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Quotes for
Shane (Character)
from Shane (1953)

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Shane (1953)
Marian Starrett: Guns aren't going to be my boy's life!
Joey: Why do you always have to spoil everything?
Shane: A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.
Marian Starrett: We'd all be much better off if there wasn't a single gun left in this valley - including yours.

[after Shane enters the bar and orders asks for a soda pop, Chris tries to bully him]
Chris Calloway: Well, what'll it be? Lemon, strawberry or lilac, sodbuster?
Shane: You speakin' to me?
Chris Calloway: I don't see nobody else standin' there.
[throws his drink on Shane]
Chris Calloway: Here, have some of this. Smell like a man.
Morgan Ryker: Don't it smell better in here, Grafton? Chris just fumigated a sodbuster.
Sam Grafton: Just take it easy.
Chris Calloway: I was just askin' about sody pop... pigs and taters and one thing and another.
[to Shane]
Chris Calloway: Say, which one of them tater-pickers are you workin' for? Or are you just squattin' on the range?
Shane: Joe Starrett, if it's any of your business.
Chris Calloway: Supposin' I make it my business?

Shane: You were watchin' me down it for quite a spell, weren't you?
Joey: Yes I was.
Shane: You know, I... I like a man who watches things go on around. It means he'll make his mark someday.

[after the meal that the Starretts share with Shane]
Shane: That was an elegant dinner, Mrs. Starrett.

Shane: So you're Jack Wilson.
Jack Wilson: What's that mean to you, Shane?
Shane: I've heard about you.
Jack Wilson: What have you heard, Shane?
Shane: I've heard that you're a low-down Yankee liar.
Jack Wilson: Prove it.

Joey: Was that him? Was that Wilson?
Shane: That was him. That was Wilson, all right, and he was fast, fast on the draw.

Shane: Do you mind putting down that gun? Then I'll leave.
Joe Starrett: What difference does it make, you're leaving anyway?
Shane: I'd like it to be my idea.

Shane: I gotta be going on.
Joey: Why, Shane?
Shane: A man has to be what he is, Joey. Can't break the mould. I tried it and it didn't work for me.
Joey: We want you, Shane.
Shane: Joey, there's no living with... with a killing. There's no going back from one. Right or wrong, it's a brand. A brand sticks. There's no going back. Now you run on home to your mother, and tell her... tell her everything's all right. And there aren't any more guns in the valley.
Joey: Shane...
[Joey notices that Shane is wounded]
Joey: It's bloody! You're hurt!
Shane: [Shane starts to stroke Joey's hair ] I'm all right, Joey. You go home to your mother and father and grow up to be strong and straight. And, Joey... take care of them, both of them.
Joey: Yes, Shane.
[Shane rides off]

Joe Starrett: Looks like your friends are a little late. What are the Ryker boys up to this time?
[points a rifle at Shane]
Shane: Ryker?
Joe Starrett: That's what I said.
Shane: I wouldn't know a Ryker from your Jersey cow.

Joe Starrett: Torrey was a pretty brave man, and I figure we'd be doin' wrong if we wasn't the same... We can have a regular settlement here, we can have a town and churches and a school... We've just got to, that's all... We can't give up this valley and we ain't gonna do it. This is farmin' country, a place where people can come and bring up their families. Who is Rufe Ryker or anyone else to run us away from our own homes? He only wants to grow his beef and what we want to grow up is families, to grow 'em good and grow 'em, grow 'em up strong, the way they was meant to be grown. God didn't make all this country just for one man like Ryker.
Fred Lewis: He's got it though and that's what counts.
Shane: ou know what he wants you to stay for? Something that means more to you than anything else - your families. Your wives and kids. Like you, Lewis, your girls; Shipstead with his boys. They've got a right to stay here and grow up and be happy. That's up to you people to have nerve enough to not give it up.

Marian Starrett: You were through with gun-fighting?
Shane: I changed my mind.
Marian Starrett: [softly] Are you doing this just for me?
Shane: For you, Marion... for Joe, and little Joe.
Marian Starrett: Then we'll never see you again?
Shane: Never's a long time, ma'am.
[looks at Joe, who he knocked out]
Marian Starrett: Tell him... tell him I was sorry.
Shane: No need to tell him that.

