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The Most Rewatchable John Wayne Movies, Ranked – My Blog

John Wayne became an icon over the course of his career, particularly from his roles in war and great western movies throughout Hollywood’s Golden Age. Fans of Wayne might also know him as The Duke, which is a nickname that stuck with him since his childhood. As a young boy, Wayne’s best friend was his dog Duke, and when he befriended a local fireman, who called the dog Big Duke and Wayne Little Duke, the nickname stuck, with Wayne preferring it to his actual name, Marion.His career skyrocketed, and now he is one of the biggest names in the western genre, becoming nearly synonymous with the American mythos of the wild west and western films in general. Wayne starred in over 165 movies, many of which became huge successes. Even though Wayne was problematic in his sociopolitical beliefs, to this day we still can’t get enough of his lovable, rogue, heroic characters throughout his filmography. His cowboy swagger is just one of many reasons we keep going back to Wayne’s film, but which of them are the most rewatchable all these decades later?8 The Alamo (1960)

John Wayne in The Alamo

United Artists
Directed by Wayne himself and written by James Edward Grant, The Alamo was a project that Wayne decided to direct and star in way back in 1945. Based on the true story of the infamous Battle of the Alamo, Wayne starers as Davy Crockett, who assisted a group of soldiers defending themselves against Gen. Santa Anna (Richard Boone, who definitely wasn’t Mexican) in the battle of the Alamo.We are given all the tense, action-packed fighting scenes that we love about westerns with a bit of an education too on the way many Americans perceived the Battle of the Alamo (the film, of course, is rather historically inaccurate and glorifies the American occupation, when in reality they were illegally invading and colonizing Mexico). The movie was nominated for a whopping seven Oscars, including Best Picture. The Alamo can be seen as a classic, and its fights and story never get old, so of course, we go back to it every time.7 Chisum (1970)
ChisumWarner Bros.

Based on the Lincoln County war of 1878, and also adapted for the screen by Andrew J. Fenady, from his short story, titled Chisum and the Lincoln County War, Chisum follows John Chisum (Wayne), who owns a large ranch in Lincoln, New Mexico. It wouldn’t be the same without his sidekick and helper, Pepper. Together and with other men, including Billy the Kid, they get involved with fighting the land developer Lawrence Murphy, who has practically bought the whole town and has plans for Chisum’s ranch. Chisum is a surprisingly complex and detailed movie leading to a good ol’ western showdown, filled with historical context (and numerous real historical figures) and brilliant cinematography. Once understanding the complicated plot and massive ensemble cast, the film just gets better after each watch.6 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
She Wore a Yellow RibbonRKO Radio Pictures
The gorgeous 1949 American Technicolor western She Wore a Yellow Ribbon was one of the most expensive Westerns made at the time. It was part of the great John Ford’s ‘cavalry trilogy’, and Wayne gave one of his best performances, starring as Nathan Brittles. Brittles is a retiring US Cavalry Captain, set to venture on one last patrol to protect his troops from an attack, led by the Indians. As he bravely leads his men into the battle, his commanding officer, Major Mac Allshard, orders him to deliver his wife, Abby, and niece Olivia to Sutross Wells. As a tale of honor and young love, we see that despite wearing a yellow ribbon in her hair (which is a sign that her heart is promised to another man in the Cavalry), Olivia catches the eyes of two young officers who compete for her attention. Along with Wayne’s fabulous performance, the film also won an Oscar for Winston C. Hoch’s masterful Technicolor cinematography.5 Red River (1948)
Red RiverUnited Artists
Red River, directed by Howard Hawks, tells an epic, entertaining story about the first cattle drive along the Chisholm Trail. The film follows Wayne as Thomas Dunson, who sets up a cattle ranch that quickly becomes a thriving success, though he couldn’t have done it without help from Groot and Matt Garth, who is an orphan that Dunson kindly took in when he was a young boy. Unfortunately, the Civil War left Dunson and Matt in some serious need for money, so they lead a cattle drive to Missouri for a better chance of earning some more money.But their journey isn’t all plain sailing, as they bump into some challenges along the way. Red River is more complex than your average western shoot-em-up, essentially a sprawling and visually stunning drama about the west rather than a ‘western’ per se. The film also works wonders as a tale of (symbolic) father and son who don’t quite see eye-to-eye, which is perhaps a reason for it being so re-watchable and an absolute classic.4 Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
John Wayne in Sands of Iwo JimaRepublic Pictures
The 1949 war film Sands of Iwo Jima, directed by Allan Dwan, follows Wayne as Marine Sgt. John Stryker who is sick of the attitude from his men about his tough training techniques. As the war goes on, the soldiers actually begin to accept and respect Stryker’s view on war and even tolerate his hard and actually quite brutal training. They come to realize that it will be in their favor to listen to him, and they will need his training tactics in order to survive the war.One of the earliest post-war films dramatizing the plight of American soldiers overseas, the film chronicles one of the deadliest and bloodiest events in World War 2, known as the Battle of Iwo Jima. Wayne does a brilliant job as Stryker, the hero of the story, even if he was a little harsh, in what is an exciting, action-packed movie that also shines a light on the soldiers in the true story who sacrificed their lives during the war. The Sands of Iwo Jima is a great re-watch, especially as a Memorial Day movie.3 The Cowboys (1972)
The CowboysWarner Bros.
Based on William Dale Jennings’ 1971 novel of the same name, The Cowboys includes one of the best villains and hero death scenes we have been given in western movies, which already makes it totally re-watchable. When Wil Andersen (Wayne) asks a group of school boys for help driving his cattle to the market, they are bombarded by thieves and cattle rustlers, which ultimately leads to a dramatic western fight.No one likes to see the hero of a story die, but we can’t deny that it’s captivating; as Wil Andersen dies, his blood is on the hands of Watts. The death of Wayne’s character is emotional and heartbreaking after he grew close to the boys that helped him, and they even began to see him as a father figure. After his death, the boys finish the trip, they carve into a gravestone ‘Beloved Husband and Father,’ making it all the more sad. No matter how many times we watch it, we are still touched by this certified tearjerker of a story, and we can’t get enough of it.2 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Wayne Stewart The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962 ParamountParamount Pictures
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is perhaps one of the most well known and classic western movies in cinema. Directed by the fantastic John Ford, and starring an amazing cast (the great James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, and Wayne of course), the movie follows the story of Senator Stoddard who, with his wife Hallie, attends the funeral of Tom Doniphon.We then learn of Stoddard and Doniphon’s friendship through flashbacks, as he remembers a time when Doniphon saved him against a local outlaw, Liberty Valance, and the stories and questions that unfold of their involvement as enemies of Valance. With a brilliant cast, the onscreen relationships, tension, and drama makes this movie an easy watch and a brilliant story to follow, and definitely goes down as a classic western, one of the last old-school greats of the genre.1 True Grit (1969)
John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True GritParamount Pictures
Directed by Henry Hathaway, 1969’s True Grit marks the first appearance of Wayne as U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn, and was the first movie adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel of the same name. The story follows 14-year-old Mattie Ross, whose father has just been murdered. Distraught and after revenge, she hired Rooster Cogburn to help go on a mission to find the man responsible. Along their dangerous journey, a Texas Ranger, La Boeuf also joins in, with the hopes of catching him for a reward.Wayne, a decade before his death, won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in True Grit, which is arguably his most beloved, eccentric character who makes every scene more enjoyable. It has become an iconic movie, and there was even a 2010 modern remake of the classic which starred Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, and Josh Brolin.

