John Wayne or Clint Eastwood?

(a) In your opinion, who was the better cowboy? I assume John Wayne made more Westerns, but (b) did John Wayne star in other types of films, like Eastwood? …Just wondering

  • Jinx

Eastwood… Easily. John wayne was all yak yak yak… Bluster bluster.
Squint would just give a steely stare and a quick draw.

What’s your defintion of a cowboy?

Wayne did a lot of WWII themed films, including THE FIGHTING SEABEES (1944), BACK TO BATAAN (1945), THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945) and THE FLYING LEATHERNECKS. His VietNam era work THE GREEN BERETS (1968) is an absolute classic.

Admittedly, I have not seen all of John Wayne’s movies, but I would have to go with Clint Eastwood.

My apologies to Mr. Wayne. I associate him with Westerns, but I forget about the war movies he had done… -Jinx

ALthough most famous for his westerns Wayne did star in other movies. He’s played an Irish/American boxer, various military men, Genghis Khan, some sort of oil well firefighter, and I’m sure I’m missing something else.

If I had to pick who’s cowboy movies I’d watch I’d pick Wayne over Eastwood. Wayne has The Searchers, The Shootist, True Grit, Rio Bravo, The Cowboys, and several others I can’t think of off the top of my head.

Not all of Wayne’s movies were any good but in my opinion his quality westerns beat out Eastwood’s quality westerns. After a Fist Full of Dollars and Unforgiven there’s just not much there.


The whole spaghetti western trilogy gets the nod, IMO, as well as my perrsonal favorite, The Outlaw Josey Whales. Besides, Clint never dies in his movies.:wink:

Clint. By a mile. No contest.

Not just any oil well firefighter – the legendary Red Adair, who’s been putting out oil fires since 1945, including the Kuwait oil fires started by the Iraqis in 1991. The film was “The Hellfighters.”

Red Adair’s Bio.

Wayne made a fine cowboy.

Eastwood didn’t make the same quality of cowboy. But he made a much better angel of death.

Which is “better?” That could only be a matter of opinion.

But which one could get the most “dog-mean,” as Josey Wales advised? Most people would probably say Eastwood, but Wayne’s Ethan Edwards in the Searchers is more eerily cheerful in his viciousness than any Eastwood character I can remember.

(Of course, for a true psycho, Jimmy Stewart was the champ.
When playing a decent man pushed to his limit, as he was about to lose it, his head would start to vibrate and you could see the steam coming out his ears.)

Bah! Randolph Scott was easily better than both. The only problem is that his best westerns (w/Budd Boetticher) are extremely difficult to track down, on video or broadcast. Check out Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country to get a taste of how great he was.

I gotta go with Wayne in terms of range and quality of films. Yes, I like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly but put the Leone trilogy up against a Hawks/Wayne or Ford/Wayne western trilogy and there really is no comparison. And Wayne reached recesses of true malevolence in The Searchers and Red River that Eastwood never matched, but could Clint ever pull off the moral uprightness like Wayne in Fort Apache or Rio Bravo? It seems unlikely; Eastwood has always been happy in the middle with this casual style linked exclusively to self-interest and moral flexibility (with your occasional sideroutes to Vengeance, USA). Much better director than Wayne, though.

And thanks to Slithy Tove for bringing up Stewart, who did some of his best work in the 50s westerns of Anthony Mann. I’ll take a Scott/Boetticher or Stewart/Mann festival over Wayne/anybody any day of the week. Classic stuff.

Wayne is better, and I think Eastwood would agree. If you see his best work (Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Red River, Fort Apache and True Grit, for starts), it’s clear that Waye’s acting is vastly underrated. Most people know only the image (and his later films, where he was playing almost a parody of himself), but the actual actor is much better than his image indicates.

I love Clint- but sorry, it’s the Duke in a landslide.


I like both, But I like Clint as Rowdy Yates in early TV’s Rawhide.

Wasn’t Ginger or Maryanne? Beatles or Elvis? Dog person or Cat person? enough.

If it annoyed you then mission acomplished.


Just to add to John Wayne’s variety, remember Hatari , wgere he’s capturing wild animals in Africa.

But I still like Clint too!

You’re asking about “cowboy”? Then it’s gotta be John Wayne. I ain’t never seen Eastwood around bovine. Correct me if I’m wrong. He rode a horse and shot people.

Mr. Wayne, now he rode a horse and shot people a’ plenty, but he also tended cattle, most notably in “The Cowboys,” also in “Red River.”

Both. Wayne was the heroic cowboy. Eastwood was the anti-hero cowboy. They were both perfect for their time and great in their own way.