John Wayne Westerns

Thursday, March 24 by Jason Cuthbert

Pay particular attention to these five John Wayne westerns next time you are in the mood for watching some rugged cowboy movies. You may not be able to find the time to see every western John Wayne has been in because there are over 80 of them, accounting for more than half of the feature films he has acted in. If you are sick of space ships and super hero vehicles, enjoy some Hollywood heroes on horseback with the best of the John Wayne westerns.

  1. "The Searchers" Along with a teenaged Natalie Wood, John Wayne starred as a Civil War veteran in search of his missing niece. In 2007 the American Film Institute selected "The Searchers" as the 12th Greatest Movie of All Time. One year later in 2008, they also gave it the number one slot on their list for the ten greatest Western films ever made.
  2. "Rio Bravo" Director Howard Hawks and John Wayne were frequent collaborators during their prolific careers, and "Rio Bravo" added to their legacy of western movies. John Wayne is a sheriff who, with the assistance of a drunkard, a young pistol packer, and a crippled man, struggle to keep a murderer in custody. The famous member of "The Rat Pack," Dean Martin co-stars.
  3. "Red River" In this western action adventure, John Wayne plays the father to an adopted son named Matthew played by Montgomery Clift. Things make a switch for the worst when, while steering his cattle towards Red River, John Wayne's character Thomas has to track down Matthew, who turns against him, taking the cattle in a different direction. It was nominated twice for Academy Awards for it's writing and editing.
  4. "True Grit" This time around John Wayne plays an alcoholic US Marshal hired to find the killer of a young woman's father. This western adventure also has performances from Robert Duval and the late Dennis Hopper. In 2010, The Coen Brothers released a new version of this story staring Jeff Bridges with his feet in the boots of this John Wayne role.
  5. "El Dorado" Director Howard Hawks links up John Wayne with three other famous actors, Robert Mitchum, Ed Asner, and James Caan, for this rowdy 1966 western. Wayne plays a gunslinger-for-hire who jumps in to the defense of a family of ranchers facing a hostile take over. The name of the Edgar Allan Poe poem that James Caan's character recites in the movie is also called "El Dorado."
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