The Outlaw Josey Wales

1976 film by Clint Eastwood

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 Western movie set at the end of the American Civil War, about a Missouri farmer who joins a Confederate guerrilla unit and winds up on the run from the Union soldiers who murdered his family.

Directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Phil Kaufman and Sonia Chernus, based on the novel The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales by Forest Carter. army of one.

Josey Wales

  • [to bounty hunter] Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy.
  • Hell with them fellas. Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.
  • There ain't no forgettin'.
  • 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.
  • [while aiming his scoped rifle at a ferry rope] Well, Mr. Carpetbagger we've got something in this territory called the Missouri boat ride.
  • Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle 'Dixie'?
  • Sometimes, trouble just follows a man.

Grandma Sarah

  • We'll do without molasses. Anything from Missouri has a taint about it.


  • [to Abe, his fellow bounty hunter] He's mean as a rattler, and twice as fast with them pistols.
  • [to Lige] You pull his teeth, he's harmless as a heel hound. Always wanted to face down one of these pistol fighters they raise all the fuss about. Only way to handle them.

Lone Watie

  • I wore this frock coat in Washington, before the war. We wore them because we belonged to the five civilized tribes. We dressed ourselves up like Abraham Lincoln. We only got to see the Secretary of the Interior, and he said: "Boy! You boys sure look civilized.!" he congratulated us and gave us medals for looking so civilized. We told him about how our land had been stolen and our people were dying. When we finished he shook our hands and said, "endeavor to persevere!" They stood us in a line: John Jumper, Chili McIntosh, Buffalo Hump, Jim Buckmark, and me — I am Lone Watie. They took our pictures. And the newspapers said, "Indians vow to endeavor to persevere."
  • 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 neither. But they took my horse and made him surrender ... they have him pullin' a wagon up in Kansas, I'll bet.
  • All I have is a piece of hard rock candy. But it's not for eating. It's just for looking through.
  • You know, she thinks I'm some kind of a Cherokee chief.


Jamie: Whupped 'em again, didn't we Josey?
Josey Wales: I reckon so.

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.

First Bounty Hunter: You're wanted, Wales.
Josey Wales: Reckon I'm right popular. 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.

[Josey meets with Ten Bears to negotiate a truce]
Josey Wales: You be Ten Bears?
Ten Bears: I am Ten Bears.
Josey 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.
Josey Wales: I reckon not. Got no place else to go
Ten Bears: Then you will die.
Josey Wales: I came here to die with you. Or live with you. Dying ain't so 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. Governments don't live together--people live together. With governments, you don't always get a fair word or a fair fight. Well, I've come here to give you either one or get either one from you. I came here like this so you'll know my word of death is true, and my word of life is then true. The bear lives here, the wolf, the antelope, the Comanche. And so will we. Now we'll only hunt what we need to live on, same as the Comanche does. And every spring, when the grass turns green, and the Comanche moves north, you can rest here in peace, butcher some of our cattle, and jerk beef for the journey. The sign of the Comanche, that will be on our lodge. That's my word of life.
Ten Bears: And your word of death?
Josey Wales: It's here in my pistols and there in your rifles. I'm here for either one.
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. [Draws his knife and cuts his palm. Josey cuts his as well and they grasp hands, becoming blood brothers] So will it be.
Josey Wales: I reckon so.

Lone Watie: Guess we ain't going to see that little Navajo girl again.
Josey Wales: Nah, I guess not. I kinda liked her, but then it's always like that.
Lone Watie: Like what?
Josey Wales: Whenever 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.


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