É o rosto do ideal norte-americano. Anticomunista, conservador, nacionalista, apoiou a Guerra do Vietname e proferiu declarações como esta: «I believe in white supremacy, until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people... I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from [the Native Americans]... Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves». Compreendê-lo ajuda a compreender igualmente os fundamentos da nação mais poderosa do mundo, assim como ver o legado cinematográfico que alimenta o mito: Tall in the Saddle (1944), Red River (1948), Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950), The Searchers (1956), Rio Bravo (1959), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), El Dorado (1966), True Grit (1969), The Cowboys (1972).