120+ Blazing Clint Eastwood Quotes

Clint Eastwood Quotes

Clint Eastwood is an American actor, director and producer. In this article, we are sharing with you the best Clint Eastwood quotes from the man and from movies he appeared in that are remembered and still being quoted to this day.

His first appearances were in the Western TV series, Rawhide. After the success of this series, he played the role of the man with no name in the trilogy of Sergio Leone (“Dollars Trilogy”) during the 1960s, and from there he rose to fame in the film industry.

Another iconic and memorable character played by Clint Eastwood during the 1970s and 1980s was the role of Harry Callahan in five “Dirty Harry” movies. Harry was an antihero cop everyone remembers and quotes even today.

Clint Eastwood has appeared in many other successful films and directed as well, among them are: Hang ‘Em High (1968), Where Eagles Dare (1968), Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Pale Rider (1985), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), In the Line of Fire (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), Mystic River (2003), Gran Torino (2008), The Mule (2018), and Cry Macho (2021).

Clint Eastwood has won 4 Academy Awards (Best Picture and Best Director for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), 4 Golden Globe Awards, 3 César Awards, and an AFI Life Achievement Award.

In 1994, Eastwood received the Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2000, he received the Italian Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award for lifetime achievements, and in 2007 he received the Legion of Honour medal.

And now ladies and gentlemen, enjoy our Clint Eastwood quotes.

Table of Contents

Clint Eastwood Quotes on Life

I tried being reasonable, I didn’t like it.


Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.


A war is a horrible thing, but it’s also a unifier of countries.


I’ve never met a genius. A genius to me is someone who does well at something he hates. Anybody can do well at something he loves – it’s just a question of finding the subject.


There’s a rebel lying deep in my soul.


What you put into life is what you get out of it.


There’s only one way to have a happy marriage and as soon as I learn what it is I’ll get married again.


The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.


When I was growing up, I wasn’t an extrovert. If anything, I was an introverted kid and a very average pupil at school. I was very quiet.


As I get older, I tend to put more into family than I used to.


I don’t believe in pessimism. If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it’s going to rain, it will.


Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.


The guys who won World War II and that whole generation have disappeared, and now we have a bunch of teenage twits.


I’m a day-to-day-type person.


Whether you like it or not, you’re forced to come to the realization that death is out there. But I don’t fear death, I’m a fatalist. I believe when it’s your time, that’s it. It’s the hand you’re dealt.


Fate pulls you in different directions.


I think being able to age gracefully is a very important talent. It is too late for me.


There are two kinds of people in this world. ‘I’ people and ‘we’ people. I’ve always tried to be a ‘we’ person.


You should never give up your inner self.


I’m just a kid – I’ve got a lot of stuff to do yet.


Some people feel that the world owes them a living.


I grew up with J. Edgar Hoover. He was the G-man, a hero to everybody, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was the big, feared organization. He was ahead of his time as far as building up forensic evidence and fingerprinting. But he took down a lot of innocent people, too.


Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it.


I’m not really a Hollywood person. Not that I don’t like L.A., but I’m just a Northern California guy.


I’m a mentor to anybody who’s interested.


Society has made us believe you should look like an 18-year-old model all your life.


I guess maybe when you get past 70, other people start asking you how you feel.


In school, I could hear the leaves rustle and go on a journey.


As you get older, you’re not afraid of doubt. Doubt isn’t running the show. You take out all the self-agonizing.


Prime time for men is, say, 35 to 45. Then they level off and fall off.


We are like boxers, one never knows how much longer one has.


I’ve always felt that if I examine myself too much, I’ll find out what I know and don’t know, and I’ll burst the bubble. I’ve gotten so lucky relying on my animal instincts, I’d rather keep a little bit of the animal alive.


In ‘Gran Torino,’ I play a guy who’s racially offensive. But he learned. It shows that you’re never too old to learn and embrace people that you don’t understand to begin with. It seems like nobody else got that message, I guess.


Man becomes his most creative during war.


I’m not a New Age person, but I do believe in meditation, and for that reason I’ve always liked the Buddhist religion. When I’ve been to Japan, I’ve been to Buddhist temples and meditated, and I found that rewarding.

Clint Eastwood Quotes on Movies and Art

If you consider film an art form, as some people do, then the Western would be a truly American art form, much as jazz is.


