The 20 Best John Wayne Lines of All Time

Iowa-born and a staunch conservative, the actor will forever be known for his rugged individualism — in these favorite roles and more

Known the world over for his performances in Western movies, the late actor John Wayne made his mark as a tough, macho man in the film industry.

At a time when Hollywood is swarming with leftist actors and progressive ideals, one has to wonder how well the staunch conservative would fit in today in the film industry.

The Iowa-born Wayne passed away in 1979 at the age of 72 — and while his values differed from those of many other actors, his work is still highly respected and enjoyed today, and will be for years to come.

Here’s a look at 20 of his most unforgettable lines of all time. (And if you don’t see your favorite line represented here, tell us about it in the comments section below!)

1. “In Harm’s Way” (1965)


“All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be someplace else.” — Capt. Rockwell Torrey in “In Harm’s Way” (1965).

Wayne addresses the value of bravery in this World War II film. While even the toughest of the bunch may have had reservations about going to battle, they were willing nonetheless to risk their lives for their love of country.

2. “McLintock” (1963)


“Don’t say it’s a fine morning, or I’ll shoot ya.” — George Washington McLintock in “McLintock” (1963).

In this Western comedy, Wayne exemplifies the rough-around-the-edges characters he spent his entire career playing. His characters — often the strong, silent type — definitely said a lot in just a few words.

3. “The Green Berets” (1968)


“Out here, due process is a bullet!” — Col. Mike Kirby in “The Green Berets” (1968).

Wayne starred in a pro-Vietnam War film during the war; this line gives viewers an idea of the intensity of fighting an enemy in combat. Americans, at that period of time, were doing whatever it took to stop the spread of communism.

4. “The Cowboys” (1972)


“I wouldn’t make it a habit of calling me that, son.” — Wil Anderson in “The Cowboys” (1972).

With his old-school persona, Wayne commanded respect both in his movies and out of them. This is his response to being called an SOB — his way of standing firm without escalating a conflict (yet Wayne’s characters were always willing to go to combat to settle disputes if needed).