John J. Macreedy
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Quotes for
John J. Macreedy (Character)
from Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

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Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Coley Trimble: You're a yellow-bellied Jap lover! Am I right or wrong?
John J. Macreedy: You're not only wrong. You're wrong at the top of your voice.
Coley Trimble: [gets ready to scrap] You don't like my voice?

Mr. Hastings, Telegrapher: There must be some mistake. I'm Hastings, the telegraph agent. Nobody told me this train was stopping.
John J. Macreedy: They didn't?
Mr. Hastings, Telegrapher: No, I just told you they didn't. And they ought to. What I want to know is why didn't they?
John J. Macreedy: Maybe they didn't think it was important.
Mr. Hastings, Telegrapher: Important? It's the first time the streamliner's stopped here in four years.

John J. Macreedy: I want to go to a place called Adobe Flat. Are there any cabs available?
Mr. Hastings, Telegrapher: Adobe Flat?
John J. Macreedy: Yeah.
Mr. Hastings, Telegrapher: No cabs.

Reno Smith: My name's Smith. I own the Three Bar Ranch. I want to apologize for some of the people in town.
John J. Macreedy: Act like they're sitting on a keg.
Reno Smith: A keg? Of what?
John J. Macreedy: Heh-heh, oh, I don't know. Diamonds? Gunpowder?
Reno Smith: Oh, it's nothing like that. We're suspicious of strangers, is all. Hangover from the old days, the Old West.
John J. Macreedy: I thought the tradition of the Old West was hospitality.
Reno Smith: I am trying to BE hospitable, Mr. Macreedy.

Liz Wirth: Things change.
John J. Macreedy: Sure do. And Smith is the kid who changes 'em, isn't he?... What's wrong with this town of yours, Miss Wirth?
Liz Wirth: I don't want to get involved.
John J. Macreedy: Involved in what?
Liz Wirth: Whatever you're up to. Whatever happens, I've got to go on living in this town. These people are my neighbors, my friends.
John J. Macreedy: ALL of 'em?
Liz Wirth: This is my town, Mr. Macreedy, like it or not.
John J. Macreedy: Well, if you don't like it, why do you stick around?
Liz Wirth: My brother Pete, he'd never leave.
John J. Macreedy: Didn't it ever occur to you that you might leave without him? You look like a pretty independent young lady. Your brother seems to me...
Liz Wirth: Weak. Yeah, I know. That's why I couldn't leave him.
John J. Macreedy: What did your brother do?
Liz Wirth: What do you care? What do you care about Black Rock?
John J. Macreedy: I don't care anything about Black Rock. Only it just seems to me that there aren't many towns like this in America. But one town like it is enough and because I think something kind of bad happened here, Miss Wirth, something I can't quite seem to find the handle to.
Liz Wirth: You don't know what you're talking about.
John J. Macreedy: Well, I know this much: the rule of law has left here and the gorillas have taken over.

Reno Smith: I believe a man is as big as what he's seeking. I believe you're a big man, Mr. Macreedy.
John J. Macreedy: Flattery will get you nowhere.
Reno Smith: Why would a man like you be looking for a lousy Jap farmer?
John J. Macreedy: Ohhh, dadgum, maybe I'm not so big.
Reno Smith: Oh yes you are. I believe a man is as big as what'll make him mad. Nobody around here seems big enough to get you mad.
John J. Macreedy: What makes you mad, Mr. Smith?
Reno Smith: Me? Nothing, nothing...
John J. Macreedy: Ah, you're a pretty big man yourself, then. Yet the... the Japanese make you mad, don't they?
Reno Smith: Well, that's different. After that sneak attack on Pearl Harbor...
John J. Macreedy: Komoko made you mad.
Reno Smith: It's the same thing. Loyal Japanese-Americans, that's a laugh. They're all mad dogs. What about Corregidor, the death march?
John J. Macreedy: What did Komoko have to do with Corregidor?
Reno Smith: He was a Jap, wasn't he?

Reno Smith: I swear, you're beginning to make me mad.
John J. Macreedy: All strangers do, hmm?
Reno Smith: No, they don't. Not all of them. Some do, when they come around snooping...
John J. Macreedy: Snooping for what?
Reno Smith: I don't know, outsiders coming in, looking for something...
John J. Macreedy: Looking for what?
Reno Smith: I don't know! Somebody's always looking for something in this part of the West. To the historian it's the Old West, to the book writer it's the Wild West, to the businessman it's the Undeveloped West -- they say we're all poor and backward, and I guess we are, we don't even have enough water. But to us, this place is *our* West, and I wish they'd leave us alone!
John J. Macreedy: Leave you alone to do what?
Reno Smith: I don't know what you mean.

John J. Macreedy: I got a problem of my own.
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: You sure have, they're going to kill you with no hard feelings.
John J. Macreedy: And you're going to sit there and let 'em do it.
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Don't get waspish with me, mister.
John J. Macreedy: Oh, I'm sorry, I, uh...
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Yeah, well, I feel for you, but I'm consumed with apathy. Why should I mix in?

