They’re good, they’re bad, and they may be ugly, but they’re surely interesting to watch. Western movie stars are true cowboys of their generation, who epitomize the role of a protagonist. We may rarely watch purely-western themed films today but the cowboys who told and showed us the stories then will always live on. Thanks to their natural and excellent portrayal, we were able to witness glimpses of what a Western life could’ve been.
When talking about Western movie actors, what particular name instantly comes to your mind?
JOHN WAYNE = COWBOY
John Wayne personified the Western movie with his impressive body of work. His tough guy persona represented everything that a cowboy was. Wayne graced the entertainment industry for almost five decades starting from the 30s up to his retirement in the late 70s. He was a household name in America. He starred in 142 films, 83 were Westerns. All of which, he played his role well – from being a cavalryman to being a lone ranger, a cowboy and more.
John Wayne’s Best Western Movies
Stage Coach (1939)
Wayne acts as the Ringo Kid, who escaped from prison to pursue the men who mercilessly killed his brother and father. Along with his revenge plots, he helped a group of strangers riding in stagecoach traveling through the dangerous Indian country. Movie critics described the characters as “archetypal rather than merely individual,” and overall, the film is a “mythic representation of the American aspiration toward a form of politically meaningful equality.”
Stagecoach was considered Wayne’s breakthrough film. Directed by John Ford and written by Dudley Nichols, the movie has long been recognized as an important work that transcends the Western genre.
The Searchers (1956)
Ethan Edwards, played by Wayne, set off on a seven-year search for his niece who was kidnaped by Comanches. This is a more serious John Ford movie. The tone pervaded the cast and crew. Wayne may have played his meanest character but his aura still appealed to the viewers and appreciated by movie experts.
Rio Bravo (1959)
Behind the disagreeable comments from reviewers, The British Film IInstitute ranked Rio Bravo as one of the best films ever made. The plot’s conflict started when a sheriff of the town of Rio Bravo, Texas, who arrested the brother of a powerful local rancher. The arrest led to the exchange of fists and gun fights. In the end, the commoners held the victory against the rancher’s gang.
These three mentioned films were just among the impressive movies starred and produced by John Wayne. And though he passed away, his works will continue to relive the classic Western culture.
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John Wayne, Rio Bravo, Stage Coach, The Searchers