hawks directed another terrific movie with pacing, humor, action and character.John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Walter Brennan gave some of their best work in this.Angie Dickinson was a beautiful woman only in her twenties, but was an integral part, not just an obligatory female.Ricky Nelson did well in a role in a John Wayne movie every kid would have loved to do. The script moved pretty fast, but there were no holes; every scene was a natural successor to the previous one. The bad guys, John Russell and the excellent Claude Akins, were mean, but not over the top. This was a great ensemble of actors with an excellent story and action.It was a fun movie in the late fifties that still holds up quite well. I watch it when it is on T.V. and it never bores. This was remade in Rio Lobo and El Dorado, but the magic was just not there as in the original.

14 The Alamo
15 McLintock!

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

Another favorite of mine and should be in the top 10.

16 Hatari!

My dad and I after so many times of watching this classic over the years, still make time to sit down and watch it together. Just a really nice film.

Since I remember it from having seen it only once some 50 years must have been one of the best.

17 She 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.

18 Hondo

Hondo is the embodiment of what the Western man should be: brave, honest, independent, loyal, and self sufficient.

19 Tall in the Saddle

Great script skillfully brought to life. One of Dukes very best!

20 Hellfighters
21 Rio Lobo
22 The Longest Day
23 Rio Grande

When a movie is made simply to be a popcorn flick for the sole purpose of funding another film that is a passion project, yet manages to still be an American films classic, then you know John Ford is a talented director. Doesn't hurt that Wayne, O'Hara, and McLaglen are all great.

Great film. Another John Ford classic job of directing. A top ten. First time for greats together. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and Harry Carry Jr. and Ben Johnson and Ken Curtis who sang and was a regular with Sons of the Pioneers who were also in it along with Chill Wills. Yes--A great film.

24 Fort Apache
25 In Harm's Way

One of the best Navy films. John Wayne at his best.

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