Quotes by John Wayne
Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne.
A goal, a love and a dream give you total control over your body and your life.
A horse is a horse,it ain’t make a difference what color it is.
A lot of guys make mistakes, I guess, but every one we make, a whole stack of chips goes with it. We make a mistake and some guy don't walk away - forevermore, he don't walk away.
A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.
A man oughta do what he thinks is right.
A man’s got to do what a man's got to do.
A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.
All battles are fought by scared men who'd rather be some place else.
All men hate to hear 'We need to talk about our relationship'."These seven words strike fear in the heart of even General Schwartzkopf.
Contrary to what people think, I’m no politician, and when I have something to say I say it through my movies.
Don’t ever for a minute make the mistake of looking down your nose at westerns. They're art - the good ones, I mean. They deal in life and sudden death and primitive struggle and with the basic emotions - love, hate and anger- thrown in. We’ll have westerns films as long as the cameras keep turning. The fascination that the Old West has will never die. And as long as people want to pay money to see me act, I’ll keep on making westerns until the day I die.
Don’t get me wrong. As far as a man and a woman is concerned, I’m awfully happy there’s a thing called sex. It’s an extra something God gave us. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be in pictures. Healthy, lusty sex is wonderful.
Don’t pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one I suggest you make damn sure you win.
Fights with too much violence are dull.
Figure a man’s only good for one oath at a time; I took mine to the Confederate States of America.
Get a checkup. Talk someone you like into getting a checkup. Nag someone you love into getting a checkup. And while you’re at it, send a check to the American Cancer Society. It’s great to be alive.
Getting rid of a man without hurting his masculinity is a problem. 'Get out' and 'I never want to see you again' might sound like a challenge. If you want to get rid of a man, I suggest saying, 'I love you ... I want to marry you ... I want to have your children'. Sometimes they leave skid marks.
Give me a fifth of bourbon – that’ s will square it.
Give the American people a good cause and there’s nothing they can’t lick.
God, how I hate solemn funerals. When I die, take me into a room and burn me. Then my family and a few good friends should get together, have a few good belts and talk about the crazy old time we all had together.
God-damn, I’m the stuff men are made of!
I am a demonstrative man, a baby picker-upper, a huger and a kisser.
I am an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness, flag-waving patriot.
I didn’t vote for him but he’s my president and I hope he does a good job.
I don’t have to assert my virility. I think my career has shown that I’m not exactly a pantywaist. But I do take pride in my work, even to the point of being the first one on the set in the morning. I’m a professional.
I don’t want ever to appear in a film that would embarrass a viewer. A man can take his wife, mother and his daughter to one of my movies and never be ashamed or embarrassed for going.
I drink for comradeship and when I drink for comradeship, I don’t bother to keep count.
I eat as much as I ever did, I drink more than I should and my sex life is none of your goddamned business. – John Wayne for Playboy Magazine (May 1971)
I have never been conscious of going for any particular type, it’s just a happenstance. - on having married three Latinas
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.
I licked the Big C. I know the man upstairs will pull the plug when he wants to, but I don’t want to end my life being sick. I want to go out on two feet, in action. - press conference (December 29th, 1964)
I never trust a man who doesn’t drink.
I play John Wayne in every picture regardless of the character and I’ve been doing all right, haven’t I?
I read someplace that I used to make B-pictures. Hell, they were a lot farther down the alphabet than that ... but not as far down as R and X. I think any man who makes an X-rated picture ought to be made to take his own daughter to see it.
I stick to simple themes. Love. Hate. No nuances. I stay away from psychoanalyst’s couch scenes. Couches are good for one thing.
I want to play a real man in all my films and 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.
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.
I would like to be remembered, well ... the Mexicans have a phrase, 'Feo fuerte y formal', which means 'he was ugly, strong and had dignity'. - Time magazine interview (1969)
I’m glad I won’t be around much longer to see what they do with it. The men who control the big studios today are stock manipulators and bankers. They know nothing about our business.
I’m pleased to be present and accounted for in this capital of freedom to witness history as it happens - to watch a common man accept the uncommon responsibility he won 'fair and square' by stating his case to the American people - not by bloodshed, be-headings and riots at the palace gates. I know I’m a member of the loyal opposition - accent on the loyal. I’d have it no other way. - at inauguration of Jimmy Carter (January 20th, 1977)
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’ve always had deep faith that there is a Supreme Being, there has to be. To me that’s just a normal thing to have that kind of faith. The fact that He’s let me stick around a little longer, or She’s let me stick around a little longer, certainly goes great with me and I want to hang around as long as I’m healthy and not in anybody’s way.
I’ve had lung cancer, the big C. But I’ve beaten the son of a bitch. Maybe I can give some poor bastard a little hope by being honest. I want people to know cancer can be licked. My advisers all told me that the public doesn’t want its movie heroes associated with serious illness like cancer, that it destroys their image. Well, I don’t care much about images, and, anyway, I would have thought there was a lot better image in the fact that John Wayne had cancer and licked it. - press conference (December 29th, 1964)
I’ve had three wives, six children and six grandchildren and I still don’t understand women.
I’ve known Jane Fonda since she was a little girl. I’ve never agreed with a word she’s said, but would give my life defending her right to say it. (1979)
I’ve seen too many kids your age wounded or dead because of that flag. So I don’t take too kindly to it. - to protesters waving a Viet Cong flag (1966)
I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.
If a man says, 'I'’ll call you and he doesn’t', he didn’t forget ... he didn’t lose your number ... he didn’t die. He just didn’t want to call you.
