The Best James Arness Movies

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List of the best James Arness movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. James Arness's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top James Arness movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated James Arness movies will be at the top of the list. James Arness has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest James Arness movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining James Arness films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best James Arness role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest James Arness performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

The list you're viewing contains films like Hondo and The Veils of Bagdad.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best James Arness movies?" and "What are the greatest James Arness roles of all time?"

James Arness was in some really popular films, and is right up there with stars like Chuck Connors and Clint Walker in terms of fame and success.

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  • Big Jim McLain
    John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness
    21 votes
    • Released: 1952
    • Directed by: Edward Ludwig
    Jim McLain (John Wayne) and his partner, Mal Baxter (James Arness), are investigators for the House Un-American Activities Committee, who are sent to Hawaii to find the leaders of a local Communist ...more

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  • Them!
    James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon
    21 votes
    • Released: 1954
    • Directed by: Gordon Douglas
    While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, Sergeant Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) finds a young girl (Sandy Descher) who is unable to speak. As Peterson joins forces with FBI agent Robert ...more
  • Island in the Sky
    John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel
    26 votes
    • Released: 1953
    • Directed by: William A. Wellman
    While flying supplies to England during World War II, Capt. Dooley (John Wayne) is forced to crash land his plane in the icy wilds of Canada. Together, Dooley and his hardy crew struggle to survive ...more

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  • Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge

    Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge

    James Arness, Amanda Blake, Steve Forrest
    25 votes
    • Released: 1987
    • Directed by: Vincent McEveety
    Upon his release from jail, bad guy Will Mannon (Steve Forrest) is determined to take revenge on retired marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) and Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake), who he blames for putting ...more
  • Sierra


    Tony Curtis, Audie Murphy, James Arness
    6 votes
    • Released: 1950
    • Directed by: Alfred E. Green
    Sierra is a 1950 film directed by Alfred Green.

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  • Gun the Man Down
    Angie Dickinson, James Arness, Harry Carey
    24 votes
    • Released: 1956
    • Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
    Gun the Man Down is a 1956 western film distributed through United Artists and starring James Arness and Angie Dickinson in her first leading role. The movie was produced by John Wayne and his ...more