Entertainment

The Best Movies Directed by John Ford 

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Updated February 5, 2020 3.5k votes 336 voters 20.2k views

List of all movies directed by John Ford ranked from best to worst with photos. Films directed by John Ford are listed here and include movie posters and John Ford movie trailers whenever possible. This is a collection of the best movies directed by John Ford as voted on by film buffs. If you think the greatest John Ford movie isn't as high as it should be on this list, then make sure to vote so that your opinion of what the top John Ford film is can be factored into this list.

From John Ford's studio films to John Ford's independent films, this John Ford filmography keeps tabs on all John Ford movies, and lets the cream of the crop rise to the top.

The list you're viewing has a variety of movies, like The Searchers and Stagecoach, in it.

If you’re wondering “what movies did John Ford direct?” or “who is John Ford?” then this list will explain how most people know this director. This list also answers questions like “what are the all-time best movies directed by John Ford?” and “what's a good selection of good John Ford movies?”

If you're wanting to get into John Ford films, then this list is a great starting point for at least starting with the most decent John Ford works.

All John Ford director credits are included. This list of every movie that John Ford has directed can be sorted for specific information such as what genre the John Ford movie is and which actors starred in the John Ford film.

Make sure to re-rank this list so you can share it with your friends and measure how your social network would rank these movies. (146 items)

James Stewart and Steven Spielberg both worked on a John Ford directed movie, as have many other great actors. We have lists of the best movies directed by John Huston and Frank Capra too, which you might like if you're a fan of John Ford.

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The Searchers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Directed by John Ford
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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#863 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #165 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

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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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#806 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #9 of 50 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950slisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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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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#5 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #324 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #7 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

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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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#34 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made #61 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channellisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Henry Fonda, John Carradine, John Qualen

Released: 1940

Directed by: John Ford

The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally ...more

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#63 of 363 The Best Movies Based On Books #31 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Henry Fonda, Walter Brennan, Linda Darnell

Released: 1946

Directed by: John Ford

My Darling Clementine, a 1946 film, regarded as one of the best Western movies made by Director John Ford, stars Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp during the period leading up to Gunfight at the OK ...more

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#1 of 50 The Best 1940s Western Movies #373 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars #47 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

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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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#167 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #17 of 58 The Best Shirley Temple Movies

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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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#581 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #42 of 80 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall, Walter Pidgeon

Released: 1941

Directed by: John Ford

How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama film directed by John Ford. The film, based on the 1939 Richard Llewellyn novel, was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and scripted by Philip Dunne. The film ...more

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#346 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #39 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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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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#37 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #20 of 63 The Best Western Movies of the 1950s #77 of 162 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime

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John Wayne, Donna Reed, Robert Montgomery

Released: 1945

Directed by: Robert Montgomery, John Ford

They Were Expendable is a 1945 American 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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#117 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #57 of 80 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

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James Arness, Ben Johnson, Ward Bond

Released: 1950

Directed by: John Ford

Wagon Master is a 1950 Western film about a Mormon pioneer wagon train to the San Juan River in Utah. The film was conceived, produced, and directed by John Ford, who is often listed among the ...more
13
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Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney

Released: 1955

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, John Ford, Joshua Logan

Mister Roberts is a 1955 American Warnercolor in CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy and features an all-star cast including Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts, James ...more

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#103 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #49 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Henry Fonda, Ward Bond, Donald Meek

Released: 1939

Directed by: John Ford

Young Mr. Lincoln is a 1939 partly fictionalized biopic about the early life of President Abraham Lincoln, directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. Ford and producer Darryl F. Zanuck ...more
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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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#47 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #87 of 162 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime #78 of 304 The Best Military Movies Ever Made

16
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John Wayne, Ward Bond, Harry Carey

Released: 1948

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#86 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #14 of 50 The Best 1940s Western Movies #39 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

17
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Woody Strode, Jeffrey Hunter, Billie Burke

Released: 1960

Directed by: John Ford

Sergeant Rutledge is a 1960 Western and military courtroom drama starring Woody Strode and Jeffrey Hunter. It was directed by John Ford and shot on location in Monument Valley, Utah. The film ...more
18
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John Wayne, James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds

Released: 1962

Directed by: Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, John Ford, Richard Thorpe

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.

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#25 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #254 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guyslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Cesar Romero

Released: 1963

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#32 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked #11 of 47 The Best Lee Marvin Movies

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Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert, John Carradine

Released: 1939

Directed by: John Ford

Drums Along the Mohawk is a 1939 historical Technicolor film based upon a 1936 novel of the same name by American author, Walter D. Edmonds. The film was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and ...more
21
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John Wayne, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond

Released: 1940

Directed by: John Ford

The Long Voyage Home is a 1940 American drama film directed by John Ford. It features John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald, Wilfrid Lawson, John Qualen, Mildred Natwick, and ...more

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#29 of 253 The Best Movies of 1940 #61 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

22
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Heather Angel, Victor McLaglen, Jack Mulhall

Released: 1935

Directed by: John Ford

The Informer is a 1935 dramatic film, released by RKO. The plot concerns the underside of the Irish War of Independence, set in 1920. It stars Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, ...more

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#104 of 127 The Best Oscar-Winning Scoreslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Henry Fonda, Donald Crisp, Jane Darwell

Released: 1942

Directed by: John Ford

The Battle of Midway is a 1942 American documentary film short directed by John Ford. It is a montage of color footage of the Battle of Midway with voice overs of various narrators, including ...more
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John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond

Released: 1957

Directed by: John Ford

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

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#46 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked #20 of 29 The Best 50s War Movies

25
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James Stewart, Edward G. Robinson, Ricardo Montalbán

Released: 1964

Directed by: John Ford

Cheyenne Autumn is a 1964 Western movie starring Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, James Stewart, and Edward G. Robinson. Regarded as an epic film, it tells the story of a factual event, the ...more

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#110 of 394 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #42 of 116 The Best Native American Movies