Last Updated on November 19, 2020 by Steve Mayhew
I’m sure we’ve all got our own favorite lines from John Wayne movies, and hopefully, I’ve included a few of them in this list of 20 John Wayne’s movie quotes.
For an appreciation of John Wayne quotes this time, not from the movies but said in his own words about actors, directors, etc. there is another 15.
Having watched so many of Duke’s films over the last couple of years I made a note of some of the quotes, other than the more famous examples, that I thought might be appreciated by genuine JW fans. I’ve listed them chronologically rather than by personal preference.
‘You may need me and this Winchester, Curly’
The Ringo Kid offering his help to the Marshall upon seeing Apache war signals on the horizon.
Back to Bataan (1945)
‘You’re the guy we’re fighting this war for’
Wayne telling a young kid why America is fighting WWII on behalf of the Philippines, a line he repeats almost verbatim to a Vietnamese boy at the end of The Green Berets.
Red River (1948)
‘Get down off them horses. I don’t favor looking up to the likes of you’
Wayne as hard-headed trail boss Tom Dunson welcoming a group of cattle-drive deserters back into the fold.
One of my favorite John Wayne movie quotes from one of his best movies.
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
‘Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness’
Advice that Wayne as Nathan Brittles hands out to all and sundry in this classic Ford Western.
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Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
‘Any man that doesn’t wanna’ co-operate, I’ll make him wish he hadn’t been born’
Sergeant Stryker offering typically friendly encouragement to the Marine core.
The Flying Leathernecks (1951)
‘Come on Wildcats, make us proud today’
A typical John Wayne movie quote giving a gung-ho speech to his team of fighter pilots.
The Quiet Man (1952)
‘If you say “three”, mister, you’ll never hear the man count ten’
A note of caution to ‘Red’ Will Danaher on the dangers inherent in initiating a fight with himself, or ‘Trooper’ Thornton as he was known back in Pittsburgh.
The Sea Chase (1955)
‘Did anyone ever tell you that you’re beautiful when you’re angry?’
Wayne as a German sea captain falling for the charms of Lana Turner, a woman so diminutive.
The Searchers (1956)
‘Is this an invite to a necktie party, Reverend?’
Ethan Edwards getting straight to the point with the Reverend Samuel Clayton, played by Ward Bond.
Rio Bravo (1959)
‘Sorry don’t get it done, Dude’
John T. Chance explaining the facts of life to functioning alcoholic Dude. Cruel but fair.
The Alamo (1960)
‘Ya don’t get lard less’n you boil a hog!’
Still not exactly sure what Ole’ Davy Crockett actually meant by this statement, so if anyone out there can shed some light on this then answers on a postcard, please.
The Comancheros (1961)
‘Monsewer, words are what men live by’
Kind words of wisdom from Wayne, even though the recipient, Paul Regret, played by Stuart Whitman, has previously tried to brain Duke with a shovel, leaving JW with a dull impression on his mind.
The Longest Day (1962)
‘You can’t give the enemy a break. Send him to hell’
Duke exhorts his men to put the Geneva Convention on ice just for the duration of the D-Day invasion.
‘somebody outa belt you in the mouth…but I won’t, I won’t, the hell I won’t’
Wayne blind-siding Leo Gordon with a contradictory statement before dispatching him with a punch into a conveniently placed mud hole.
In Harm’s Way (1965)
‘All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else’
As John Wayne movie quotes go this is a pearl of wisdom from Wayne as Captain ‘Rock’ Torrey prior to losing a leg in the climactic ‘model boats’ sea battle.
Cast A Giant Shadow (1966)
‘Give this insubordinate son-of-a-bitch every truck and every blanket in the Third Army. And I don’t care who you have to steal them from!’
Wayne doing a very good impression of General Patton as he helps Kirk Douglas win WWII.
The Green Berets (1968)
‘Out here, due process is a bullet’
Wayne providing a helpful and neat sound bite to a lilly-livered liberal pinko journalist on how the justice system works in Vietnam.
True Grit (1969)
‘Fill your hands you son-of-a-bitch’
A piece of friendly frontier advice to soon-to-be-deceased Ned Pepper, played by Robert Duvall.
The Cowboys (1972)
‘You look like the vermin-ridden son of a bitch you are’
Probably not the best thing to say to killer Bruce Dern, as Duke eventually finds out to his cost.
The Shootist (1976)
‘Mister, you’d better find another line of work. This one sure don’t suit your pistol’
J.B. Books offers some career guidance to an inept outlaw at the beginning of the movie.
Apologies if your particular favourite JW film quote didn’t make the cut here, so please feel free to make your feelings known, preferably in a caring way.