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100 best John Wayne movies

  • #80. Tycoon

    - Director: Richard Wallace
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Runtime: 128 min

    With a title like “Tycoon,” one might wonder if Wayne throws on a business suit and heads to Wall Street for this 1947 flick. On the contrary, the movie sees Wayne playing a rugged engineer named Johnny Munroe who is tasked with building a railroad tunnel in South America, where he encounters danger and romance.

  • #79. The Great K & A Train Robbery

    - Director: Lewis Seiler
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 53 min

    Every actor has to start somewhere; for Wayne, that meant working as an uncredited extra in silent movies like “The Great K & A Train Robbery.” In the film, a man goes undercover to stop train robberies, presumably passing by a young Wayne (then Marion Morrison) at some point.

  • #78. Central Airport

    - Director: William A. Wellman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 72 min

    Wayne stars as a co-pilot in this 1933 film that centers on two aviator brothers competing for the same girl. Wayne might have been a small-time player in this film, but later he would have an actual airport in Orange County, Calif. named after him.

  • #77. In Old California

    - Director: William C. McGann
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 88 min

    Set during the California Gold Rush, a pharmacist named Tom Craig (played by Wayne) is set against a crooked politician. The 1942 motion picture is one of just a few films where Wayne can be seen with a 7.5" Peacemaker strapped to the side of his leg. That’s not to say Wayne was a stranger to Colt Peacemakers—just that they were usually a little shorter.

  • #76. Flame of Barbary Coast

    - Director: Joseph Kane
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 91 min

    The heat is on and the stakes are high in "Flame of Barbary Coast." This 1945 film is about a gambler who loses everything, gains everything, and loses everything again in his pursuit of a beautiful blonde siren. Set in 1906 San Francisco, "Flame of Barbary Coast" culminates with a historic earthquake.

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  • #75. Allegheny Uprising

    - Director: William A. Seiter
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 81 min

    Made in the same year as "Stagecoach," 1939’s “Allegheny Uprising” takes place in pre-Revolutionary War America and features Wayne’s character struggling to stop British colonialists from selling alcohol and firearms to Native American tribes. Wayne would later describe the film as an "awful stinker,” saying that his character was “rather dull.”

  • #74. Blood Alley

    - Director: William A. Wellman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 110 min

    In 1955’s “Blood Alley,” Wayne plays an American merchant captain who gets locked up in a Chinese prison after his ship is seized. With the help of local villagers, Wayne’s character plots his escape. The film also stars icon Lauren Bacall.

  • #73. Cast a Giant Shadow

    - Director: Melville Shavelson
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 146 min

    In 1966’s “Cast a Giant Shadow,” Wayne stars in a supporting role alongside fellow A-list alpha males Kirk Douglas and Frank Sinatra. The film features an American Army officer helping Jews in Palestine form an army before the battle for statehood begins.

  • #72. Flying Leathernecks

    - Director: Nicholas Ray
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 102 min

    Produced by noted aviator Howard Hughes, 1951’s “Flying Leathernecks” follows a squadron of Marine flyers as they do battle in World War II. “Flying Leathernecks” was one among many World War II movies starring Wayne, although he was famously deferred from the draft on numerous occasions.

  • #71. The Train Robbers

    - Director: Burt Kennedy
    - IMDb user rating: 6.4
    - Runtime: 92 min

    Wayne stars as a gunslinger hired by a widow to track down stolen gold in this 1973 classic. Rife with Western genre conventions, Wayne's son, Michael, produced the film. Ann-Margret co-stars as the widow.

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