The Alamo: John Wayne produced, directed, and starred in this stirring epic War-Western

The Alamo(1960), based on the 'Battle of Alamo' that took place in the year 1836, is an epic historical-war Western produced and Directed by John Wayne. This was Wayne's directorial debut, and he also played the role of Davy Crockett in the film alongside an ensemble cast that comprised of Richard Widmark and Laurence Harvey. … Continue reading The Alamo: John Wayne produced, directed, and starred in this stirring epic War-Western

Rooster Cogburn: John Wayne reprises his Oscar winning role from ‘True Grit’ in his penultimate movie

Rooster Cogburn(1975) is the stand-alone sequel to the 1969 Western, 'True Grit', with John Wayne reprising his Oscar winning character of Marshal 'Rooster' Cogburn, this time, opposite screen-legend Katherine Hepburn. This is the only film Wayne and Hepburn made together. “From head to toe he is all of a piece. Big head. Wide blue eyes. … Continue reading Rooster Cogburn: John Wayne reprises his Oscar winning role from ‘True Grit’ in his penultimate movie

The Sons of Katie Elder: John Wayne and Dean Martin reunited after ‘Rio Bravo’ in this old-fashioned revenge-Western

The Sons of Katie Elder(1965), directed by Western veteran Henry Hathaway, and starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, is an entertaining, old-fashioned, atmospheric Western in which 4 brothers take revenge on an evil entrepreneur who killed their father and stole their land. Most famous in John 'Duke' Wayne's filmography for being the first film he … Continue reading The Sons of Katie Elder: John Wayne and Dean Martin reunited after ‘Rio Bravo’ in this old-fashioned revenge-Western

The Comancheros: John Wayne directed much of this action-packed, wildly entertaining Western that turned out to be legendary director Michael Curtiz’s final film

The Comancheros(1961), a very entertaining, big-scale Western, was legendary director, Michael Curtiz's final film. John Wayne, who stars in this film alongside Stuart Whitman, took over the directorial duties and completed the film after Curtiz became afflicted with cancer. Another one of those rollicking, large-scale Western adventures made at a time when John 'Duke' Wayne … Continue reading The Comancheros: John Wayne directed much of this action-packed, wildly entertaining Western that turned out to be legendary director Michael Curtiz’s final film

In Harm’s Way: Otto Preminger’s sprawling World War II drama rides on the charisma of John Wayne and Kirk Douglas

In Harm's Way(1965), directed by Otto Preminger from James Bassett's novel, and starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas in lead roles, is a war-action drama set during the early days of United States' participation in World War II. Like other Preminger films, this is a sprawling drama encompassing multiple sub plots and flawed heroes. "I … Continue reading In Harm’s Way: Otto Preminger’s sprawling World War II drama rides on the charisma of John Wayne and Kirk Douglas

North to Alaska: John Wayne at his romantic-comic best in this rollicking Western adventure

North to Alaska(1960), directed by Henry Hathaway and starring John Wayne, Stewart Granger and Capucine in lead roles, is a highly enjoyable comic-Western set in turn-of -the-century Alaska, and showcases Wayne's talents for comedy and romance to the fullest. Big Sam left Seattle in the year of ninety-twoWith George Pratt his partner and brother Billy … Continue reading North to Alaska: John Wayne at his romantic-comic best in this rollicking Western adventure

The Train Robbers: An alluring Ann-Margaret and a twist ending adds freshness to this unabashedly traditional John Wayne Western shoot-’em-up

In one of his last outings as the legendary Western hero, John Wayne joins up with a team of adventurers, played by Rod Taylor, Ben Johnson, etc. to help out Ann-Margaret's widow recover half-a million dollars worth of gold from Mexico in this Burt Kennedy written and directed 1973 Western. The Train Robbers(1973), written and … Continue reading The Train Robbers: An alluring Ann-Margaret and a twist ending adds freshness to this unabashedly traditional John Wayne Western shoot-’em-up

Big Jake: The ‘Dirty Harry’ writers spins a ripping, turn-of-the-century adventure yarn for Duke that’s perhaps the last of the great archetypal ‘John Wayne Westerns’

Big Jake(1971), directed by George Sherman and starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Richard Boone, is a deliciously entertaining Western adventure that adds some modern elements to the standard 'John Wayne Western' template. John Fain(Richard Boone): Who are you?Jake(John Wayne): Jacob McCandles.John Fain(Richard Boone): I thought you were dead.Jake(John Wayne): Not hardly.from Big Jake(1971) You … Continue reading Big Jake: The ‘Dirty Harry’ writers spins a ripping, turn-of-the-century adventure yarn for Duke that’s perhaps the last of the great archetypal ‘John Wayne Westerns’

The Horse Soldiers: John Ford’s lone stab at a Civil War Western is consistently entertaining and features strong performances from John Wayne and William Holden

Though Director John Ford has been the pre-eminent chronicler of American history, he has never made a film set during the American civil war. The Horse Soldiers (1959), starring John Wayne and William Holden, which came pretty much at the end of his illustrious career was the only film set during that period. Though not … Continue reading The Horse Soldiers: John Ford’s lone stab at a Civil War Western is consistently entertaining and features strong performances from John Wayne and William Holden

Rio Grande: John Ford brought John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together for the first time in this final film in his ‘Cavalry’ trilogy

