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Best Henry Fonda movies, according to data


Twentieth Century Fox

Best Henry Fonda movies, according to data

When Henry Fonda died in 1982, The New York Times called him “one of the most celebrated and enduring American performers,” an epitaph the actor more than deserved.

Born in Nebraska in 1905, Fonda began acting at the age of 20, but his big breakthrough didn’t come until 1934 when he won a role in the Broadway show “The Farmer Takes a Wife.” Over the next five decades, he would appear in more than 100 roles on stage and in films. Some of his more memorable performances were in movies like “12 Angry Men,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “The Ox-Bow Incident,” though he appeared in projects of all genres, from Westerns to comedies to psychological thrillers, crime dramas, and war movies.

Here, Stacker has compiled a list of Fonda’s 50 best movies. To do so, we tallied all of his feature films and ranked the top 50 by IMDb user rating, with ties broken by votes. Cameos were not included. From lesser-known projects like “The Mad Miss Manton” to Academy Award winners like “On Golden Pond,” read on to see where your favorite projects with Fonda fall on our list.

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Walter Wanger Productions

#50. The Moon’s Our Home (1936)

– Director: William A. Seiter
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 80 minutes

In “The Moon’s Our Home,” Anthony Amberton (Fonda) and Cherry Chester (Margaret Sullavan) meet by chance in New York City and get married on a whim. However, their marriage starts to fall apart during their honeymoon when they both discover the other is famous. The film is based on the 1936 Faith Baldwin novel of the same name.



Twentieth Century Fox

#49. Rings on Her Fingers (1942)

– Director: Rouben Mamoulian
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 86 minutes

Variety called “Rings on Her Fingers,” a movie about a family of swindlers that mistake Fonda’s character for a wealthy businessman and ideal target, “a vacuous story that gets no assistance on the directing end … a lightweight film that tumbles and stumbles along in boresome fashion to emerge as misfit entertainment.” The outlet’s negative stance on the lighthearted rom-com may have had something to do with how racy it was; the Production Code Administration insisted at least half a dozen elements be changed before the movie earned its stamp of approval.



Twentieth Century Fox

#48. Immortal Sergeant (1943)

– Director: John M. Stahl
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 91 minutes

Just before production began on “Immortal Sergeant,” Fonda enrolled in the Navy, making it the last film he’d work on until the end of World War II. Set in the North African desert during the war, the movie follows a soldier (Fonda) as he reminisces on the girl he left behind and worries over his lack of leadership abilities.



United Archives // Getty Images

#47. The Male Animal (1942)

– Director: Elliott Nugent
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 101 minutes

In “The Male Animal,” Fonda plays a college professor fighting against censorship and for the affection of his wife, who’s being wooed by a football player. The New York Times raved about the “charming” film, specifically praising the way it played with the “brains over brawn” trope.



The Return of Frank James (1940)

#46. The Return of Frank James (1940)

– Director: Fritz Lang
– IMDb user rating: 6.6
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 92 minutes

The sequel to “Jesse James,” “The Return of Frank James” follows Frank (Fonda) as he attempts to avenge his cowboy brother’s death. The movie is regarded as wildly historically inaccurate, despite the fact that 20th Century Fox had purchased the rights to both brothers’ lives.

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Paramount Pictures

#45. Spawn of the North (1938)

– Director: Henry Hathaway
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 110 minutes

One of the most commercially successful films of Fonda’s early career, “Spawn of the North” is an adventure film about two Alaskan fishermen who go from friends to rivals. Its special effects, which won an Academy Award, helped draw in huge audiences, as did its star-studded cast, which included the likes of George Raft, John Barrymore, and Akim Tamiroff.



Vintage Images // Getty Images

#44. Let Us Live (1939)

– Director: John Brahm
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 68 minutes

“Let Us Live,” a story about two men convicted and sentenced to death for a crime they didn’t commit, is reportedly based on a real-life case that took place in Massachusetts. According to IMDb, the state was unhappy with the way the movie portrayed its legal system and pressured the studio into trimming down the script, budget, publicity, and runtime, considerably.



RKO Radio Pictures

#43. The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

– Director: Leigh Jason
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 80 minutes

In this screwball comedy, a young socialite gets wrapped up in a murder investigation after the body she found mysteriously disappears. Barbara Stanwyck stars as the daffy upper-cruster alongside Fonda, who plays newspaper editor and assistant investigator Peter Ames. Katharine Hepburn reportedly was offered but turned down the lead role of Melsa Manton.



