Entertainment

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.

Ranker Video John Wayne & Joseph Stalin - The Insane Murder Attempt

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.

list ordered by
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
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
2
The Quiet Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
3
Rio Bravo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
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
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
El Dorado is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valan... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
7
Stagecoach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
8
McLintock! is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
9
Big Jake is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
10
The Shootist is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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 gunfighter who spends his last days looking for a way to stop with the least ...more
11
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
12
Sands of Iwo Jima is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel
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
13
Red River is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
14
The Sons of Katie Elder is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
15
Rio Grande is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
Hondo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
Fort Apache is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
18
The Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
19
The Horse Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, William Holden, Althea Gibson
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
20
The Alamo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
21
Chisum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
22
The Longest Day is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
Sean Connery, John Wayne, Richard Burton
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
23
In Harm's Way is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda
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
24
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked
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
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
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