100 best John Wayne movies

Written by:
February 26, 2021
Universal Pictures

100 best John Wayne movies

Before he was one of Hollywood’s most bankable and iconic Western movie stars, actor John Wayne was a USC lineman named Marion Morrison. Morrison lost his football scholarship due to a shoulder injury from a body-surfing accident, and landed a job in 1927 as a prop guy on the Fox studios lot. That gig didn’t last long, however, as it took just three years for Morrison to snag his first lead role in 1930’s “The Big Trail.” Not being fond of the name Marion Morrison, the movie’s producers instructed director Raoul Walsh to change it. John Wayne was thus born.

In honor of The Duke himself, Stacker ranked John Wayne’s best 100 movies. From lowest to highest, each movie is ranked according to its IMDb rating. We focus on Wayne’s acting credits from his first starring role in 1930 and his breakout performance in 1939’s “Stagecoach” to his final star turn in 1976’s “The Shooter.” It’s worth noting that most of Wayne’s films don’t have too many user votes, but that’s largely because they were released in the first half of the 1900s.

The swaggering masculinity Wayne infused into characters bled off-screen and permeated American culture for decades with nostalgia for unencumbered male machismo. By the time Wayne appeared in John Ford's "3 Godfathers" in 1948, his caricatured persona of the hardened, egoic male had firmly politicized the Western hero with shades of disgust for things like communism and liberalism. Wayne is still a hotly debated figure today. In June 2020, calls were renewed to change the name of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, over Wayne's 1971 interview in Playboy when he came out in favor of white supremacy, expressed no remorse over slavery or the treatment of Native Americans throughout American history, and used a homophobic slur to describe the actors in "Midnight Cowboy." 

The controversial film star was most famous for his roles in Westerns, but also starred in war dramas, took on the role of an American boxer in "The Quiet Man," and put himself on the other side of the camera as a producer and director. Wayne was nominated three times for Academy Awards, winning once for lead actor in 1969 when he played U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” J. Cogburn in “True Grit.” He was even posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980 by Jimmy Carter.

Wayne was credited in at least 177 movies over the course of his career. Keep reading to see which ones crack his top 100.

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    1 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #100. The Night Riders

    - Director: George Sherman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.0
    - Runtime: 56 min

    Released in 1939, this low-budget, "Poverty Row" Western stars Wayne as Stony Brooke (seriously), leader of a vigilante gang. Wayne and his co-stars battle an evil landlord who controls and taxes everything on his 13-million acre ranch. Wayne's men attack at night, earning the nickname, "Night Riders."

    2 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #99. Lady from Louisiana

    - Director: Bernard Vorhaus
    - IMDb user rating: 6.0
    - Runtime: 82 min

    A rare high-budget release from Wayne's employer, Republic Pictures, spared no expense in making this romance-action-comedy based in New Orleans. Wayne plays a northern lawyer sent south to investigate Louisiana's crooked lottery scheme. Naturally, he falls in love with the lottery runner's daughter en route. As Wayne's investigation leads to prosecutions, misunderstandings, and confrontations, a biblical storm hits the city, causing massive flooding.

    3 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #98. King of the Pecos

    - Director: Joseph Kane
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 54 min

    Again playing the role of a lawyer, this time Wayne's character, John Clayborn, ditches the law books for a six-shooter to avenge his parents' murder. After assembling a posse, Wayne leads his men against the rich landowner who killed his parents, exacting revenge the Wild West way.

    4 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #97. Pals of the Saddle

    - Director: George Sherman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 55 min

    This is Wayne's first of eight roles as Stony Brooke in what became the "Three Mesquiteers" Western B-Movie franchise. In this clunker from 1938, Brooke and his two partners get mixed up with a beautiful government agent who implicates the trio in an international smuggling operation and a murder.

    5 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #96. Lady for a Night

    - Director: Leigh Jason
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 87 min

    In this 1942 romance, Wayne's character, casino-steamboat owner Jack Morgan, falls in love with his business partner, the wannabe socialite, Jenny Blake. After Blake marries a man from the upper crust, Morgan pursues her anyway. Blake's husband ends up dead from an unintentional poisoning after which Morgan swoops in.

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    6 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #95. A Man Betrayed

    - Director: John H. Auer
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 82 min

    Playing yet another lawyer, Wayne portrays Lynn Hollister, a crusading country lawyer who takes on big-city corruption in this 1941 romance-drama. Hollister goes after the city's most influential politician and ends up falling in love with the crooked politician's daughter along the way.

    7 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #94. Wyoming Outlaw

    - Director: George Sherman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 56 min

    Another "Three Mesquiteers" film, Wayne returns as do-gooder Stony Brooke. This time the trio takes on a crooked politician who's hellbent on seizing local ranches. Brooke and his men get involved after a teenager from one of the affected ranch families steals a steer from Brooke to feed his family.

    8 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #93. Winds of the Wasteland

    - Director: Mack V. Wright
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 54 min

    In 1936’s “Winds of the Wasteland,” two former Pony Express riders (one played by Wayne) race against a stagecoach driver for a lucrative government subsidy. As this is no ordinary race, the unethical stagecoach driver resorts to extreme measures—including gunfire and explosives—to bamboozle his way to the top.

