John Wayne Schools Liberal Author on American Freedom and Giving Thanks to God

Michael W. Chapman | June 8, 2015 | 2:30pm EDT
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The people who founded and built America did not rely on big government for a hand-out or demand “insurance for their old age,” but were rugged individualists, self-reliant, real “men” who looked up at the sky and said, “thanks God, we’ll take it from here,” said the actor John Wayne in the movie Without Reservations.

Wayne, himself a conservative, portrayed U.S. Marine Capt. “Rusty” Thomas in the highly successful 1946 film. In the movie, while traveling by train to California, liberal author “Kitty Kloch,” played by Claudette Colbert, expresses her optimism about a “new world” where the “advantages of citizenship” are shared by all and the “laissez-faire attitude” is cast aside.

John Wayne, “Rusty,” sets her straight.  As the dialogue rolls out,

Kitty Kloch (Claudette Colbert): “It never fails to surprise me that there are still vast lands in the United States literally uncultivated.

Rusty Thomas (John Wayne): “Well, it won’t be this way long. Come the private airplane, people will start spreading around.”

Kitty Kloch: “Won’t it be wonderful to be part of the new world?”

Rusty Thomas: “Well, I don’t think it will change as much as some people think.”

Kitty Kloch: “Oh, but it must!”

Rusty Thomas: “Why?”

Kitty Kloch: “For too long we’ve had that laissez-faire attitude towards executive operations. We must educate ourselves to share the responsibilities as well as the advantages of citizenship.”

Rusty Thomas: “Oh, I read that book too. It certainly made an impression on you what that writer had to say. But it’s a lot of hooey. Fixing everybody up when they let out their first squawk. Giving them pointers on good government between bottle feedings, and teaching them in school to be good little ladies and gentlemen and not smack each other around.”

Kitty Kloch: “Oh, it’s very easy to make fun of everything.”

Rusty Thomas:  “Listen, Miss Kloch, have you ever heard of some fellows that first came over to this country? You know what they found?  They found a howling wilderness, with summers too hot and winters freezing.”

Rusty Thomas: “Did they have insurance for their old age, for their crops, for their homes? They did not. They looked at the land, and the forests and the rivers, they looked at their wives, their kids and their houses, and then they looked up at the sky and they said, ‘Thanks God, we’ll take it from here.’”

Marine Lt. “Dink” Watson (Don DeFore): “They were rugged fellas!”

Rusty Thomas: “They were men.”

Without Reservations, by RKO Radio Pictures, was made in 1946 with a reported budget of $1,683,000, and it grossed $3,000,000 at the box office.

John Wayne (1907-1979), one of America’s beloved actors, was nominated for three Academy Awards in his career and he won the “Best Actor in a Leading Role” in 1969 for the film True Grit

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