I've seen plenty of John Wayne movies, believe me. The old man is obsessed with them, and he and I have had this very same argument many times over.
Sergio Leone, Lee Van Cleef, and Clint Eastwood all the way. Sure, John Wayne plays a good tough guy in all of his movies, and they're by no means bad. But Leone's directing style is half of the reason why I'd put The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly as the best ever.
I can't even think of the name of any of the directors of Wayne's movies, nor does the style of any of his westerns particularly stand out to me.
Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, Duck, You Sucker! , The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Once Upon A Time In The West... all classics.