ABC Pictures

#42. Too Late the Hero (1970)

– Director: Robert Aldrich
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 145 minutes

Fonda has only a minor role in this 1970 war film. His scenes as Capt. John G. Nolan take place in the first few minutes of the film when he assigns Lt. Sam Lawson (Cliff Robertson) to the British unit that will wind up taking him behind enemy lines in World War II. Along with Roberston, Michael Caine, Ian Bannen, and Harry Andrews also star.



Ponti-De Laurentiis Cinematografica

#41. War and Peace (1956)

– Director: King Vidor
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 208 minutes

In this extremely truncated version of Leo Tolstoy’s famous novel, a 50-year-old Fonda plays the 20-year-old character Pierre alongside Audrey Hepburn’s Natasha and Mel Ferrer’s Andrei. The critically acclaimed movie was nominated for several Academy Awards and Golden Globes and reportedly cost between $6–7 million to make, an exorbitant sum for film production at that time.

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Michael Ochs Archives // Getty Images

#40. Midway (1976)

– Director: Jack Smight
– IMDb user rating: 6.7
– Metascore: 48
– Runtime: 132 minutes

A huge summer blockbuster, “Midway” is a dramatized retelling of the real-life Battle of Midway, a turning point in World War II. Starring Fonda alongside Charlton Heston, Glenn Ford, and Robert Mitchum, the movie repurposed many of its battle scenes from previous movies like “Away All Boats,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” and  “Tora! Tora! Tora!”



Twentieth Century Fox

#39. The Magnificent Dope (1942)

– Director: Walter Lang
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 83 minutes

When a contest run by a self-improvement course identifies Thad Page (Fonda) as the “biggest loser in the country,” the laid-back northerner reluctantly heads to New York to claim his prize. There, he falls in love with a woman named Claire (Lynn Bari) and considers abandoning his lazy lifestyle in an effort to win her heart. One of the film’s working titles during production was “The Magnificent Jerk,” but it was changed after the Hays Office (a common nom de plume for the Production Code Administration) objected.



John Springer Collection // Getty Images

#38. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)

– Director: Henry Hathaway
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 102 minutes

Based on the novel of the same name by John Fox Jr., “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” was one of Fonda’s earliest films. A sort of Romeo and Juliet story set in the wild West, the movie was the first Technicolor film to be shot on location.



Twentieth Century Fox

#37. Daisy Kenyon (1947)

– Director: Otto Preminger
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 99 minutes

Another film based on a novel, “Daisy Kenyon” brought the bestselling story of a woman trapped between her married lover and a charming war veteran to the big screen. Joan Crawford stars as the eponymous Daisy, with Fonda playing the WWII vet Peter Lapham, and Dana Andrews the married commercial executive.



Warner Bros./Seven Arts

#36. Firecreek (1968)

– Director: Vincent McEveety
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: 65
– Runtime: 104 minutes

“Firecreek” marks a rare occurrence of Fonda playing the antagonist in a movie. In the Jimmy Stewart Western, Fonda is the leader of a band of outlaws whose appearance in town forces the apathetic sheriff (Stewart) to finally take some action and rid his town of the depraved criminals.

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Bavaria Atelier

#35. Fedora (1978)

– Director: Billy Wilder
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 114 minutes

Shot near the end of his career, Fonda has only a minor role in this Billy Wilder drama. “Fedora” begins with the death of a reclusive film star (Marthe Keller), then follows a film producer (William Holden) as he considers the role he may have played in her untimely demise.



National General Pictures // Getty Images

#34. The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)

– Director: Gene Kelly
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 103 minutes

Jimmy Stweart and Fonda team up once again in this comedy Western about two cowboys who work to turn the brothel they inherited into a respectable boarding house. Despite not being a commercial success when it was released, “The Cheyenne Social Club,” which also stars Shirley Jones, has since become something of a cult classic among Western fans.



United Archives // Getty Images

#33. Battle of the Bulge (1965)

– Director: Ken Annakin
– IMDb user rating: 6.8
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 167 minutes

This drama about Nazi Germany’s last attack on the Western Front is so historically inaccurate that President Dwight Eisenhower publicly denounced the film. A conglomeration of instances that took place over a month-long skirmish, the movie ends, as history did, with the Germans in retreat.



Universal Pictures

#32. Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)

– Director: Paul Newman
– IMDb user rating: 6.9
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 114 minutes

Directed by Paul Newman, “Sometimes a Great Notion” follows a family of independent loggers in Oregon as they deal with a union strike in this small-town drama. Fonda plays the Stamper family patriarch, with Newman and Michael Sarrazin as his sons and Lee Remick as his wife. It is based on the Ken Kesey novel of the same name.