    9 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #92. Dakota

    - Director: Joseph Kane
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 82 min

    Playing a professional gambler named John Devlin, Wayne finds himself in the middle of a deadly dispute between local farmers and greedy landowners. This standard Western from 1945 was directed by Joseph Kane, who churned out many films every year for Republic Pictures throughout the '30s and '40s.

    10 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #91. Reunion in France

    - Director: Jules Dassin
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 104 min

    Wayne stars opposite screen legend Joan Crawford in 1942’s “Reunion in France,” about a Frenchwoman who hides an American pilot from the Nazis during World War II. It was rumored that Crawford tried to seduce Wayne behind the scenes but was rebuffed by the married actor.

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    11 / 100
    Batjac Productions

    #90. Legend of the Lost

    - Director: Henry Hathaway
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 109 min

    Two men and a beautiful lady embark on a journey across the Sahara desert in 1957’s “Legend of the Lost” to arrive at the ruins of a lost city. Wayne was cast in the role of a French legionnaire for the film, but that didn’t stop him from showing up on set in an American cowboy outfit.

    12 / 100
    Wellborn

    #89. Brannigan

    - Director: Douglas Hickox
    - IMDb user rating: 6.1
    - Runtime: 111 min

    In 1975’s “Brannigan,” Wayne plays Jim Brannigan, a Chicago police lieutenant who risks his life escorting a notorious American crime boss from Britain to the United States. While not a Western per se, the film does borrow a number of thematic conventions from the Western genre. 

    13 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #88. Conflict

    - Director: David Howard
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Runtime: 60 min

    “Conflict” was a 1936 release based on a novel by Jack London. In the film, Wayne plays boxer Pat Glendon, who plans to throw a big fight until he experiences a last-minute change of heart. The film was made as Wayne’s reputation as an actor was on the rise, but it would take three more years before he earned his place as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

    14 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #87. Idol of the Crowds

    - Director: Arthur Lubin
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Runtime: 60 min

    Just a year after the release of “Conflict” came the similarly premised “Idol of the Crowds.” Wayne plays Johnny Hanson, a hockey player trying to raise enough money to expand his chicken farm. Hanson finds himself being targeted by vicious gangsters after refusing to throw an important championship game.

    15 / 100
    Columbia Pictures Corporation

    #86. Texas Cyclone

    - Director: D. Ross Lederman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Runtime: 63 min

    Wayne plays a supporting role in 1932’s “Texas Cyclone,” as Steve Pickett who follows a man named Pecos Grant. After riding into a strange town, Grant ends up being confused with a presumed-dead man who had many enemies. “Texas Cyclone” features one of Hollywood’s most iconic lines: “This town ain’t big enough to hold the two of us.”

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    16 / 100
    Samuel Bronston Productions

    #85. Circus World

    - Director: Henry Hathaway
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Runtime: 135 min

    "Circus World" was one of six films Wayne and director Henry Hathaway worked on together over the course of their respective careers. The film is about an American circus proprietor who encounters all sorts of problems when he decides to take his Wild West Show to Europe.

    17 / 100
    Batjac Productions // Wikicommons

    #84. McQ

    - Director: John Sturges
    - IMDb user rating: 6.2
    - Runtime: 111 min

    In the spirit of films like “Bullitt” and “Dirty Harry” came 1974’s “McQ,” in which Wayne plays a police lieutenant investigating the murder of his close friend. The movie was made when Wayne was arguably past his prime, evidenced by his memorably lackluster performance. But as some of his other 1970s films would go to show, Wayne wasn’t down for the count just yet.

    18 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #83. Sea Spoilers

    - Director: Frank R. Strayer
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Runtime: 63 min

    Wayne playing a Coast Guard commander in this 1936 film. The commander's bravery and intelligence are put to the test after a group of seal poachers kidnap his girlfriend. The low-budget action motion picture was the first film Wayne made for Universal Studios while under contract in the 1930s.

    19 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #82. Santa Fe Stampede

    - Director: George Sherman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Runtime: 55 min

    From 1936 to 1943, Republic Pictures released 51 B-movie Westerns featuring “The Three Mesquiteers,” a trio of cowboys modeled after Alexandre Dumas’ classic swashbucklers. Wayne would appear as one of the Mesquiteers in eight of those films, including 1938’s “Sante Fe Stampede.” In this installment (the third to feature the trio that included Wayne), Wayne’s fellow Mesquiteers work to clear his name after he is falsely accused of murder.

    20 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #81. Three Faces West

    - Director: Bernard Vorhaus
    - IMDb user rating: 6.3
    - Runtime: 79 min

    A year after becoming box office gold in 1939’s “Stagecoach,” Wayne appeared in 1940’s “Three Faces West.” In the film, a surgeon and his daughter flee the Nazis and end up in North Dakota, where a new problem awaits in the form of threatening Dust Bowl winds. To escape the winds, Wayne’s character John Phillips leads the pair and others on a migration to Oregon. Wayne’s character gets romantically entangled with the surgeon’s daughter while on their journey to safety.

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    21 / 100
    RKO Radio Pictures

    #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.

    22 / 100
    Lew Seiler Productions

    #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.

    23 / 100
    First National Pictures

    #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, California, named after him.

    24 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #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-inch 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.