“Wayne’s greatest achievement may have been creating John Wayne. The character he played, the character he invented, was the American persona of the man who is hard and believes in doing right and will do it against all the odds.”Charlton Heston on John Wayne Rio Grande (1950), the third and final film in John Ford's … Continue reading Rio Grande: John Ford brought John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara together for the first time in this final film in his ‘Cavalry’ trilogy

Fort Apache: John Wayne and Henry Fonda represents the two sides of the American soldier in this magnificent first film in John Ford’s ‘Cavalry’ trilogy

Fort Apache starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda is the first film in what became John Ford's 'Cavalry' trilogy. It's one of John Ford's most balanced, racially sensitive westerns that tries to understand the Native American issue even as it pays homage to the Army Who better than an Irishman can understand the Indians, while … Continue reading Fort Apache: John Wayne and Henry Fonda represents the two sides of the American soldier in this magnificent first film in John Ford’s ‘Cavalry’ trilogy

Chisum: John Wayne stars as a powerful frontier patriarch who knows his time’s at an end

Chisum(1970), starring John Wayne in the title role and directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, is a a typical 'John Wayne' Western in the final phase of Wayne's career, and like its legendary star, the film tries to reconcile the traditional with the modern. "Weary, saddle-worn. Can you still keep goin' on?" As William Conrad's deep … Continue reading Chisum: John Wayne stars as a powerful frontier patriarch who knows his time’s at an end

The War Wagon: John Wayne and Kirk Douglas lend their beefy charisma to this breezy Western that subtly parodies genre conventions

The War Wagon(1967), Directed by Burt Kennedy, is a tongue-in-cheek hybrid of a traditional Western, buddy comedy and Heist movie that brought together macho superstars, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, for the last time. John Wayne (as Taw Jackson): Did you know why Pierce wanted you to kill me?Kirk Douglas (as Lomax): Sure, so he … Continue reading The War Wagon: John Wayne and Kirk Douglas lend their beefy charisma to this breezy Western that subtly parodies genre conventions

Red River: John Wayne and Montgomery Clift battle it out in Howard Hawks’ classic western

Red River(1948), starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift, was the first western directed by Howard Hawks. This film was Clift's debut movie and was a major turning point in John Wayne's career. I didn’t know the big son of a bitch could act John Ford after watching John Wayne in Red River Director Howard Hawks … Continue reading Red River: John Wayne and Montgomery Clift battle it out in Howard Hawks’ classic western

McLintock!: John Wayne transitioned into a charming, affluent, ‘Patriarch of the West’ with this rambunctious comic-Western

John Wayne has never shied away from propagating his socio-political views through his films, and McLintock!(1963), co-starring his favorite heroine Maureen O'Hara, is perhaps the ultimate 'John Wayne Western', where his reel and real life personas are seamlessly mixed up. In 1963, two very successful films were released that bore the unmistakable stamp of two … Continue reading McLintock!: John Wayne transitioned into a charming, affluent, ‘Patriarch of the West’ with this rambunctious comic-Western

The Man who shot Liberty Valance: In his final Western with John Wayne, John Ford subverts the myths of the Old-West that he himself created

The Man who shot Liberty Valance (1962) was the last western John Ford made with John Wayne. The film, also starring James Stewart, Lee Marvin and Vera Miles, is Ford’s most political film that subverts a lot of myths about the American West as well as the John Wayne persona that Ford himself created  “This … Continue reading The Man who shot Liberty Valance: In his final Western with John Wayne, John Ford subverts the myths of the Old-West that he himself created

El Dorado: Howard Hawks remakes ‘Rio Bravo’ into a funny and poignant Western featuring Robert Mitchum as the drunk opposite John Wayne

Howard Hawks' 1967 western classic, El Dorado, starring John 'Duke' Wayne and Robert Mitchum, was a loose remake of his own 1959 film Rio Bravo. with this film being a poignant, and often funny meditation on aging and mortality. "The Western takes, really, a couple of forms. One is how the West started, the formation … Continue reading El Dorado: Howard Hawks remakes ‘Rio Bravo’ into a funny and poignant Western featuring Robert Mitchum as the drunk opposite John Wayne

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: A magnificent John Wayne performance anchors this visually stunning John Ford Western

John Ford's classic Western, She wore a Yellow Ribbon(1949), is the second film in Ford's famed 'Cavalry trilogy'. It's also one of the most visually beautiful films ever made, with John Wayne giving an extraordinary performance in the lead role. "There are no nuances because Nathan Brittles, like Tom Dunson, is folklore and legend, They're … Continue reading She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: A magnificent John Wayne performance anchors this visually stunning John Ford Western

McQ & Brannigan: Taking a break from Horse Operas, Duke maneuvers the urban jungles of the 1970s

McQ(1974) and Brannigan(1975) are not great films and may not figure in a Best of John Wayne List.  But watching them today, they  both come across as  well crafted pieces of mainstream entertainment in which John 'duke' Wayne is seen attempting to connect with a contemporary audience by featuring in modern-day urban crime dramas. Throughout … Continue reading McQ & Brannigan: Taking a break from Horse Operas, Duke maneuvers the urban jungles of the 1970s

True Grit: John Wayne piled on the pounds, put on an eye patch and finally won an Oscar

John Wayne passed away on June 11 1979. Exactly a decade ago, on July 11 1969, True Grit was released. It's the film that finally won Wayne an Oscar after almost forty years in films. I was getting anxious because there was this young guy called Clint Eastwood making Westerns in Italy and having tremendous … Continue reading True Grit: John Wayne piled on the pounds, put on an eye patch and finally won an Oscar