Other than obvious errors like forgetting a line, often I can’t see any difference between take one and take 20.


Alfred Hitchcock once told me, when I was analyzing a lot of things about his pictures, ‘Clint, you must remember, it’s only a movie.’


There’s a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven’t. You just do the best you can.


Comedy isn’t necessarily all dialogue. Think of Buster Keaton: the poker face and all this chaos going on all around him. Sometimes it’s a question of timing, of the proper rhythm.


I’m a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there.


People love westerns worldwide. There’s something fantasy-like about an individual fighting the elements. Or even bad guys and the elements. It’s a simpler time. There’s no organized laws and stuff.


Movies were invented for Jimmy Cagney, and he was invented for the movies. A perfect match.



This film cost $31 million. With that kind of money, I could have invaded some country.


Everybody thinks making films back to back is a big deal but they did it all the time in the old days.


I’d always tried to resist playing the super virility thing. I liked showing the vulnerability of age.


I have been trying to retire to the back of the camera for quite a few years, and in 1970, when I first started directing, I said, ‘If I could pull this off, I can someday move to the back of the camera and stay there.’


Actors know, with me they aren’t going to be allowed to rehearse a scene for a couple of hours and then get away with doing 25 takes before we get it right. So they come with their full bag of tricks.


I like Italian movies. I was frequently there in the ’60s, in Rome and the vicinity. It was a great period in life. I was very influenced by their stuff.


When you work with kids, especially, you want to be ready to turn the camera on at a moment’s notice.


I always thought of myself as a character actor. I never thought of myself as a leading man.


The stronger the participation of the female characters, the better the movie. They knew that in the old days, when women stars were equally as important as men.


Every picture has its own demands, and every picture stimulates something within you to tell it a certain way. I don’t know what that is; I don’t think too much about that.


I guess any movie actor can become a role model for audiences out there who enjoy him.


I kind of make a film for myself to sort of express myself.


It’s much more fun to play something you’re nothing like than what you are… It’s much easier to hide yourself in a character.


I’ve always said the one advantage an actor has of converting to a director is that he’s been in front of the camera. He doesn’t have to get in front of the camera again, subliminally or otherwise.


When I did ‘Bird,’ it was a surprise to some people, first because I wasn’t in it and second because most of the films I’d been doing were cop movies or westerns or adventure films, so to be doing one about Charlie Parker, who was a great influence on American music, was a great thrill for me.


Every movie I make teaches me something. That’s why I keep making them.


There’s no real excuse for being successful enough as an actor to do what you want and then selling out. You do it pure. You don’t try to adapt it, make it commercial.


You always want to quit while you are ahead. You don’t want to be like a fighter who stays too long in the ring until you’re not performing at your best.


They’ve got this crazy actor who’s 82 years old up there in a suit. I was a mayor, and they’re probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor I never gave speeches. I gave talks.


I always liked characters that were more grounded in reality.


It’s always appealing to play a character that has to overcome himself as well as an obstacle. It makes the drama so much deeper.


There has to be something in every role that interests you.


I think ‘Dirty Harry’ was probably sensitive toward the victims of violent crime.


I probably would have retired years ago if I hadn’t found interesting things to do.


When I see a story, I ask: is this something I’d like to be in? Is this something I’d like to see? And if I’d like to see it, would I like to tell it?


A lot of dumb pictures have made a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be anything cinema students will revel over in the future.


When I’m a director, I look at myself the actor as a completely different person. It’s somebody else up there, an actor playing a role. I keep myself out of it.


You hear about actors being late and all that sort of stuff, but you never find that with an actor who’s directed, because an actor who’s directed understands all the problems your production is going through.


You are always hoping that movie audiences are interested in characters and interested in story values rather than just mindless special effects. But you never know.


Actors know what actors are insecure about – and they’re all insecure.


I liked Vittorio De Sica a lot, and I got to work with him once in a segment movie. He was a great director. He was a very charismatic character and a guy I watched a lot when he was directing.


‘Mystic River’ just smelled interesting to me. So I read it and liked it right away. Even the dialogue in it was great.


‘Unforgiven’ is probably an example of a script that I liked right away but thought, ‘This is great, but I’d like to do this when I’m older.’ So I stuck it in the drawer for ten years and then took it out.


