The Best 38 films of Henry Fonda.

by jacobyjhn-18-315763 | created - 27 Aug 2011 | updated - 24 Jan 2015 | Public

Maybe the most underrated of all actors of the golden era, quiet, shy and ernest, Henry Fonda, was, in retrospect, one of the best actors of all time, and belongs in the discussion of the best of the Hollywood film stars. Here are 38 of his best films.

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1. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 639,851 | Gross: $4.36M

2. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 14,660 | Gross: $21.20M

3. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 83,030 | Gross: $0.06M

4. The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western

When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn

Votes: 19,753 | Gross: $1.64M

5. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Passed | 100 min | Biography, Drama, History

91 Metascore

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan

Votes: 7,018

6. My Darling Clementine (1946)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Western

The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs

Votes: 20,200

7. On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | 109 min | Drama

68 Metascore

Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon

Votes: 26,209 | Gross: $119.29M

8. Fort Apache (1948)

Passed | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendáriz

Votes: 15,473

9. Fail-Safe (1964)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver, Dan O'Herlihy

Votes: 18,234

10. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

PG-13 | 165 min | Western

80 Metascore

A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards

Votes: 284,203 | Gross: $5.32M

11. The Best Man (1964)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

The 2 front runners for their party's presidential nomination, one principled and the other ruthless, vie for the former President's endorsement.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner | Stars: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams, Margaret Leighton

Votes: 2,777

12. Advise & Consent (1962)

Not Rated | 139 min | Drama, Thriller

Senate investigation into the President's newly nominated Secretary of State, gives light to a secret from the past, which may not only ruin the candidate, but the President's character as well.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Franchot Tone, Lew Ayres, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon

Votes: 6,127

13. Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

Approved | 103 min | Drama, Western

A sociopathic stranger all but destroys a small hardscrabble town but the 'mayor' convinces its survivors to stay and rebuild.

Director: Burt Kennedy | Stars: Henry Fonda, Janice Rule, Keenan Wynn, Janis Paige

Votes: 1,310

14. The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 17,969

15. Jesse James (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings | Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly, Randolph Scott

Votes: 3,753

16. The Boston Strangler (1968)

Approved | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, George Kennedy, Mike Kellin

Votes: 7,721

17. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, History, Romance

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins

Votes: 5,325 | Gross: $1.00M

18. Warlock (1959)

Passed | 121 min | Drama, Western

A famous gunman becomes the marshal of Warlock to end a gang's rampages, but is met with some opposition by a former gang member turned deputy sheriff who wants to follow only legal methods.

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone

Votes: 5,070 | Gross: $3.71M

19. Madigan (1968)

TV-14 | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In New York City's Spanish Harlem, detectives Madigan and Bonaro are given 72 hours by their superior to capture a hoodlum wanted for homicide in Brooklyn.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Harry Guardino

Votes: 3,110

20. The Male Animal (1942)

Passed | 101 min | Comedy, Romance

It's Homecoming weekend at Midwestern University, the weekend which will culminate with the big game between Midwestern and Michigan. Homecoming marks the return for the first time in six ... See full summary »

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, Joan Leslie, Jack Carson

Votes: 1,023

21. The Return of Frank James (1940)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, History, Western

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper, Henry Hull

Votes: 2,701

22. How the West Was Won (1962)

G | 164 min | Western

56 Metascore

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall, Richard Thorpe | Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda

Votes: 17,536 | Gross: $46.50M

23. The Longest Day (1962)

G | 178 min | Action, Drama, History

75 Metascore

The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Gerd Oswald, Bernhard Wicki, Darryl F. Zanuck | Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda

Votes: 50,340 | Gross: $39.10M

24. The Fugitive (1947)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, History

Anti-Catholic and anti-cleric policies in the Mexican state of Tabasco lead the revolutionary government to persecute the state's last remaining priest.

Directors: John Ford, Emilio Fernández | Stars: Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio, Pedro Armendáriz, J. Carrol Naish

Votes: 1,959

25. Jezebel (1938)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 11,256

26. There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)

R | 126 min | Comedy, Western

A charming but totally ruthless criminal is sent to a remote Arizona prison. He enlists the help of his cellmates in an escape attempt with the promise of sharing his hidden loot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn, Warren Oates

Votes: 3,778 | Gross: $0.64M

27. Midway (1976)

PG | 132 min | Action, Drama, History

48 Metascore

A dramatization of the battle that was widely heralded as a turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford

Votes: 16,846

28. Firecreek (1968)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance, Western

A peace-loving, part-time Sheriff in the small town of Firecreek must take a stand when a gang of vicious outlaws takes over his town.

Director: Vincent McEveety | Stars: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Gary Lockwood

Votes: 3,003

29. The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)

GP | 103 min | Comedy, Romance, Western

An aging cowboy finds to his embarrassment that the successful business he has inherited from his brother is actually a house of prostitution.

Director: Gene Kelly | Stars: James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Shirley Jones, Sue Ane Langdon

Votes: 3,865 | Gross: $0.11M

30. The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Approved | 80 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director: Leigh Jason | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene, Frances Mercer

Votes: 1,927

31. Gideon's Trumpet (1980 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 104 min | Biography, Drama, History

The story of Clarence Earl Gideon and his fight for the right to have publicly funded legal counsel for the needy.

Director: Robert L. Collins | Stars: Henry Fonda, José Ferrer, John Houseman, Fay Wray

Votes: 938

32. Clarence Darrow (1974 TV Movie)

81 min | Biography, Drama

The taped performance of Henry Fonda's one-man show was aired as "IBM Presents Clarence Darrow" on September 4, 1974, on NBC.

Director: John Rich | Star: Henry Fonda

Votes: 104

33. Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)

PG | 114 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggle to keep the family business alive amidst changing times.

Director: Paul Newman | Stars: Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazin

Votes: 3,336

34. A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Western

Comedy western in which a traveler bets more money than he can afford in a poker game, and unusual events follow.

Director: Fielder Cook | Stars: Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards, Paul Ford

Votes: 3,654

35. War and Peace (1956)

PG | 208 min | Drama, Romance, War

Napoleon's (Herbert Lom's) tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Mel Ferrer, Vittorio Gassman

Votes: 8,523 | Gross: $12.50M

36. Slim (1937)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Romance

A veteran lineman takes an awe-struck young farmer under his wing, but problems arise when he introduces him to his occasional girlfriend, a pretty nurse.

Director: Ray Enright | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Henry Fonda, Stuart Erwin, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 325

37. The Tin Star (1957)

Approved | 93 min | Western

A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, Betsy Palmer, Michel Ray

Votes: 4,739

38. Sex and the Single Girl (1964)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

A womanizing reporter for a sleazy tabloid magazine impersonates his hen-pecked neighbor in order to get an expose on renowned psychologist Helen Gurley Brown.

Director: Richard Quine | Stars: Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda

Votes: 3,368



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