The Best Robert Ryan Movies

Over 100 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Robert Ryan Movies
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List of the best Robert Ryan movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Robert Ryan'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 Robert Ryan movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Robert Ryan movies will be at the top of the list. Robert Ryan has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Robert Ryan movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Robert Ryan films to end the squabble once and for all.

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

This list contains films like Anzio and The Professionals.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Robert Ryan movies?" and "What are the greatest Robert Ryan roles of all time?"
Most divisive: The Boy with Green Hair
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  • Act of Violence
    Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh
    23 votes
    • Released: 1949
    • Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
    A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is hailed as a hero in his California town. However, Frank actually aided his Nazi captors, and he closely guards this secret. Frank's shameful past comes back to visit him when fellow survivor Joe Parkson (Robert Ryan) emerges, intent on making the turncoat pay for his betrayal. As Joe closes in on Frank, the traitor goes into hiding, abandoning his wife, Edith (Janet Leigh), who has no clue about her husband's wartime transgressions.
  • The Wild Bunch
    William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
    37 votes
    • Released: 1969
    • Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
    The Wild Bunch, a seminal Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah, is a tale of an aging outlaw gang on the Mexico-US border. The gang's leader, Pike Bishop (William Holden), along with his second-in-command, Dutch Engstrom (Ernest Borgnine), navigates their crew through changing times and relentless law enforcement. As they attempt one last score, their loyalty and survival instincts are put to the ultimate test. This gritty and violent depiction of the Old West earned two Oscar nominations for its original screenplay and musical score in 1970.

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  • On Dangerous Ground
    Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
    29 votes
    • Released: 1951
    • Directed by: Nicholas Ray
    Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) is New York police detective on the edge. Hardened and embittered by his years of dealing with the lowest forms of criminal the city has to offer, Wilson becomes increasingly violent with suspects. For his own good, Wilson's police captain (Ed Begley) assigns him to a murder investigation in the countryside for a change of scenery. While searching for the killer, Wilson meets the suspect's sister, Mary Malden (Ida Lupino), a blind woman who might turn his life around.

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  • The Naked Spur
    James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
    35 votes
    • Released: 1953
    • Directed by: Anthony Mann
    Howard Kemp (James Stewart) has been tracking killer Ben Vandergroat (Robert Ryan) for a long time. In the Colorado Rockies, he teams up with prospector Jesse Tate (Millard Mitchell) and former Union soldier Roy Anderson (Ralph Meeker). Thinking Kemp is a sheriff, they agree to help for a small fee. When they catch Vandergroat, he tells them Kemp is pursuing a $5,000 bounty. After demanding equal shares, the uneasy alliance heads for Kansas as Vandergroat tries to turn them against each other.

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  • Crossfire
    Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
    31 votes
    • Released: 1947
    • Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
    Stark, claustrophobic thriller about an anti-Semitic soldier who kills a Jewish war veteran, evading detection because of his loyal friends' protection. However, a detective is determined that the crime will not go unsolved and sets about laying a trap for the murderer.
  • Bad Day at Black Rock
    Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis
    36 votes
    • Released: 1955
    • Directed by: John Sturges
    When John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy), a one-armed war veteran, arrives in the small desert town of Black Rock, he's not greeted warmly. Searching for a man named Komoko, Macreedy is met with disdain by virtually every local, including the resident thug, Hector David (Lee Marvin), and the imposing Reno Smith (Robert Ryan). As Macreedy's investigation deepens, hostility turns to violence -- and to imminent danger for the mysterious and inquisitive stranger.

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