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The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked 

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Updated October 14, 2019 108.2k votes 8.9k voters 332.1k views 98 items

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

List of the best John Wayne movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. 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 and best Gene Hackman movies.

John Ford and Cecil B. DeMille both worked with John Wayne over the years, as have plenty of other well-known directors. John Wayne was in some really popular films, and is right up there with stars like Charlton Heston and Jackie Gleason in terms of fame and success.

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1
The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles

Released: 1956

Directed by: John Ford

The Searchers is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, and starring John Wayne as a middle-aged veteran who spends ...more

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#3 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #1,289 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #330 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

2
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson

Released: 1959

Directed by: Howard Hawks

Rio Bravo is a 1959 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, and Ward Bond. Written by ...more

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#8 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #121 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #157 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

3
McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers

Released: 1963

Directed by: John Wayne, Andrew V. McLaglen

McLintock! is a 1963 comedy Western directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and starring John Wayne, with co-stars including Maureen O'Hara, Yvonne De Carlo, and Wayne's son Patrick Wayne. The film, ...more

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#35 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #892 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #29 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

4
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1969

Directed by: Henry Hathaway

True Grit is a 1969 American western Technicolor film written by Marguerite Roberts, directed by Henry Hathaway, and starring John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn; Wayne won his only ...more

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#7 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #74 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey

Released: 1949

Directed by: John Ford

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Technicolor Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. The academy award winning film was the second of Ford's Cavalry trilogy films. With a ...more

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#28 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #44 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
The Quiet Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald

Released: 1952

Directed by: John Ford

The Quiet Man is a 1952 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Ford. It stars John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen. The screenplay by Frank ...more

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#998 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #117 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remadelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
The Man Who Shot Liberty... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin

Released: 1962

Directed by: John Ford

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a 1962 American Western film directed by John Ford starring James Stewart and John Wayne. The black-and-white film was released by Paramount Pictures. The ...more

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#6 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #282 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #53 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

8
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Harry Carey

Released: 1971

Directed by: George Sherman

Big Jake is a 1971 Western film directed by George Sherman, written by Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink, produced by Michael Wayne, edited by Harry Gerstad, starring John Wayne, Richard Boone ...more

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#914 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #33 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #122 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

9
El Dorado is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, James Caan, Robert Mitchum

Released: 1966

Directed by: Howard Hawks

El Dorado is a 1966 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Written by Leigh Brackett and loosely based on the novel The Stars in ...more

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The Real Story Of El Dorado #26 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #17 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

10
The Sons of Katie Elder ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1965

Directed by: Henry Hathaway

The Sons of Katie Elder is a 1965 Technicolor Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring John Wayne and Dean Martin. The movie was filmed principally in Mexico. The film Four Brothers ...more

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#27 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #20 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s #11 of 142 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime

11
The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart

Released: 1976

Directed by: Don Siegel

The Shootist is a 1976 Western film directed by Don Siegel and starring John Wayne in his final film role, about a gunfighter who spends his last days looking for a way to stop with the least ...more

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#17 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #115 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #191 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

12
Red River is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters

Released: 1948

Directed by: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson

Red River is a 1948 Western film directed and produced by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, giving a fictional account of the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas ...more

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#24 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #2 of 49 The Best 1940s Western Movies

13
Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, John Carradine, Claire Trevor

Released: 1939

Directed by: John Ford

Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay, written by Dudley Nichols, is an adaptation of ...more

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#23 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #26 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson

Released: 1950

Directed by: John Ford

Rio Grande is a 1950 Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The picture is the third installment of Ford's "cavalry trilogy," following two RKO ...more

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#32 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #20 of 63 The Best Western Movies of the 1950s #97 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

15
The Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Slim Pickens

Released: 1972

Directed by: Mark Rydell

The Cowboys is a 1972 Western motion picture starring John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Slim Pickens, Colleen Dewhurst and Bruce Dern. Robert Carradine made his film debut with fellow child actor ...more

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#43 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #398 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #458 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

16
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Forrest Tucker

Released: 1970

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

Chisum is a 1970 Warner Bros. Technicolor Western film starring John Wayne. The large cast also includes Forrest Tucker, Christopher George, Ben Johnson, Glenn Corbett, Geoffrey Deuel, Andrew ...more

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#980 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #45 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #232 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

17
Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel

Released: 1949

Directed by: Allan Dwan

Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 film starring John Wayne that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during WWII. The movie also features John Agar, Adele ...more

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#25 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #13 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #186 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

18
Fort Apache is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Ward Bond

Released: 1948

Directed by: John Ford

Fort Apache is a 1948 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda. The film was the first of the director's "cavalry trilogy" and was followed ...more

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#138 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #36 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #6 of 49 The Best 1940s Western Movies

19
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, James Arness, Geraldine Page

Released: 1953

Directed by: John 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 ...more

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

20
The Horse Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, William Holden, Althea Gibson

Released: 1959

Directed by: John Ford

The Horse Soldiers is a 1959 film that was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. John Lee Mahin and Martin Rackin produced the movie and wrote its ...more

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#51 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #7 of 47 The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Madelisted on Civil War Movies List

21
In Harm's Way is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda

Released: 1965

Directed by: Otto Preminger

In Harm's Way is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Stanley Holloway, Burgess ...more

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#151 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #24 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #64 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

22
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon

Released: 1960

Directed by: John Wayne

The Alamo is a 1960 American historical epic film about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo produced and directed by John Wayne and starring Wayne as Davy Crockett. The picture also stars Richard ...more

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#38 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #69 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton

Released: 1962

Directed by: Darryl F. Zanuck, Ken Annakin, Bernhard Wicki, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald

The Longest Day is a 1962 film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during WWII. The film was produced by Darryl ...more

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#4 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #3 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
North to Alaska is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Fabian

Released: 1960

Directed by: John Wayne, Henry Hathaway

North to Alaska is a 1960 comedic Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and John Wayne. The picture stars Wayne along with Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian, and Capucine. The script is ...more

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#65 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #32 of 46 The Best '60s Action Movies

25
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Strother Martin

Released: 1975

Directed by: Stuart Millar

Rooster Cogburn is a 1975 American Western Technicolor film directed by Stuart Millar and starring John Wayne, reprising his role as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, and ...more

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#50 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #118 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #203 of 554 The Best '70s Movies