John Wayne's heroes epitomised the wild west cowboy era and the American dream. His rise to stardom was fuelled from the 50s after Sands of Iwo Jima was released and continued until his final movie The Shootist in 1976.
“Young fella, if you’re looking; for trouble I’ll accommodate ya”
- True Grit 1969, directed by Henry Hathaway
“I wouldn’t make it a habit of calling me that son”
- Wil Anderson in The Cowboys 1972, directed by Mark Rydell
“All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else”
- Capt Rockwell Torrey in In Harm’s Way 1965, directed by Otto Preminger
“Don’t say it’s a fine morning or I’ll shoot ya”
- George Washington McLintock in McLintock 1963, directed by Andrew V McLaglen
“I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."
- J.B Books in The Shootist 1976, directed by Don Siegel
“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.”
- John Wayne in a 1971 Playboy interview
“I may sound like a bible beater yelling up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting but that don’t change the truth none, there’s right and there’s wrong. You gotta do one or the other. You do the one and you’re living, you do the other and you may be walking around but you’re dead as a beaver hat.”
- Col. Davy Crockett in The Alamo 1960, directed by John Wayne
"I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it."
- When filming his last movie The Shootist 1976
“Now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all… your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault… it don’t matter… I’m gonna blow your head off. It’s as simple as that.”
- Jacob McCandles in Big Jake 1971, directed by George Sherman
"Out here, due process is a bullet!"
- Colonol Mike Kirby in The Green Berets 1968, directed by Ray Kellogg
THE SHOOTIST (1976), where Ron Howard (Gillum) says to John Wayne (J.B. Books):
Gillum: "How did you get into so many fights and always come out on top? I nearly tied you shooting!"
Books: "Friend, there's nobody out there shooting back at you! It isn't always about 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'll blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger...and I won't!"