Shane: I came to get your offer, Ryker.
Rufus Ryker: I'm not dealing with you. Where's Starrett?
Shane: You're dealing with me, Ryker.
Rufus Ryker: I got no quarrel with you, Shane. You walk out now and no hard feelings.
Shane: What's your offer, Ryker?
Rufus Ryker: To you, not a thing!
Shane: That's too bad.
Rufus Ryker: Too bad?
Shane: Yeah, you've lived too long. Your kind of days are over.
Rufus Ryker: My days! What about yours, gunfighter?
Shane: The difference is I know it.
Rufus Ryker: All right. So we'll all turn in our six-guns to the bartender. We'll all start hoeing spuds. Is that it?
Shane: Not quite yet.

"Shane: The Distant Bell (#1.1)" (1966)
Rufe Ryker: I'll die before there's a school in this valley.
Shane: I'll bear that in mind.

Joey Starett: Shane, will you bring me a soda pop back?
Marian Starrett: No he will not.
Shane: No. I will not, Joey.

Marian Starrett: Will you please answer one little question for me?
Shane: Not if it's in that tone of voice.

Shane: You were right yesterday. And you're half right today. But tomorrow... that belongs to them.

Rufe Ryker: I want to be reasonable.
Shane: Well, that's a start.
Rufe Ryker: There can't be no school.
Shane: And that's the finish.

Sam Grafton: Shane, this is the way Ryker is.
Shane: Yeah, when he's up against a woman and twelve kids. Next time it won't be that way.

"Shane: The Great Invasion: Part 1 (#1.15)" (1966)
Jed: You won't drink to Quantrill, the greatest man ever to wear the old gray uniform? Or maybe you never heard of him?
Shane: I heard.
Jed: You some kind of chicken-livered yankee?
Shane: The war was a long time ago, mister.
Jed: Well, there are some of us ain't forgot.

Shane: Now where did you get fifty head of cattle to sell?
Longhorn Jenny: Well, I got what you might call a Bible herd. They increase and multiply and replenish.

Harvey Ball: You think Ryker had something to do with it?
Shane: Ryker had nothing to do with it.
Tom Starett: You don't know that, Shane. He's a cattleman, same as they are.
Shane: No, he's not the same as they are, Tom. He just looks like that to you because he's trying to kick you out of the valley. As far as the Cattlemen's Benevolent League is concerned he's just a big homesteader.
Harvey Ball: You sure think you're some kind of expert in all this, Shane.
Shane: I've worked with outfits like this, Harvey. I know how they operate. They put the law in one pocket and the newspapers in the other.
Harvey Ball: Chicken Little!
Shane: What's that supposed to mean?
Harvey Ball: [Mockingly] Run for your lives! The sky is falling!

Harvey Ball: Shane! Now I'm tired of your maybes, boy! Now you've been yellin' wolf for Lord knows how long until I got me a bellyful.
Shane: You're gonna have a bellyful of lead if you don't do something about it.

Shane: Well, a fight has a way of findin' you out, Joey.
Joey Starett: Really?
Shane: Always. There's only two things you can do. You can get ready for a fight, or figure out some way to stop it before it starts.

Joey Starett: I wish I was your age, so I'd know everything.
Shane: I wish I was your age.
Joey Starett: How come?
Shane: So there'd be a teacher I could go to. Somebody who'd straighten everybody out.

"Shane: The Day the Wolf Laughed (#1.11)" (1966)
Marian Starett: Shane, that man in Grafton's, who is he?
Shane: Somebody I knew a long time ago.
Marian Starett: He looked so strange. Was he a gunfighter?
Shane: Yeah. We both learned from the same man, like he said. He was a strange old man. He's dead now. But he's one of those people who never die in your thoughts. I keep expectin' to see him.
Marian Starett: Tell me about him, the old man who taught you.
Shane: You don't want to hear.
Marian Starett: Why? Was he that bad?
Shane: Bad? No. He was strange. He knew things. You could look into his eyes and see all of time, every man that had ever lived, suffered, and died. He was bitter and tough. He liked to think of himself as a wolf. He called us his cubs, Reno and me. Taught us everything. And he said that...
Marian Starett: That what?
Shane: That one day we'd kill each other. If we didn't learn from living, if we didn't understand, we'd destroy each other. And then he'd laugh.
Marian Starett: Is that why you're scared of him?
Shane: Yeah.

