Connect with us


Every John Wayne and John Ford Movie Ranked, According to IMDb – My Blog

Their presence in each other’s cinematic legacy will never be forgotten. Before the days of Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, and the modern-day filmmaking duos, there were the Johns. Director John Ford and acting icon John Wayne were genre forces to be reckoned with. Stepping onset together 14 times from 1939 to 1963, the Johns were a dynamite pair that produced more than just Wild West, trailblazing movies.Six of their double-digit pictures were written or co-written by screenwriter Frank S. Nugent. Ford and Nugent were just two examples within the Duke’s filmography where he collaborated multiple times. Wayne’s repeated use of supporting cast actors is one of the relationships that inspired a practice that today’s legendary filmmakers continue to be recognized for.14‘The Wings of Eagles’ (1957)


Image via Warner Bros. 
IMDb Rating: 6.6/10Alongside his iconic leading lady Maureen O’Hara, Wayne stars as Frank “Spig” Wead, a real-life Naval aviator paralyzed after a spine injury. Following his injury, Wead takes pen to paper and begins to write pro-military films, but the attack on Pearl Harbor leads him to reenter the Navy under special permission.Ford decided to helm the project honoring Wead after recognizing he didn’t want anyone else to direct the project dedicated to his close friend. This project was a notable installment in Ford’s and Wayne’s careers.13‘Donovan’s Reef’ (1963)
Lee Marvin next to John Wayne both soaking wet standing in a fish pond in Donovan's Reef

