John Wayne was, and in many ways still is the face of American entertainment. John Wayne is more than a man…and more than an actor. John Wayne is the embodiment of the “American Spirit”. John Wayne was basically Captain America, only cooler, and MORE American, and I cannot overstate how American his personification was.
John Wayne got famous, and he did it pretty quickly. By the end of his career he had starred in 142 movies! Your run of the mill Brad Pitt has only been in around 34 movies, so that’s the kind of fame we’re dealing with. Now, starring in movies is pretty impressive, but the one thing that is really awesome about John Wayne is that he was very vocal about his hatred about Communism. In fact, Joseph Stalin, (you know, the Hitler-esq fellow that dictated The Soviet Union for all those years) actually ordered for John Wayne’s assassination!
John Wayne personified America to such an extent that our worst enemy at the time felt the need to kill him! All that being said, here are my favorite Top 5 John Wayne Movies of all time:
5. McLintock!: Wayne plays George Washington McLintock, “GW” to friends and foes alike, who is a cattle baron and the richest man in the territory. McLintock fights his wife, his daughter and political land-grabbers finally taming them all in this Western comedy.
4. Sands of Iwo Jima: Just as the name states, this movie is a dramatization of the WWII Battle of Iwo Jima.
3. The Horse Soldiers: Based on the true story of COL Benjamin H. Grierson. A Union Cav outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the Commander. The secret plan for the mission is overheard by a Southern belle who must be taken along to assure her silence. Throughout, each Union Officer has a different reason for wanting to be on this mission…
2. Rio Bravo: A true classic (could be debated as #1) and involves a small-town sheriff in the American West who enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk and a young gunslinger in his efforts to hold the brother of the local bad guy in jail.
1. True Grit: This movie, recently remade, is about a drunken, hard-nosed US Marshal and a Texas Ranger who help a stubborn young woman track down her father’s killer in Indian Territory.
In summary, John Wayne is one of my favorite actors of all time. His impressive career spanned 142 movies, which is almost unheard of today. I hope you enjoyed reading my list of my top 5 favorite John Wayne movies. I would love to hear what you think. What is your favorite John Wayne movie of all time and why? Leave a comment and let us know.