    25 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #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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    26 / 100
    RKO Radio Pictures

    #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.”

    27 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #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.

    28 / 100
    Batjac Productions

    #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 Jewish people in Palestine form an army before the battle for statehood begins.

    29 / 100
    RKO Radio Pictures

    #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.

    30 / 100
    Batjac Productions

    #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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    31 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #70. The Sea Chase

    - Director: John Farrow
    - IMDb user rating: 6.5
    - Runtime: 117 min

    1955’s “The Sea Chase” once again plunges Wayne into the midst of World War II, this time as a German freighter captain. The film—based on a true story—follows Wayne’s character as he out-maneuvers Allied warships on the open seas. Starring as the romantic lead is screen legend Lana Turner, who was so openly unhappy during the shoot she got fired by director John Farrow. The actress returned to the set only after Wayne intervened.

    32 / 100
    John Wayne Productions

    #69. The Fighting Kentuckian

    - Director: George Waggner
    - IMDb user rating: 6.5
    - Runtime: 100 min

    In “The Fighting Kentuckian,” French settlers square off with a greedy land-grabber in 1818 Alabama. Wayne’s character, John Breen, helps the French settlers get their way. The movie also stars actor Oliver Hardy of the comedic duo “Laurel and Hardy.” “The Fighting Kentuckian” marks a rare occasion where one member of the “Laurel and Hardy” duo appears in a film without the other.

    33 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #68. Cahill U.S. Marshal

    - Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
    - IMDb user rating: 6.5
    - Runtime: 103 min

    An aging, no-nonsense U.S. Marshal encounters the ultimate dilemma when his two sons become bank robbers in “Cahill U.S. Marshal.” Released in 1973, the film stars Wayne in the title role. Helping move the somewhat plodding Western along is a noteworthy score by Elmer Bernstein, which didn’t see an official release until 2013.

    34 / 100
    Fox Film Corporation

    #67. Hangman's House

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 80 min

    Blink and you might miss Wayne in 1928’s “Hangman’s House,” in which he plays a spectator during a steeplechase scene. The film centers on an Irish exile who risks his life by returning to his homeland. Ford and Wayne would later forge one of Hollywood’s most enduring and rewarding collaborations.

    35 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #66. Noah's Ark

    - Director: Michael Curtiz
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 135 min

    Chronicling two parallel stories, 1928’s “Noah’s Ark” depicts both the epic biblical flood and also a tale of romance set during World War II. It was made when Wayne (then Morrison) was still working in a Hollywood props department and acting as an extra in various films. Consequently, you might have to watch this film numerous times before you can spot him during the flood scene that involved hundreds of other extras.

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    36 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #65. In Old Oklahoma

    - Director: Albert S. Rogell
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 102 min

    After playing a pharmacist in 1942’s “In Old California,” Wayne tackled another cowboy role in 1943’s “In Old Oklahoma.” The film sees Wayne squaring off against a greedy oilman over oil lease rights on Native land. Meanwhile, a local schoolteacher becomes the object of both men’s desires.

    37 / 100
    RKO Radio Pictures

    #64. Without Reservations

    - Director: Mervyn LeRoy
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 107 min

    With over 150 films under his belt, it was inevitable that Wayne would appear in at least a few romantic comedies. Wayne plays a Marine named Rusty who won’t stop criticizing a specific book while talking to the girl of his dreams. As it turns out, that very same girl is the book’s author.

    38 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #63. The Fighting Seabees

    - Director: Edward Ludwig
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 100 min

    Another John Wayne film set in World War II, 1944’s “The Flying Seabees” involves the U.S. Navy hiring a new Construction Battalion (aka a CB or SeaBee), with members who are expected to build and fight. During the shoot, action servicemen were on the set—and some had a few bones to pick with Wayne over his draft deferments.

    39 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #62. Hellfighters

    - Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 121 min

    "Hellfighters" is a 1968 film chronicling the lives of oil well firefighters, but digs deeper to explore the crumbling marriage of Wayne’s character Chance Buckman. Wayne's co-star, Katharine Ross, had numerous arguments with Wayne behind the scenes over his support of the Vietnam War.

    40 / 100
    George Stevens Productions

    #61. The Greatest Story Ever Told

    - Director: George Stevens
    - IMDb user rating: 6.6
    - Runtime: 225 min

    Wayne was just one among a number of stars to appear in “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” The film is about the life and times of Jesus Christ. Made for over $20 million, the film opened to negative reviews and little fanfare, making it the biggest flop of its time.

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    41 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #60. The Life of Jimmy Dolan

    - Director: Archie Mayo
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 88 min

    In “The Life of Jimmy Dolan,” a prizefighter goes on the lam after possibly killing a reporter. Released in 1933, the film features Wayne in a supporting role and stars Mickey Rooney as a disabled child. It was later remade as “They Made Me a Criminal.”

    42 / 100
    Frank Ross Productions

    #59. A Lady Takes a Chance

    - Director: William A. Seiter
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 86 min

    Blending the comedy, romance, and Western genres to somewhat mediocre effect is 1943’s “A Lady Takes a Chance,” in which a city girl falls for a handsome cowboy. Naturally, Wayne plays the cowboy whose name happens to be Duke.

