John Wayne, the Duke, was a legend who starred in 170 motion pictures. He reflected the quintessential American spirit both onscreen and off.
Marion Mitchell Morrison, aka John Wayne was one of the top box office stars for well over 30 years. He won the Oscar for best actor in True Grit in 1969 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1980.
In a Time Magazine article in 1967 John Wayne talked about his career, “In my acting, I have to identify with something in the character. The big tough boy on the side of right — that’s me. Simple themes. Save me from the nuances. All I do is sell sincerity and I’ve been selling the hell out of that ever since I started.”
In the same article he summed it up “I don’t go around shooting off my mouth about the problems of acting. In fact I don’t even call myself an actor. I’m a re-actor.”
Most of the words he spoke in his films were plain and direct. He was a tough guy in films. And he always played a hero. He was a cowboy hero, a war hero and an everyman hero.
In the years, after his death Wayne’s old interviews surfaced. He had some biased ideas that have been criticised in this more enlightened time. John Wayne like all heros had was not perfect and he reflected the time that he lived in. But onscreen he was a hero and always will be.
15 of John Wayne’s Top Quotations
1. “There’ll be no locks or bolts between us, Mary Kate… except those in your own mercenary little heart!” The Quiet Man
2. “Well, I guess you can’t break out of prison and into society in the same week.” Stagecoach (1939)
3. “Did anyone ever tell you that you’re beautiful when you’re angry?” The Sea Chase (1955)
4. “Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.” Stagecoach (1939)
5. “A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.” The Shootist
6. “Snakes like you usually die of their own poison.” Neath the Arizona Skies (1934)
7. “Where I come from we don’t shoot horses when they get ornery; we tame ’em.” Ride Him, Cowboy (1932)
8. “Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let’s go! We’re burnin’ daylight!” The Cowboys (1972)
9. “All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be someplace else.”In Harm’s Way (1965)
10. “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!” Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)
11. “Out here, due process is a bullet!” The Green Berets (1968)
12. “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.” The Shootist (1976)
13. “I know those law books mean a lot to you, but not out here. Out here a man settles his own problems.” The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
14. “Friend, you better get another line of work; this one sure don’t fit your pistol.” The Shootist (1976)
15. “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. I hope we’ve learned something from yesterday.” Playboy interview (1971)