Shane: Now I'm begging you. Stay away from that town.
Rufe Ryker: Stay away? From my own town? You just don't know me very well, Shane.
Shane: And you don't know what you're dealing with.
Rufe Ryker: Why, Shane, you're scared. Aintchya? Well, I ain't!
Tom Starett: Mighty bound and determined. Well, that's Ryker.
Shane: That was Ryker. Tomorrow morning he'll be dead.

Shane: You'll never die, Ryker. You might turn to stone like a petrified tree, but you'll never die.
Rufe Ryker: Yeah, that's the way I figger.

Reno: Well, he said it would come to this, didn't he?
Shane: Yeah. He said a lot of things. A good gun should be clean and in its holster. A really good gun doesn't ever need to be drawn. You remember that, Reno?
Reno: I remember. Sure looks like we're right up against it, doesn't it? Just like he said.
Shane: Just because he said it, doesn't mean it has to be.
Reno: You're wrong, Shane.

"Shane: A Man'd Be Proud (#1.17)" (1966)
Joey Starett: Shane, what's the 'devil incarnate' mean?
Shane: Where'd you hear that?
Joey Starett: Billy Klinkeninck says his father says Rufe Ryler is the devil incarnate.
Shane: Well, that's a little strong. We've got our troubles with Rufe Ryker, but he's just a man.
Joey Starett: Betty Jo Rotter says Rufe Ryker steals babies and eats them. I know, Betty Jo Rotter's stupid.
Shane: All I want you to do is be polite to him when he gets here.
Joey Starett: [Incredulous] To Rufe Ryker?

Joey Starett: [Watching Ryker through the bunkhouse window] Look, here he comes! He's all dressed up. Looks like he's going courtin'!
Shane: [Cuts himself shaving] Ow! Cut myself!

Joey Starett: Grandpa, is Shane mad about something?
Shane: Mad? Why should I be mad?
Tom Starett: I dunno. Why don't you tell us?
Shane: Oh, it just doesn't make any sense!
Tom Starett: What doesn't make sense?
Shane: Nothing! Everything. Women.

Rufe Ryker: 'Cause she's right, Shane. We're both dead. A gunfighter and an open range cattleman. She'd be a fool to take either one of us. You know it's the truth.
Shane: Yeah. Yeah.

"Shane: An Echo of Anger (#1.4)" (1966)
Boon Spicer: So you're Shane? Somehow I thought you'd be different. A little older maybe.
Shane: I got as old as I could in the time I had.

J.D. Spicer: Joey and some old cowboy got themselves drunk on bad liquor. They was playing poker and Joey drew the fifth ace.
Shane: Dangerous card.

Shane: To save your family honor I'm supposed to run?
J.D. Spicer: That's your choice, Shane. Y'see, Uncle Josh loved that boy. He raised us like we was his own. Now, it comes to your life for his peace of mind, I'll leave you dead on this floor.
Shane: I believe you would.

[last lines]
Tom Starett: The days of our years are threescore and ten. And if by reason of their strength they are fourscore years, yet is there strength, labor, and sorrow.
Shane: For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Rufe Ryker: Amen.

"Shane: Poor Tom's A-Cold (#1.9)" (1966)
Tom Gary: I come out here from Wisconsin to own my own. I can go out there and take up a handful of dirt and it's mine!
Shane: You try to kill Ryker, the only dirt you'll own will be tossed in a hole on your head.

Marian Starett: Tom will be all right soon, won't he?
Shane: [Shane looks Marian in the face, remains thoughtfully silent]
Marian Starett: You don't think so?
Shane: It's hard to say. Once I was cleaning the stable. I found a spider web. I tore it down. Next day it was there again, so I tore it down again. It went on for about ten days. Spider building its web, me tearing it down. Then slowly the web began to change. Angles weren't precise anymore. They were twisted, out of balance. It was as though the spider was trying to find a design that couldn't be destroyed. He never found it. And I don't know if he ever built a proper web again.

Rufe Ryker: I didn't come cryin' for help! I can take care of myself. Any sodbuster try'n ambush me is gonna end up six feet under. But this is somethin' else. He's gone loco. Shootin' at his own people!
Shane: Why should that bother you, Ryker?
Rufe Ryker: Fightin's one thing. I don't want an addled man on my conscience. He's one of your'n. You do somethin' about him.