    43 / 100
    Charles K. Feldman Group,

    #58. Pittsburgh

    - Director: Lewis Seiler
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 92 min

    In 1942’s “Pittsburgh,” a steel magnate named Charles “Pittsburgh” Markham sacrifices friends and loved ones in his ruthless pursuit for success, only to discover it’s lonely at the top. The film reunites Wayne with Marlene Dietrich and Randolph Scott—the three had just starred together in 1942’s “The Spoilers.”

    44 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #57. Wake of the Red Witch

    - Director: Edward Ludwig
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 106 min

    1948’s “Wake of the Red Witch” follows the manly Captain Ralls (John Wayne), skipper of the Red Witch, as he embarks on a series of South Pacific adventures in the 1860s. Based on a novel by Garland Roark, the film has Ralls crossing paths with a ruthless rival captain, a horde of savage natives, and a giant octopus.

    45 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #56. Operation Pacific

    - Director: George Waggner
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 111 min

    In “Operation Pacific,” John Wayne plays a submarine officer who tries to win a war under the sea while also trying to win back his ex-wife on shore. The film saw Wayne re-teaming with director George Waggner for the fifth time. In spite of their history, the director and actor frequently butted heads during the shoot, according to co-star Patricia Neal.

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    46 / 100
    RKO Radio Pictures

    #55. Back to Bataan

    - Director: Edward Dmytryk
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 95 min

    In this World War II-based film, Wayne’s character, Col. Joseph Madden, helps lead Filipino guerrilla fighters against Japanese invaders. Wayne would later express regret over making the film, referring to the director as a “Communist” who duped him into the role.

    47 / 100
    Twentieth Century Fox

    #54. The Undefeated

    - Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
    - IMDb user rating: 6.7
    - Runtime: 119 min

    Starring Wayne alongside fellow A-lister Rock Hudson, “The Undefeated” takes place in Mexico right after the Civil War. In the 1969 film, an ex-Confederate colonel and ex-Union colonel must team up in a fight against Mexican revolutionaries. Wayne fractured two ribs and dislocated his shoulder during shooting, neither of which stopped him from finishing the job.

    48 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #53. The Spoilers

    - Director: Ray Enright
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 87 min

    Set during the Nome Gold Rush in 1898 Alaska, 1942’s “The Spoilers” pits two miners against a greedy commissioner over the rights to a claim. This film was a remake of three previous versions and was remade again in 1955.

    49 / 100
    Paramount Pictures

    #52. Reap the Wild Wind

    - Director: Cecil B. DeMille
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 123 min

    The same year he made “The Spoilers,” Wayne starred in “Reap the Wild Wind” from director Cecil B. DeMille. Based on a serialized story from the Saturday Evening Post, the film centers on an ill-fated love triangle between a female ship salvager and two rival sea captains. Making things even more dangerous is a vicious hurricane and a deadly 50-foot squid. Wayne was initially reluctant to work for DeMille, but the two men reportedly became good friends after their rocky start.

    50 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #51. Flying Tigers

    - Director: David Miller
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 102 min

    “Flying Tigers” features Wayne playing the role of one Capt. Jim Gordon, who commands a mercenary outfit of fighter pilots. After an arrogant hot-shot joins the team, Gordon finds himself amid two battles: one for his country and the other for his integrity. This World War II propaganda film from 1942 was nominated for three Academy Awards, including best special effects.

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    51 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #50. The Wings of Eagles

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 110 min

    Based on actual events, 1957’s “The Wings of Eagles” tells the story of Frank W. “Spig” Wead (played by Wayne), a dedicated Navy pilot who turns to screenwriting after being paralyzed. The film divides its runtime between slapstick comedy and harrowing drama and represents one of Wayne’s lesser collaborative efforts with director John Ford.

    52 / 100
    Cinema Center Films

    #49. Rio Lobo

    - Director: Howard Hawks
    - IMDb user rating: 6.8
    - Runtime: 114 min

    “Give ‘Em Hell, John,” is the tagline for 1970’s “Rio Lobo.” In director Howard Hawks’ final film, Wayne plays an ex-Union officer named Cord McNally who hunts down a traitor after the American Civil War. McNally discovers that the traitor is living in a Texas town called Rio Lobo, and has organized a gang of outlaws. Naturally, an explosive showdown ensues.

    53 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #48. Seven Sinners

    - Director: Tay Garnett
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 87 min

    In 1940’s “Seven Sinners,” the only thing powerful enough to lure Wayne’s character away from the Navy is a sultry singer named Bijou. Playing the role of Bijou is actress Marlene Dietrich, who would go on to star with Wayne in two more films.

    54 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #47. Trouble Along the Way

    - Director: Michael Curtiz
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 110 min

    Sporting a rare suit and tie, Wayne plays football coach Steve Williams in 1953’s “Trouble Along the Way.” Wayne’s character in this comedy-drama struggles on and off the field, battling for the custody of his daughter while helping his team stage a major comeback. Keep your eyes peeled for an uncredited cameo from James Dean.

    55 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #46. Dark Command

    - Director: Raoul Walsh
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 94 min

    Loosely based on real events, 1940’s “Dark Command” takes place in Kansas just before the Civil War. The film focuses on the rivalry between two politicians: Wayne’s character Bob Seton and Will Cantrell. However, what starts out as a political dispute grows into something far deadlier, with the two politicians eventually squaring off on the battlefield.

