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

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

6. Hatari! (1962)
> Combined score: 2.14 — #3,856 highest out of 17,179 movies in all genres
> Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy
> Starring: John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Krüger, Red Buttons

A group of men work as hunters by trapping wild animals in Africa for zoos. A female photographer shows up and eventually earns the respect of the rough and tumble crew. About 62% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes like the adventure movie, compared to 76% of audiences.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

7. Island in the Sky (1953)
> Combined score: 2.13 — #3,919 highest out of 17,179 movies in all genres
> Genres: Adventure, Drama
> Starring: John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel, James Arness

When Wayne was not appearing in a Western, there was a good chance he was portraying a military man. In 1953’s “Island in the Sky,” Wayne played Captain Dooley, who crashes his plane in a remote part of Canada while delivering supplies to England during World War II. There, Dooley must keep his wits and help his crew survive frigid temperatures in uncharted territory as they await rescue.

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

8. Back to Bataan (1945)
> Combined score: 2.11 — #4,031 highest out of 17,179 movies in all genres
> Genres: Drama, War
> Starring: John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, Beulah Bondi, Fely Franquelli

In “Back to Bataan,” Wayne plays an army colonel, who organizes guerilla fighters against Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. About 80% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes have given the Wayne war movie a positive review, compared to 63% of audiences.

Source: Courtesy of Republic Pictures

9. Flying Tigers (1942)
> Combined score: 2.05 — #4,392 highest out of 17,179 movies in all genres
> Genres: Action, Drama, Romance
> Starring: John Wayne, John Carroll, Anna Lee, Paul Kelly

“Flying Tigers” tells the story of American mercenary fighter pilots who work on behalf of the Chinese government, flying missions against the encroaching Japanese military just ahead of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Wayne plays Captain Jim Gordon, who commands the Flying Tiger unit. He must keep the unit together, even when a reckless pilot threatens to tear the Tigers apart. The film was generally well reviewed and received three Academy Award nominations.

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

10. Flying Leathernecks (1951)
> Combined score: 2.05 — #4,434 highest out of 17,179 movies in all genres
> Genres: Action, Drama, War
> Starring: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor, Janis Carter

Wayne portrays yet another World War II pilot in “Flying Leathernecks.” In it, Wayne plays the stern Maj. Daniel Kirby, who must instill discipline into the squadron he commands ahead of the Battle of Guadalcanal.