We’re to update this details article together yet one more contender because that the movies in which man Wayne passed away has come to our attention, meaning there are now 14 movies in which negative old duke meets his maker.

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These films autumn into two categories: those in i m sorry we watch John Wayne’s character actually die on screen, and those in i m sorry his personality has already passed away, or there’s part ambivalence about his fate. 

Let’s attend to this latter group first.

Hold top top to her ten-gallon hat and also grab the saddle horn with both hand – if such a point is feasible – due to the fact that we’re below to prize the inquiry “what movie did john Wayne die in and also how”.

The Deceiver (1931)

I need to admit ns not acquainted with this particular film, mainly due to the fact that I’ve yet to take it a closer look in ~ Duke’s 1930s oeuvre in detail, something ns am looking to correct in the near future. Apparently, the character played by Ian Keith dies, after which his corpse morphs into Duke.

I guess once you’re starting out on your acting career you take whatever comes along, and also why not? Kevin Costner played the corpse in The huge Chill – back his scenes ended up top top the cutting room floor.

The Sea chase (1955)

You don’t actually uncover out in ~ the finish of the film whether Duke and also Lana Turner make it after ~ JW scuttles his ship, but let’s be honest here – of course they’re walk to make it. Castle were made for each other.

It’s evident Lana lives to stroll off into the sunset with her tall lanky hero, back it’s battle each other who walk the strolling.

Ms. Turner look at so little in this film compared to JW ns wouldn’t it is in surprised if he simply put she in his pocket before gluing she to the dashboard that his car.

The male Who shoot Liberty Valance (1962)

No ambivalence here. Duke’s character, Tom Doniphon, is as stiff as a board and awaiting burial at the start of the film, maybe having passed away either the natural reasons or too much whiskey.


The movie then proceeds come tell in remind the actual story the the man who actually curtailed Liberty Valance’s job as town bully that Shinbone.

It can’t help but actors a slim pall that despondency over the film together a totality to know right native the start that JW doesn’t do it to the final reel, and to be frank this is john Ford at his most pessimistic, but seeing as this is the critical of the classic Ford / Wayne western partnership you just go v the flow.

Reach for the hankies currently as we think about in chronological stimulate the films in which duke breathes his critical onscreen.

Our thanks to Paul at jwaynefan.com for bringing the latest enhancement to this post to our attention.

Noah’s Ark (1928)

This late silent Biblical epos is the movie alluded to in ~ the start of the post for i m sorry there space no known photos of john Wayne’s figure in it, but numerous resources list JW gift employed together a stuntman for the spectacular flood sequence in ~ the end of the film.

Wayne, Andy Devine and Ward Bond, right here making his film debut, were hired as flood extras may be for their swimming skills.

Fortunately for them they appear to have actually been very great at continuing to be afloat because according come a number of film scholars, consisting of Fred Landesman, “three of the stunt swimmers lost their lives, one lost a foot and fifty percent a dozen were crippled”.

Other sources preserve that the extras to be unaware the how strong the deluge of water to reduce on them to be going come be, result in big parts that the collection collapsing on those can not to obtain out of the way.

Within the narrative of the film the extras, consisting of JW, Devine and Bond, room obviously victim of the overwhelming so it’s no too lot of a stretch to indicate that this is more than likely the earliest instance in which the doesn’t survive to the final reel.

It’s also worth discussing that not only was this the an initial time he and Andy Devine showed up in the same film, it was likewise directed by Michael Curtiz, who went ~ above to direct Duke in “The Comancheros” end thirty years later.

Hangman’s home (1928)

A silent man Ford movie indigenous 1928 in i m sorry Wayne plays two different characters.


His an initial appearance is in a flashback sequence in i m sorry hanging judge, justice O’Brien, is checked out by a hallucinatory roll call of his victims.

Wayne is viewed in profile as a condemned man around to be hung, then he is shown in close-up through a noose approximately his neck. This sequence, as with a many silent films, is an ext a collection of posed shots, or tableaux vivant together it is known.

Also, Ford was never one to relocate the camera that much anyway, yet you can certainly see that a young-looking battle each other at the end of the rope.

He pops up later on in the film, an extremely much alive, together an excitable member the the group at a equine race. In fact, he is so excitable he pulls the fence on the gyeongju course out of the ground at the orgasm of the race.

The movie is currently widely easily accessible on DVD and worth a watch.

Central airport (1933)

Not actually noted in the cast, JW plays a co-pilot that tries to save a passenger from drowning when their plane crashes in the sea.

Duke heroically litter himself right into the stormy waters ~ a whisky-swilling passenger slides turn off of the wing and also disappears in ~ the waves.


Unfortunately, it appears as despite JW has yet to learn how to swim and also he drowns in addition to the passenger. Personally, I’d have actually let the drunk guy go under top top his own.

West the the divide (1934)

In this film, a young JW appears to play dual roles, one as the an excellent guy, and one together a baddie that casts off his mortal coil in ~ the first few minutes that the film.

From 1931 onwards, ideal up till Stagecoach eight year later, Duke appeared in countless Poverty row oaters during his exile native stardom after ~ the box-office failure of The huge Trail in 1930. ~ above the face of it, West the the divide doesn’t have that much to differentiate it native the various other eight attributes he churned out in 1934 because that the Lone Star manufacturing company.


The movie starts turn off innocuously sufficient with JW, playing Ted Hayden, and his trusty side-kick Dusty, play by “Gabby” Hayes, shoot the breeze in your campsite around who can have eliminated Ted’s father year ago.

Their conversation is suddenly interrupted through a stranger showing up from out of i do not have anything on foot. That staggers in the direction of them then clutches his throat before collapsing come the ground.

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As Duke and also Dusty operation to the stranger’s aid, that utters the words “poisoned waterhole… i didn’t know”, crawls along the soil a little then expires. They search him and find a letter of arrival to the man battle each other thinks eliminated his father.