My Ranking of John Wayne Movies

by Joethesh0w | created - 17 May 2020 | updated - 1 day ago | Public

This is my ranking of the movies that John Wayne was featured in. There's still several movies I haven't seen yet and the list will be updated over time.

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1. Red River (1948)

Passed | 133 min | Drama, Western

Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson | Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan

Votes: 31,215

Wow, the first John Wayne movie I've seen where Wayne actually played a different character then vanilla good guy. It was a welcome surprise to actually see some acting chops from John who played a Cattle boss who has a psychotic break driving his herd to Missouri.

2. El Dorado (1966)

Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Western

85 Metascore

Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt

Votes: 27,226 | Gross: $12.97M

3. Hondo (1953)

PG | 83 min | Drama, Romance, War

79 Metascore

Army dispatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and young son living in the midst of warring Apaches and becomes their protector.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond, Michael Pate

Votes: 11,048

4. Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 48,827

5. The Shootist (1976)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western

77 Metascore

A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart

Votes: 24,538

6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Approved | 123 min | Drama, Western

94 Metascore

A senator returns to a western town for the funeral of an old friend and tells the story of his origins.

Director: John Ford | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin

Votes: 75,750

7. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 55,856 | Gross: $39.10M

8. True Grit (1969)

G | 128 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

83 Metascore

A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian Territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Jeremy Slate

Votes: 47,398 | Gross: $31.13M

9. The Cowboys (1972)

GP | 134 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

52 Metascore

Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst

Votes: 14,596 | Gross: $16.35M

10. Flying Leathernecks (1951)

Approved | 102 min | Action, Drama, War

75 Metascore

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor, Janis Carter

Votes: 5,065

11. The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Approved | 120 min | Adventure, Romance, War

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Judson Pratt

Votes: 10,549 | Gross: $1.75M

12. Big Jake (1971)

PG-13 | 110 min | Western

57 Metascore

In 1909, when John Fain's gang kidnaps Jacob McCandles' grandson and holds him for ransom, Big Jake sets out to rescue the boy.

Directors: George Sherman, John Wayne | Stars: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne

Votes: 13,032 | Gross: $16.35M

13. In Old California (1942)

Passed | 88 min | Western

During the California Gold Rush, Boston pharmacist Tom Craig sets up shop in Sacramento where he clashes with local town crook Britt Dawson.

Director: William C. McGann | Stars: John Wayne, Binnie Barnes, Albert Dekker, Helen Parrish

Votes: 1,362

14. The Searchers (1956)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

94 Metascore

An American Civil War veteran embarks on a years-long journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches after the rest of his brother's family is massacred in a raid on their Texas farm.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond

Votes: 88,912

15. The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

Passed | 122 min | Western

72 Metascore

Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer, Michael Anderson Jr.

Votes: 17,582 | Gross: $13.33M

16. Winds of the Wasteland (1936)

Passed | 54 min | Western

The arrival of the telegraph put Pony Express riders like John Blair and his pal Smoky out of work. A race will decide whether they or stageline owner Drake get the government mail contract.

Director: Mack V. Wright | Stars: John Wayne, Phyllis Fraser, Lew Kelly, Douglas Cosgrove

Votes: 1,035

A decent movie for the time period, I'll admit it's hard to get engaged from movies shot in the 30's due to limitations with the technology they use to shoot the movies. I found this movie to have a decent story and pace. Nothing really special from Wayne, just his normal humble hero he usually plays.

17. Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)

Approved | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In 1947, following the U.N. decision to split British Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, a former U.S. Army officer is recruited by the Jews to reorganize the Haganah.

Director: Melville Shavelson | Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Senta Berger

Votes: 3,354

John was only in a couple of scenes.

18. The Quiet Man (1952)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in 1920s Ireland, where he falls for a spirited redhead whose brother is contemptuous of their union.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond

Votes: 38,698 | Gross: $10.55M

The scenery/set design and supporting actors were fantastic in this movie. I can't think of another movie from this era that had such a beautiful location and the way they transitioned between real and studio locations was very well done.

When John Wayne's character drags Maureen O'hara's character through the streets of town by the wrist/arm/hair it's a little difficult to watch through a 2022 lense, especially since the scene is intended to be funny.

19. Rooster Cogburn (1975)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

Marshal Rooster Cogburn unwillingly teams up with Eula Goodnight to track down her father's murderers.

Director: Stuart Millar | Stars: John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Zerbe, Richard Jordan

Votes: 12,119 | Gross: $8.02M

20. The Wings of Eagles (1957)

Approved | 110 min | Biography, Drama, War

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey, Ward Bond

Votes: 4,228

21. The Alamo (1960)

Passed | 162 min | Adventure, Drama, History

In 1836, a small band of soldiers sacrifice their lives in hopeless combat against a massive army in order to prevent a tyrant from smashing the new Republic of Texas.

Director: John Wayne | Stars: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon

Votes: 16,004 | Gross: $17.26M

Campy, cheesy, and inaccurate but somewhat entertaining.

22. The Lucky Texan (1934)

Passed | 55 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Jerry Mason, a young Texan, and Jake Benson, an old rancher, become partners and strike it rich with a gold mine. They then find their lives complicated by bad guys and a woman.

Director: Robert N. Bradbury | Stars: John Wayne, Barbara Sheldon, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Lloyd Whitlock

Votes: 1,230

23. Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Action, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

Haunted by personal demons, Marine Sgt. John Stryker is hated and feared by his men, who see him as a cold-hearted sadist. But when their boots hit the beaches, they begin to understand the reason for Stryker's rigid form of discipline.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker

Votes: 10,541

24. McLintock! (1963)

Passed | 127 min | Western

62 Metascore

Wealthy rancher G.W. McLintock uses his power and influence in the territory to keep the peace between farmers, ranchers, land-grabbers, Indians and corrupt government officials.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers

Votes: 15,056

25. King of the Pecos (1936)

Approved | 54 min | Western

Texas cattle baron Stiles killed John Clayborn's parents ten years earlier. Now a lawyer, Clayborn tries legally to break up Stiles' water monopoly and rustling operation. When that fails he must use force.

