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The Best James Arness Movies

Updated September 23, 2019 658 votes 190 voters 13.5k views

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

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?"

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  • 1
    29
    5

    Hondo

    John Wayne, James Arness

    Released1953

    Directed byJohn Farrow, John Ford

    Hondo is a 1953 Warnercolor 3D Western film starring John Wayne and directed by John Farrow. The screenplay is based on the July 5, 1952 Collier's short story "The Gift of Cochise" by Louis L'Amour....  more

    More Hondo 

    #34 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#6 of 63 The Best Western Movies of the 1950s

  • 2
    22
    2

    Island in the Sky

    John Wayne, James Arness

    Released1953

    Directed byWilliam A. Wellman

    Island in the Sky is a 1953 American aviation adventure drama film written by Ernest K. Gann based on his 1944 novel Island in the Sky, directed by William A. Wellman, and starring and co-produced by...  more

    More Island in the Sky 

    #292 of 320 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time#47 of 98 The Best John Wayne Movies Of All Time

  • 3
    28
    9

    The Macahans

    Eva Marie Saint, James Arness

    Released1976

    Directed byBernard McEveety

    The Macahans is a 1976 western TV film written by Jim Byrnes and directed by Bernard McEveety....
  • 4
    22
    2

    Them!

    Leonard Nimoy, James Arness

    Released1954

    Directed byGordon Douglas

    Them! is a 1954 American black-and-white science fiction film from Warner Bros. Pictures produced by David Weisbart, directed by Gordon Douglas, and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan...  more
  • 5
    27
    10

    Gun the Man Down

    Angie Dickinson, James Arness

    Released1956

    Directed byAndrew 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
  • 6
    23
    6

    Gunsmoke: The Last Apache

    James Arness, Geoffrey Lewis

    Released1990

    Directed byCharles Correll

    Gunsmoke: The Last Apache is a 1990 film directed by Charles Correll....  more
  • 7
    25
    11

    Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge

    James Arness, Steve Forrest

    Released1987

    Directed byVincent McEveety

    Will Mannon, "product of the Devil's loins," is released from a frontier prison and promptly goes in search of the people who put him there some 12 years ago -- Matt Dillon and Kitty Russell....  more
  • 8
    27
    14

    Gunsmoke: To the Last Man

    James Arness, Pat Hingle

    Released1992

    Directed byJerry Jameson

    Retired marshal Matt Dillon tracks Arizona rustlers and lands in the middle of the 1880s Pleasant Valley War....  more
  • 9
    20
    8

    Big Jim McLain

    John Wayne, James Arness

    Released1952

    Directed byEdward Ludwig

    Big Jim McLain is a 1952 political thriller film starring John Wayne and James Arness as HUAC investigators hunting down communists in the post-war Hawaii organized labor scene. Edward Ludwig...  more
  • 10
    13
    0

    The Sea Chase

    John Wayne, Lana Turner

    Released1955

    Directed byJohn Farrow

    The Sea Chase is a 1955 World War II drama film starring John Wayne and Lana Turner, David Farrar, Lyle Bettger, and Tab Hunter. It was directed by John Farrow from a screenplay by James Warner...  more
  • 11
    19
    7

    Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice

    James Arness, Bruce Boxleitner

    Released1994

    Directed byJerry Jameson

    After his mother is killed in a wagoncoach robbery a young man pursues the gang responsible. Matt Dillon goes after him hoping to stop him before the gang can kill him. Dillon is joined by Davis...
  • 12
    15
    4

    Gunsmoke : The Long Ride

    James Brolin, Ali MacGraw

    Released1993

    Directed byJerry Jameson

    Retired marshal Matt Dillon must clear his name after mistaken identity makes him wanted: dead or alive....  more
  • 13
    18
    9

    The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory

    James Arness

    Released1987

    Directed byBurt Kennedy

    The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory is a made-for-TV film about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo written and directed by Burt Kennedy, starring James Arness as Jim Bowie, Brian Keith as Davy Crockett, Alec...  more
  • 14
    11
    2

    The Girl in White

    James Arness, June Allyson

    Released1952

    Directed byJohn Sturges

    The Girl in White is a 1952 film drama directed by John Sturges. It is based on the memoirs of the pioneering female surgeon Emily Dunning Barringer....  more
  • 15
    15
    8

    Iron Man

    Rock Hudson, James Arness

    Released1951

    Directed byJoseph Pevney

    Iron Man is a film directed by Joseph Pevney released on Aug 18, 1951....  more
  • 16
    10
    2

    Many Rivers to Cross

    Eleanor Parker, Robert Taylor

    Released1955

    Directed byRoy Rowland

    Many Rivers to Cross is a 1955 American film starring Robert Taylor....  more
  • 17
    16
    12

    The Thing from Another World

    James Arness, Paul Frees

    Released1951

    Directed byHoward Hawks, Christian Nyby

    The Thing from Another World is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film produced by Howard Hawks' Winchester Pictures Corporation, released by RKO Pictures, and directed by...  more

    More The Thing from Another World 

    #277 of 743 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#137 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

  • 18
    4
    0

    Belle Le Grand

    James Arness

    Released1951

    Directed byAllan Dwan

    Belle Le Grand is a film directed by Allan Dwan released on January 27, 1951....
  • 19
    4
    0

    Double Crossbones

    James Arness, Donald O'Connor

    Released1951

    Directed byCharles Barton

    Double Crossbones is a 1951 comedy action film directed by Charles Barton....  more
  • 20
    10
    4

    The First Traveling Saleslady

    Clint Eastwood, Ginger Rogers

    Released1956

    Directed byArthur Lubin

    The First Traveling Saleslady was a 1956 American film, starring Ginger Rogers and Carol Channing. Commercially unsuccessful, it was among the films that helped to close RKO Pictures. Future western...  more
  • 21
    4
    0

    The Veils of Bagdad

    James Arness, Victor Mature

    Released1953

    Directed byGeorge Sherman

    The Veils of Bagdad is a 1953 film starring Victor Mature....  more
  • 22
    6
    0

    Sierra

    Tony Curtis, Audie Murphy

    Released1950

    Directed byAlfred E. Green

    Sierra is a 1950 film directed by Alfred Green....  more
  • 23
    8
    2

    Alias Jesse James

    Bob Hope, Bing Crosby

    Released1959

    Directed byNorman Z. McLeod

    Alias Jesse James is a 1959 American Western comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod and starring Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming. Based on a story by Robert St. Aubrey and Bert Lawrence, the film is...  more
  • 24
    11
    6

    The Farmer's Daughter

    James Arness, Loretta Young

    Released1947

    Directed byH. C. Potter

    The Farmer's Daughter is a 1947 movie that tells the story of a farmgirl who ends up working as a maid for a Congressman and his politically powerful mother. It stars Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten,...  more
  • 25
    3
    0

    Two Lost Worlds

    James Arness, Kasey Rogers

    Released1950

    Directed byNorman Dawn

    Two Lost Worlds is a science fiction/adventure film, presenting James Arness in his first starring role and Laura Elliott. The film was produced independently by Boris Petroff from his original...  more