The Best and Worst John Wayne Movies That Aren’t Westerns

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John Wayne is one of America’s most iconic actors. His legendary career spanned 50 years and over 100 films. Though he took on a variety of roles, Wayne is still mostly remembered for his work in dozens of Westerns. 

According to IMDb’s count, Wayne starred in 89 Westerns — going from a fresh-faced young actor in 1926’s “The Great K & A Train Robbery” to a venerable, Oscar-nominated screen legend playing a dying gunslinger 50 years later in “The Shootist.” 

No one was better able to embody the strong, stoic cowboy than Wayne. But his career went far beyond the prairie. Wayne starred in dozens of films that were not Westerns — playing a soldier, ship captain, treasure hunter, diplomat, football coach, and many other roles.

To identify every movie Wayne has ever starred in that isn’t a Western, 24/7 Tempo reviewed his acting roles in movies listed in his IMDb actor filmography page.

Of all the movies Wayne made that are not Westerns, a large share are war movies. Many of the same qualities that made him an ideal gunslinger, cowboy, or sheriff in the Old West — toughness, leadership, and a willingness to sacrifice — also made Wayne a believable captain, general, or soldier. Also like many of his Westerns, a number of Wayne’s war films were critical and commercial smash hits and are hailed as classics today. These are the best war movies ever.

To identify every movie John Wayne has ever starred in that isn’t a Western, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a database of over 17,000 movies and selected all of the movies John Wayne was in that were not Westerns. The combined score is an index of the movie’s IMDb rating, Rotten Tomatoes audience score, and Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score. Genre and casting data is from IMDb.