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Restoration of John Wayne’s ‘The Searchers’ to Premiere at 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival – My Blog

John Wayne’s 1956 Western “The Searchers” will debut a new restoration as part of the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival in April.This marks the second Wayne film to receive a premiere of a restored print at the yearly event that takes place on Hollywood Boulevard. Last year’s opening night feature was a 4K restoration of Wayne’s 1959 film “Rio Bravo.”This year’s festival theme is “Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film.” Alongside “The Searchers,” TCM announced that Frank Capra’s 1934 film “It Happened One Night,” Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” and the 1974 musical documentary “That’s Entertainment!” will also screen as part of the four-day festival in April.It’s unknown if “The Searchers” will be the film’s opening night movie, though considering “Rio Bravo” was also a restoration last year it would make sense that Warner Bros. would continue to debut new 4K prints of their films as part of the event’s opening night.This year’s TCM Classic Film Festival marks the return of the event after the classic film network underwent significant changes behind the scenes this year. In June, TCM’s senior vice president of programming and content strategy Charles Tabesh, vice president of studio production Anne Wilson, vice president of marketing and creative Dexter Fedor and TCM Enterprises vice president Genevieve McGillicuddy were all laid off, alongside TCM’s general manager Pola Chagnon leaving the company after 25 years.From there, stories started to tumble out that the network was in the crosshairs of a series of cost-cutting measures implemented by Warner Bros. Discovery. In the wake of widespread outcry from fans, both Tabesh and McGuillicuddy were offered their positions back. It was also announced soon after that Warner Bros. Pictures heads Pamela Abdy and Michael De Luca would be overseeing the network, with input from world-class directors including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.The TCM Classic Film Festival enters its 15th year in 2024 and will also take place during the network’s 30th anniversary.The TCM Classic Film Festival will take place in Hollywood April 18-21.

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John Wayne’s spanking of co-star ‘so authentic she had bruises for a week’ – My Blog

Back in 1963, John Wayne starred in a Western comedy loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.Duke played an ageing rancher called George Washington McLintock, a wealthy self-made man facing a number of issues.High-ranking government officials, his own sons and local Native Americans all want a piece of his huge farmstead.Meanwhile, his wife (played by regular collaborator Maureen O’Hara) who separated from him two years prior, is back on the scene demanding custody of their daughter.McLintock! celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, as celebrated by the John Wayne estate on Instagram.A recent post read: “Did you know? Although often seen as simply a knockabout comedy, John Wayne also intended the film to be a statement on his disapproval of the negative representation of Native Americans in previous westerns he had no creative-control over, and his disapproval of wife-beating and marital abuse from either spouse.”A film of its time, McLintock famously has a scene, as captured on its poster, of Wayne’s George publicly spanking his wife played by O’Hara.According to his co-star’s autobiography, this scene was “completely authentic” with Duke carrying it out with “such gusto”, that she “had bruises for a week.”