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    56 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #45. The High and the Mighty

    - Director: William A. Wellman
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 147 min

    A plane is going down and only Wayne’s character, a washed-up co-pilot named Dan Roman, can save the day. This 1954 disaster flick filmed in CinemaScope raked in tons of money at the box office and even won an Academy Award for best original music score.

    57 / 100
    John Ford Productions

    #44. Donovan's Reef

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 109 min

    Representing the final collaboration between Wayne and director John Ford, 1963 action-comedy “Donovan’s Reef” explores themes of bigotry and American greed on an island in the South Sea. It was rumored that Ford was more irritable than usual on set, which resulted in a series of blowouts between him and various cast members, including Wayne. Ford would later make just two more feature films and documentaries before his death in 1973.

    58 / 100
    Twentieth Century Fox

    #43. The Comancheros

    - Director: Michael Curtiz
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 107 min

    Hot on the heels of “Rio Bravo” came 1961’s “The Comancheros,” a film about a Texas ranger who goes undercover in order to take down a gang of arms dealers. Initially helming the adventure flick was director Michael Curtiz of “Casablanca” fame. However, Curtiz grew ill toward the end of production, prompting Wayne to take over (uncredited) directing duties.

    59 / 100
    Universal Picture

    #42. The War Wagon

    - Director: Burt Kennedy
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 101 min

    1967’s “The War Wagon” sees Wayne once again teaming up with the likes of Kirk Douglas—this time to tell the story of a man on a quest for revenge. Wayne’s character Taw Jackson hatches a plot to steal back the gold and land that had been taken from him. Helping him pull it off is a former enemy Lomax (played by Douglas), who had shot Jackson five years earlier. The unlikely pair plan to rob the heavily guarded stagecoach War Wagon to transport large gold shipments.

    60 / 100
    Warner Bros

    #41. Chisum

    - Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 111 min

    “Chisum” is based on the true story of the toughest man west of the Pecos: cattle baron John Chisum. The 1970 film features Wayne in the title role as Chisum. In the film, Chisum enlists the help of fellow gunslingers Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett while waging war over land rights. In real life, Billy the Kid would ultimately betray Chisum, which resulted in his murder by his former friend Garrett. 

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    61 / 100
    Universal Pictures

    #40. Rooster Cogburn

    - Director: Stuart Millar
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 108 min

    Reprising the role that won him an Oscar in 1969’s “True Grit,” Wayne plays Rooster Cogburn in this 1975 film of the same name. Starring opposite Wayne is actress Katharine Hepburn as a woman named Eula Goodnight. After Eula’s village is raided by a group of thugs, she and Cogburn make it their mission to dish out some good old-fashioned southern justice.

    62 / 100
    Batjac Productions

    #39. The Alamo

    - Director: John Wayne
    - IMDb user rating: 6.9
    - Runtime: 162 min

    John Wayne’s directorial debut, 1960’s “The Alamo,” retells the historic 1836 battle where 156 Texan soldiers square off against a Mexican army of 7,000. Wayne had reportedly wanted to make the film since 1945. However, it would take more than a decade before he got his chance. In addition to directing and producing “The Alamo,” Wayne naturally stars in the lead role as Col. Davy Crockett.

    63 / 100
    First National Pictures

    #38. The Drop Kick

    - Director: Millard Webb
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Runtime: 62 min

    His previous experience of playing football for the University of Southern California made Wayne (then known as Marion Morrison) a perfect extra in 1927’s “The Drop Kick,” a silent film about a college footballer who gets embroiled in a local scandal. Fun fact: Wayne’s football scholarship (before he was injured) covered his entire tuition, a whopping $280.

    64 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #37. Island in the Sky

    - Director: William A. Wellman
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Runtime: 109 min

    Long before movies like “Alive” or “The Grey,” there was “Island in the Sky.” The 1953 film is about a man who crash lands his plane in a frozen wasteland. While stranded, Wayne’s character struggles to keep his men alive while awaiting rescue. Playing an uncredited role in the film is Fess Parker who would later star in the “Davy Crockett” series. Wayne himself played Crockett in “The Alamo.”

    65 / 100
    John Wayne Productions

    #36. Angel and the Badman

    - Director: James Edward Grant
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Runtime: 100 min

    Wayne plays a ruthless gunslinger who starts questioning his violent ways in 1947’s “Angel and the Badman.” Prompting his change of heart is a Quaker girl named Penelope Worth, who nurses Wayne’s character back to health after an injury. This was the first film to see Wayne taking on the role of producer, albeit an uncredited one at the time.

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    66 / 100
    Twentieth Century Fox

    #35. North to Alaska

    - Director: Henry Hathaway
    - IMDb user rating: 7.0
    - Runtime: 122 min

    After striking gold in Alaska, a man named George sends his partner Sam (Wayne) back to Seattle to retrieve George’s girlfriend in this 1960 film. Upon discovering that his friend’s old sweetheart is married, Sam returns with another girl to take her place. If you look closely during the final fight scene, you’ll notice that Wayne’s toupee gets knocked off. Fun fact: In 1948 Wayne started regularly wearing a wig.

