westerns The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked  

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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.

Items on this list include True Grit and The Quiet Man.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best John Wayne movies?" and "What are the greatest John Wayne roles of all time?" If you are 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
2,410 417
The Quiet Man is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Quiet Man John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald 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

2
2,281 491
The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Searchers John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles The Searchers is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, set during the Texas–Indian Wars, and starring John Wayne as ...more

3
2,232 446
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Rio Bravo John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson 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

4
2,175 408
True Grit is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
True Grit John Wayne, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper 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

5
1,903 345
El Dorado is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
El Dorado John Wayne, James Caan, Robert Mitchum 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

6
1,829 286
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Big Jake John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Harry Carey 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

7
2,108 334
McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
McLintock! John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers 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

8
1,770 322
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valan... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin 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

9
1,441 285
Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Stagecoach John Wayne, John Carradine, Claire Trevor 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

10
1,762 368
The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Shootist John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, James Stewart The Shootist is a 1976 Western film directed by Don Siegel and starring John Wayne in his final film role, about a dying gunfighter who spends his last days looking for a way to die with the ...more

11
1,750 306
The Sons of Katie Elder is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Sons of Katie Elder John Wayne, Dean Martin, Dennis Hopper 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

12
1,551 207
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey 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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13
1,383 268
Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sands of Iwo Jima John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 war film starring John Wayne that follows a group of United States Marines from training to the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The movie also features John ...more

14
1,459 218
Red River is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Red River John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters 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

15
1,331 175
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Rio Grande John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson 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

16
1,264 208
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Hondo John Wayne, James Arness, Geraldine Page 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

17
1,553 267
The Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Cowboys John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Slim Pickens 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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1,142 175
Fort Apache is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Fort Apache Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Ward Bond 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

19
1,181 202
The Horse Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Horse Soldiers John Wayne, William Holden, Althea Gibson The Horse Soldiers is a 1959 film set during the American Civil War. It was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. John Lee Mahin and Martin Rackin ...more

20
1,263 244
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Chisum John Wayne, Ben Johnson, Forrest Tucker 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

21
1,078 261
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Alamo John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Frankie Avalon 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

22
1,060 252
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Longest Day Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton The Longest Day is a 1962 war film based on the 1959 history book The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, about D-Day, the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II. The film was ...more

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1,053 248
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Rio Lobo John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill, Jack Elam Rio Lobo is a 1970 American Western film starring John Wayne. The film was the last film directed by Howard Hawks, from a script by Leigh Brackett. The film was shot in Technicolor with a ...more

24
1,197 291
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Rooster Cogburn John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Strother Martin 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

25
1,068 185
In Harm's Way is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
In Harm's Way John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda In Harm's Way is a 1965 American epic war film produced and directed by Otto Preminger and starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Stanley Holloway, Burgess ...more

26
1,077 269
The Green Berets is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Green Berets John Wayne, George Takei, Vera Miles The Green Berets is a 1968 American war film set in Vietnam, featuring John Wayne, George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton and Aldo Ray, nominally based on the eponymous 1965 book by Robin ...more

27
846 156
They Were Expendable is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
They Were Expendable John Wayne, Donna Reed, Robert Montgomery They Were Expendable is a 1945 American war film directed by John Ford and starring Robert Montgomery and John Wayne and featuring Donna Reed. The film is based on the book by William L. White, ...more

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1,023 213
Donovan's Reef is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Donovan's Reef John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Cesar Romero Donovan's Reef is a 1963 American film starring John Wayne. It was directed by John Ford and filmed on location on Kauai, Hawaii. The cast included Elizabeth Allen, Lee Marvin, Jack Warden, ...more

29
961 189
The Comancheros is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Comancheros John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Jack Elam The Comancheros is a 1961 Western Deluxe CinemaScope color film directed by Michael Curtiz, based on a 1952 novel of the same name by Paul Wellman, and starring John Wayne and Stuart Whitman. ...more

30
909 240
Hellfighters is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Hellfighters John Wayne, Katharine Ross, Vera Miles Hellfighters is a 1968 American film starring John Wayne and featuring Katharine Ross, Bruce Cabot, Jim Hutton, Jay C. Flippen and Vera Miles. The film, directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, is about ...more

31
1,085 214
North to Alaska is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
North to Alaska John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Fabian 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

32
926 227
Hatari! is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Hatari! John Wayne, Red Buttons, Hardy Krüger Hatari! is a 1962 American action/adventure romantic drama film directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne. It portrays a group of professional wildlife catchers in Africa. The film ...more

