Monday, January 02, 2012

Stamp of an Actor: John Wayne

"A man's got to do what a man's got to do."

"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."

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."

"I've had three wives, six children and six grandchildren and I still don't understand women."

"Talk low, Talk slow, and don't say too much."

"I don't think John Ford had any kind of respect for me as an actor until I made Red River (1948) for Howard Hawks. I was never quite sure what he did think of me as an actor. I know now, though. Because when I finally won an Oscar for my role as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (1969), Ford shook my hand and said the award was long overdue me as far as he was concerned. Right then, I knew he'd respected me as an actor since Stagecoach (1939), even though he hadn't let me know it. He later told me his praise earlier, might have gone to my head and made me conceited, and that was why he'd never said anything to me, until the right time."

"Westerns are closer to art than anything else in the motion picture business."

"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."

That Redford (Robert Redford) fellow is good. Brando (Marlon Brando). Ah, Patton (1970), 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."

"Well, you like...each picture for...a different reason. But I think my favourite will always be the next one."

"I said there was a tall, lanky kid that led 150 airplanes across Berlin. He was an actor, but that day, I said, he was a colonel. Colonel Jimmy Stewart (James Stewart). So I said, "What is all this crap about Reagan (Ronald Reagan) being an actor?" "Young fella, if you're lookin' for trouble I'll accommodate ya."

"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."

"God-damn, I'm the stuff men are made of!"


  1. I always liked John Wayne, although I haven't seen all his movies, of course. I understand his point about wanting families to be able to see his films, but I personally like some things that families probably aren't suited to watch. I don't mind that actors sometimes do those kinds of films and writers write those kinds of books.

  2. Charles, I haven't seen all his films either and the ones I've seen and liked include THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, TRUE GRIT and RIO BRAVO. I don't recall Wayne ever acting in a film that wasn't meant for the entire family unlike, say, Clint Eastwood in HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER.