Narrowing down this list to just ten was extremely hard to do. A list of top ten one-liners could be made exclusively from a single movie like Tombstone or The Outlaw Josey Wales. It could be made entirely of John Wayne or Clint Eastwood quotes. Yet I've tried to make it as inclusive as possible, highlighting some of the best of the genre. Here they are, in no particular order.
- "Get out of Dodge." – Matt Dillon, James Arness, Gunsmoke
A line that's often overlooked in some of the other lists I've seen online, probably because it's a television series and not a movie. But you can't mention anything in the Western genre without including Gunsmoke.
- "I'm your huckleberry." – Doc Holliday, Val Kilmer, Tombstone
There are a myriad of lines from the movie that could have been included on this list, this is just one of them.
- "Well, you may not know this, but there's things that gnaw at a man worse than dying." – Charlie Waite, Kevin Costner, Open Range
One of the best Westerns made in recent times.
A great line from John Wayne's last film. Perhaps one of his best quotes and a good philosophy to live by.
- "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig." – Blondie, Clint Eastwood, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
A quote from the movie that gave a major boost to Eastwood's career and perhaps the best of the Spaghetti Westerns.
- "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an ax, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." – Shane, Alan Ladd, Shane
A great line from a pivotal Western that influenced everything that came after it.
- "It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have." – Will Munny, Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven
One of Eastwood's best films that has influenced me and my writing a great deal.
- "Dying ain't much of a living, boy." – Josey Wales, Clint Eastwood, The Outlaw Josey Wales
A ground breaking film for it's time that was one of the first of the Hollywood Westerns to portray Native Americans as more than ignorant savages.
- "That'll be the day." – Ethan Edwards, John Wayne, The Searchers
In my opinion, the best movie ever made, in any genre. Period.
- "I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it." – Woodrow Call, Tommy Lee Jones, Lonesome Dove
An iconic quote from an epic novel and movie.
These are just a few of my favorites. What are some of your favorite lines? Are there any left out that should have been included?