Celebrate John Wayne’s Centennial Birthday with These Top 15 Movies

John Wayne CentennialMay 26th marks the centennial birthday of one of the most prominent actors of the 20th century.  He inspired a generation as an action hero — Marion Morrison aka John Wayne.    

John Wayne was the largest action hero in Hollywood for most of the 20th century and an inspiration for the “Greatest Generation.”  He was an American icon whose movies were about good overcoming evil, while always getting the girl.  A bit of a clique, John Wayne’s movies help American lose themselves when the United States was in a pitch battle with the  Soviet Union during the Cold War.  John Wayne reminded Americans why this country is great and what it is to be a patriot.

My love for the Duke started as a young boy sitting and watching movie after movie each Saturday.  I can only thank one man for opening the world of the Duke to me, my ailing father.  Now in my mid-thirties, I still enjoy taking a few hours out of a day to watch any of my favorite Duke movies.

To help celebrate the centennial birthday, several events are taking place at John Wayne’s birth place, Winterset Iowa.  Starting on May 25th-27th a plethora of events will be occurring:

  • Chuckwagon Supper Friday at the Birthplace
  • Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new John Wayne Museum
  • Old-Fashioned Hometown Parade
  • Michael Martin Murphey Horseback Spectacular Concerts
  • John Wayne Birthday Wild West ReviewJohn Wayne
  • Riders in the Sky concert
  • Horse Clinician Sam Powell
  • Cowboy Symposiums
  • Free John Wayne movies on the silver screen

If you can not make it to Winterset, Iowa, you can also find other events throughout this year celebrating the Duke’s birthday at his adopted home town of Newport Beach, CA.  I also recommend picking up his book John Wayne: American if you would like to know more about this screen legend.

To mark the occasion, I have come up with my favorite 15 Duke movies.  Please feel free to pick, debate or agree with my list.  Once you have done that, let me know your Top 15 and why.

 My Top 15 John Wayne Movies

  1. The Searchers
  2. The Quiet man
  3. Fort Apache
  4. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
  5. Horse Soldiers
  6. Hondo
  7. McLintock
  8. In Harm’s Way
  9. The High and Mighty (tied with) Island in the Sky
  10. Donvan’s Reef
  11. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  12. Rio Bravo
  13. Operation Pacific
  14. North to Alaska
  15. The Longest Day

7 responses to “Celebrate John Wayne’s Centennial Birthday with These Top 15 Movies

  1. I whole heartedly agree with you when you say John Wayne was a Hollywood Hero. This was also instilled in me when I was very young by my father. My father would always talk about John Wayne and all his successes, and his heroic way of battling wrong to make right. John was a man to look up to. Infact on my way into work this morning, I listened to John Wayne on the radio. If I’m listening to the C’ville country station at 5:30 am, I make it a point to listen for John Wayne. Each morning at 5:30 am they play a recording of John reciting the “Pledge of allegiance”. He says it with such conviction and patriotism, and I enjoy hearing it again and again.
    My favorite movies are most of the ones you already mentioned and also including the following;
    The Sons of Katie Elder
    The Shootist
    The Cowboys
    The last two John died in the movies. He was in 173 movies and those are the only two I have ever seen him die in. But I have not seen alla 173 movies.
    My most favorites are
    The Quiet Man and the Mclintock movies.
    I also enjoyed Fort Apache because it was filmed in Simi Valley where I spent some of my growing up years.
    I guess I could say alot more about John Wayne, but I would just be rambling. So to sum it up, he is a hero to look up to, and I do.

  2. He dies in the Cowboys too…

  3. You’ve heard the expression “a man’s man.” Well John Wayne’s a patriot’s patriot.

    I love his CD — America, Why I Love her. If you every have doubts about America or you just need a little inspiration, check it out:


    I listened to it several times after 9/11.

    My favorite John Wayne movies are:
    1. The Quiet Man
    2. McLintock
    3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

  4. There will never be another John Wayne. He was the greatest and no matter what generation watches his movies, most of them have a great statue of a man to look up to. Our favorite John Wayne movies are:

    1. Rio Bravo

    2. El Dorado

    Love all his movies, and have most of them, but we always watch those two the most.

  5. Gloria – Nice picks. I am quite fond of Rio Bravo too…I guess seeing Deano and the Duke together is something special.

  6. Gloria – Nice picks. I am quite fond of Rio Bravo too…I guess seeing Deano and the Duke together is something special.

  7. Pingback: Entertainment » Celebrate John Wayne’s Centennial Birthday with These Top 15 Movies …

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