    67 / 100
    Fox Film Corporation

    #34. Four Sons

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Runtime: 100 min

    Directed by John Ford, 1928’s “Four Sons” features an uncredited appearance from Wayne (then Marion Morrison) as a police officer. The film chronicles the lives and hardships of a Bavarian widow and her four sons, three of whom go to war for Germany during World War I while the fourth moves to America. Later, the mother is shunned in her own village after America enters the war because her son who moved away was perceived as an enemy. The movie was remade under the same name in 1940, with the remake being set during World War II instead of World War I.

    68 / 100
    Paramount Pictures

    #33. The Shepherd of the Hills

    - Director: Henry Hathaway
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Runtime: 98 min

    In 1941’s “The Shepherd of the Hills,” a moonshiner’s plan to murder the father he never knew is disrupted when a gentle stranger rolls into town. It turns out that there’s more to the stranger than meets the eye. The movie finds Wayne in top form as the Ozark Mountain moonshiner, cursed with the task of seeking vengeance.

    69 / 100
    RKO Radio Pictures

    #32. Tall in the Saddle

    - Director: Edwin L. Marin
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Runtime: 87 min

    A misogynistic cowhand rolls into town to find his employer dead and the locals hostile in 1944’s “Tall in the Saddle.” Bolstered by strong performances and swift pacing, this film stands a cut above the average Western—even if it is rife with genre conventions.

    70 / 100
    Argosy Picture

    #31. The Long Voyage Home

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Runtime: 105 min

    Based on four one-act plays by Eugene O’Neill, “The Long Voyage Home” depicts life aboard the British steamer SS Glencairn as the crewmen embark on perilous journeys across the high seas. Dealing with themes of depression, loneliness, and mortality, the film delivers copious amounts of somber drama, punctuated by the occasional fistfights and betrayal. It was nominated for six Academy Awards.

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    71 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #30. Hondo

    - Director: John Farrow
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Runtime: 83 min

    Not only was 1953’s “Hondo” filmed in stunning Warnercolor, but it was shot and released in 3D. The movie, based on a story by Louis L’Amour, centers on an Army scout named Hondo Lane (played by Wayne) who protects a woman and her son from warring Apaches. The movie was the second-highest-grossing 3D movie of the 1950s, bested only by “House of Wax.”

    72 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #29. How the West Was Won

    - Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe
    - IMDb user rating: 7.1
    - Runtime: 164 min

    Broken into four segments (each one helmed by a different director), 1962’s “How the West Was Won” chronicles the Prescott family saga over the course of many decades. The film depicts a range of historic events like the Civil War, the Gold Rush, and the building of the railroads. Wayne wasn’t the only star in “How the West Was Won.” The movie touts an impressive range of A-list celebrities, including James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Henry Fonda, and Gregory Peck.

    73 / 100
    Fox Film Corporation

    #28. The Big Trail

    - Director: Raoul Walsh
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 125 min

    Wayne, then known as Marion Morrison, was working as a props boy and movie extra until he landed his first major role in “The Big Trail.” He adopted the name “John Wayne” by the time shooting was done. In the film, Wayne’s character leads a wagon train from the Mississippi River to the West Coast. Along the way, he encounters all sorts of threats and disasters (and even some romance).

    74 / 100
    Argosy Pictures

    #27. 3 Godfathers

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 106 min

    While on the run from authorities, three outlaws pick up a newborn baby whom they vow to protect at all costs.“3 Godfathers,” which sees Wayne starring alongside actors Pedro Armendáriz and Harry Carey Jr., was released in 1948. Director John Ford was reportedly very hard on Carey Jr. during the shoot, once even throwing a rock at his head.

    75 / 100
    Mirisch Corporatio

    #26. The Horse Soldiers

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 120 min

    Like a high-stakes game of Capture the Flag, 1959’s “The Horse Soldiers” follows a Union outfit as it crosses Confederate lines to destroy enemy railroads. As one might expect, the film demanded lots of horse riding and some dangerous stunt work. Sadly, stuntman Freddie Kennedy suffered a fatal injury after falling off a horse during the shoot.

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    76 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #25. Sands of Iwo Jima

    - Director: Allan Dwan
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 100 min

    Eschewing over-glamorized heroics in favor of gritty realism and complex characterization, 1949’s “Sands of Iwo Jima” presented John Wayne in a new light. In the film, Wayne plays Sgt. John M. Stryker, an uncompromising and mean-spirited leader who made tremendous sacrifices while performing patriotic duties. Stryker goes hard on his squad, not just because of his personal struggles, but because he knows that weakness can result in death on the battlefield. It’s only after the squad is called into action on the island of Iwo Jima that Stryker’s men see the wisdom of his ways. To prepare for the film, the young male cast underwent three days of intense military training by the toughest drill instructor the director could find.

    77 / 100
    Cinema Center Films

    #24. Big Jake

    - Director: George Sherman
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 110 min

    Proving he still had plenty of vigor left in him by 1971, John Wayne headlined “Big Jake.” The film is about a cowboy who sets out to rescue his grandson from kidnappers. Wayne’s biological son Patrick played the son in the film while Wayne's other (much younger) son Ethan played his grandson. Another son, Michael, produced the movie.