United Archives // Getty Images

#31. There Was a Crooked Man… (1970)

– Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
– IMDb user rating: 6.9
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 126 minutes

The bulk of the action in “There Was a Crooked Man…” follows a criminal who attempts to convince his fellow inmates to break out of prison with him and share in the gold he has hidden away. Fonda plays the sheriff and warden, a man who treats the prisoners fairly and ultimately absconds with the hidden loot (after all the villains are dead, of course).

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Cosmopolitan Productions

#30. The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (1939)

– Director: Irving Cummings
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 98 minutes

A biographical drama about Alexander Graham Bell, this 1939 movie follows the inventor’s trajectory from laughed-at nobody to the 19th century’s most acclaimed scientist. While the events in the film are slightly fictionalized, Bell’s daughter, Mrs. Gilbert Grosvenor, had final approval over the script before production began. Fonda plays Bell’s assistant Thomas Watson (who hears the first words ever spoken over the telephone), with Don Ameche starring as Bell, and Loretta Young as Bell’s wife, Mabel.



Warner Bros.

#29. Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

– Director: Delmer Daves
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 118 minutes

Widely regarded as a precursor to the TV series “The Waltons” (both were based on the same semi-autobiographical book by Earl Hammer Jr.), “Spencer’s Mountain” follows a poor family in rural Wyoming who work together to forge a better future for themselves and their children. While the film, which sees Fonda as the patriarch Clay Spencer, was criticized for being too wholesome; it actually wound up feeling downright rough around the edges compared to the ’70s TV show.



Twentieth Century Fox

#28. Jesse James (1939)

– Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 106 minutes

After a railroad representative kills their mother, Frank and Jesse James exact revenge and begin a life as outlaws. Tyrone Power shines as Jesse, with Fonda playing his brother, Frank. The movie bears little similarity to real-life events but was a hit with audiences nonetheless. Fonda came back to the role of Frank in 1940’s “The Return of Frank James.”



Twentieth Century Fox

#27. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

– Director: John Ford
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 104 minutes

Set during the American Revolution, “Drums Along the Mohawk” stars Fonda and Claudette Colbert as a couple who set out to settle the New York frontier, enduring British and Native American attacks along the way. An early treatment of the script was allegedly written by William Faulkner, and the final version of the film was a huge box office smash. The film also marked acclaimed director John Ford’s first use of Technicolor.



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#26. How the West Was Won (1962)

– Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe
– IMDb user rating: 7.0
– Metascore: 56
– Runtime: 164 minutes

“How the West Was Won” is a sweeping family saga that covers decades of one family’s history and involvement in western expansion. Nominated for eight Academy Awards (and winner of three), the movie has a massive, all-star cast that includes Fonda, Gregory Peck, Debbie Reynolds, John Wayne, and Spencer Tracy.

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United Archives // Getty Images

#25. Warlock (1959)

– Director: Edward Dmytryk
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 121 minutes

Yet another Western, “Warlock” sees Fonda playing a morally ambiguous sheriff named Clay Blaisdell, whose methods of protecting his town are best described as questionable. The New York Times described Fonda’s performance as “excellent—melancholy, laconic, and assured.”



Desilu Productions

#24. Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)

– Director: Melville Shavelson
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 111 minutes

In this classic family comedy, Fonda stars alongside Lucille Ball as the patriarch of a chaotically massive blended bunch—he has 10 kids, she has eight, and the pair are welcoming one more together. Believe it or not, the movie, which was produced by Desilu Productions, is based on the real-life story of the Beardsley family, who chronicled their experiences in the book “Who Gets the Drumsticks?



Twentieth Century Fox

#23. The Boston Strangler (1968)

– Director: Richard Fleischer
– IMDb user rating: 7.1
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 116 minutes

From sweet family picture to grisly crime drama, Fonda also released “The Boston Strangler” in 1968. The movie tells the story of Albert DeSalvo, the real-life Boston Strangler, and the detective (Fonda) who obtained his confession. While the movie itself was a hit, some critics questioned the morality of the film’s content, especially considering it had been made so close to when the real-life murders took place.



Otto Preminger Films

#22. In Harm’s Way (1965)

– Director: Otto Preminger
– IMDb user rating: 7.2
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 165 minutes

Notable for being one of the last WWII epics shot in black and white, “In Harm’s Way” follows a Naval officer through the first year of U.S. involvement in the global conflict. The primary stars in this Academy Award-nominated movie are John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and Patricia Neal, though Fonda does have a sizable part as the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet.



