John Wayne Movies

Want to know the best John Wayne movies?  How about the worst John Wayne movies?  Curious about John Wayne’s box office grosses or which John Wayne movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which John Wayne movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences? Well you have come to the right place.

John Wayne made 88 movies before becoming a star in 1939’s Stagecoach. From Stagecoach to 1976’s The Shootist, Wayne made another 82 movies. That is a grand total of 170 movies in his career. John Wayne was the first movie star that I became aware of as a child. I still remember the shock of watching him die in The Alamo (my older brother had told me he was going to survive…he obviously lied to me). For nearly forty years, Wayne was one of the most popular stars making movies.

John Wayne’s IMDb page shows 180 acting credits from 1926-1976.  The following table only lists about half of John Wayne’s movies.  Cameos, television appearances, and almost all of his B westerns from the 1930s were not included in the rankings.  His remaining 90 movies are ranked by 6 different columns of sortable information.

Dean Martin, Walter Brennan & John Wayne in 1959's Rio Bravo

Dean Martin, Walter Brennan & John Wayne in 1959’s Rio Bravo

John Wayne Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • If movie title is a blue, then there is a John Wayne movie trailer attached to the page link
  • Sort John Wayne movies by co-stars or in some cases directors
  • Sort John Wayne movies by adjusted box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort John Wayne movies by box office rank in the year of release
  • Sort John Wayne movies by how the movie was received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each John Wayne movie received.
  • Sort John Wayne movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort buttons to make this table very interactive.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above John Wayne Table

1.  51 John Wayne movies crossed the magical $100 million mark.  That is a percentage of 54.26% of his movies listed.  His top domestic box office hit was The Longest Day (1963).

2.  An average John Wayne movie grosses $124.30 million in adjusted box office gross.

3.  Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  55 John Wayne movies are rated as good movies…or 65.47% of his movies.  His highest rated movie is 1959’s Rio Bravo.  His lowest rated movie is The Conqueror (1956).

4.  24 John Wayne movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 28.23% of his movies.

5.  9 John Wayne movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 10.71% of his movies.

6.  A “good movie” Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 60.00 or higher.  61 John Wayne movies scored higher that average….or 71.76% of his movies.  True Grit (1969) got the highest UMR Score.  Brannigan (1975) got the lowest UMR Score.

John Wayne in 1944's Tall in the Saddle

John Wayne in 1944’s Tall in the Saddle

Possibly Interesting Facts About John Wayne

  1. Marion Robert Morrison was born in Winterset, Iowa in 1907.  It is reported that he weighed 13 pounds at birth.  His nickname was “Duke”.

2.  “Duke” Morrison attended and played football at the University of Southern California.  After a broken collar bone ended his college football days, he was hired by Tom Mix and John Ford as a prop boy and extra.

3. Director Raoul Walsh saw “Duke” Morrison moving studio furniture and decided to cast Wayne in the lead role in the 1930’s big budget western The Big Trail. 

4. “Duke” Morrison has one on screen movie credit.  Raoul Walsh changed Morrison’s screen name to John Wayne.  Walsh’s first name choice was after Revolutionary War general “Mad” Anthony Wayne.  Eventually “Anthony” was dropped and “John” was added.  So Marion Morrison was born in 1907….while John Wayne was created in 1930.

5. When The Big Trail (1930) bombed at the box office, John Wayne was sent to the world of B movies and serials for the rest of the 1930s.  It was only after being cast as the Ringo Kid in 1939’s Stagecoach did Wayne finally break through in Hollywood.

6. John Wayne holds the record for the actor with the most leading parts – 142. In all but 11 films he played the leading part.

7. John Wayne’s personal favorite role was that of Ethan Edwards from 1956’s The Searchers. Wayne even went so far as to name his son Ethan after that character.