    78 / 100
    Malabar

    #23. Hatari!

    - Director: Howard Hawks
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 157 min

    From director Howard Hawks came 1962’s “Hatari!” in which a group of men make a living by capturing African wildlife and selling it to zoos. Throwing a wrench in the operation is the arrival of a female photographer, who eventually becomes part of the gang. Filmed on location in Tanganyika, the film has Wayne and his team chasing down all sorts of real-life wild animals, often at the expense of a discernible narrative.

    79 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #22. Rio Grande

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 105 min

    Director John Ford was rumored to have two conditions before agreeing to make 1950’s “Rio Grande” for Republic Pictures: that Republic Pictures secure financing for a different film ("The Quiet Man"); and that the company allow Ford to cast Wayne in the lead role. It was the second condition that caused a problem, as Republic Pictures executive Herbert Yates and Wayne were no longer on speaking terms. Wayne was thus forced to do something he probably loathed: apologize. Once the conditions were met, Ford and Wayne churned out this film about a cavalry officer who battles the Apache during the Civil War in record time.

    80 / 100
    Wallis-Hazen

    #21. The Sons of Katie Elder

    - Director: Henry Hathaway
    - IMDb user rating: 7.2
    - Runtime: 122 min

    When a mother dies in 1965’s “The Sons of Katie Elder” and her four sons come home to pay their respects, they find themselves mired in a land dispute. To make matters worse, the four sons are then framed for the murder of a local sheriff. Will they prove their innocence and get their revenge? As if you need to ask. While filming, Wayne was battling cancer for the first time. Of course, that didn’t stop him from performing his own stunts.

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    81 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #20. They Were Expendable

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.3
    - Runtime: 135 min

    In another World War II drama starring Wayne, 1945’s “They Were Expendable” follows a squadron of PT-boat crews as they defend the Philippines against a Japanese invasion. As the action unfolds, the main characters also find themselves at odds with the U.S. Navy brass, who they believed didn’t seem to care if they lived or died.

    82 / 100
    Batjac Productions

    #19. McLintock!

    - Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
    - IMDb user rating: 7.3
    - Runtime: 127 min

    A wealthy cattle baron faces conflicts on all sides in “McLintock!,” with Wayne playing the title role. In the 1963 film, McLintock (or GW as most folks like to call him) serves as an unofficial diplomat for various disgruntled parties, including his own wife. One look at the box art for this film shows you the film is not as serious as some other Westerns, even if it’s easily just as chauvinistic.

    83 / 100
    Otto Preminger Films

    #18. In Harm's Way

    - Director: Otto Preminger
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 165 min

    In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a disgraced Naval officer is given a second chance to prove himself in Otto Preminger’s “In Harm’s Way.” While not favored by critics (who took issue with its slow pacing), the film is nevertheless enjoyed by fans. In a later autobiography, Preminger labeled Wayne as an “ideal professional.”

    84 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #17. The Cowboys

    - Director: Mark Rydell
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 134 min

    If a movie is going to call itself “The Cowboys,” that movie better include John Wayne in a leading role. Thankfully, this 1972 Western does just that. In the film, Wayne plays a rancher named Wil Anderson who embarks on a cattle drive with the help of inexperienced cowhands. Meanwhile, ruthless cattle rustlers await the right time to strike. On the heels of the film came a TV spin-off starring Robert Carradine that lasted one season.

    85 / 100
    Argosy Pictures

    #16. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 104 min

    “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” features Wayne once again protecting a woman from Native tribes. The 1949 film is similar to Wayne’s previous film, “Fort Apache,” and the following film, “Rio Grande.” This film was shot in Monument Valley, in glorious Technicolor no less.

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    86 / 100
    Wallis-Hazen

    #15. True Grit

    - Director: Henry Hathaway
    - IMDb user rating: 7.4
    - Runtime: 128 min

    Adapted from a novel by Charles Portis, 1969’s “True Grit” tells the story of alcoholic U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, who agrees to help a teenage girl track down her father’s killer. This film would grant Wayne his one and only win for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Famous filmmaking duo the Coen brothers released a 2012 remake with Jeff Bridges playing the role of Cogburn.

    87 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #14. Annie Laurie

    - Director: John S. Robertson
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 90 min

    “Annie Laurie” is a silent film from 1927. If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that means it features a young Wayne (then known as Marion Morrison) as an extra. Nevertheless, with its story about a famous battle between two Scottish clans, the film is right up Wayne’s alley.

    88 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #13. Baby Face

    - Director: Alfred E. Green
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 71 min

    Made in 1933, “Baby Face” follows an ambitious young woman as she sleeps her way up the corporate ladder at a big city bank. Wayne appears in a supporting role as Jimmy McCoy Jr., one of the woman’s earliest conquests.

    89 / 100
    Argosy Pictures

    #12. Fort Apache

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 128 min

    “Fort Apache” is the first film in John Ford’s cavalry trilogy. The film stars Henry Fonda as a demoted Civil War general assigned to a remote outpost deep in Apache territory. Once there, he disrespects the local tribe and butts heads with his second-in-command, Captain Kirby York, an Apache expert played by Wayne.

