THE THROWDOWN : Clint Eastwood vs. John Wayne

Wednesday is throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects and pit them against each other and see who’s left standing. Each Wednesday we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres. scenes, and so much more and see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each week for a new throwdown. Vote each week to decide the true winner!

Clint Eastwood and John Wayne are two of the most recognizable names in cinema. In this week’s Throwdown we are looking at the westerns from these two movie icons. Both actors made many films from other genres including war pictures and crime thrillers. But this is all about the westerns. It’s Clint Eastwood versus John Wayne in a western shootout and your votes will decide who comes out on top.

Western Throwdown: Clint Eastwood vs. John Wayne

Clint Eastwood will always be remembered as one of cinema’s top tough guys and that was always evident in his westerns. Eastwood westerns were known for their grittier and often times more violent look at the period. Perhaps his greatest westerns were under the direction of Sergio Leone. His three spaghetti westerns “A Fistful of Dollars”, For a Few Dollars More”, and “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly” are some of my favorites of all time. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to star in more great westerns such as “Two Mules for Sister Sara”, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”, “High Plains Drifter”, and “Pale Rider” to name a few. Then in 1992 he directed and starred in “Unforgiven”, a movie that won him the Best Director Oscar. Clint has earned his place as a top actor in the Western genre and for my money his westerns are simply the best.

John Wayne is most certainly a movie icon. His appeal has made him a favorite of western fans from several different generations and even today many will call him their favorite actor. Wayne made a wide variety of western pictures. Some were comedic, some featured him as an unscrupulous sort, and others put him in the Cavalry Wayne really took off after starring in the great John Ford classic “Stagecoach”. He would later team up with Ford again to star in his fantastic Cavalry trilogy, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”, “Fort Apache”, and “Rio Grande”. He would go on to star in to many westerns to name but including “Red River”, “The Searchers”, “Hondo”, “Rio Bravo”, “McLintock!”, “El Dorado”, and “True Grit” – the movie that earned him his only Oscar. John Wayne’s name will always be connected to the western genre and calling him a legend is certainly fitting.

Now it’s in your hands. Both Clint Eastwood and John Wayne have made some tremendous westerns, each with their own unique style. It’s time to vote and to see who will come out of top!

14 thoughts on “THE THROWDOWN : Clint Eastwood vs. John Wayne

  1. I’m not a big fan of westerns and have to admit I never saw any John Wayne westerns, but seeing pictures of John Wayne I always thought he just doesn’t seem as tough compared to Clint Eastwood. Having seen a couple of Eastwood westerns I picked him.

    • To be perfectly honest, I’m not the biggest Wayne fan. I mean he’s made some good movies and is without a doubt an American movie legend. But my vote is for Clint as well.

  2. Do you actually think Eastwood’s best work were his spaghetti westerns? Don’t tell Clint. I think he would take strong exception to that.

    Clint is an excellent director and has grown enormously as an actor. Even though both John Wayne and Clint Eastwood starred in westerns, their careers were completely different. Eastwood is and has been more a director than actor for decades. Wayne was a movie star through and through.

    It isn’t a meaningful comparison. A more realistic comparison might be Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford, each of whom has substantial directorial credits to go with his acting resume. But then again, you think Eastwood hit his peak under the direction of Sergio Leone. It’s hard for me to get past that.

    A quick note: *Cavalry* soldiers ride horses into battle. Jesus died on *Calvary*. You might want to fix that typo.

    • Interesting critique especially considering that I never called Clint’s westerns his best work. I said his best WESTERNS (to me) was his work with Sergio Leone. I hate that you can’t get past something I never said.

      This wasn’t a directors Throwdown. This wasn’t an overall career Throwdown. All this was expressed in my post. This was about their WESTERNS, nothing else. Clint made many westerns and many people have very high opinions of those pictures. Again, this was all clarified in my post. Putting Clint against Robert Redford in a western Throwdown would be pretty lame.

      And Cavalry was corrected for those who actually thought I was referring to Biblical films (a small number I’m sure).

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