Twentieth Century Fox

#21. Tales of Manhattan (1942)

– Director: Julien Duvivier
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 118 minutes

In all, 10 writers worked together to craft the five stories that make up the anthology film “Tales of Manhattan.” The various episodes are all connected by a cursed black tailcoat that travels from owner to owner throughout the borough. A number of the day’s biggest names, including Rita Hayworth, Ginger Rogers, and Charles Boyer, star alongside Fonda.

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Eden Productions Inc.

#20. A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

– Director: Fielder Cook
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 95 minutes

A traveling cowboy (Fonda) gets wrapped up in a high-stakes poker game, and chaos ensues when his wife (Joanne Woodward) is forced to step in for him after he collapses mid-hand in this comedy Western. Upon release, the film was heralded for making a poker game as interesting and suspenseful as a shootout.



Perlberg-Seaton Productions

#19. The Tin Star (1957)

– Director: Anthony Mann
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 93 minutes

Hailed as a classic Western, “The Tin Star” casts Fonda as an experienced bounty hunter who helps a town’s young new sheriff (Anthony Perkins) find his footing. Despite being a low-budget production, the movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.



Walter Wanger Productions

#18. You Only Live Once (1937)

– Director: Fritz Lang
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 86 minutes

Considered an early example of film noir, “You Only Live Once” is a dark and graphic crime drama. It tells the story of Eddie Taylor (Fonda), a reformed convict who, finding himself framed for a crime he didn’t commit, goes on the lam with his wife (Sylvia Sidney) and newborn child.



Rafran Cinematografica

#17. My Name Is Nobody (1973)

– Director: Tonino Valerii
– IMDb user rating: 7.3
– Metascore: 68
– Runtime: 116 minutes

In this spaghetti Western, Fonda plays an aging gunslinger who, on the eve of his retirement to Europe, is coerced into fighting the Wild Bunch gang by a mysterious loner named Nobody (Terence Hill). According to IMDb, “My Name Is Nobody” marked Fonda’s final Western movie.



Warner Bros.

#16. Jezebel (1938)

– Director: William Wyler
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 104 minutes

One of Fonda’s first big hits, “Jezebel” is about a southern debutante (Bette Davis) whose hard-headed nature causes her to lose her fiancé (Fonda). After he leaves her and appears to have moved on with a new woman, she vows to do whatever it takes to get him back. According to Turner Classic Movies, the production of the movie was complicated by the birth of Fonda’s daughter, Jane, and his subsequent temporary absence from the set.

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Argosy Pictures

#15. Fort Apache (1948)

– Director: John Ford
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 128 minutes

A cocky, glory-hungry lieutenant (Fonda) is placed in command of the troops at Fort Apache and loses the lives of many of his soldiers when he fails to heed the advice of the more experienced Capt. Kirby York (John Wayne). “Fort Apache,” which also starred Shirley Temple, was the last movie Fonda would make for seven years, until 1955, as he switched his focus to the theater instead.



Warner Bros.

#14. The Wrong Man (1956)

– Director: Alfred Hitchcock
– IMDb user rating: 7.4
– Metascore: 83
– Runtime: 105 minutes

Based on real-life events, “The Wrong Man” is about a family man and musician who gets mistaken for a criminal and struggles to deal with the fallout. Alfred Hitchcock directs (and makes a brief on-screen cameo), Fonda plays the wrongly accused Manny Ballestero, and frequent Hitchcock collaborator Vera Miles plays his devastated wife, Rose.



Cosmopolitan Productions

#13. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

– Director: John Ford
– IMDb user rating: 7.5
– Metascore: 91
– Runtime: 100 minutes

Considered one of the best performances of Fonda’s career, “Young Mr. Lincoln” is a biopic that focuses on the early career of Abraham Lincoln. The movie, which marks the first time Fonda collaborated with John Ford, sees Lincoln as a young lawyer arguing an incendiary murder case and pondering a move into politics.



Millar/Turman Productions

#12. The Best Man (1964)

– Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 102 minutes

Based on a play by Gore Vidal (who also wrote the screenplay), “The Best Man” is a political drama that looks at the unscrupulous manner in which political candidates vie for endorsements and run their campaigns. Here, Fonda plays former Secretary of State William Russell, who is running against a senator (Cliff Robertson) to be the Democratic presidential candidate. Both men have skeletons in their closets they must overcome if they wish to have a shot at the nation’s highest office.



Orange Productions

#11. Mister Roberts (1955)

– Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Metascore: 72
– Runtime: 123 minutes

“Mister Roberts” marked Fonda’s return to film after a seven-year break to focus on his stage career. The Academy Award-winning film sees him reprising the role of Lieutenant Roberts (which he originated on Broadway), a fed-up commander who frequently butts heads with his ship’s overbearing captain.