IMDb Rating: 6.7/10The final film starring opposite each other, Lee Marvin and Wayne are pure entertainment in this breezy comedy. The pair star as two of three World War II Navy veterans, Donovan (Wayne), Doc (Jack Warden), and Gilhooley (Marvin), all of whom come to settle on a French Polynesian island as Doc’s share in his shipping company becomes threatened.It’s a distance stretch from the past films Marvin and Wayne co-starred in, but Donovan’s Reefis a relaxed break from the gun-slinging and wartime pictures their audiences were used to. Audiences appreciated Ford’s light-hearted swing for his final collaboration with Wayne.12‘The Long Voyage Home’ (1940)
IMDb Rating: 6.9/10Another feature centered on the backdrop of World War II, The Long Voyage Home finds the crew of an English cargo ship battling not only the loneliness of sailing but the thought that there may be a Nazi spy aboard their ship carrying dynamite. Wayne stars as Swedish crew member Olsen.The supporting cast included actors like Ward Bond, whom fans would recognize in several later films Wayne would lead. This early partnership picture from Ford and Wayne earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but failed to take home a golden statue from the ceremony.11‘Rio Grande’ (1950)
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10A story where everything converges all at once upon its leading man, Rio Grande remains one of Wayne’s memorable performances. Lieutenant Colonel Kirby Yorke’s past comes back to bite him when his estranged son arrives as a recruit at Yorke’s Texas cavalry post, and his equally estranged wife arrives to bring their son home. Furthering the trouble, Yorke is tasked with defending settlers against Apache raids across the river.This movie is a follow-up from Fort Apache (further down the list) and features familiar faces and themes established in previous installments in the Johns filmography. Not the worst, not the best, Rio Grande is still a satisfactory Western.10‘How the West Was Won’ (1962)
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10Separated into five sequences directed by Ford, Henry Hathaway, and George Marshall, How the West Was Won is often not included when discussing the Johns Canon. With a big-name cast including stars like Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Carroll Baker, and Debbie Reynolds, to name a few, this feature is close to three hours long, detailing the westward expansion of the 19th century.Wayne stars as General William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War segment directed by Ford. Hollywood’s greatest stars of the period, Wayne, Stewart, and Henry Fonda, only starred this one time altogether; however, they were never in the same scenes.9‘3 Godfathers’ (1948)
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10A deep dive for surface-level Wayne fans, 3 Godfathers was the original Three Men and a Baby. Alongside Pedro Armendáriz and Harry Carey Jr., Wayne completes the trio of outlaws who stumble upon a dying woman and her newborn after robbing a bank. The three men risk their safety and vow to return the baby to safety as they try to outrun the sheriff hot on their trail.Audiences remembered this Ford production as a retelling of the Three Wise Men and resonated with the religious symbolism throughout the movie. It isn’t the pair’s most memorable film, but it solidifies its entertainment value.8‘The Horse Soldiers’ (1959)
IMDb Rating: 7.1/10The Horse Soldiers is set against the backdrop of the Civil War as Union Colonel John Marlowe (Wayne) and his unit attempt to carry out their mission to destroy a Confederate railroad depot. Marlowe’s efforts become complicated after Miss Hannah Hunter (Constance Towers), a Southern belle, overhears the mission plans, forcing Marlowe to bring her along.A mid-tier segment in their cinematic history, Ford and Wayne hold the audience’s attention despite having set such a high-bar standard for their films. Once again, audiences deliver the pair well-deserved respect for their efforts even if the plot left more to be desired.7‘They Were Expendable’ (1945)
John Wayne, Geraldine Page and Robert Montgomery sitting next to each other in a jeep inThey Were Expendable
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10Not only did Robert Montgomery co-direct the film (listed as uncredited), but he also starred as the leading man alongside Wayne. Taking place just before the attack on Pearl Harbor and carrying through to after, They Were Expendablefinds Naval Lieutenants Ryan (Wayne) and Brickley (Montgomery) questioning the viability of the new PT boats, putting them to the test against Japanese planes.Nominated for two technical Oscars, this wartime drama is a well-respected feature. It was also co-written by The Wings of Eagles inspiration, Frank Wead. They Were Expendable is an admirable, right choice for a well-deserved break from the desolate West.6‘She Wore a Yellow Ribbon’ (1949)
IMDb Rating: 7.2/10An Oscar-winner for Best Cinematography, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon signaled that Ford’s movies were worthy of critical acclaim. Just before retirement, Calvary Captain Nathan Brittles (Wayne) is tasked with mending relations between the Native American tribes after Custer’s Last Stand. The mission is complicated as Brittles manages the safe passage of the wife and niece of his superior officer.Wayne wasn’t the only star Ford collaborated with consistently; She Wore a Yellow Ribbon also features Victor McLaglen,who starred in supporting roles for other films on this list like Fort Apache,Rio Grande, and The Quiet Man. Wayne fans also recognized stars Harry Carey Jr. and Ben Johnson from other movies led by the Duke.5‘Fort Apache’ (1948)
John Wayne as Kirby York
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10Fort Apachefeatures Wayne opposite legendary actor Henry Fonda. Young, level-headed Capt. Kirby York (Wayne) clashes with Civil War veteran Lieutenant Colonel Owen Thursday (Fonda) after Thursday returns to Fort Apache and begins to threaten war with the local tribes.This installment in the Johns filmography also became the first in what came to be known as John Ford’s Calvary Trilogy, the succession films were She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande. Fort Apache arguably was the best of the three according to audiences and its IMDb rating.4‘The Quiet Man’ (1952)
IMDb Rating: 7.7/10An Oscar-winning feat for Ford (Best Director), The Quiet Man was a departure for both Johns from the usual gritty Western story. Wayne plays retired American boxer Sean Thornton returning to his family’s homestead in Ireland. He falls for Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara) there despite her brother’s refusal.The movie is another excellent collaboration between Ford and Wayne and Wayne and his leading lady O’Hara. Like the title displays, The Quiet Man is a quiet romance beloved by critics and cinema-goers deserving of its seven Oscar nominations.3‘Stagecoach’ (1939)
IMDb Rating: 7.8/10The time-honored tale of strangers surviving circumstances, Stagecoach featured Wayne during his transition from B-list to A-list actor. An outlaw, Ringo Kid (Wayne) is among a group of passengers aboard a stagecoach traveling across the Wild West, the threat of Apache attacks looming over them all.RELATED:How ‘Stagecoach’ Revolutionized The Western GenreThis is the first collaboration between Ford and Wayne. A career-evolving film for the pair, Stagecoach earned seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director (Ford’s second directing nomination). At the time, this movie excited Western fans for a dynamic relationship that was about to unfold before Hollywood’s eyes.2‘The Searchers’ (1956)
The Searchers - 1956
IMDb Rating: 7.9/10A dark installment for the cinematic duo, The Searchers still features the familiar faces of Wayne-film regular cast members. Determined to recover his kidnapped niece, Debbie (Natalie Wood), Ethan Edwards scours the Comanche nation after his brother’s family is slain.A Civil War veteran, Ethan is calloused and cold, a far cry from the upbeat disposition of Wayne’s traditional roles, absent of the Duke’s iconic ear-to-ear grin. The Searchers is a cinematic gem that Wayne-Ford fans return to time and time again.
1‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ (1962)
Ranse Stoddard in The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceImage via Paramount Pictures
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10Directed during the height of his career, Ford assembled a trio of Hollywood acting royalty for The Man Who Shot LibertyValance. One of cinema’s most revered westerns, this feature stars James Stewartas Senator Stoddard relives through flashbacks the story of Stoddard’s unexpected friendship with Tom Doniphon (Wayne), recounting for a newspaper reporter their involvement and search for justice against local criminal Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin).A feature about storytelling, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is concise and focused on the relationships between Stoddard and Doniphon rather than racing quests across a ruthless frontier. Highly revered within the genre, this is the best collaboration between Ford and Wayne.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Rin Tin Tin