Sam, Cafe Proprietor: What'll you have?
John J. Macreedy: What've you got?
Sam, Cafe Proprietor: Chili and beans.
John J. Macreedy: Anything else?
Sam, Cafe Proprietor: Chili without beans.

John J. Macreedy: Your friend's a very... argumentative fellow.
Reno Smith: Sort of unpredictable, too. Got a temper like a rattlesnake.
Coley Trimble: That's me all over. I'm half horse, half alligator - you mess with me and I'll kick a lung outta' ya! What d'ya think of that?
John J. Macreedy: No comment.
Coley Trimble: You know, talkin' to you is like pullin' teeth. You wear me out.

John J. Macreedy: You know, I know what your trouble is, son. You'd like me to die quickly, wouldn't you, without wasting too much of your time; or quietly, so I won't embarrass you too much; or even thankfully, so your memory of the occasion won't be too unpleasant.

John J. Macreedy: [to the town mortician] Mind not looking at me like that?
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Like what?
John J. Macreedy: Like a potential customer.
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Huh. Everyone is. I get 'em comin' and goin'.

John J. MacReedy: [picks up Cole's knife] Wouldn't it have been easier to wait until I turned my back? Or are there too many witnesses present?
Reno Smith: You're still in trouble.
John J. MacReedy: You're in trouble. Whatever happens, you're sunk.
Reno Smith: You got things a big twisted...
John J. MacReedy: You killed Komoko, Smith, and sooner or later, you're gonna go up for it. Not because you killed him, because I think in a town like this you can get away with it, but because you didn't have guts enough to do it alone. You put your trust in guys like these and Hector here - not the most dependable of God's creatures. And one of these days, they're gonna catch on that you're playing 'em for a sap. And then what are ya gonna do? Peel 'em off, one by one? And in the meantime, one of 'em's gonna crack. And when they do, you're gonna go down - but HARD. Cause they got something on ya, Smith. Something to use when the going gets tough. And it's getting tougher every minute!
[hurls the knife at Smith]

First Train Conductor: Man, they look woebegone and far away.
John J. Macreedy: Oh, I'll only be here twenty-four hours.
First Train Conductor: In a place like this, it could be a lifetime.

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: They're gonna kill you with no hard feelings.
John J. Macreedy: And you're gonna sit there and let 'em do it.
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: I try to live right. I drink my milk every day. But mostly, I try to mind my own business - which is something I'd advise you to do.

Pete Wirth: My memories are so pleasant as it is...
John J. Macreedy: It's gonna take an awful lot of whiskey to wash out your guts. Go on, go on! Swill it! What is there left for you to do? You're as dead as Komoko and you don't know it...
Pete Wirth: You don't have to remind me. I've never forgotten.
John J. Macreedy: Oh, isn't that noble of you. You haven't forgotten. And you're ashamed. That's really noble of you. I suppose four years from now, you'll be sitting around here telling people you haven't forgotten me either. That's real progress. In the meantime, I'll be as dead as a - WHY DON'T YOU TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED?

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Why did you come here, Mr. Macreedy?
John J. Macreedy: Did Komoko have any other family besides his son Joe?
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Son? Nobody around here ever knew he had a son.
John J. Macreedy: Yes, he had a son. He's dead too. He's buried in Italy... Why, this Komoko boy died trying to save my life. They gave him a medal. I came here to give it to his old man. I figured the least I could do was give him one day out of my life.

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: [about the medal] Maybe we need it. It would give us something to build on. This town's wrecked, just as though it was bombed out. Maybe it can come back.
John J. Macreedy: Some towns do and some towns don't. It depends on the people.
Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: That medal would help.

[last lines]
Second Train Conductor: What's all the excitement? What happened?
John J. Macreedy: A shooting.
Second Train Conductor: Thought it was something. First time the Streamliner's stopped here in four years.
John J. Macreedy: Second time.

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: Smith owned Adobe Flat. He leased it to Komoko. He figured he had cheated him because you gotta have water to raise anything. There never was any water on Adobe Flat. Komoko dug a well. He must have gone down sixty feet
Pete Wirth: He got plenty of water. That made Smith pretty sore. He didn't like Japs anyway. The day after Pearl Harbor, Smith went to Sand City.
John J. Macreedy: Yeah, he got turned down, trying to enlist.
Pete Wirth: Well, when he got back, he was pretty sore. Around ten o'clock, we all started drinking.
John J. Macreedy: Ten in the morning.
Pete Wirth: Yeah. Smith, Coley, Sam, Hector, and me - we were all drunk. Patriotic drunk. We wanted to go out to scare the Jap a little and have a little fun. Well, when we got there, he heard us comin' and he locked the door. And then Smith started a fire. And the Jap - he came running out. His clothes were all burning. And then Smith shot him. I didn't even know he had a gun.
John J. Macreedy: Then you got scared and buried him, and kept your mouths shut, hmm?
Pete Wirth: Yeah.
John J. Macreedy: Well, go ahead and have your drink now. You're gonna need it.