    90 / 100
    Paramount Pictures

    #11. El Dorado

    - Director: Howard Hawks
    - IMDb user rating: 7.6
    - Runtime: 126 min

    Starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, 1967’s “El Dorado” finds a gunslinger (Wayne) and the alcoholic sheriff (Mitchum) teaming up to take on a thieving cattle baron. Actor James Caan appears in a supporting role. He later admitted to wearing 3-inch lifts for the part.

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    91 / 100
    Paramount Pictures

    #10. The Shootist

    - Director: Don Siegel
    - IMDb user rating: 7.7
    - Runtime: 100 min

    Kicking off the top 10 is 1976’s “The Shootist,” in which a dying cowboy searches for ways to leave the world quickly without suffering. Based on a novel and directed by Don Siegel of “Dirty Harry” fame, the film would be Wayne’s last. Like the very character he portrays in “The Shootist,” Wayne was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He died three years later.

    92 / 100
    Monterey Productions

    #9. Red River

    - Director: Howard Hawks
    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Runtime: 133 min

    Like John Ford, director Howard Hawks was a master of the Western genre. His best efforts routinely starred John Wayne. The first important collaboration between Hawks and Wayne was 1948’s “Red River,” a film about a man named Thomas Dunson (played by Wayne) whose tyrannical behavior invokes a mutiny during a cattle drive to Missouri. While it goes without saying that Wayne was no stranger to the Western genre by 1948, this film was special because it exposed a more subtle and complicated side to his cowboy persona.

    93 / 100
    Darryl F. Zanuck Productions

    #8. The Longest Day

    - Director: Ken Annakin
    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Runtime: 178 min

    It’s D-Day from both the Allied and German perspectives in 1962’s “The Longest Day.” It took $10 million to produce the 1962 epic war film, making it the most expensive black-and-white film of its time.

    94 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #7. Bardelys the Magnificent

    - Director: King Vidor
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 90 min

    At the young age of 19, Wayne (then Marion Morrison) appeared in a minor role in 1926’s “Bardelys the Magnificent.” The film takes place during the swashbuckling era and features a Casanova-type named Bardely who loves to boast about his many conquests. After betting he can seduce a damsel, the wanton Lothario disguises himself as a wanted criminal.

    95 / 100
    Republic Pictures

    #6. The Quiet Man

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 129 min

    After helming “Rio Grande” for Republic Pictures, director John Ford was given the money he needed to make 1952’s “The Quiet Man.” The movie stars Wayne as retired American boxer Sean Thornton, who falls in love with a fiery maiden, played by Maureen O’Hara, after returning to the Irish village where he was born. Part of the film was shot on location in Ireland, with glorious hues of Technicolor green to show for it.

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    96 / 100
    Twentieth Century Fox

    #5. Stagecoach

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Runtime: 96 min

    Despite playing the lead role in 1930’s "The Big Trail," Wayne struggled to achieve major success in the years that followed. That all changed after John Ford’s "Stagecoach" was released in 1939. In the movie, a group of people traveling by stagecoach catch word that Geronimo and his violent clan might be headed their way. Legendary filmmaker Orson Welles reportedly watched "Stagecoach" 40 times while making "Citizen Kane." This movie was Wayne's big break; after its release, his career as an A-list movie star officially began.

    97 / 100
    Warner Bros.

    #4. Rio Bravo

    - Director: Howard Hawks
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Runtime: 141 min

    With the help of a motley crew, a small-town sheriff (played by Wayne) keeps a powerful rancher’s brother behind bars in 1959’s “Rio Bravo.” It’s just a matter of time before the rancher comes around, aided by a mob of angry men. “Rio Bravo” is said to be a direct (and manly) rebuttal to Gary Cooper’s somewhat timid performance in “High Noon,” a 1952 film sharing a similar premise.

    98 / 100
    C.V. Whitney Pictures

    #3. The Searchers

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 8.0
    - Runtime: 119 min

    More than just a John Wayne and John Ford collaboration, 1956’s “The Searchers” is widely regarded to be the greatest Western of all time. In the film, an American Civil War veteran (played by Wayne) sets out to rescue his niece after she’s kidnapped by Comanches. Wayne was so enamored with the role of Ethan Edwards that he named one his children John Ethan Wayne.

    99 / 100
    Paramount Pictures

    #2. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    - Director: John Ford
    - IMDb user rating: 8.1
    - Runtime: 123 min

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than “The Searchers,” here comes “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” which squeezes an extra 0.1 out of its IMDb user rating. The film tells the story of Sen. Ransom Stoddard (played by James Stewart), who is celebrated in the town of Shinbone as the man who shot ruthless outlaw Liberty Valance. But when Stoddard returns to the town and recounts his tale, it’s revealed that Wayne’s character—a gunslinger named Tom Doniphon—was the true hero all along.

    100 / 100
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

    #1. Brown of Harvard

    - Director: Jack Conway
    - IMDb user rating: 8.2
    - Runtime: 85 min

    IMDb's ratings have spoken, and 1926’s silent film “Brown of Harvard” has taken home the gold—though a young Wayne (then Marion Morrison) plays just a small part. The film follows a rivalry between two Harvard athletes, both of whom have affection for a professor’s daughter. Representing young Wayne’s big-screen debut, he appears as a Yale football player. Four years later, Wayne would play the lead role in “The Big Trail” as John Wayne.

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