In ‘Changeling,’ I tried to show something you’d never see nowadays – a kid sitting and looking at the radio. Just sitting in front of the radio and listening. Your mind does the rest.


Yes, I’m always – I’m always surprised when you make a film and you live with it a while and you put it out, you never dream that anybody is ever going to want to really see it.


You know when you’re young and you see a play in high school, and the guys all have gray in their hair and they’re trying to be old men and they have no idea what that’s like? It’s just that stupid the other way around.


I think kids are natural actors. You watch most kids; if they don’t have a toy, they’ll pick up a stick and make a toy out of it. Kids will daydream all the time.

Clint Eastwood Quotes on Politics

I’m not really conservative. I’m conservative on certain things. I believe in less government. I believe in fiscal responsibility and all those things that maybe Republicans used to believe in but don’t any more.


Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it.


President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.


Politicians love regulating. That’s part of the whole power structure.


I don’t like to see a president who is just out campaigning all year long or for the last four years. I’d like to see somebody who’s going in the office. In fact, I’d like to not see them because that way you’d be sure that they’d be working.


There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down. When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody.


Winning the election is a good-news, bad-news kind of thing. Okay, now you’re the mayor. The bad news is, now you’re the mayor.


I was an Eisenhower Republican when I started out at 21 because he promised to get us out of the Korean War.


Nowadays, politically, everybody is promising everything. That’s the only way you can get elected.


A lot of people are realizing they had the wool pulled over their eyes by Obama.


If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re going to have to take what they get.


I think our politicians could learn a lot from Mandela.


I loved the fact that Obama is multi-racial. I thought that was terrific, as my wife is the same racial make-up.

Clint Eastwood Quotes from Movies

You see, my mule don’t like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you’re laughin’ at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you’re going to, I might convince him that you really didn’t mean it.

Joe, A Fistfull of Dollars (1964)


Sometimes the dead can be more useful than the living.

Joe, A Fistfull of Dollars (1964)


When a man’s got money in his pocket, he begins to appreciate peace.

Joe, A Fistfull of Dollars (1964)


You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.

Blondie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)


God’s not on our side because he hates idiots, also.

Blondie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)


Nobody calls me mister with my boots off.

Coogan, Coogan’s Bluff (1968)


Everybody’s got a right to be a sucker… once.

Hogan, Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)


When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn’t out collecting for the Red Cross.

Harry Calahan, Dirty Harry (1971)


You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?

Harry Calahan, Dirty Harry (1971)


It’s a question of methods. Everybody wants results, but nobody wants to do what they have to do to get them done.

Harry Calahan, Dirty Harry (1971)


You know, you’re going to look awfully silly with that knife sticking up your ass.

The Stranger, High Plains Drifter (1973)


Bout time this town had a new sheriff.

The Stranger, High Plains Drifter (1973)


A good man always knows his limitations.

Harry Calahan, Magnum Force (1973)


Don’t call me buddy, pal or sweetheart.

Jonathan Hemlock, The Eiger Sanction (1975)


Dying ain’t much of a living, boy.

Josey Wales, The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)


Go ahead. Make my day.

Harry Callahan, Sudden Impact (1983)


With all due respect, sir, you’re beginning to bore the hell out of me.

Gunnery Sergent Thomas Highway, Heartbreak Ridge (1986)


You want to play the game, you’d better know the rules, love.

Harry Callahan, The Dead Pool (1988)


I have strong feelings about gun control. If there’s a gun around, I want to be controlling it.

Tommy Nowak, Pink Cadillac (1989)


If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.

Nick Pulovski, The Rookie (1990)


I’m gonna take myself a nap. Please don’t wake me up unless you’re sure we’re going to crash, because… I wouldn’t want to miss something like that.

John Wilson, White Hunter, Black Heart (1990)


I’ve killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned.

Bill Munny, Unforgiven (1992)


What I said the other day, you looking like me, that ain’t true. You ain’t ugly like me, it’s just that we both have got scars.

Bill Munny, Unforgiven (1992)


Things change. They always do, it’s one of the things of nature. Most people are afraid of change, but if you look at it as something you can always count on, then it can be a comfort.

