View Full Version : Tell me what John Wayne movies I should buy.
I have recently discovered that I really love the old John Wayne movies, particularly the Westerns. So tell me what John Wayne movies are must-haves, especially in the Westerns category, though I am not ruling out non-Westerns (I watched the beginning of the Quiet Man and enjoyed it.) The good thing is because the movies are so old now they are cheap as dirt so if you want to point me to a particular box set that would be nifty. I did spy one of those cheap 20 movie sets for $11.99 on deepdiscountdvd and here is the list on that:
THE DESERT TRAIL (1935), THE LUCKY TEXAN (1934), RIDERS OF DESTINY (1933), THE HURRICANE EXPRESS (1932), PARADISE CANYON (1935), THE MAN FROM UTAH (1934), BLUE STEEL (1934), WINDS OF THE WASTELAND (1936), THE TRAIL BEYOND (1934), RAINBOW ALLEY (1935), HELL TOWN (1937), SAGEBRUSH TRAIL (1933), HIS PRIVATE SECRETARY (1933), TEXAS TERROR (1935), WEST OF THE DIVIDE (1934), THE STAR PACKER (1934), THE DAWN RIDER (1935), 'NEATH ARIZONA SKIES (1934), RANDY RIDES ALONE (1934), and THE LAWLESS FRONTIER (1935)
03-27-2005, 02:56 PM
Definitely The Searchers (1956), if you buy no other western.
Other major Wayne westerns would include:
Stagecoach (1939) - Wayne's breakthrough role
Red River (1948)
Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950) - The "Cavalry" trilogy
Rio Bravo (1959) - Wayne's response to High Noon
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
True Grit (1969) - Wayne's Oscar winning role
The Cowboys (1972)
The Shootist (1976) - Wayne's last movie
03-27-2005, 03:01 PM
I'd rank Red River above The Searchers, but that's just me. And I love The Searchers! She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, to me, is the essential John Wayne.
LN covered the basics in Westerns. I'd add Rio Lobo (a Rio Bravo remake), The Alamo, The Undefeated(!), Donovan's Reef, The Quiet Man, Sands of Iwo Jima, Flying Leathernecks.
03-27-2005, 03:45 PM
The Quiet Man
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
03-27-2005, 04:14 PM
I agree with silenus about Red River.
I agree with the two lists that were provided you, but I think I would add McClintock to the westerns. He and Maureen O'Hara worked so well together. Some of the featured players (like his son and for that matter Jerry Van Dyke) were very weak, but it is great fun none the less.
I also would add to the list of non-westerns, Blood Alley. John Wayne is riverboat captain in China. It also stars Betty Bacall. There was a weird sort of chemistry and worked in a strange sort way. It was one of his few anti-communist related films that worked on any level.
It's not one of his best but it is fun nonetheless, War Wagon, a kind of western heist film with Kirk Douglas, Howard Keel and Kynan Wynn.
I can almost recommend Big Jake. The scenes with O'Hara are very good and the ones with Richard Boone are wonderful. His scenes with the dog are even very good. But when you bring his son in, Robert Mitchum's son in and Bobby Vinton in it was painful.
Another fun (but flawed) one with not a lot of substance was a sort of Western. I guess you could call it a Northern. "North to Alaska" with Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovaks and Fabian. Not much there but the fights were good.
Wayne was never afraid to bring in good actors to star with him. But he was also not afraid to bring in people who had no idea of what they were doing. He always figured that he and Ben Johnson could carry it if necessary. When he didn't have people like his son Patrick, Bobby Vinton, or Fabian screwing everything up he had some great films. Actually he won his academy award when Glen Campbell was cluttering up True Grit, so I guess he was right to a certain extent. I always blamed it on Ricky Nelson who did a good job in Rio Bravo and thus letting Wayne think that young singers could act.
You should also get The Conquerer just so you don't think that Wayne couldn't make a bad film. It wasn't all his fault, but he took part. That's the one where he played Genghis Kahn.
