Happiness in the present is only shattered by comparison with the past.Doug Horton
- I won't rest until Tom Chaney is barking in Hell.
- If I smelled as bad as you I wouldn't live near people.
- If in four months I could not find Tom Chaney, with a mark on his face like banished Cain, I would not advise others how to do so.
- I also notice that the men of Texas gouge their mounts with great brutal spurs — and cultivate their hair like lettuce!
- I want Tom Chaney hanged for killing my father! It's little to me how many dogs and senators he's killed in Texas.
- Those horses can't outrun Little Blackie! They're loaded down with fat men and iron!
- I'm going! And it's not because you say I can't, and it's not because you say I can. I paid good cash money to be here, and I'm on my own business! Now, we'll have no more talk about it.
- My name is Mattie Ross, of Near Dardanelle in Yell County. My family owns property, and I don't know why I'm being treated like this!
- Rooster Cogburn is no good friend of mine! He led us straight into your hands, and now he has left me with a gang of cut-throats! Is that what they call "grit" in Fort Smith? We call it something else in Yell County.
- Papa's marker is not what was ordered. I will make that wool-headed fool of a stone man change it.
- Mr. Rat, I have a writ here that says you are to stop eating Cheng Lee's cornmeal forthwith. Now, It's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of same! [to Mattie] See? He doesn't pay any attention to me. [BANG! he shoots the rat] You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You either kill him or let him be.
- Baby sister, I was born game, and I mean to go out that way.
- General Price don't belong to me. He just rooms with me. Cats don't belong to nobody. 'Course, I depend on him.
- A fella that carries a big-bore Sharps carbine might come in handy… if we get jumped by elephants, or buffalo, or something.
- By God! That girl reminds me o' me!
- LaBoeuf, if you get crosswise of me you'll think a ton of brick had fell on you! You'll wisht you was back at the Alamo with Travis!
- It's a shame, a kid like Moon losing his leg. He's too young to be hoppin' around on a little peg. Loves to dance too much — and sports!
- DAMN a man that whistles!
- Young fella, if you're looking for trouble, I'll accommodate you. Otherwise, leave it alone.
- Ned doesn't go around killing people for no reason. Had he a reason, he'd kill them.
- Fill your hand, you son-of-a-bitch!
- Damn that Texican! When you need him, he's dead.
- We've got to get you to a doctor or you'll be deader than he is!
Ranger La Boeuf
- The French is 'La Bourf'. I say 'La Beef'.
- I only take one step at a time. That's why I was given two feet.
- You can't take men by watching them run away!
- I served under General Kirby Smith. And I don't have to hang my head when I say it.
- I ain't dead yet, you bushwhacker!
- She draws him like a gun! [referring to Mattie's constant invocation of her lawyer's name]
- I never busted a cap on a woman or anybody much under sixteen. But it's enough that you know that I'll do what I have to do.
- Most girls like little play-pretties. But you like guns, don't you?
- All the Parmalees is touched, but Harold's the worst… no, their Ma's the worst, then comes Harold's brother Farrell… but they're all good shots.
- If that girl don't stay healthy, you don't neither, understand? And you don't get paid!
- I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!
- Tom Chaney: A gun will say a whole lot quick!
- Tom Chaney: Everything happens to me, and now I'm shot by a child!
- Colonel Stonehill: Most people around here know of Rooster Cogburn and some people live to regret it. I would not be surprised to learn that he is a relative of yours.
- Colonel Stonehill: I just received word that a young girl fell head first down a fifty foot well on the Tolson Road. I thought perhaps it was you.
- Moon: He never played me false until he killed me.
- Mexican Bob: My wounds healed by themselves - from the inside!
- [Marshal Cogburn is cross-examined by a defense attorney]
- Attorney: How many men have you shot since you became a marshal, Mr. Cogburn?
- Rooster: I never shot nobody I didn't have to.
- Attorney: That was not the question. How many?
- Rooster: Uh… shot, or killed?
- Attorney: Oh, let us restrict it to killed, so that we may have a manageable figure!
- Rooster: Well, twelve to fifteen, stopping men in flight and defending myself.
- Attorney: Twelve to fifteen? So many that you cannot keep an accurate count! I have examined the record, Mr. Cogburn. A much more accurate figure is available. Come now — how many?
- Rooster: Counting them two Whartons… twenty-three.