Director: Joseph Kane | Stars: John Wayne, Muriel Evans, Cy Kendall, Jack Rube Clifford

Votes: 480

26. In Harm's Way (1965)

Approved | 165 min | Drama, War

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon

Votes: 9,330 | Gross: $4.20M

27. His Private Secretary (1933)

Passed | 60 min | Comedy, Romance

Dick Wallace secretly marries a minister's grand-daughter but his father, who thinks she is a gold digger, is opposed. She takes a job with the company under her maiden name to prove she's okay.

Director: Phil Whitman | Stars: Evalyn Knapp, John Wayne, Reginald Barlow, Alec B. Francis

Votes: 697

The first movie I've seen of John Wayne where he's not a gunslinger or military man. I haven't seen a lot of movies from the 30's but from my limited experience this movie seems a head of it's time and the story would actually fit in a modern movie. Decent Rom-Com and would rate it higher but the movie is in desperate need of update/modern editing.

28. Rio Grande (1950)

Passed | 105 min | Romance, Western

A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande is confronted with murderous raiding Apaches, a son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson, Claude Jarman Jr.

Votes: 16,218

29. Sagebrush Trail (1933)

Passed | 54 min | Western

A man framed for murder escapes prison and goes west, where he joins a gang with the real killer involved.

Director: Armand Schaefer | Stars: John Wayne, Nancy Shubert, Lane Chandler, Yakima Canutt

Votes: 1,246

30. The Dawn Rider (1935)

Approved | 53 min | Western

Just as John travels to visit his father, he witnesses his death and suffers a gun wound - a beautiful woman is kind enough to help him bring the killers to justice, but jealousy from another man may cause problems.

Director: Robert N. Bradbury | Stars: John Wayne, Marion Burns, Dennis Moore, Reed Howes

Votes: 1,200

31. Brannigan (1975)

PG | 111 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

52 Metascore

Chicago Police Lieutenant Jim Brannigan is sent to the U.K. to escort organized crime boss Ben Larkin back to the U.S., but Larkin's hitmen prepare an ambush for Brannigan.

Director: Douglas Hickox | Stars: John Wayne, Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, Mel Ferrer

Votes: 5,741

Cop that plays by his own rules, loud and obnoxious American visiting England. These tropes have been done to death.

32. They Were Expendable (1945)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, War

86 Metascore

A Navy commander fights to prove the battle-worthiness of the PT boat at the start of World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jack Holt

Votes: 8,476

33. Rio Lobo (1970)

G | 114 min | War, Western

55 Metascore

After the Civil War, Cord McNally searches for the two traitors whose treachery caused the defeat of McNally's unit and the loss of a close friend.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: John Wayne, Jorge Rivero, Jennifer O'Neill, Jack Elam

Votes: 12,443 | Gross: $9.27M

34. Flying Tigers (1942)

Approved | 102 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Capt. Jim Gordon's command of the famed American mercenary fighter group in China is complicated by the recruitment of an old friend who is a reckless hotshot.

Director: David Miller | Stars: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee, Paul Kelly

Votes: 3,955 | Gross: $3.27M

35. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Western

82 Metascore

Three outlaws on the run risk their freedom and their lives to return a newborn to civilization.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 9,570

36. The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War

A merchant ship's crew tries to survive the loneliness of the sea and the coming of war.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Ward Bond

Votes: 4,350

John was a supporting actor in this movie. The movie itself was boring and didn't go anywhere. Turned it off halfway through the movie.

37. Angel and the Badman (1947)

Passed | 100 min | Romance, Western

Quirt Evans, an all round bad guy, is nursed back to health and sought after by Penelope Worth, a Quaker girl. He eventually finds himself having to choose between his world and the world Penelope lives in.

Director: James Edward Grant | Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 5,995

Very boring and the color editing was awful which completely distracted from the movie.

38. Riders of Destiny (1933)

Passed | 53 min | Music, Romance, Western

Bad guy Kincaid controls the local water supply and plans to do in the other ranchers. Government agent Saunders shows up undercover to do in Kincaid and win the heart of one of his victims Fay Denton.

Director: Robert N. Bradbury | Stars: John Wayne, Cecilia Parker, Forrest Taylor, George 'Gabby' Hayes

Votes: 1,085

39. West of the Divide (1934)

Approved | 54 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Ted Hayden impersonates a wanted man and joins Gentry's gang only to learn later that Gentry was the one who killed his father. He saves Virginia Winters' dad's ranch from Gentry and also rescues his long-lost brother Spud.

Director: Robert N. Bradbury | Stars: John Wayne, Virginia Brown Faire, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Lloyd Whitlock

Votes: 962

40. The Fighting Kentuckian (1949)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Romance, War

In 1818 Alabama, French settlers are pitted against greedy land-grabber Blake Randolph but Kentucky militiaman John Breen, who's smitten with French gal Fleurette De Marchand, comes to the settlers' aid.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Philip Dorn, Oliver Hardy

Votes: 3,292

I'm not entirely sure if I understood the premise of this movie, either way it was boring and uninteresting.

41. Desert Command (1946)

Not Rated | 70 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

Edited version of the 1933 Mascot serial "The Three Musketeers," first released in 1946.

Directors: Colbert Clark, Armand Schaefer | Stars: John Wayne, Ruth Hall, Robert Frazer, Noah Beery Jr.

Votes: 242



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