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Martin Scorsese’s Favorite John Wayne Western – My Blog


 Martin Scorsese considers John Wayne’s The Searchers to be the best Western ever made, describing it as a masterpiece with a deeply painful core. The Searchers has had a significant influence on Scorsese’s movies, inspiring scenes and characters in films like Taxi Driver and Mean Streets. The Searchers is also a favorite among the “movie brats,” a group of influential directors including Spielberg and Lucas, who cited it as a major influence.

Martin Scorsese’s favorite Western starring John Wayne has had a big influence on his career. Scorsese hasn’t made his passion for cinema or filmmaking a secret, and he is essentially a living archive of the medium’s history. He loves everything from the trashiest B-movie to the most highbrow drama, which is something that’s reflected in Martin Scorsese’s own movies. He has helmed everything from gangster epics to psychological horrors to biopics and everything in between.
One genre he hasn’t really dipped a toe into is a Western, which is likely down to the decline of the genre itself than Scorsese avoiding the genre. About the closest he’s come is his 2023 epic Killers of the Flower Moon, though far from being a black-and-white adventure about cowboys righting wrongs, it’s a devastating true-life drama. Scorsese has professed his admiration for a few classic Westerns (via Far Out) such as Ride the High Country or Marlon Brando’s sole directorial outing One-Eyed Jacks, but there’s one that holds a truly special place in his heart.Scorsese Believes John Wayne’s The Searchers Is The Best Western Ever Made
In 2013, Scorsese guest-reviewed a book about John Wayne Western The Searchers for THR, where he proclaimed it a masterpiece but that “Like all great works of art, it’s uncomfortable. The core of the movie is deeply painful.” The premise of the movie sees Wayne’s Civil War vet Ethan Edwards and his nephew Martin (Jeffrey Hunter) setting out to rescue his kidnapped niece. It might sound like the setup for a classic Western adventure, but John Ford’s The Searchers deals with some dark themes, with Wayne portraying the most ruthless character of his career as the deeply prejudiced and revenge-addicted Ethan.
Scorsese has often called The Searchers one of his favorite Westerns, in addition to being one of the greatest movies of all time, period. From the gorgeous cinematography, the evergreen themes and Wayne’s haunting central turn, it’s a film the director finds himself coming back to decades after he first watched it. The Searcher’s ending has been much discussed among film scholars too, with Scorsese himself feeling the shot of Ethan turning and leaving through the door turns it into a “ghost story;” the character has fulfilled his purpose but is now doomed to wander the deserts alone, like a spirit.The Searchers Inspired Scorsese’s Own Movies
Travis Bickle at the movies in Taxi Driver
The film made a major impression on Scorsese when he saw it as a boy, and its influence can be spotted in his own work. His debut Who’s That Knocking at My Door features a scene where protagonist J.R. (Harvey Keitel) talks about both John Wayne and The Searchers in great detail, while the Ford movie appears again in Scorsese’s crime drama Mean Streets from 1973. The Searchers was a direct influence on Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, with the journey of Robert De Niro’s Travis being a mirror of Ethan’s. He’s another loner filled with anger and hatred, looking to rescue a young girl in Jodie Foster’s Iris.The movie ends with Travis rescuing Iris in the bloodiest manner possible, and like Ethan, the movie leaves him on an ambiguous note. The influence of The Searchers can also be felt in the director’s attraction to anti-heroes and flawed protagonists, who may see themselves as fundamentally good men or heroic, despite the appalling acts of violence they commit or the selfishness they display.The Searchers Is A Favorite Of The “Movie Brats”
Steven Spielberg leaning against a camera with George Lucas standing beside him on the cover of Indiana Jones bonus material DVD
The Searchers was well-received upon its initial release, but it soon came to be recognized as an American classic. The late ’60s and ’70s saw the rise of the so-called “movie brats,” who were a group of talented young directors who were also nerds for the medium. Members of this group include Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, John Milius, Paul Schrader and many more. What’s notable about this group is how many of them cited The Searchers as a favorite.
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan also cited The Searchers as a major influence on Breaking Bad’s finale.
According to The Telegraph, Spielberg claims he rewatches The Searchers before starting work on a new movie, while Milius and Schrader – who penned Taxi Driver – have also sung its praises. The movie was a huge influence on Lucas’ Star Wars, which can be found in its basic promise – a young man and older mentor set out to rescue a young woman – its desert vistas and the sequence where Luke (Mark Hamill) discovers his burnt-out family homestead. Star Wars was a mash-up of many influences from samurai epics to movie serials, but Westerns like The Searchers played a particularly large role in the movie.
Source: Far Out, THR, The Telegraph
the searchers poster
The SearchersRelease Date:1956-03-13Director:John FordCast:John WayneRating:pg-13Runtime:119minutesGenres:Western, DramaWriters:John FordBudget:$3.75millionStudio(s):Warner Bros. PicturesDistributor(s):Warner Bros. Pictures

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