John Wayne starred in over 200 movies over the years. He is the most prolific actor an American cinema history. He is primarily known for his portrayal of the gunfighter, lawman or rancher. He usually played the antagonist in the film and right versus wrong were always evident in all his films. Here is a list of John Wayne’s top 5 western films.
5: “Rio Bravo” (1959). Wayne stars as Sheriff John Chance. Chance and his deputies (played by Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan) have just arrested a man for murder. Unfortunately, the murderer is the brother of a local and powerful rancher. Dozens of hired gunmen are sent to break out the jailed murderer. Wayne and his outgunned deputies must fight off hoards of gunmen while trying to keep the peace in the town.
4: “The Train Robbers” (1973). Wayne plays an adventurer named Lane. He goes on an errand of mercy to help a widow. The widow hired Wayne and a small band to retrieve a hoard of stolen gold and return it to its rightful owners. Unfortunately, they are not alone in their mission. About 20 gunfighters are following the small band and are intent on stealing the hidden gold.
3: “Chisum” (1970). Wayne stars as John Chisum, the owner of the largest ranch in the Southwest. He has thousands of head of cattle and dozens of ranch hands at his disposal. Unfortunately, a rival rancher is intent on stealing the land of other ranchers in the area. With the help of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Wayne gets involved in a large range war.
2: “Rio Lobo” (1970). Wayne plays Lt Colonel Cord McNally in the aftermath of the American Civil War. He is charged with finding a traitor that was part of his command. In his quest to find the traitor, he winds up in Texas and battles a local bad guy and his hired band of lawmen. Along the way, he finds the traitor and cleans the town of the local bad guys.
1: “The Searchers” (1956). Wayne stars as Texas Ranger Ethan Edwards. His brother and family had just been killed by renegade Indians. Additionally, his young niece was kidnapped by the same band. He spends the next 10 years looking for his kidnapped niece.
John Wayne starred in over 100 westerns during his career and it is very difficult to sum up a top 5 list. Other John Wayne westerns that could make the top 5 list include “The Alamo”, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”, “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance”, “The Cowboys”, “Red River”, “True Grit” and many others.