9. “The Alamo” (1960)
“Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat — the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. ‘Republic’ is one of those words.” — Col. Davy Crockett in “The Alamo” (1960).
As Davy Crockett in this film, Wayne speaks for millions of Americans who appreciate the freedoms they’re fortunate to enjoy.
10. “True Grit” (1969)
“Young fella, if you’re looking for trouble, I’ll accommodate ya.” — Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit” (1969).
Even if they don’t go out of their way to pick fights, Wayne’s characters usually like conflict — and that was exactly the case for this one, in an Academy Award-winning performance.
11. “Rio Bravo” (1959)
“Sorry don’t get it done, Dude.” — John T. Chance in “Rio Bravo” (1959).
Who knew how much Wayne instructed others through his characters? Dude (played by Dean Martin) shouldn’t hit him (or anyone) and apologize afterward; he shouldn’t deliver a strike in the first place. Think before you act.
12. “Westward Ho” (1935)
“Hey, stupid! Where do you think you’re going? Get back there with the herd, you muttonhead!” — John Wyatt in “Westward Ho” (1935).
Certainly it’s one of Wayne’s more humorous statements in a film, given the irony. It shows how society, at times, views individual thinkers and free thought. The line sets up Mary Gordon (Sheila Bromley) to introduce herself as a person and not a “muttonhead” — once again placing the emphasis on the individual and not the collective.