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Yes! The best quotes from the film Outlaw Josey Wales

Sam Dickson

One of our favourite films EVER!

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western DeLuxe Color and Panavision film set during and after the American Civil War. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood (as the eponymous Josey Wales), with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, and Geraldine Keams. The film tells the story of Josey Wales, a Missouri farmer whose family is murdered by Union militants during the Civil War. Driven to revenge, Wales joins a Confederate guerrilla band and fights in the Civil War. After the war, all the fighters in Wales’ group except for Wales surrender to Union officers, but they end up being massacred. Wales becomes an outlaw and is pursued by bounty hunters and Union soldiers.

Bounty hunter #1: You’re wanted, Wales.
Josey Wales: Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter?
Bounty hunter #1: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.
Josey Wales: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

Josey Wales: Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. ‘Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is.

Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.
Josey Wales: That’s true. I ain’t promising you nothing extra. I’m just giving you life and you’re giving me life. And I’m saying that men can live together without butchering one another.
Ten Bears: It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life… or death. It shall be life.

Josey Wales: When I get to likin’ someone, they ain’t around long.
Lone Watie: I notice when you get to DISlikin’ someone they ain’t around for long neither.

Laura Lee: Kansas was all golden and smelled like sunshine.
Josey Wales: Yeah, well, I always heard there were three kinds of suns in Kansas, sunshine, sunflowers, and sons-of-bitches.

Lone Watie: [realizes Josey has snuck up behind and pulled a gun on him] They said a man could get rich on reward money if he could kill you.
Josey Wales: Seems like you was looking to gain some money here.
Lone Watie: Actually, I was looking to gain an edge. I thought you might be someone who would sneak up behind me with a gun.
Josey Wales: Where’d you ever get an idea like that? Besides it ain’t supposed to be easy to sneak up behind an Indian
Lone Watie: I’m an Indian, all right; but here in the nation they call us the “civilized tribe”. They call us “civilized” because we’re easy to sneak up on. White men have been sneaking up on us for years.

Josey Wales: Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?

Josie Wales: You be Ten Bears?
Ten Bears: I am Ten Bears.
Josie Wales: I’m Josey Wales.
Ten Bears: I have heard. You are the grey rider. You would not make peace with the Bluecoats. You may go in peace.
Josie Wales: I reckon not. I got no place else to go.
Ten Bears: Then you will die.
Josie Wales: I came here to die with you. Or to live with you.

Josey Wales: You have any food here?
Lone Watie: All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it’s not for eatin’. It’s just for lookin’ through.

Jamie: I wish we had time to bury them fellas.
Josey Wales: To hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Lone Watie: I’m gettin’ better at sneaking up on you like this. Only an Indian can do something like this.
Josey Wales: That’s what I figured.
Lone Watie: You figured?
Josey Wales: Only an Indian could do something like that.
[Lone Watie hears a gun cock behind him; turns and sees Moonlight]
Lone Watie: It’s not right; this damn woman doing something like this to me. I used to have power. Now old age is creeping up on me.
Josey Wales: More like old habits than old age.

[Fletcher knows he’s talking to Josey Wales]
Fletcher: I think I’ll go down to Mexico to try to find him.
Josey Wales: And then?
Fletcher: He’s got the first move. I owe him that. I think I’ll try to tell him the war is over. What do you say, Mr. Wilson?
Josey Wales: I reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.

Lone Watie: We thought about it for a long time, “Endeavor to persevere.” And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.

Senator: The war’s over. Our side won the war. Now we must busy ourselves winning the peace. And Fletcher, there’s an old saying: To the victors belong the spoils.
Fletcher: There’s another old saying, Senator: Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

[Missouri guerillas come upon Josey sitting by his family’s graves]
“Bloody Bill” Anderson: Name’s Anderson. Bloody Bill’s what they call me.
[Looks around]
“Bloody Bill” Anderson: Red Legs? You’ll find them up in Kansas. They’re with the Union. And we’re goin’ up there and set things aright.
Josey Wales: I’ll be comin’ with you.

[putting his dead friend on a horse and sending him into the enemy camp]
Josey Wales: This boy was brought up in a time of blood and dying and never questioned a bit of it. He never turned his back on his folks or his kind. I rode with him… and I got no complaints. The blue bellies will give ya a better burial than I can, boy.

Granny Hawkins: So, you’ll be Josey Wales.
Josey Wales: Now, how might you know that, Granny?
Granny Hawkins: Soldiers were here looking for you ’bout two hours ago.
[Josey looks at Carstairs]
Sim Carstairs: Uh, I was goin’ to mention that to you… as soon as I got the chance.
Granny Hawkins: They say you killed your own men.
Jamie: Those lying, blue-scum bellies…
Granny Hawkins: They say you’re a hard put and desperate man, Josey Wales. They’re goin’ to heel and hide you to a barn door. You know what I say?
Josey Wales: What’s that?
Granny Hawkins: I say that big talk’s worth doodly-squat. Now, them poultices be laced with feathermoss and mustard root. Mind you drop water on ’em occasional and keep ’em damp.
[Walks off]
Granny Hawkins: You can pay me when you see me again, Josey Wales.
Josey Wales: I reckon so.

[Josey and Lone Watie are relaxing after Moonlight has cooked for them]
Lone Watie: That meal was damn good. I’m gonna take up teepee livin’ if it’s like this. You know she thinks I’m some kind of a Cherokee chief.
Josey Wales: I wonder where she ever got that idea.

Lone Watie: [Josie has walked up on Lone and Moonlight having sex] Howdy.
Josey Wales: Howdy.
Lone Watie: Somethin’ wrong?
Josey Wales: Uh, no.
Lone Watie: I guess you were right.
Lone Watie: I ain’t that old after all.

