Ten Humorous Quotes from John Ford’s Westerns

I’m currently working on a book for Bear Manor Media on director John Ford’s Stock Company about the actors and actresses Ford used repeatedly in his films. Many of these people – some stars, some recognizable character actors, some bit players – had memorable (and humorous) lines of dialogue in Ford’s movies including the following from ten of his westerns:

Stagecoach (1939)
The Ringo Kid (John Wayne): “Well, I guess you can’t break out of prison and into society in one week.”

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Dutton Peabody (Edmund O’Brien): “I’ll have the usual, Jack.”
Barman Jack (Jack Pennick): “The bar is closed, Mister Editor, during voting.”
Peabody: “Bar’s closed?”
Tom Doniphon (John Wayne): “You can blame your lawyer friend (Jimmy Stewart). He says that’s one of the ‘Fundamental Laws of Democracy.’ No exception.”
Peabody: “No exceptions for the working press? Why, that’s carrying democracy much too far!”

The Searchers (1956)
Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter): “You know, Laurie, I was just thinking that maybe it’s time you and me started going steady, huh?”
Laurie Jorgensen (Vera Miles): “Martin Pawley. You and me’s been going steady since we were three years old.”
Martin: “We have?”
Laurie: “‘Bout time you found out about it.”

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Reverend Rosenkrantz (Arthur Shields): “O Almighty God, hear us, we beseech Thee, and bring succor and guidance to those we are about to bring to Your divine notice. First we are thinking of Mary Walaber. She is only sixteen years old, but she is keeping company with a soldier from Fort Dayton. He’s a Massachusetts man, and Thou knowest no good can come of that.”

Rio Grande (1950)
A U.S. Deputy Marshal (Grant Withers) is searching the Army for a desperado.
Sgt. Quincannon (Victor McLaglen): “Is there any man here from Texas?”
Trooper Daniel “Sandy” Boone (Harry Carey, Jr.): “Yes sir; I’m from Texas. Name’s Boone. Daniel Boone.”
Marshal: “Daniel Boone? That sounds familiar, don’t it?” He starts looking through his wad of wanted posters.

Fort Apache (1948)
Sgt. Beaufort (Pedro Armendariz) is addressing a group of new recruits.
Beaufort: “Gentlemen, this is a horse. You will observe it has no saddle. The reason it has no saddle is because it’ll be easier for you to stay on without the saddle. Now, before we progress… did any of you gentlemen have the honor of serving with the Southern arms during the late War Between the States?”
Southern recruit (Hank Worden):“Yes, sir. I had the pride, sir, of serving with Bedford Forrest.”
Beaufort: “I am proud to shake your hand.”
Recruit: “Thank you, sir.”
Beaufort: “I hope you have the pleasure of buying me a drink on your next payday.”
Recruit: “An honor, sir.”
Beaufort: “You are now an acting corporal.”

Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Wyatt Earp (James Stewart): “Say, you’re the doctor around here. How come I always have to perform all the complicated operations?”
Doc Holliday (Arthur Kennedy): “You know I am a dentist, not a doctor. Wait until somebody shoots him in the teeth.”

Wagon Master (1950)
Sandy Owens (Harry Carey, Jr.) secretively pushes a gun down the back of his pants.
Travis Blue (Ben Johnson): “Be careful or you’ll blow yer brains out.”

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Sgt. Quincannon (Victor McLaglen): “It’s an abuse of the taxpayers’ money. I told them, sir!”
Capt. Nathan Brittles (John Wayne): “The only tax you ever paid was a whiskey tax.”

My Darling Clementine (1946)
Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda): “Mac, you ever been in love?”
Bartender Mac (J. Farrell MacDonald): “No, I’ve been a bartender all my life.”

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