Bad Day at Black Rock

Bad Day at Black Rock quotes

34 total quotes (ID: 992)

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.
Hector David
Others
Reno Smith


Coley: I'm half-hoss, half-alligator. You mess with me and I'll kick a lung outta ya. Whaddya think of that?
Macreedy: No comment.
Coley: You know, talkin' to you is like pullin' teeth. You wear me out. You're a yellow-bellied Jap lover. Am I right or wrong?
Macreedy: You're not only wrong - you're wrong at the top of your voice.
Coley: You don't like my voice?
Macreedy: [To Smith] I think your friend is trying to start trouble.
Smith: Why ever would he want to do that?
Macreedy: Well, I don't know. Maybe he thinks that if he needles me enough, I might crack. I might even fight back. And then either he or your other ape sittin' over there could beat me to death and cop a plea of self-defense.
Smith: I don't think that'll be necessary. You're so scared now you'll probably drown in your own sweat.
Coley: No, before that happens, couldn't I pick a fight with you if I tied one hand behind me...?


Liz: Things change.
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: I don't want to get involved.
Macreedy: Involved in what?
Liz: Whatever you're up to. Whatever happens, I've got to go on living in this town. These people are my neighbors, my friends.
Macreedy: All of 'em?
Liz: This is my town, Mr. Macreedy, like it or not.
Macreedy: Well, if you don't like it, why do you stick around?
Liz: My brother Pete, he'd never leave.
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: Weak. Yeah, I know. That's why I couldn't leave him.
Macreedy: What did your brother do?
Liz: What do you care? What do you care about Black Rock?
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 somethin' kind of bad happened here, Miss Wirth, somethin' I can't quite seem to find the handle to.
Liz: You don't know what you're talking about.
Macreedy: Well, I know this much. The rule of law has left here and the gorillas have taken over.

Doc: 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: 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.
Macreedy: Yeah, he got turned down, trying to enlist.
Pete: Well, when he got back, he was pretty sore. Around ten o'clock, we all started drinking.
Macreedy: Ten in the morning.
Pete: 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.
Macreedy: Then you got scared and buried him, and kept your mouths shut, hmm?
Pete: Yeah.
Macreedy: Well, go ahead and have your drink now. You're gonna need it.

Doc: He's no salesman, that's for sure. Unless he's peddlin' dynamite.
Sam: Maybe he's a cop or somethin'.
Doc: Ever see a cop with a stiff arm?
Sam: Maybe his arm's all right. Maybe he's just hangin' onto something tight in his pocket.
Doc: Like what? A pistol? A stick of TNT so he can blow up the whole mangy, miserable town?

Pete Wirth: [to Liz, on the phone] I might as well be dead. Yeah, I told him everything...I'm asking you because I need your help. You'd be saving two lives, Liz: Macreedy's and mine, if that means anything to you.

Coley Trimble: Well, if it's not Macreedy, the world's champion roadhog...You ought to be more careful, man - all that one-arm driving...It's a threat to life and limb...You could get yourself killed that way, nosin' all over the countryside.

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

Macreedy: I was looking for a man named Komoko.
Smith: Komoko, sure, I remember him, Japanese farmer. Never had a chance.
Macreedy: Oh?
Smith: He got here in '41, just before Pearl Harbor. Three months later, they shipped him off to a relocation center. Tough.
Macreedy: You don't happen to remember which one they sent him to, do you?
Smith: Who knows? Why don't you try writing him? I'd be glad to help you out.
Macreedy: No, I'm afraid you'd be wasting your time. I've already written him but they don't forward my letters. They keep sending them back.

Smith: Why would a man like you be looking for a lousy Jap farmer?...I believe a man is as big as what'll make him mad. Nobody around here seems big enough to get you mad.
Macreedy: What makes you mad, Mr. Smith?...The Japanese make you mad, don't they?
Smith: Well, that's different. After that sneak attack on Pearl Harbor - Bataan
Macreedy: Komoko made you mad.
Smith: It's the same thing. Loyal Japanese-Americans, that's a laugh. They're all mad dogs. What about Corregidor, the death march?
Macreedy: What did Komoko have to do with Corregidor?
Smith: He was a Jap, wasn't he? Look, Mr. Macreedy, there's a law in this county about shootin' dogs. But when I see a mad dog, I don't wait for him to bite me. I swear, you're beginning to make me mad.
Macreedy: All strangers do.
Smith: No they don't. Not all of 'em. Some do when they come around snooping.
Macreedy: Snooping for what?
Smith: I don't know. Outsiders coming in looking for something.
Macreedy: Looking for what?
Smith: I don't know. Somebody's always looking for something in this part of the West. To the historians, it's the "Old West." To the book writers, 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.
Macreedy: Leave you alone to do what?
Smith: I don't know what you mean.
Macreedy: What happened to Komoko?
Smith: He went away, I told you. Shortly after he left, some kids went out there. They got foolin' around and burned his place down. That's how it was. You know how kids are. I don't believe you. There's somethin' buried up there....[He pulls the wildflowers from his pocket] That means a grave. I suppose you knew that. I saw a lot of it, you know, overseas. I figured it wasn't a human grave because it wasn't marked. Kind of a mystery, isn't it?

Pete Wirth: You're mighty quick to kill - and he's not an animal.

Conductor: What's all the excitement? What happened?
Macreedy: A shooting.
Conductor: Thought it was something. First time the Streamliner's stopped here in four years.
Macreedy: Second time.

Doc: They're gonna kill you with no hard feelings.
Macreedy: And you're gonna sit there and let 'em do it.
Doc: 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.

Coley: 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.
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: Why don't we wait?...I mean, maybe he won't find anything. Maybe he'll just go away.
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: Let's wait and see. There's no danger yet.
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.

Mr. Hastings: Nobody told me the train was stopping...It's the first time the Streamliner has stopped here in four years.

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