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The Outlaw Josey Wales released in 1976, is based on the American revisionist and Panavision film set during and after the American Civil War. The American Civil War is a great war of struggle and independence and this movie perfectly describes the efforts that had gone into the struggle. To direct the movie and star in it while keeping both the dimensions is an exemplary art and only a few have mastered it. Clint Eastwood is one celebrated legend who has mastered both and delivers an absolute master class with this movie.
The story revolves around the life of Josey Wales, a Missouri farmer whose family gets murdered by the Union Militants during the gory Civil War. In seek of revenge, Wales joins a Confederate guerilla band and then takes part and fights in the Civil War. Once the war is over, all the people who fought in the war apart from Wales surrender to the tyrannous Union Officers, however, they end up getting massacred. Wales is declared an outlaw and gets pursued by bounty hunters and union soldiers.
The cast includes Chief Dan George as Lone Watie, Clint Eastwood as Josey Wales, Bill McKinney as Terrill, Sondra Locke as Laura Lee, Paula Trueman as Grandma Sarah, John Vernon as Fletcher, Charles Tyner as ZukieLimmer, Sam Bottoms as Jamie, Woodrow Parfrey as Carpetbagger, Geraldine Keams as Little Moonlight, ShebWooley as Travis Cobb, Joyce Jameson as Rose, Matt Clark as Kelly, Royal Dano as Ten Spot, John Quade as Comanchero Leader, Will Sampson as Ten Bears, William O’Connell as Tim Carstairs, John Russell as “Bloody Bill” Anderson, Doug McGrath as Lige and , Len Lesser as Abe.
The film was a success, earning up to $31.8 million. In 1996, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for its success.
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“Actually, I was looking to gain an edge.”
“A horned toad can tell you which way to go.”
“Dying ain’t much of a living, boy!”
“A real frog strangler.”
“Abe, watch out. He’s probably got another pistol in there.”
“- 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.”
“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.”
“- Josey Wales: You a bounty hunter?
– First Bounty Hunter: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.
– Josey Wales: Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.”
“- 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.”
“- 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.”
“- 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.”
“Dying ain’t hard for men like you and me. It’s living that’s hard when all you’ve ever cared about has been butchered or raped.”
– Senator Lane: 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”.
“- 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.”
“- Carpetbagger: [holds up a bottle of patent medicine] 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?”
“- 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.”
“I didn’t surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender.”
“After his Lucy passed on he didn’t show much interest in women.”
“Ain’t one of my generals.”
“Alive? No sir.”
“All raise your right hands so I can take your oath.”
“All right, let’s move out.”
“All right, we can get to work dusting first.”
“All right. I want you men to raise your right hands. -What for? -So you can pledge loyalty to the Union.”
“All that a fellow has to do is ride into that Union camp down there, raise his right hand and swear you’ll be loyal to the United States.”
“Alrighty. I’ll get you a horse.”
“Always wanted to face out one of these big pistol fighters they raise all the fuss about.”
“And each year he is pushed further across the plains.”
“And every spring when the grass turns green and the Comanche moves north, he can rest here in peace, butcher some of our cattle and jerk beef for the journey.”
“And get those gents whatever they’re drinking. You too, ma’am.”
“And there’s an old saying: To the victors belong the spoils.”
“And your word of death? -It’s here in my pistols and there in your rifles.”
“Clouds are like dreams floating across a sky-blue mind.”
“Do you really think you can shoot all those men down before they shoot you?”
“Doing right ain’t got no end.”
“Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.”
“Dying ain’t so hard for men like you and me. It’s living that’s hard when all you ever cared about has been butchered or raped.”
“From governments you don’t always get a fair word or a fair fight. I’ve come here to give you either one. Or get either one from you.”
“Get ready, little lady. Hell is coming to breakfast.”
“Got to be an Indian to know those things.”
“Governments don’t live together. People live together.”
“Hell, man, can’t you get her to shut up?”
“How come you’re doing this then? -I’ve got nothing better to do.”
“How is it with stains?”
“I came here like this so you’ll know my word of death is true. And that my word of life is then true.”
“I came here to die with you. Or live with you.”
“I kind of liked her. But it’s always like that. -Like what? -Whenever I get to liking someone, they ain’t around long.”
“I made this chain for you. I braided it from my hair.”
“I notice when you get to disliking someone, they ain’t around for long neither.”
“If you lose your head and you give up, then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is.”
“Is that the kind of dumb jokes they teach to pretty girls in Kansas?”
“Look, I’ve got some beer. Some good brewed choc. It’s on the house.”
“Nasty habit, young fellow. You born in a barn?”
“Now remember, when things look bad, and it looks like you won’t make it, then you got to get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean!”
“See? When you pull his teeth, he’s harmless as a heel hound.”
“Sometimes trouble just follows a man.”
“That meal was damn good. I’m going to take up tepee living if it’s like this.”
“That’s true. I ain’t promising you nothing extra.”
“The Lord gives, the Lord takes away.”
“These things you say we will have, we already have.”
“They were decently treated. They were decently fed and then they were decently shot.”