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33
718 183
Flying Tigers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Flying Tigers John Wayne, Anna Lee, Gordon Jones Flying Tigers is a 1942 black-and-white war film, starring John Wayne and John Carroll as pilots in the mercenary fighter group fighting the Japanese in China prior to the U.S. entry into World ...more

34
805 206
Angel and the Badman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Angel and the Badman John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey Angel and the Badman is a 1947 American Western film written and directed by James Edward Grant and starring John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey and Bruce Cabot. The film is about an injured ...more

35
969 223
The War Wagon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The War Wagon Sean Connery, John Wayne, Donald Sutherland The War Wagon is a 1967 Western film starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, released by Universal Pictures, directed by Burt Kennedy, produced by Marvin Schwartz and adapted by Clair Huffaker ...more

36
699 193
3 Godfathers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
3 Godfathers John Wayne, Ward Bond, Harry Carey^! Jr. 3 Godfathers is a 1948 American Western film directed by John Ford and filmed primarily in Death Valley, California. The screenplay, written by Frank S. Nugent and Laurence Stallings, is based ...more

37
677 160
Flying Leathernecks is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Flying Leathernecks John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Milburn Stone Flying Leathernecks is a 1951 action war film directed by Nicholas Ray, produced by Edmund Grainger, and starring John Wayne and Robert Ryan. The movie details the exploits and personal battles ...more

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38
825 253
Cahill U.S. Marshal is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Cahill U.S. Marshal John Wayne, George Kennedy, Scott Walker Cahill U.S. Marshal is a 1973 American Western film in Technicolor starring John Wayne as a driven lawman in a black hat. The film was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and filmed on location in ...more

39
731 233
Ranker Video
The Undefeated John Wayne, Merlin Olsen, Rock Hudson The Undefeated is a 1969 American Western film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and John Wayne and starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson. The film portrays events surrounding the French Intervention ...more

40
682 177
The Fighting Seabees is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Fighting Seabees John Wayne, Susan Hayward, William Frawley The Fighting Seabees is a 1944 war film starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward. The picture portrays a heavily fictionalized account of the dilemma that led to the creation of the U.S. Navy's ...more

41
601 181
Back to Bataan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Back to Bataan John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Paul Fix Back to Bataan is a 1945 World War II war film, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring John Wayne and Anthony Quinn. It depicts events that took place after the Battle of Bataan on the island ...more

42
628 193
The Fighting Kentuckian is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Fighting Kentuckian John Wayne, Oliver Hardy, Vera Ralston The Fighting Kentuckian is an American comedy action film starring John Wayne and Oliver Hardy. The movie was written and directed by George Waggner and made by Republic Pictures.

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43
617 226
How the West Was Won is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
How the West Was Won John Wayne, James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds How the West Was Won is a 1962 western film written by James R. Webb and John Gay and directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall and Richard Thorpe.

44
575 209
The Train Robbers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Train Robbers John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Ricardo Montalbán The Train Robbers is a 1973 Western Technicolor film starring John Wayne, Ann-Margret, Rod Taylor and Ben Johnson. The movie was written and directed by Burt Kennedy. Rod Taylor is billed above ...more

45
532 200
The High and the Mighty is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The High and the Mighty John Wayne, Robert Stack, Claire Trevor The High and the Mighty is a 1954 American "disaster" film directed by William A. Wellman and written by Ernest K. Gann who also wrote the novel on which his screenplay was based. The ...more

46
521 174
The Wings of Eagles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
The Wings of Eagles John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond The Wings of Eagles is a 1957 Metrocolor film starring John Wayne, based on the true story of Frank "Spig" Wead and the history of U.S. Naval aviation from its inception through World ...more

47
512 143
Operation Pacific is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Operation Pacific John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond Operation Pacific is a 1951 World War II submarine film starring John Wayne and Patricia Neal, featuring Ward Bond and Philip Carey and directed by George Waggner. The technical advisor for this ...more

48
370 162
Blood Alley is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Blood Alley John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Anita Ekberg Blood Alley is a 1955 seafaring adventure movie starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall set in China.

49
476 208
Tall in the Saddle is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Tall in the Saddle John Wayne, Ward Bond, George "Gabby" Hayes Tall in the Saddle is a 1944 American Western film directed by Edwin L. Marin and starring John Wayne and Ella Raines. Written by Paul Fix and Michael Hogan, based on the serialized novel of the ...more

50
362 148
Wake of the Red Witch is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Wake of the Red Witch John Wayne, Gig Young, Gail Russell Wake of the Red Witch is a 1948 drama film from Republic Pictures starring John Wayne and Gail Russell, produced by Edmund Grainger, and based upon the 1946 novel with the same name by Garland ...more