Robert Kincaid, The Bridges of Madison County (1995)


OK, you did two things wrong. First, you asked a question, and second, you asked another question.

Frankie Dunn, Million Dollar Baby (2004)


Girlie, tough ain’t enough.

Frankie Dunn, Million Dollar Baby (2004)


Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.

Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino (2008)

Interesting Facts about Clint Eastwood

After we got to know the man, actor and director a little better, it’s time to learn some interesting facts about Clint Eastwood. Enjoy!

  1. Clint Eastwood was a Swimming Instructor – No, I’m not talking about a character or role he played in a movie. I’m talking about real life. After Eastwood graduated high school, he found a job in Oregon, working as a lumberjack and forest firefighter. Later on, he was a steelworker in Texas. During the Korea war, Eastwood was drafted but wasn’t deployed for combat. Instead, he served in the army as a swimming instructor and during the nights, used to work as a bouncer at the NCO club.
  2. He Wasn’t the First Choice to Play in the Movie A Fistfull of Dollars – Eastwood was not the first choice to play in that movie, as the direction was towards James Coburn, known for his role in the movie The Great Escape and maybe also Charles Bronson. Coburn asked for $25,000 to play in the movie, but production could not afford such an amount, and Bronson thought that the script was bad, very bad. So, then came Clint Eastwood and got the part in the movie, agreeing to star to $15,000.
  3. Eastwood Got the Part in Dirty Harry Because of Frank Sinatra – This is another movie where Eastwood was not the first choice for the lead role, but one day he got a phone call and was asked if he’s still interested to play in the movie Dirty Harry. When he asked what had happened to Sinatra, he was told that Sinatra had an issue with his hand and therefore couldn’t hold a gun. This sounded like a very lame excuse to Eastwood, but he didn’t care much for it and of course agreed to play the part which became iconic as well.
  4. He is Practicing Transcendental Meditation for More Than 40 Years – Eastwood began meditating during the 1970s in order to help him continue filming The Eiger Sanction after the tragic death of David Knowles, who was a professional mountaineer and guide. He was killed during filming of The Eiger Sanction. Eastwood has been meditating ever since, twice a day and it seems to help him a lot during everyday life.
  5. He Turned Down What Would Become Iconic Roles – Clint Eastwood turned down to play the roles of Superman, John McClane (Die Hard), and even James Bond. After Sean Connery left the James Bond franchise, Eastwood was asked to play the part, but he refused. He was also asked to play Superman, but refused to that offer as well, not because it was a bad role, but because he thought that this was not for him. But wait, there’s more. Francis Ford Coppola asked Eastwood to play in the movie Apocalypse Now (1979), but Eastwood had no intentions to stay in the Philippines for 16 weeks. The role eventually went to Martin Sheen.
  6. Eastwood Was Mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea – From 1986 to 1988, Eastwood was mayor of Carmel-By-The-Sea. During his term, he made it easier to renovate or build property, built a parking lot for tourists, opened a library for children, and even changed some weird, old laws that were still in-effect like prohibiting selling or eating ice cream on public streets. What was that?! However, there were residents that did not like (to say the least) all the new tourists that began visiting the city, and Eastwood also decided not to run again for office of mayor.
  7. When He’s Directing He Shoots Only in One Take – I’m not sure if Eastwood is a hard director to work with, but when he’s directing, he does not rehearse, does not change the script if it’s finished, and ignores results of test screening. As for the words “Action” and “Cut”, he doesn’t use them as well. He says that the word “Action” scares the horses, and instead of “Cut”, he says “Let’s move on”. If that’s not enough, Eastwood hates to shoot more than one take in movies that he directs. When Matt Damon asked Eastwood for another take, Eastwood replied that it will only waste everybody’s time. And, when Kevin Costner took his time in his trailer during filming of the movie “A Perfect World” (1993), Eastwood simply decided to shoot an extra pretending to be the character of Costner, walking through the field and the image of him blurred, so no one would notice that it wasn’t Costner himself. Needless to say that the real Kevin Costner wasn’t pleased with Eastwood’s decision and action.

For more great quotes from famous actors, please visit our pages dedicated to John Wayne quotes, Charlie Chaplin quotes, Morgan Freeman quotes, and Denzel Washington quotes.

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