BEST HENRY FONDA MOVIES
“Jezebel” (1938) Sort of a “Gone With the Wind” without the same exact characters, this well-regarded drama casts Bette Davis as a willful Southern belle who wants to retrieve the man she let get away (Fonda).
“Young Mr. Lincoln” (1939) Among the Fonda titles included in Turner Classic Movies’ “Summer Under the Stars” opening-day salute to him Thursday, Aug. 1, this John Ford-directed view of the young Abraham Lincoln did much to advance the star’s profile.
“The Grapes of Wrath” (1940) A milestone in American movies, director John Ford’s version of the John Steinbeck novel hinges largely on Fonda’s moving portrayal of Tom Joad, the next generation of a Depression-era migrant family.
“My Darling Clementine” (1946) Stories of the Old West continued to hold appeal for Fonda as he teamed yet again with director John Ford by playing Wyatt Earp, who becomes a lawman in his quest to find those responsible for the death of one of his brothers.
“The Fugitive” (1947) John Ford once again was the principal director for Fonda in novelist Graham Greene’s melodrama about a priest on the run because of conflicting religious beliefs in a Mexican town.
“Fort Apache” (1948) John Ford called the shots for Fonda again – as well as for John Wayne, Shirley Temple and others – in this signature Western about opposition between the commanding officers at a military outpost.
“Mister Roberts” (1955) Fonda re-created his Broadway performance in the title role as a Navy officer having his own war with his ship’s captain (James Cagney) while stationed in the South Pacific during World War II.
“12 Angry Men” (1957) Also serving as producer, Fonda mounted a classic by turning a television play into a movie vehicle for an outstanding ensemble cast as the members of a deliberating jury in a murder trial.
“Spencer’s Mountain” (1963) The inspiration for television’s “The Waltons,” this affecting drama casts Fonda as the patriarch of a close-knit mountain family.
“The Best Man” (1964) Gore Vidal’s play made a fine screen vehicle for Fonda and Cliff Robertson as highly dissimilar rivals for a political party’s presidential nomination during a very eventful convention.
“Yours, Mine and Ours” (1968) Fonda is pleasingly comfortable in the fact-inspired comedy about a widow (played by Lucille Ball) and a widower who marry and merge their big broods of children, much to the kids’ displeasure.
“Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968) A notably vicious Fonda, playing a hired killer in the Old West, was a highlight of “Spaghetti Western” director Sergio Leone’s much-admired epic.
“On Golden Pond” (1981) The climax of Fonda’s big-screen career came with his Oscar win for this moving adaptation of Ernest Thompson’s play about a couple in their twilight years, produced by Fonda’s daughter (and co-star) Jane and also marking another Academy Award victory for Katharine Hepburn.
“Young Mr. Lincoln” “12 Angry Men”