Senator: Fletcher, there’s an old saying, to the victors belong the spoils.
Fletcher: There’s another old saying Senator. Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Lone Watie: Get ready, little lady. Hell is coming to breakfast.

Lone Watie: I didn’t surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas I bet.

Fletcher: Damn you, Senator. You promised me those men would be decently treated.
Senator Lane: They were decently treated. They were decently fed and then they were decently shot. Those men are common outlaws, nothing more.

Captain Terrill: Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.

Lone Watie: How did you know which one was goin’ to shoot first?
Josie Wales: Well, that one in the center: he had a flap holster and he was in no itchin’ hurry. And the one second from the left: he had scared eyes, he wasn’t gonna do nothin’. But that one on the far left: he had crazy eyes. Figured him to make the first move.
Lone Watie: How ’bout the one on the right?
Josie Wales: Never paid him no mind; you were there.
Lone Watie: I could have missed.

Carpetbagger: Your young friend could use some help.
[holds up a bottle of patent medicine]
Carpetbagger: This is it… one dollar a bottle. It works wonders on wounds.
Josey Wales: Works wonders on just about everything, eh?
Carpetbagger: It can do most anything.
Josey Wales: [spits tobacco juice on the carpetbagger’s coat] How is it with stains?

Grandma Sarah: This can’t be Santa Rio! My son, Tom Turner, said it was a thriving town!
Kelly: It was; but when the silver run out, the thrivin’ run out with it.

Kelly: [Josie has walked into the saloon in Santa Rio] What’ll you have?
Josey Wales: Whiskey.
Rose: [laughing] Maybe you’d like somethin’ else.
Josey Wales: Beer?
Kelly: Been a long time since somebody ordered a drink in San Rio.
Ten Spot: Been a long time since we had anythin’ to drink.
Kelly: Yep, first the silver run out, then the people run out, then the whiskey run out, then the beer run out. Don’t matter, it’s good to see a high roller come through.
[Josie walks out]
Kelly: What’s the matter with him?
Rose: I guess some folks don’t like to be called ‘high rollers’. I knew a man once; he didn’t like to be called ‘high handed’.

Fletcher: [Fletcher notices Terrell standing with Lane] What the hell is this Redleg doin’ here? You said regular Federal authorities would be handling this!
Senator Lane: Captain Terrell is the regular Federal authority now.
Fletcher: Captain Terrell is a bloodthirsty sonofabitch! He’s a looter and a pillager! He’s the worst enemy those men have got!

Jamie: [after Jamie and Josie kill Abe and Lige] I figured you could use some help.
Josey Wales: You get those holes a-leakin’, I’m gonna whomp you with a knotted plow line.

Josey Wales: [referring to Lone’s dog] Chief, I was just wondering: I suppose that mangy red-bone hound’s got no place else to go either.
[spits tobacco juice on the dog’s forehead]
Josey Wales: He might as well ride along with us; Hell, everybody else is.

Jamie: You can’t get ’em all, Josie.
Josey Wales: That’s a fact.
Jamie: How come you’re doing this, then?
Josey Wales: Because I ain’t got nothin’ better to do.

Sim Carstairs: Ten year I been ferryin’ Kansas Redlegs, Union cavalry, Missouri guerillas… you name it. Mad dogs them guerillas. You look sideways at ’em…
[snaps a rope like a noose]
Sim Carstairs: they kill ya.
Carpetbagger: Sound like hard men to do business with.
Sim Carstairs: You bet. You know in my line of work, you gotta be able either to sing “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” or “Dixie” with equal enthusiasm… dependin’ upon present company.
Carpetbagger: Can’t say as I blame you for that. Only good business to play it safe.

[telling Capt. Terrell why they need to go in a different direction than Wales’ true course]
Fletcher: Look at those boys over there: tied-down guns. Bounty hunters. Come out of a war, got no other way to make a livin’. Every last mother’s son of them wants that money you got on Wales’ head. Now, you and me didn’t ride all that way for that. I don’t want to hear Wales dead… I want to SEE Wales dead.

Lige: Benny! Come out! We got us the Josey Wales.

Captain Terrill: [to Josey] Josey Wales! You’re all alone now, Wales!
Lone Watie: [Extending a rifle barrel from a cabin window] Well, he’s not exactly *alone*.

Lone Watie: Get Ready little lady.
Grandma Sarah: What?
Lone Watie: Hell is coming to breakfast.

Josey Wales: Anyone gets hit, sing out. Slap iron to it. It’s the fastest way to stop the blood.

[first lines]
Josey’s wife: Little Josey! C’mon in, let’s get you cleaned up!

Lone Watie: I’m glad you stopped me when you did. I might have killed her.

[the Comanchero leader has stopped his men from raping Laura Lee]
Comanchero Leader: You damn fools! Ten Bears gonna want him a fresh woman. Fresh, that little gal will bring ten, maybe twelve horses. Now, if one of you has to, you can take that old woman over there. She might be worth one donkey.

[Grandma Sarah notices that Lone Watie has painted his face]
Grandma Sarah: What’s all that paint about?
Lone Watie: It’s my death face.
Grandma Sarah: You know, we’re sure gonna show them redskins somethin’ tomorrow. No offense meant.
Lone Watie: None taken.

Fletcher: He’s
Fletcher: has got the first move And I’d tell him.
Josey Wales: What’s that?
Fletcher: That the war is over.
Josey Wales: I reckon we all lost a little bit in that damn war.

Grandma Sarah: This Mr. Wales is a cold-blooded killer. He’s from Missouri, where they’re all known to be killers of innocent men, women and children.
Lone Watie: Would you rather be riding with Comancheros, Granny?
Grandma Sarah: No, I wouldn’t.


Sam Dickson

Sam Dickson is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News