John Wayne (1907 - 1979), US actor, wearing a black cowboy hat and a white neckerchief, holding a rifle in a studio portrait, against a white background, issued as publicity for the film, 'The Searchers', USA, 1956. The Western, directed by John Ford (1894-1973), starred Wayne as 'Ethan Edwards'. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The 27 Best John Wayne Movies, Ranked
27. The Horse Soldiers
"The Horse Soldiers," a Civil War drama, pitches John Wayne's Colonel John Marlowe against William Holden's Major Henry Kendall. The film is a middling entry in Wayne's career, but it's notable for two reasons: Wayne and Holden earned a lucrative $775,000 each and 20% of the box office, and the unfortunate death of stuntman Fred Kennedy during the shoot.
26. McQ
"McQ" is a stodgy police procedural about drugs, corruption, and a mean anti-hero cop, Lon "McQ" McHugh, played by Wayne. The Duke regretted his decision to turn down the lead role in "Dirty Harry," so when he got a chance to star in an imitator of the film, he accepted it; however, "McQ" turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.
25. Hondo
Wayne gives an easygoing turn as the titular character in "Hondo," an 84-minute film about homesteading and conflict. Viewers have seen him playing chivalrous gentlemen before, yet watching Geraldine Page's Angie fall for the Duke's amiable ruggedness makes for a watchable old-fashioned romance.
24. The Long Voyage Home
In "The Long Voyage Home," Wayne plays Ole Olsen, a Swedish seaman stuck at sea during the early days of the Second World War. The film requires the budding A-lister to drop his easy drawl and adopt a Swedish accent, which he executes with mixed results, but he does capture Olsen's youthful softness, which is an important part of the story's pathos.
23. 3 Godfathers
Directed by John Ford, "3 Godfathers" is a Western reimagining of the story of the Three Wise Men that exchanges Bethlehem for the Arizona desert. The scenery is classic Fordian beauty, but the film is honest about the danger of the oppressive landscape, and it's an adequate Western with a benevolent, biblical heart.