John Wayne Movies

08aa2238545b7f7bdabfb48d669192e7Want 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.

  • 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.  For instance if you just want to see the John Wayne/John Ford movies….just type John Ford in the search box and their 14 movies will pop right up.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above John Wayne Table

1.  48 John Wayne movies crossed the magical $100 million mark.  That is a percentage of 56.47% of his movies listed.  His top domestic box office hit was The Longest Day (1963).

2.  An average John Wayne movie grosses $129.45 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.  An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  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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220 thoughts on “John Wayne Movies

  1. HI AGAIN MR POSTERS
    You brought into our exchanges the greatest President and American who ever existed and I’m afraid in my last post I mixed up some of my own comments with those passed on to me by Mr President himself. The following is how the post should have read. Maybe you could ask that very nice W o C gal to order her husband to delete the previous post when he gets the time though he never seems to have much of that to spare. Sorry for any initial confusion

    1 Strange the number of people who keep turning up on this site that I thought were dead. We even get quoted to us silly criticisms of movies and stars from one of the Undead.
    Please don’t call me Frank because many people turn that into Frankie which used to be the colloquial nickname for that Monster fella. As it is enough people think I’m too pally with a great Leader whom they wrongly seem to regard as a bit of as a political CREEP and Mr Nixon’s detractors even nicknamed as CREEP his Committee to Re-elect the President back in the early 1970s . Call me Checkers as that cute little doggy saved my friend Dick’s political career the way little Asta saved other careers.

    “RICHARD NIXON AND THE CHECKERS SPEECH [From Wikipedia]
    The Checkers speech or Fund speech was an address made on September 23, 1952, by the Republican candidate for vice president of the United States, California Senator Richard Nixon. Nixon had been accused of improprieties relating to a fund established by his backers to reimburse him for his political expenses. With his place on the Republican ticket in doubt, he flew to Los Angeles and delivered a half-hour television address in which he defended himself, attacked his opponents, and urged the audience to contact the Republican National Committee (RNC) to tell it whether he should remain on the ticket. During the speech, he stated that regardless of what anyone said, he intended to keep one gift: a black-and-white dog who had been named Checkers by the Nixon children, thus giving the address its popular name and forcing Eisenhower to keep him on the Presidential ticket.”

    2 I can only hope that that weepy fella Bruce who you seem to think cries bucket loads over Brian’s Song doesn’t collapse into the waterworks when he is reminded of this speech. It certainly tugged the heartstrings of many Real Americans back in 1952 but my friend the President says that unfortunately nowadays by a thought association process turning on the waterworks always reminds people of Watergate and not Mr Nixon’s wonderful Checkers speech that many political historians regard as on a par with Winston Churchill’s great wartime Never so Many/Never so Few speech
    Best wishes CHECKERS

  2. I love the ability to sort in the different categories! How long did it take you to amass all that information and create the chart? Very useful and informative.

    1. Hey chester. Glad you like the sorting ability…..it is the main reason I am at my current web provider….their tables that allow sorting. As for how long it took? Well when we are doing an update to the page it only takes a minute or two to produce an entire new table….thanks to my wife’s awesome computer skills. Now collecting the information….that has taken years and years of research. Including traveling across the country a couple of times to visit Wayne’s old stomping grounds (USC) to get a look at the Warner Brother Ledgers.

      We are constantly searching for any information on his B movies of the 1930s….so far we have only had limited luck….but it is fun looking. We have over 600 pages on our website…..and he is our most popular actor/actress…..and 3rd most popular overall for the entire website….the real Duke Nation is alive and well…lol.

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