When I was very young, my grandfather kept a Rin Tin Tin figurine sitting on his desk. I wanted desperately to play with it, and even more desperately I wanted to have a German shepherd dog of my own, a dog just like the star of “The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin”, which debuted on television in 1954. I knew nothing about Rin Tin Tin other than that he was the perfect dog, and that he was a character on television.

When by chance I learned that Rin Tin Tin was a real dog, not just a television character—a real dog with a real life that was extraordinary—I was drawn into the story and eventually to the idea of writing this book. After digging through hundreds of pages of archives and files and photographs, I came to understand that this was not just a story about a dog, or even the many different dogs who make up the Rin Tin Tin legacy; this is a story about a beloved icon who has played a role in decades of American popular culture.

“‘He believed the dog was immortal.’ So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero’s legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.

“At its heart, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost ten years in the making, Susan Orlean’s first original book since The Orchid Thief is a tour de force of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—the ultimate must—read for anyone who loves great dogs or great yarns.”

Publishers Weekly
“Stirring … A tale of passion and dedication overcoming adversity … Even readers coming to Rin Tin Tin for the first time will find it difficult to refrain from joining Duncan in his hope that Rin Tin Tin’s legacy will ‘go on forever.’”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Orlean] combines all her skills and passions in this astonishing story … A terrific dog’s tale that will make readers sit up and beg for more.”

Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein

“Rin Tin Tin was more than a dog. He embodied the core paradoxes of the American ideal: He was a loner who was also a faithful companion, a brave fighter who was also vulnerable. I was astonished to learn from this delightful book that he has existed for eleven generations over a century. By chronicling his amazing ups and downs, Susan Orlean has produced a hugely entertaining and unforgettable reading experience.”

Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto
“Not only does Susan Orlean give us a fascinating and big-hearted account of all the many incarnations of Rin Tin Tin, she shows us the ever-changing role of American dogs in times of war and peace. This book is for anyone who has ever had a dog or loved a dog or watched a dog on television or thought their dog could be a movie star. In short— everyone.”

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
“I adored this book. It weaves history, war, show business, humanity, wit, and grace into an incredible story about America, the human-animal bond, and the countless ways we would be lost without dogs by our sides, on our screens, and in our books. This is the story Susan Orlean was born to tell—it’s filled with amazing characters, reporting, and writing.”

Continue Reading


John Wayne ‘punished’ The Longest Day producer for publicly insulting him – My Blog

John Wayne was famous for his tough guy image on and off screen, mostly being known for playing cowboys and military men.By the early 1960s, Duke was in his fifties, struggling with health problems yet continuing to insist on not only doing his own stunts but also playing characters – including historical figures – he was now much older than.

