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50 Famous Quotes from John Wayne and His Movies
John Wayne

50 Famous Quotes from John Wayne and His Movies

Famous quotes from actor John Wayne, including quotes from his top movies True Grit and The Shootist. 'Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.'

John Wayne was one of the most famous American film actors of the 20th century. He starred in 142 movies and won an Academy Award.

Wayne started his acting career by working as an extra and a prop man. He received his first leading role in 1930 -- The Big Trail -- a movie that was considered a box office dud.

For nearly ten years, Wayne played in various B movies. He didn’t enjoy much success then, but he used this time to develop his man of action persona and to choose his stage name (as his birth name was Marion Robert Morrison).

Wayne’s big break came in 1939 when Stagecoach was released. From then on, the actor was among the top box office draws for three decades. With movies such as True Grit, The Shootist, The Searchers or Rio Bravo, John Wayne remains an American film icon to this day.

To honor his work, the U.S. Congress approved a congressional gold medal for the actor and the Orange County Airport was renamed after him. In 2007, John Wayne was also inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

Here are 50 John Wayne quotes from Your Favorite Movies Including True Grit, The Cowboys, and The Shootist

John Wayne quotes from movies

You take chances, my friend.

Rio Bravo

No, a human rides a horse until it dies, then he goes on afoot. A Comanche comes along, gets that horse up, rides him 20 more miles... and then he eats him.

The Searchers

The bigger the man, the deeper the imprint. And when he's in love, he suffers knowing it's a dead end.

The Shepperd of the Hills

Yes sir. But if you're wrong don't ever give me another (order).

The Searchers

Figure a man's only good for one oath at a time; I took mine to the Confederate States of America.

The Searchers

It takes a good fire to burn down the weeds... to let the flowers grow.

Dark Command

The Sioux once raided into Apache territory. Old-timers told me you can follow the line of their retreat by the bones of their dead.

Fort Apache

Half the people in the world are women. Why does it have to be you that stirs me?


Don't try to win this war all by yourself.

Flying Tigers

Well, there are some things a man just can't run away.


Well, I guess you can't break out of prison and into society in the same week.


I don't know much about the law. Ain't had much book learning. But the good Lord gave me a nose for smelling a horse thief a mile off. And what you need in these parts is a marshal that's better at smelling than spelling.

Dark Command

I know, I know. I'm gonna use good judgement. I haven't lost my temper in forty years, but pilgrim you caused a lot of trouble this morning, might have got somebody killed... and somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won't, I won't....


John Wayne quotes about courage

Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.

All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else.

I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.

When you come against trouble, it’s never half as bad if you face up to it.

I’m not the sort to back away from a fight. I don’t believe in shrinking from anything. It’s not my speed; I’m a guy who meets adversities head on.

John Wayne quotes from True Grit

Looking back is a bad habit.

You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him or let him be.

LaBoeuf, you get cross ways of me and you'll think a thousand of brick have fell on you!

Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way.

 I always try to be ready.

Well if I had a big horse pistol like that I wouldn't be scared of no "boogerman".

Young fella, if you're looking for trouble, I'll accommodate you. Otherwise, leave it alone.

John Wayne quotes from The Cowboys

I'm proud of ya... All of ya. Every man wants his children to be better'n he was. You are.

Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let's go! We're burnin' daylight!

Big mouth don't make a big man.

Well, it's not how you're buried, it's how you're remembered.

Death can come for ya any place, any time. It's never welcomed. But if you've done all you can do, and it's your best, in a way I guess you're ready for it.

Well, whatever I need I'll get.

Now I don't hold jail against you, but I hate a liar.

John Wayne quotes from The Shootist

I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

Friend, there's nobody up there shooting back at you. It isn't always being fast or even accurate that counts. It's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger. I won't.

Well, you look just how I remembered the Sweeneys - mean and ugly.

I'm a dying man, scared of the dark.

Put it in a nutshell? You couldn't put it in a barrel without a bottom. You're the longest winded bastard I've ever known.

Friend, you better get another line of work; this one sure don't fit your pistol.

For that dumbass amateur. There's always some six-fingered bustard that couldn't hit a cow in the tit with a tin cup. That's the one who usually does you in. But Masterson always was full of... sheep-dip

Bond, I don't believe I ever killed a man that didn't deserve it.

John Wayne quotes about life

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.

I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.

When you stop fighting, that’s death.

Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.

A man's got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.

What’s the secret of success? Right decisions. How do you make right decisions? Experience. How do you get experience? Wrong decisions.

I’d like to know why the well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazing and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.

Never apologize and never explain – it’s a sign of weakness.

A goal, a love and a dream give you total control over your body and your life.

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