Reno Smith
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Quotes for
Reno Smith (Character)
from Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

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Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Hector David: Real cool guy.
Reno Smith: Doesn't push easy, huh?
Hector David: Well, that's it. That's just it. He pushes TOO easy.

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.

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: 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.

Reno Smith: You don't know anything about Komoko, now do you, Tim?
Sheriff Tim Horn: I do not. That's the point.
Reno Smith: The point is, what you don't know won't hurt you.
Sheriff Tim Horn: Maybe there's something that I ought to know. Maybe there's something that I ought to ask you, before the stranger comes back here and starts breathing down my neck.
Reno Smith: Tim, you're just a lost ball in the high weeds! I told you a long time ago, nothing happened for you to worry about.
Sheriff Tim Horn: Thing is, I do worry. Maybe I ain't much else, but I'm sure a worrier. And I'm still the Law.
Reno Smith: Then do your job, Tim.
Sheriff Tim Horn: What is my job, Mr. Smith? Maybe I'd better find out before Macreedy does it for me.
Reno Smith: Macreedy'll do nothing... and neither will you, Tim.
Sheriff Tim Horn: Suppose I decide to try?
Reno Smith: That might be dangerous. Tim, you got the body of a hippo, but the brain of a rabbit; now don't overtax it.
Sheriff Tim Horn: ...Yes, Mr. Smith.

Reno Smith: Look, Mr. MacReedy, there is a law in this county against shootin' dogs. But when I see a mad dog, I don't wait for him to bite me.

Coley Trimble: I think Macreedy's a nothin', a nobody. So there's nothin' to worry about. What can he find out?... That Komoko... Suppose he finds out.
Reno Smith: A nobody like Macreedy can raise a pretty big stink. The point is, who'd miss a nobody like Macreedy if he just, uh, say, disappeared? Who, Coley?
Pete Wirth: Why don't we wait?... I mean, maybe he won't find anything. Maybe he'll just go away.
Reno Smith: Not Macreedy. I know those maimed guys. Their minds get twisted. They put on hair-shirts and act like martyrs. All of 'em are do-gooders, freaks, troublemakers.
Pete Wirth: Let's wait and see. There's no danger yet.
Reno Smith: No danger, he says. This guy's like a carrier of small pox. Since he's arrived, this town has a fever, an infection, and it's spreading.

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]

Reno Smith: She must have strained every muscle in her head to get so stupid.

Reno Smith: [to Tim] You're not Sheriff any more. You're so pathetic you just lost a job.

[after Liz provided directions to Komoko's farm to Macreedy, who gave her $10]
Reno Smith: You shouldn't have done that.
Liz Wirth: I thought it would be better if he went out there and got done with it. What can he find out? I wouldn't do anything to hurt you, Reno, you know that.
Reno Smith: This is liable to be the hardest ten dollars you ever earned in your life.

Liz Wirth: [going to be shot by Smith] I did everything you said!
Reno Smith: You two started out in a car and that's the way you're gonna end up - over a cliff, burning! You can blame Macreedy for that, he said I had too many witnesses.
Liz Wirth: But why me? Why start with me?
Reno Smith: I gotta start with somebody.

Reno Smith: Send a wire to Nick Gandi in Los Angeles. Tell him to find out everything he can about John J. Macreedy. Tell him I want to know fast. Don't get too nervous too fast, Hector, you're as jumpy as a stall horse... And while you wait I'll talk to him.