This was especially the case when he was cast in the 1962 D-Day epic The Longest Day, which was released 61 years ago this week.The World War II film featured an incredible all-star cast including Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Richard Burton. Yet Wayne’s inclusion proved divisive.Incredibly, former President Dwight D Eisenhower almost played himself, but makeup artists couldn’t make him look as young as he did in 1944. Nevertheless, a set decorator with no acting experience with the spitting image of the Supreme Allied Commander was cast.Awkwardly, the real Ike ended up walking out of The Longest Day after just a few minutes, frustrated with all the inaccuracies. Although Eisenhower was considered too old to play his younger self, that didn’t stop Wayne from being cast as 27-year-old Lt Col Benjamin Vandervoort, who was very disappointed to find out he was being portrayed by the overweight 54-year-old Duke.Originally Charlton Heston, who was only a decade older than the real-life paratrooper, had actively sought the part. However, Wayne’s last-minute decision to take on the role blocked him and it came at a huge price to the film’s producer.The Longest Day producer Darryl F Zanuck had managed to negotiate $25,000 fees from his ensemble cast for what was mostly cameos. However, Wayne demanded $250,000 or he’d refused to appear in the movie – a request that was granted.The reason Duke “punished” the producer with this action was because he’d been quoting in an interview calling the Western legend “poor John Wayne” over 1960’s The Alamo.

That blockbuster was produced, directed and largely funded by the star himself. And Zanuck had said he didn’t think much of actors forming their own production companies, citing Wayne’s as an example. Not only was Wayne’s non-negotiable fee request on The Longest Day an act of revenge, but also was a way of him getting a quick payday after all the money he spent on The Alamo.

Aside from being three decades too old for his role in the World War II blockbuster, Duke’s contract also included a clause that made his casting even more controversial.Alongside his whopping $250,000 fee, Wayne insisted on getting separate billing on The Longest Day from the other actors. However, to his dismay, this was got around by having the other stars billed first followed by “and John Wayne”, meaning that Duke’s name appeared last on the credits.Even so, it was highly controversial even then as the Hollywood star did not serve in World War II, something he tried to redeem across his career by acting in very patriotic movies.

Continue Reading


Injured John Wayne struggled to breathe with oxygen mask on movie with Katharine Hepburn – My Blog

After winning the Best Actor Oscar for 1969’s True Grit, John Wayne returned for a sequel with 1975’s Rooster Cogburn – which celebrates its 48th anniversary this week – alongside Katharine Hepburn.However, Duke had serious health issues going back to when he had a cancerous lung removed a decade prior.Earlier in 1974, Wayne headed to London to shoot cop movie Brannigan, but had a severe bout of pneumonia and was diagnosed with heart problems before production began.During filming, Duke met Hepburn who, despite being just two weeks older than him, had never met the Western star let alone starred in a movie with him. She had been filming 1975’s Love Among the Ruins with Sir Laurence Olivier and despite their political differences greatly admired Wayne.The two stars agreed to make True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn together later that year, although like Brannigan it would not be an easy production.Alongside pneumonia, Wayne had coughed so hard at one point that he damaged a valve in his heart, an issue that wouldn’t be diagnosed until 1978, a year before he died of cancer.Rooster Cogburn’s filming took place in Oregon and Duke had to rely on his oxygen mask for high altitudes, something he tried to keep hidden from the public. In fact, on another movie, he screamed at a photographer and demanded the film that captured the truth of his ailments; desperate to maintain his macho image.If this wasn’t bad enough, the 67-year-old injured himself on the Rooster Cogburn set while teaching his eight-year-old daughter to play golf. But lucky for him, his character’s eye patch covered the mark.rooster cogburn posterRooster Cogburn poster (Image: GETTY)Dealing with all these physical problems took a toll on Wayne’s patience and he would become seriously frustrated with Rooster Cogburn director Stuart Miller’s insistence on doing multiple takes. In one outburst, Duke ranted: “God damn it Stuart, there’s only so many times we can say these awful lines before they stop making any sense at all.”His co-star Hepburn, who largely respected the actor most of the time, would become bemused by his argumentative nature on set and told him at the wrap party: “I’m glad I didn’t know you when you had two lungs, you must have been a real b*****d. Losing a hip has mellowed me, but you!”

Continue Reading