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The Best John Wayne Movies Of All Time

Updated May 26, 2021 83.9k votes 9.3k voters 338.8k views98 items

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

This list of the best John Wayne movies is ranked from best to worst by users just like you. John Wayne has become known as the epitome of a cowboy, but many of his first roles were as a football player in films like Brown of Harvard and The Drop Kick. John Wayne'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 John Wayne movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated John Wayne movies will be at the top of the list. John Wayne has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest John Wayne movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining John Wayne films to end the squabble once and for all.

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

This list includes mocies like True Grit and The Quiet Man and answers the questions, "What are the best John Wayne movies?" and "What are the greatest John Wayne roles of all time?" And if you're a fan of John Wayne's Old West films, you might also enjoy our list of best Clint Eastwood movies.

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  • 1

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    John Wayne, James Stewart
    1,822
    380

    Released1962

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Tom Doniphon

  • 2

    The Searchers

    John Wayne, Natalie Wood
    2,293
    508

    Released1956

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Ethan Edwards

  • 3

    Red River

    John Wayne, Montgomery Clift
    1,437
    285

    Released1948

    Directed byHoward Hawks, Arthur Rosson

    Character: Thomas Dunson

  • 4

    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    John Wayne, Ben Johnson
    1,500
    305

    Released1949

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Capt. Nathan Brittles

  • 5

    Rio Bravo

    John Wayne, Dean Martin
    2,078
    461

    Released1959

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    Character: John T. Chance

  • 6

    Rio Grande

    John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara
    1,249
    227

    Released1950

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke

  • 7

    El Dorado

    John Wayne, James Caan
    1,773
    391

    Released1966

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    Character: Cole Thornton

  • 8

    Hondo

    John Wayne, James Arness
    1,255
    250

    Released1953

    Directed byJohn Farrow, John Ford

    Character: Hondo Lane

  • 9

    The Shootist

    John Wayne, Lauren Bacall
    1,734
    383

    Released1976

    Directed byDon Siegel

    Character: John Bernard Books

  • 10

    Big Jake

    John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara
    1,712
    379

    Released1971

    Directed byGeorge Sherman

    Character: Jacob McCandles

  • 11

    True Grit

    John Wayne, Robert Duvall
    2,051
    469

    Released1969

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    Character: Rooster Cogburn

    Awards: Academy Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture

  • 12

    Fort Apache

    Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
    1,119
    224

    Released1948

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Capt. Kirby York

  • 13

    Stagecoach

    John Wayne, John Carradine
    1,427
    308

    Released1939

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Henry "The Ringo Kid"

  • 14

    The Sons of Katie Elder

    John Wayne, Dean Martin
    1,618
    357

    Released1965

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    Character: John Elder

  • 15

    McLintock!

    John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara
    1,932
    451

    Released1963

    Directed byJohn Wayne, Andrew V. McLaglen

    Character: George Washington McLintock

  • 16

    The Cowboys

    John Wayne, Bruce Dern
    1,495
    322

    Released1972

    Directed byMark Rydell

    Character: Wil Andersen

  • 17

    The Quiet Man

    John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara
    2,223
    562

    Released1952

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Sean Thornton

  • 18

    In Harm's Way

    John Wayne, Kirk Douglas
    1,054
    219

    Released1965

    Directed byOtto Preminger

    Character: Capt. Rockwell Torrey

  • 19

    Sands of Iwo Jima

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker
    1,316
    284

    Released1949

    Directed byAllan Dwan

    Character: Sgt. John M. Stryker

  • 20

    The Horse Soldiers

    John Wayne, William Holden
    1,130
    255

    Released1959

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Character: Col. John Marlowe

  • 21

    Chisum

    John Wayne, Ben Johnson
    1,198
    275

    Released1970

    Directed byAndrew V. McLaglen

    Character: John Chisum

  • 22

    North to Alaska

    John Wayne, Stewart Granger
    1,015
    255

    Released1960

    Directed byJohn Wayne, Henry Hathaway

    Character: Sam McCord

  • 23

    The Comancheros

    John Wayne, Lee Marvin
    912
    215

    Released1961

    Directed byJohn Wayne, Michael Curtiz

    Character: Jake Cutter

  • 24

    The Longest Day

    Sean Connery, John Wayne
    1,031
    265

    Released1962

    Directed byDarryl F. Zanuck, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald

    Character: Lt. Col. Benjamin H. Vandervoort

  • 25

    The Alamo

    John Wayne, Richard Widmark
    1,085
    302

    Released1960

    Directed byJohn Wayne

    Character: Col. David Crockett