“They’re following us. Couple of horses, far off, moving fast.”
“This is what you give those Indians. Where’s the real stuff?”
“To hell with them fellows. Buzzards got to eat, same as worms.”
“Watch it. He’s meaner than a rattler and twice as fast with them pistols!”
“We’ll have whiskey all around. Comanchero brand.”
“Well, he’ll have to run for it now. And hell is where he’s headed.”
“Well, what can you expect from a nonbeliever?”
“What’s all that paint about? -It’s my death face.”
“Why don’t you stay with us? Be our partner.”
“Why, I appreciate your concern. I am glad to find manners at last, here in the wilderness.”
“Yeah, first the silver run out of the Santo Rio. Then the people run out. Then the whiskey. Then the beer run out.”
“Yeah. I always heard there were three kinds of suns in Kansas. Sunshine, sunflowers and sons of bitches.”
“You can’t get them all, Josey. -That’s a fact.”
“You going to pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?”
“You have any food here? -All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it’s not for eating. It’s just for looking through.”
“You know what I say? -What’s that? -I say that big talk’s worth diddlysquat.”
“You showed us. Now get in line before I kick you so hard you’ll wear your _ for a hat.”
“And he said: Boy! You boys sure look civilized!”
“And how about you, sir? Just a few bottles left. You won’t regret it.”
“And I could rope my arms I fling round rose of Alabama.”
“And I further swear, that though I be murderous…”
“And if we try riding instead of thinking, well, we’ll end up hanging by a rope by nightfall.”
“And I’m saying that men can live together without butchering one another.”
“And now the white man is sneaking up on me. Again.”
“And recognize that it is one nation.”
“And she says you are a great warrior and that she sort of belongs to you for what you done for her.”
“And so there is iron in your words of life.”
“And thank you, Lord, for getting us together in Texas.”
Get ready, little lady. Hell is coming to breakfast.
Now remember, 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.”
You have any food here?
All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it’s not for eatin’. It’s just for lookin’ through.””
When I get to likin’ someone, they ain’t around long.
I notice when you get to DISlikin’ someone they ain’t around for long neither.
Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?”
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.
I didn’t surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas I bet.
I wish we had time to bury them fellas.”
To hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.
These things you say we will have, we already have.”
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.”
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.”
Fletcher, there’s an old saying: To the victors belong the spoils.
There’s another old saying, Senator: Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.”
“Bounty hunter #1:
You’re wanted, 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.
Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.”
I think I’ll go down to Mexico to try to find him.
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?
I reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.”
Anyone gets hit, sing out. Slap iron to it. It’s the fastest way to stop the bleeding.
Damn you, Senator. You promised me those men would be decently treated.”
They were decently treated. They were decently fed and then they were decently shot.
I’m glad you stopped me when you did. I might have killed her.
You can’t get ’em all, Josie.”
That’s a fact.
How come you’re doing this, then?”
Because I ain’t got nothin’ better to do.
“Bloody Bill” Anderson:
Name’s Anderson. Bloody Bill’s what they call me.
“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.
I’ll be comin’ with you.”
I’m gettin’ better at sneaking up on you like this. Only an Indian can do something like this.
That’s what I figured.
Only an Indian could do something like that.
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.”
More like old habits than old age.
Kansas was all golden and smelled like sunshine.”
Yeah, well, I always heard there were three kinds of suns in Kansas, sunshine, sunflowers, and sons-of-bitches.
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.”
So, you’ll be Josey Wales.
Now, how might you know that, Granny?”
Soldiers were here looking for you ’bout two hours ago.
Uh, I was goin’ to mention that to you… as soon as I got the chance.”
They say you killed your own men.
Those lying, blue-scum bellies…”
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?
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.
You can pay me when you see me again, Josey Wales.”
I reckon so.
Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.”
How did you know which one was goin’ to shoot first?
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.”
How ’bout the one on the right?
Never paid him no mind; you were there.”
I could have missed.
Ten year I been ferryin’ Kansas Redlegs, Union cavalry, Missouri guerillas… you name it. Mad dogs them guerillas. You look sideways at ’em…”
they kill ya.
Sound like hard men to do business with.”
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.
Can’t say as I blame you for that. Only good business to play it safe.”
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.
Would you rather be riding with Comancheros, Granny?”
No, I wouldn’t.
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.”
Little Josey! C’mon in, let’s get you cleaned up!
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.”
I wonder where she ever got that idea.
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.”
What’s all that paint about?
It’s my death face.”
You know, we’re sure gonna show them redskins somethin’ tomorrow. No offense meant.
This can’t be Santa Rio! My son, Tom Turner, said it was a thriving town!
It was; but when the silver run out, the thrivin’ run out with it.”
that’s the way it is when i start liking someone they are not around long.
Well i noticed when you start disliking someone they are not around long either.
If we ride instead of thinking, we’ll be swinging from a rope by sundown .
Watch em Abe , I’ve seen him do some things . Shut up lige . Watch em Abe . He’s mean as a rattlesnake and twice as fast with them pistols .”