8. John Wayne did not die on screen too many times….only 7 times:  He was killed by undersea squid in 1942’s Reap The Wild Wind.  He was killed by a sniper in 1944’s The Fighting Seabees and 1949’s The Sands of Iwo Jima.  He was killed by an octopus in 1949’s Wake of the Red Witch.  He was killed by a Mexican soldier in 1960’s The Alamo.  He was shot in the back by Bruce Dern in 1972’s The Cowboys.  And he died in a gunfight in his very last movie…1976’s The Shootist.

9.  John Wayne was ranked in the annual Quigley Poll of The Top 10 Box Office Stars an incredible 25 times.  That is the most ever by any actor or actress.

10.  John Wayne gave the eulogy at the funerals of Ward Bond, John Ford and Howard Hawks.

Check out John Wayne’s movie career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

At Letterboxd.com I review lots of movies …click the link to see my John Wayne Movie Reviews.

But Wait…How About Some More John Wayne Movie Stats?  44 John Wayne Worldwide Adjusted Box Office Grosses

  1. 3 Godfathers (1948) $157.20 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  2. The Alamo (1960) $554.10 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  3. Allegheny Uprising (1939) $90.50 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  4. Baby Face (1933) $47.30 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  5. Back to Baatan (1945) $192.20 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  6. Big Jim McLain (1952) $138.70 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  7. The Big Stampede (1932) $24.70 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  8. Blood Alley (1955) $126.90 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  9. Cahill United States Marshal (1973) $89.20 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  10. Chisum (1970) $157.90 Circus World (1964) $71.70 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  11. Donovan’s Reef (1963) $158.80 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  12. Flying Leathernecks (1951) $190.20 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  13. Fort Apache (1948) $246.50 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  14. Green Berets (1968) $326.30 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  15. Haunted Gold (1932) $22.60 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  16. The High and the Mighty (1954) $417.40 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  17. Hondo (1953) $231.90 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  18. How the West Was Won (1963) $932.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  19. Island in the Sky (1953) $162.10 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  20. A Lady Takes a Chance (1943) $227.60 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  21. Legend of the Lost (1957) $154.60 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  22. The Long Voyage Home (1940) $91.50 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  23. The Man from Monterey (1933) $20.30 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  24. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) $224.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  25. McQ (1974) $91.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  26. Operation Pacific (1951) $185.50 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  27. The Quiet Man (1952) $246.80 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  28. Reunion in France (1942) $153.90 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  29. Ride Him Cowboy (1932) $25.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  30. Rio Bravo (1959) $404.80 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  31. The Sea Chase (1955) $336.90 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  32. The Searchers (1956) $290.60 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  33. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) $204.80 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  34. Somewhere in Sonora (1933) $20.50 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  35. Stagecoach (1939) $233.60 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  36. Tall in the Saddle (1944) $206.40 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  37. The Telegraph Trail (1933) $22.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  38. They Were Expendable (1945) $305.40 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  39. The Train Robbers (1973) $91.70 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  40. Trouble Along the Way (1953) $129.30 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  41. Tycoon (1947) $236.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  42. The War Wagon (1967) $185.90 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  43. The Wings of Eagles (1957) $154.80 million in adjusted worldwide box office
  44. Without Reservations (1946) $224.00 million in adjusted worldwide box office
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263 thoughts on “John Wayne Movies

  1. This is a wonderful site with great content and easy to use sortable table. My hubby and I loved reading and chatting about the John Wayne stats.

    My hubby found an error in one of your stats.

    Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above John Wayne Table
    #6 states True Grit was filmed in 1945 but it was actually filmed in 1969 – of which he also one his only academy award.

    Just wanted to drop a thank you for all your hard work on such an interesting and fine man as was John Wayne. We could use more men like him in the world.

    1. Hey Karen
      1. Thanks for the visit and for the very kind words about our site and our tables.
      2. Wow….that True Grit error has been out there for a very very long time….over two years…..so good catch. It has been fixed. Thank you for pointing it out…..the first one to see that error and this page has been viewed almost 200,000 times.
      3. I agree with your final point about Wayne….and thanks again for such kind words. We do requests….if the two of you are wanting a page on somebody not listed in our site index.