"Shane: The Bitter, the Lonely (#1.5)" (1966)
R.G. Posey: You can't stand it, can ya? You just can't live with the fact that I'm still riding on a horse while you're workin' like one on the ground.
Shane: Not only can I live with it, I prefer it.
R.G. Posey: Not if you ever really was a drover, you don't prefer it. You couldn't.
Shane: I could. I'm here.
R.G. Posey: Yeah. How come?
Shane: [Thoughtfully] Posey, do you know what a dinosaur is?
R.G. Posey: Nope.
Shane: Well, it's a prehistoric monster who died out because it couldn't learn to change with the times. Just like you. Just like Ryker.
R.G. Posey: Ryker ain't gonna die out.
Shane: Well, maybe not. But you will.

Shane: You're a loser, Posey. Born and bred. You just go on fighting and hating and beating that thick ahead of yours against each new day until you die out just like that dinosaur.

Joey Starett: Mom says that Mr. Ryker and the cowboys hate us just because we're different. She says hating for that kind of reason is the worst thing a man can do.
Shane: Well, it's bad, Joey. But there's worse things. Like when a man hates for money. When he gets paid to hate. When he puts money in his pocket with one hand and shells in his gun with the other.

"Shane: The Wild Geese (#1.3)" (1966)
Shane: What makes you so sure I won't shoot you?
Rufe Ryker: Well, if I was a miner had to work around nitroglycerine every day, don't you think I'd make it my business to know just how to handle it? To know what makes it go off? You're the nitroglycerine in my valley, Shane. I think I know you pretty well.

Shane: That's all it is, Johnny, a range war. I've been down that road too many times not to know each landmark.

"Shane: The Hant (#1.2)" (1966)
Shane: Old man, you've gone full moon!

Shane: That old man followed me from Colorado, back to Texas, and all the way up here, 'cause I killed his son.
Marian Starett: He wanted nothing of you. He's just an old man, a little touched, that's all.
Shane: There must be other men - not old, not touched - following that trail. Sooner or later one of them is gonna catch up. I don't want it to be here.

"Shane: A Long Night of Mourning (#1.13)" (1966)
Tom Starett: Something like this makes a man look at himself hard. That's what I've been doing. It isn't a very pretty view. Being a judge was hard. Being a drunk was easy.
Shane: Those days are over, Tom.
Tom Starett: No, they're not, Shane. You know I always want you to go into that saloon and get a soda pop for Joey? 'Cause there's something still in me that'd like to take all that whiskey and open it up and never stop pouring. Something still in me that'd like to take all that booze and build a fortress against the world with high walls and a thick roof.
Shane: Same things you need for a tomb.
Tom Starett: Y'know, Shane, a lot of times I've thought we're a lot alike, you and me. With me it's the bottle. With you it's that gun.

Shane: Your husband was a Westerner, Mrs. Montgomery. Out of habit, he kept five rounds in his gun, with the hammer always down on the empty chamber.
Lydia Montgomery: You know this?
Shane: Anyone who has ever worn a gun on his hip knows it.

"Shane: High Road to Viator (#1.10)" (1966)
Young Brave: You are not a man!
Shane: Does a man steal from a woman?

Shane: I was the one that talked all of you into coming out here. I thought it was something you wouldn't do by yourselves. I guess it was my way of sayin' thank you.
Tom Starett: Wasn't your fault, Shane. We've all made the same mistake.
Shane: Yeah. Only I made it bigger.

"Shane: The Big Fifty (#1.14)" (1966)
Rufe Ryker: Take the bag. Not a chance in a million that you're gonna find anything.
Shane: Well, when you've got no choice, those aren't bad odds.

"Shane: The Great Invasion: Part 2 (#1.16)" (1966)
Shane: You figure hanging Longhorn Jenny, maybe burning out some rustlers, is like fighting the Persians?
Maj. George Hackett: Well, the principle is the same, sir. Here, I will have it all here.
[Takes out sheaf of papers]
Maj. George Hackett: Some Notes on a Campaign in the Northern Wyoming Territory with Maps and Photographs by Major George G. Hackett. It will be published in three volumes, bound in calfskin, special edition signed by the author with the maps and photographs reproduced by steel engraving. It will be studied, sir, at the General Staff School in Prussia, at St. Cyr in France, and at West Point.
Shane: You seem pretty certain of your glory.
Maj. George Hackett: I am.