- Attorney: Twenty-three men in four years. That makes about six men a year!
- Rooster: It's a dangerous business.
- [Moon & Emmett Quincy were arrested in previous scene; Moon was shot in the leg during their capture]
- Moon: Oh, my leg hurts!
- Rooster: I'll bet it do, sonny-boy. Now you just sit right still so it don't bleed so much.
- Quincy: I don't know any Ned Pepper. What's he look like?
- Rooster: Short, feisty fella. He's got a messed-up lower lip. I shot him in it.
- Quincy: In the lip? What was you aiming at?
- Rooster: His upper lip.
- Rooster: What we want to do is get them inside that dugout. I'll shoot the last man through the door, and then we'll have 'em over a barrel!
- La Boeuf: You'll shoot them without a call?
- Rooster: Well, it'll give 'em to know our intentions is serious! [La Boeuf & Mattie give him disapproving glares] Aw, well, I'll holler down after I shoot and see if any of 'em want to be taken alive — but when they won't, we'll shoot 'em as they come out the door.
- Mattie: [drinking water from river near camp] That tastes like iron!
- La Boeuf: You're lucky to be where water's so handy. I've seen the time I've drank out of a filthy hoofprint and I was glad to get it.
- Rooster: If ever I meet one of you Texas waddies who ain't drunk from a hoofprint, I think I'll… I'll shake their hand, or buy them a Daniel Webster cigar! [he looks over La Boeuf's horse] How long you boys down there been mounted on sheep?
- La Boeuf: Go ahead and have your little joke. But I'll tell you one thing: that little fella there will still be running when that big American stud of yours is winded and collapsed.
- Rooster: Ha — sheep! Heh, heh…
- [Rooster brings four dead outlaws to Indian Police outpost.]
- Rooster: Boots, I got Hayes and some youngster outside, along with Moon and Quincy. I want you to bury 'em.
- Boots: They're dead?
- Rooster: Well, I wouldn't want you to bury 'em if they wasn't!
- Mattie: I'm here to take you back to Fort Smith and hang!
- Chaney: And I think I will not go. Now how do you like that?
- Mattie: Well, there's a posse of officers up the hill who'll force you to go!
- Chaney: How many officers?
- Mattie: I'd say right around fifty — and they mean business! So you just walk up that hill right in front of me.
- Chaney: I believe I'll oblige those officers to come after me.
- [Ned Pepper, Mexican Bob, and the Parmalee brothers meet Rooster Cogburn blocking the road.]
- Rooster: Where's the girl, Ned?
- Ned: She was in wonderful health when last I saw her. I can't answer for her now.
- Rooster: You'll answer for her now! Where is she?
- La Boeuf: [from far off, in outlaw camp] Rooster, make a run for it! I've got Mattie! Chaney too!
- Ned: Well, Rooster, will you give us the road? I have business elsewhere.
- Rooster: Farrell, you and your brother stand clear. I've got no interest in you today. Stand clear and you won't get hurt.
- Harold: Cock-a-doodle-doo! [other outlaws laugh]
- Ned: What's your intention, Rooster? You think one on four is a dog-fall?
- Rooster: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned, or see you hanged at Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?
- Ned: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!
- Rooster: Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!
- [In a scuffle with Chaney, Mattie falls into a rattlesnake pit.]
- Mattie: Help me! Please help me! I'm in the pit! There's a snake down here, and skeletons!
- Chaney: [leaning head over edge of pit] I warrant there'll be another one before long — a little, spindly one! How do you like it?
- Mattie: [sobbing hysterically] Oh, help me, help me… please, HELP ME!
- Chaney: You say you don't like it?
- The strangest trio ever to track a killer.
- The strangest trio ever to track a killer. A fearless, one-eyed U.S. marshal who never knew a dry day in his life... a Texas ranger thirsty for bounty money... and a girl still wet behind the ears who didn't care what they were or who they were as long as they had true grit.
- A Brand New Brand Of American Frontier Story
- John Wayne - Marshal Reuben J. ("Rooster") Cogburn
- Kim Darby - Mattie Ross
- Glen Campbell - La Boeuf
- Jeff Corey - Tom Chaney
- Strother Martin - Colonel Stonehill
- Robert Duvall - "Lucky" Ned Pepper
- Dennis Hopper - Moon
- Ron Soble - "Boots" Finch
- John Fiedler - Lawyer J. Noble Daggett