  2. hello,
    one of my favorite classical actor, the Duke, and i see so much films with him on TV or in theatre from the 30 until one of his las film in 1975 with K HEPBURN, i saw it in one of the famous and big movie place in Paris, le REX.
    my top list is
    the 3 Godfathers, the Quiet man, Rio Bravo and the two songs with Nelson and Martin,
    all the Dietrich films with Seven Sinners on top, Hatari and i am sorry it is a film from the 60 but i dont remenber the name, the only one things , it was in HAWAI and Dorothy
    Lamour was playing in it.
    in facts all the westerns especially Stagecoach and the Red River.
    i did not see one of his first the Big Trail,and about this film i read it was a failure in box office but when i see your page it is good.
    anyway Bonsoir and may be you know it but we have a new President in France…….

    a bientot
    Pierre

  3. HI BRUCE

    1 As you know Wayne along with the likes of Widmark, Peck, Stewart, Laddie, Brando and Glenn Ford have been my favourite male movie stars and I have followed their careers almost all of my movie-going life but I have learned many NEW things about them and my top actresses such as Crawford, Day and Durbin since using your site. It is fair to say as well that it has been fun having my memory refreshed via Steve’s video site on some of the graphics of the movies of my faves.

    2 I used to holiday in a chalet in France loaned to me by a late Frenchman who was a friend of my family and he too was a great fan of Wayne and westerns in general. Indeed we discovered in the attic of the chalet dozens of western books such as those of Zane Gray and Louis L’Amour that our friend had collected throughout his lifetime. Many of L’Amour’s novels/short stories were made into Wayne movies [eg Hondo]. We also found among the horde the original short story by Dorothy M Johnson of The Man who Shot Liberty Valance who also wrote The Hanging Tree on which Cooper’s film was based. Small world!

    1. Hey Bob….I figured you would like this John Wayne updated….overall it was 5 new movies…which puts Wayne in the 90s when it comes to movies on his table of information….and with Lyle’s help….worldwide box office on almost half of his movies.

      Glad….this site….is giving new information on some of your favorites.

      That is cool that a Wayne’s westerns have reach France in such a positive light. That was an awesome discovery in the attic. That sounds like a great memory indeed. Small world indeed.

  4. HELLO BRUCE
    1 The party that I holidayed with included my grandson and granddaughter. I looked in on this site as often as I could and noticed the birthday greetings post a few days ago. My own granddaughter is 8 years of age and her name is Emily.

    2 By now most of the pages on individual stars must have had their updates but Wayne’s career was so prolific and successful that he undoubtedly deserves the additional attention given to him in this expanded page.

    3 We have noted previously that in the classic era foreign grosses fell well short of domestic ones and that the split was normally 65% domestic/35% overseas. I was therefore keenly interested in your table of 44 Wayne worldwide grosses which although some of them extended beyond the classic era were nonetheless 65.5% domestic/34.5% foreign.

    4 However it must be borne in mind that in the Duke’s case that 34.5% is set against a much higher than normal domesticl gross so that if the 65.5%/34.5% ratio is applied to all 90 of the Wayne movies in your main table the Duke’s worldwide figure is nearly a highly impressive $18 billion which would probably be bettered by only Harrison Ford at the present time?

    1. Hey Bob.
      1. Glad you had a good time on your holiday.
      2. Very cool…we both have 8 year old Emilys in our lifes.
      3. I work with a guy that is a huge westerns fan…..and he especially likes John Wayne….so it seemed like a good time to finally update the Wayne page with the Warner Brothers ledgers numbers I found a few months ago.
      4. So the Duke is right around the average….makes sense to me.
      5. I agree his career box office probably tops everybody….and it is still missing 60 of his movies with about 40 of them being leading roles.
      Good to hear from you again…..welcome back….:)

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