It’s getting to be ri-goddamn-diculous.
If I had it to do over again, I’d probably do everything I did. But that’s not necessarily the right thing to do.
If I’d known this was all it would take, I’d have put that eye patch on 40 years ago.
If it hadn’t been for football and the fact I got my leg broke and had to go into the movies to eat, why, who knows, I might have turned out to be a liberal Democrat.
I'm an American actor. I work with my clothes on. I have to. Riding a horse can be pretty tough on your legs and else wheres.
In spite of the fact that Rooster Cogburn would shoot a fella between the eyes, he’d judge that fella before he did it. He was merely trying to make the area in which he was marshal livable for the most number of people.
It’s kind of a sad thing when a normal love of country makes you a super patriot. I do think we have a pretty wonderful country and I thank God that He chose me to live here.
It’s such an adrenaline rush. It’s America's most extreme sport.
Let’s say I hope that I appeal to the more carefree times in a person’s life rather than to his reasoning adulthood. I’d just like to be an image that reminds someone of joy rather than of the problems of the world.
Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.
Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause. With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause - you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles.
Men forget everything; women remember everything.
Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved.
Most men hate to shop. That’s why the men's department is usually on the first floor of a department store, two inches from the door.
My hope and prayer is that everyone know and love our country for what she really is and what she stands for.
My main object in making a motion picture is entertainment. If at the same time I can strike a blow for liberty, then I’ll stick one in.
Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.
Nobody ever saw a cowboy on the psychiatrist’s couch.
Not that I had thoughts of becoming a song and dance man, but, like most young actors, I did want to play a variety of roles. I remember walking down the street one day, mumbling to myself about the way my career was going, when suddenly I bumped into Will Rogers. 'What’s the matter, Duke?' he asked, and I said things weren’t going so well. 'You working?' he asked, and I said, 'Yep'. 'Keep working, Duke', he said and smiled and walked away.
Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to the Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We’re both a little weather beaten, but we’re still here and plan to be around for a whole lot longer. - presenting Best Picture award (1979)
Paul Newman would have been a much more important star if he hadn’t always tried to be an anti-hero, to show the human feet of clay.
Rooster Cogburn’s attitude toward life was maybe a little different, but he was basically the same character I’ve always played.
Screw ambiguity. Perversion and corruption masquerade as ambiguity. I don’t trust ambiguity.
Some people tell me everything isn’t black and white. But I say why the hell not?
Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much. - advice to Michael Caine (1967)
Thanking people is dangerous business. A name always slips your mind.
That little clique back there in the East has taken great personal satisfaction reviewing my politics instead of my pictures. But one day those doctrinaire liberals will wake up to find the pendulum has swung the other way.
That Redford fellow is good. Brando. Ah, Patton - George C. Scott. But the best of the bunch is Garner, James Garner. He can play anything. Comedy westerns, drama - you name it. Yeah, I have to say Garner is the best around today. He doesn’t have to say anything - just make a face and you crack up.
That’s why men need instant replays in sports. They've already forgotten what happened.
The fire is not discriminating. It burns anything in its path for whatever reason.
The West - the very words go straight to that place of the heart where Americans feel the spirit of pride in their western heritage - the triumph of personal courage over any obstacle, whether nature or man.
There must be some higher power or how else does all this stuff work?
There’s been a lot of stories about how I got to be called Duke. One was that I played the part of a duke in a school play - which I never did. Sometimes, they even said I was descended from royalty! It was all a lot of rubbish. Hell, the truth is that I was named after a dog!
They figure Duke Wayne with cancer isn’t a good image. I was too doped up at the time to argue with them, but I’m telling you the truth now. You know I never lie. - revealing his lung cancer, interview with James Bacon (1964)
– John Wayne in a 1971 Playboy interview
There’s no reason to have this amount of traffic coming through a private residence road.
There’s no reason to have this amount of traffic coming through a private residence road.
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.
Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded ... They shout you down and won’t let you speak if you disagree with them.
Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.
Westerns are closer to art than anything else in the motion picture business.
We’ve made mistakes along the way, but that’s no reason to start tearing up the best flag God ever gave to any country.
When I started, I knew I was no actor and I went to work on this Wayne thing. It was as deliberate a projection as you’ll ever see. I figured I needed a gimmick, so I dreamed up the drawl, the squint and a way of moving meant to suggest that I wasn’t looking for trouble but would just as soon throw a bottle at your head as not. I practiced in front of a mirror.
When people say a John Wayne picture got bad reviews, I always wonder if they know it’s a redundant sentence, but hell, I don’t care. People like my pictures and that’s all that counts.
When the road looks rough ahead, remember the Man Upstairs and the word Hope. Hang onto both and tough it out.
When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it.
When you stop fighting, that’s death.
Women have the right to work wherever they want, as long as they have the dinner ready when you get home.
Words are what men live by ... words they say and mean.
You can take everything a man has as long as you leave him his dignity.
You can’t eat awards - nor, more to the point, drink 'em.
You can’t whine and bellyache because somebody else got a good break and you didn’t.
You know, I hear everybody talking about the generation gap. Frankly, sometimes I don’t know what they’re talking about. Heck, by now I should know a little bit about it, if I’m ever going to. I have 7 kids and 18 grand kids and I don’t seem to have any trouble talking to any of them. Never have had and I don’t intend to start now.
You know, pity isn’t for me.You tangle with me, I’ll have your hide.
You’re going to think I’m being corny, but this is how I really feel: I hope my family and my friends will be able to say that I was an honest, kind and fairly decent man.
You’re short on ears and long on mouth.