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IPC Films

#10. On Golden Pond (1981)

– Director: Mark Rydell
– IMDb user rating: 7.6
– Metascore: 68
– Runtime: 109 minutes

“On Golden Pond” is a significant movie in Fonda’s oeuvre for many reasons: It was his final film, as he would die a year later in 1982; it earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor; and it marked the only time he’d work with his daughter, Jane Fonda. Henry played Norman, an old, curmudgeonly man who shares a strained relationship with his daughter (Jane), but agrees to watch her boyfriend’s child for the summer so that the young couple can traipse around Europe. The heartwarming film also stars Katharine Hepburn as Henry’s wife, Ethel.



Otto Preminger Films

#9. Advise & Consent (1962)

– Director: Otto Preminger
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 139 minutes

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, “Advise & Consent” is about a dying president who is willing to go to great lengths to get his preferred candidate approved for secretary of state. Fonda plays the secretary of state nominee in question, who, ultimately, commits perjury to get ahead.



Paramount Pictures

#8. The Lady Eve (1941)

– Director: Preston Sturges
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: 96
– Runtime: 94 minutes

Described as “one of the all-time great screwballs,” “The Lady Eve” features Barbara Stanwyck as a card shark who sets out to con a wealthy but nerdy bachelor (Fonda), only to find she’s actually fallen in love with him. In the last two decades, the movie has made it on a number of lists as one of the greatest films of all time.



Twentieth Century Fox

#7. My Darling Clementine (1946)

– Director: John Ford
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 97 minutes

Aside from “Young Mr. Lincoln,” “My Darling Clementine” is the only other time Fonda played a real-life historical figure on screen. In this Western, Fonda takes on the role of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp in the lead up to the shootout at the O.K. Corral.



Darryl F. Zanuck Productions

#6. The Longest Day (1962)

– Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck
– IMDb user rating: 7.7
– Metascore: 75
– Runtime: 178 minutes

This epic war drama tells the story of the D-Day landings in Normandy through the eyes of men on both sides of the conflict. The film, which comes in at nearly three hours in length, had a massive ensemble cast that, aside from Fonda, includes the likes of John Wayne, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, and Paul Anka. The film took home Oscars for cinematography and special effects.

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Columbia Pictures

#5. Fail Safe (1964)

– Director: Sidney Lumet
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Metascore: 75
– Runtime: 112 minutes

A technical mistake sends American planes to bomb Moscow in this Cold War thriller. Here, Fonda plays the president of the United States, who desperately works to abort the order and avoid an all-out nuclear war. The film was released to a mixed critical reception, with Variety opining that “Fail Safe deserves to be seen,” and Newsweek concluding that, aside from Fonda, “Everybody else is hopeless or helpless. There is nothing in the script … to hint to anyone how to behave, how to think, how to be.”



Twentieth Century Fox

#4. The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)

– Director: William A. Wellman
– IMDb user rating: 8.0
– Metascore: data not available
– Runtime: 75 minutes

A truly blood-chilling Western about the detriments of mob justice, “The Ox-Bow Incident” follows two loner cowboys (Fonda and Dana Andrews) caught up in a vengeful posse’s hunt to find the suspected murderers of a local rancher. The movie was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar at the Academy Awards but lost to “Casablanca.”



Twentieth Century Fox

#3. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

– Director: John Ford
– IMDb user rating: 8.1
– Metascore: 96
– Runtime: 129 minutes

The first film adaptation of John Steinbeck’s great American novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” follows the Joad family as they leave their Dust Bowl-ravaged home behind and strike out to California in hopes of better fortunes. Fonda plays the main character, Tom Joad, and his portrayal earned him an Academy Award nomination.



Rafran Cinematografica

#2. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

– Director: Sergio Leone
– IMDb user rating: 8.5
– Metascore: 80
– Runtime: 165 minutes

Running almost three hours in length, this epic spaghetti Western, about a mail-order bride who enlists two mysterious strangers to protect her from a villainous cattleman, packs a lot of story into its runtime. Fonda steps away from his typical good guy role and plays the antagonist, a ruthless killer known only as “Frank.”



Orion-Nova Productions

#1. 12 Angry Men (1957)

– Director: Sidney Lumet
– IMDb user rating: 9.0
– Metascore: 96
– Runtime: 96 minutes

Fonda not only starred in but also produced his best film, “12 Angry Men.” The iconic courtroom drama is about a group of jurors who must decide the fate of a Puerto Rican teenager accused of murdering his father. Fonda plays the lone dissenting juror on whose skepticism the film’s narrative revolves. The actor won a BAFTA Award for his work, and the film also earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

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