QotW: John Wayne Or Clint Eastwood?

I recently watched John Wayne’s last movie, The Shootist, and I noticed the overall tone of it was quite a bit different from his other westerns. It seemed grittier, more final, less…romp-like…if that makes any sense. Clint Eastwood’s last western, Unforgiven, is another favorite of mine. It also features a more gritty atmosphere. The fact that these Hollywood legends’ final western movies struck similar tones, in my opinion at least, got me thinking about which one was a better western icon. Clint Eastwood made his splash in westerns as the dangerous man of few words that was quick with a gun. His schemes for getting his hands on bags of gold, coupled with his unique brand of morality, made for some very entertaining movies. However, my money is on John Wayne. He was the archetype of a larger-than-life western figure, always willing to defend the weak while putting ne’er do-wells in their place. Movies like The Searchers, True Grit, Rooster Cogburn and the Lady, and Red River showed off his ability to play a western character with more nuance and complexity. So, what do you think?

QotW: Who was a better western star, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood?

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2 Responses to “QotW: John Wayne Or Clint Eastwood?

  • My “vote” is for John Wayne. Overall, I think he played more realistic, relatable characters.

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    • I agree! Even though Clint played some entertaining characters, they usually seemed to be more unrealistic than John Wayne’s.

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