FWIW - I appeared in four films with John Wayne later in his career. No, I am not a big-time actor. I was a "type' who could sit a horse, drive a wagon, held a SAG card and lived not far from where a number of his Westerns were made. He was a nice man. While most of the "name" actors would have nothing to do with us or the extras, he would often sit and visit with us, buy us beers and remember our names.
03-27-2005, 05:17 PM
TV time, I'd like to hear more about your work with JW.
Here are my four:
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
03-27-2005, 05:33 PM
Not a western, but the Holy Grail of John Wayne "lost" movies, "The High and the Mighty" (one of the earlier airplane disaster thrillers) is due to be released this year.
03-27-2005, 05:56 PM
Given the choice, I'd get the following:
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (Wayne felt cheated he didn't get an Oscar nomination for this -- and he was right)
03-27-2005, 06:00 PM
McClintock! also has one of the best Western fistfights ever! :D
03-27-2005, 06:08 PM
My favorite would be Rio Bravo. Dean Martin is good in it as well.
03-27-2005, 10:45 PM
Sands of Iwo Jima
The Quiet Man ("Positively Homeric!")
They Were Expendable
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
As for that set of 20 movies for $11.99, you get what you pay for. Those are low-budget westerns that only the most die-hard John Wayne fans will care for.
03-27-2005, 10:53 PM
If you like Rio Bravo and Rio Lobo, why not make it a hat trick with El Dorado. Robert Mitchum, Ed Asner, and James Cann co-star in this film that was essentially the same movie as the other two. I must also recomend The Shootist. I recommend any movie where Jimmy Stweart says" I'd have to gut you like a fish."
03-28-2005, 05:45 AM
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
To second, third and fourth other posters' votes:
03-28-2005, 07:18 AM
My personal favorites in no particular order:
True Grit - Rooster Cogburn is one of my favorite Wayne characters.
The Quiet Man - I don't know why I like this corny film, but I do.
3 Godfathers - Another corny movie that I like in spite of myself.
Reap the Wild Wind - Wayne played the captain of a clipper ship in this movie. Sea adventure.
Flying Tigers - Another of Wayne's war movies that rocks.
Stagecoach - Little Nemo's right, this was Wayne's breakthrough film. I've always liked it (not the least of all for it's oh-so-typical Western stereotypes - the Drunken Doctor, the Prostitute With The Heart Of Gold, etc.) but it really is kind of a run-of-the-mill movie.
Also, I wouldn't buy The Greatest Story Ever Told, but when it comes on TeeVee, try to catch the last, oh, 15 minutes or so, so you can see a very ill-at-ease John Wayne in full Roman Legionnaire garb drawling, "Truly he was the son o' God."
Thanks everyone for all your answers I think I will ditch the twenty set and prob buy most of them individually and buy the ones you have told me. Tv Time I bet you have some interesting stories...tell us more.
03-28-2005, 01:26 PM
I'm going to throw in one of my favorite non-Western Waynes: In Harm's Way (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0059309/). Perhaps not one of his best pictures, but a very good one nonetheless.
Wayne's character, Commander Rockwell Torey, is a tired, aging, man whose Naval career has stalled. While a competent officer, he is not perfect. He makes mistakes in judgement, some of which result in the deaths of those near and dear to him, but overall, he manages to lead a costly, but ultimately successful operation in the South Pacific, despite the incompetence and active opposition of the entrenched brass.
The picture is noteworthy for looking at the toll the war takes on people, especially those not on the front lines. Patricia O'Neal, Kirk Douglass, Burgess Merideth, and Stanley Hollowell, are all excellent in supporting roles. Well worth seeing -- and AMC seems to put it on fairly often.
I agree pretty much with the lists above, at least for those I've seen. There are a couple of non-westerns not mentioned above that I like: Hellfighters, with JW fighting oil-well fires, and (maybe because it's a little strange) Hatari with JW in Africa capturing animals for zoos.
03-28-2005, 08:18 PM
It's one of the more pooh-poohed movies in history (who gives a damn where the sun sets?), but I'd suggest The Green Berets (http://imdb.com/title/tt0063035/) . Besides being one of the only...or is it the only...hawkish films about Vietnam, it's also a damned cracking war flick replete with suspense, well-crafted battle scenes and David Janssen being taken down a peg.
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