John Wayne Quotes

Marion Mitchell Morrison

John Wayne quotes: his most memorable lines from movies and personal life.

“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

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

“A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.”

“Don’t say it’s a fine morning or I’ll shoot ya.”

“When I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist, pretty much to the left.  But not when I left the university.  I quickly got wise.  I’d read about what had happened to Russia in 1917 when the Communists took over.”

“Hurry it up.  We’re burning daylight.”

“I suppose my best attribute, if you want to call it that, is sincerity.  I can sell sincerity because that’s the way I am.”

“Goddamn, I’m the stuff men are made of!”

“You can take everything a man has as long as you leave him his dignity.”

“You’re short on ears and long on mouth.”

“I wouldn’t make it a habit of calling me that, son.”

“That’ll be the day.”

“Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.”

“Don’t pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one, I suggest you make damn sure you win.”

“All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be someplace else.”

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”

“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.”

“When you stop fighting, that’s death.”

“You know, pity isn’t for me.”

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.”

“All the screen cowboys behaved like real gentlemen.  They didn’t drink, they didn’t smoke.  When they knocked the bad guy down, they always stood with their fists up, waiting for the him to get back on his feet.  I decided I was going to drag the bad guy to his feet and keep hitting him.”

“Nobody ever saw a cowboy on the psychiatrist’s couch.”

“If everything isn’t black and white, I say why the hell not?”

“All I’m for is the liberty of the individual.”

“Words are what men live by… words they say and mean.”

“Republic.  I like the sound of the word.  It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose.  Some words give you a feeling.  Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat – the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man.  Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm.  Republic is one of those words.”

“You tangle with me, I’ll have your hide.”

“Give the American people a good cause, and there’s nothing they can’t lick.”

“Nobody should come to the movies unless he believes in heroes.”

“I couldn’t go to sleep at night if the director didn’t yell, ‘Cut!'”

“[On his 1964 cancer surgery] I don’t care if I never sell another ticket at the box office if it helps some other guy get a check-up and be as lucky as I was.”

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

“A man oughta do what he thinks is right.”

“I’ve always followed my father’s advice.  He told me, first, to always keep my word and second, to never insult anybody unintentionally.  If I insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intend to.  And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.”

“I never trust a man that doesn’t drink.”

“When you come slam-bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it.”

“Out here, due process is a bullet.”

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

“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.”

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

“I’m responsible only for what I say, not what you understand.”

“Real art is basic emotion.  If a scene is handled with simplicity – and I don’t mean simple – it’ll be good, and the public will know it.”

“I am an old-fashioned honest-to-goodness flag-waving patriot.”

“You know, they may find a cure for cancer, even without your help, but if I were you, I wouldn’t bet my life on it.”

“I know those law books mean a lot to you, but not out here.  Out here a man settles his own problems.”

“Young fella, if you’re lookin’ for trouble, I’ll accommodate you.  Otherwise, leave it alone.”

“I never have really become accustomed to the ‘John.’  Nobody ever really calls me John.  I’ve always been Duke or Marion or John Wayne.  It’s a name that goes well together, and it’s like one word: John Wayne.”

“Sometimes it isn’t being fast that counts, or even accurate; but willing.”

“All I do is sell sincerity and I’ve been selling the hell out of that since I started.”

“[Of his Vietnam trip in 1966] I can’t sing or dance but I can go to the hospitals and give them something to write home about.”

“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.”

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

“When you come to see a picture of mine, I want you to know that I’m not going to do anything that will make you uncomfortable.  I want you to know that you won’t be disappointed in me.”

“Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.”

“The worst part of it has been, I think, the adverse effect on family life.  It kills off family conversation.  And it’s harder to get your children to read books.  I became a confirmed reader when I was growing up in Glendale.  I’ve loved reading all my life.  Now I’ve got this daughter, Aissa, a very bright young lady – but it is a hard job to get her to read.  Television’s just too easy.”

“Get off your butt and join the Marines.”

“When the road looks rough ahead, remember the Man Upstairs and the word hope.  Hang onto both and tough it out.”

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