Was it John Wayne or Clint Eastwood?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Jolly Film / Constantin Film / Ocean Films

About This Quiz

“Go ahead, make my day,” and, "Whoa, take 'er easy there, Pilgrim," are two of the most famous movie quotes of all time, spoken by two of the most iconic actors ever to grace the silver screen. But what do you really know about John Wayne and Clint Eastwood?

Both men emerged from humble roots, fought their way through a morass of depressing Hollywood roles, and then pulled themselves up by the (literal and figurative) bootstraps to become major movie star celebrities. Did you know that one of them had such a difficult time breaking through that he went all the way to Italy to star in a cowboy film, and then almost immediately shot to fame? And that one never mentioned his birth name (Marion) because he absolutely hated it?

Neither man was content with simply acting in films, so they both took up directing, too. But only one of them cobbled together an Academy Award-winning career, both in front of and behind the camera. Do you know who it was?

With their competing steely gazes, these two film heroes starred in dozens and dozens of films, but only one of them had a promising athletic career, ended by injury. Can you name the star?

Click now and see if you’re tough enough to survive our Wayne-Eastwood quiz. If you make it, you’ll understand that, “Out here, due process is a bullet!”

Later in his career, which actor delivered the line, "Go ahead, make my day"?

In the smash hit "Dirty Harry" films, Eastwood played the part of a grungy city cop who isn't intimidated by crooks. He says two variations of this famous line in the fourth film, "Sudden Impact."


Which actor's career got a big boost from the 1948 film, "Red River?"

Howard Hawks is still regarded as one of the best directors of Westerns, ever. He teamed up with Wayne for the film, "Red River," a movie that showed Wayne's acting range and his ability to play darker characters.


Which man starred in "Rio Bravo," a film that also featured Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson?

In 1959, Wayne again worked with director, Howard Hawks, this time on "Rio Bravo." It was an unorthodox cast; one featuring slick-haired crooner Dean Martin.


Which actor became famous, in part, due to a character who always wore an old poncho?

In the "Dollars Trilogy" of Westerns (that started with the movie, "A Fistful of Dollars,") Eastwood's nameless character always wore an old poncho. The first movie, which came out in 1964, was a low-budget, international co-production.


Which star won an Academy Award for "True Grit?"

In 1969, Wayne won an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of a rugged U.S. marshal who wears a black eye patch and sets out to catch a murderer.


Which man directed more movies?

Wayne dabbled in directing. Eastwood, on the other hand, has directed dozens of films during his career. Many of his films have been enormously successful, including "Million Dollar Baby."


Which man starred in the 1971 psychological thriller, "Play Misty for Me?"

In "Play Misty for Me," Eastwood is a radio DJ who encounters a stalker who really, really wants him to play a song called "Misty." His costar, Jessica Walter, was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role.


Who played the character Josey Wales in, "The Outlaw Josey Wales"?

In 1976, Eastwood took on the task of playing Josey in, "The Outlaw Josey Wales." It's a story of murder and revenge and the dark consequences of both.


Which actor was known for calling cancer, "The Big C?"

John Wayne didn't like to talk directly about the disease he battled multiple times in his life. He called cancer "The Big C." It's a term that subsequently became common in daily language.


Which famous actor chain-smoked five packs of cigarettes per day, with dire consequences?

John Wayne puffed on cigarettes like they were going out of style. He paid the price. He developed cancer twice and died from the disease.


Which actor had a prominent Adam's apple that turned off some studio executives?

Eastwood's protruding Adam's apple is one of his most prominent physical features, and some casting types thought it was too distracting for a film actor. He did, of course, prove all of them wrong.


Which actor wrote, directed and performed the starring role in, "Unforgiven?"

After a hiatus from the genre, Clint Eastwood returned to Westerns with a vengeance in the 1992 film, "Unforgiven." The dark Western was nominated for five Academy Awards and won four.


Which actor starred in two of John Ford's masterpieces: "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" and "Rio Grande?"

John Ford will always be known as a director of iconic Westerns. He was sometimes publicly hard on Wayne (and generally cranky,) but his harsh methods succeeded, sparking Wayne to great work in both "Rio Grande" and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon."


He delivered the iconic line: "Whoa, take 'er easy there, Pilgrim."

In the 1962 film, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," Wayne was relegated to a supporting role as Tom Doniphon. However, he still delivered one of his most memorable lines, "Pilgrim."


Which actor got a huge break thanks to the 1939 film, "Stagecoach," directed by John Ford?

Wayne was toiling in the movie industry for a decade before nabbing a role as Ringo Kid in "Stagecoach." The movie helped push him to a much higher pay grade.


Which man played an old, dying gunfighter in the 1976 film,"The Shootist"?

Two years before Wayne was diagnosed with the stomach cancer that would eventually kill him, he played a character with cancer coming to terms with his mortality in, "The Shootist."


Which actor starred as Harry Callahan in an entire movie franchise?

In "Dirty Harry," Eastwood famously asks a young punk if he thinks he can really get away. "Dirty" Harry Callahan wasn't scared of anyone, even if he did run out of ammo.


Which of our famous Western stars is called "Duke?"

John Wayne's birth name was Marion, a moniker he despised from his earliest days. He got the nickname "Duke" because he always hung around the family dog of the same name.


Who said this timeless line? "Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have f***ed with? That’s me.”

In the 2008 film, "Gran Torino," Eastwood is a cantankerous old man at odds with some younger folks in an urban setting. He might be old, but the kids learn not to mess with him.


Which actor took a strong stance against Communists and worked to get them out of the Hollywood film industry?

In the 1950s, anti-Communist fever swept the country, and John Wayne was an outspoken Hollywood star who wanted to blacklist Communists and Communist sympathizers from the movie industry.


Which star weighed a whopping 13 pounds when he was born?

John Wayne tipped the scales at 13 pounds when he was born. Eastwood was a big baby, too. He weighed more than 11 pounds. For comparison, the average weight of a newborn is between 5.5 and 9.9 pounds.


Which actor turned down a role in "Apocalypse Now?"

Director Francis Ford Coppola offered Eastwood a starring role in "Apocalypse Now." Why'd he turn it down? He didn't want to spend 16 weeks in the Philippines. It ended up taking significantly longer than that to film the movie.


Which famous actor was a star in "Million Dollar Baby" and also directed it?

In 2004, Eastwood starred in (and directed) "Million Dollar Baby." The movie features Hilary Swank as an up-and-coming boxer.


Which actor's career launched thanks to so-called "Spaghetti Westerns" that were shot in Italy?

Eastwood's career was stuck in neutral when he got the call from director Sergio Leone in Italy. In 1964, he starred as the Man With No Name in "A Fistful of Dollars," and suddenly he became a star.


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

It was Clint Eastwood who told this poor man to start digging. In "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly," he reprised his role as the Man with No Name, a dark character with little regard for the lives of criminals.


Who said this line? "Out here, due process is a bullet!"

In the 1968 film, "Green Berets," Wayne took a break from Westerns for a war epic. It was actually a pro-Vietnam War film that was meant to present the pro-military view of the war as an answer to all the anti-war sentiment.


Which star had a big-time college football scholarship until a body surfing accident ended his sports career?

John Wayne grew up in Glendale, California and landed a football scholarship at USC in Los Angeles. However, his life path changed drastically due to a body surfing accident that left him unable to play football.


As a young man, which actor survived an emergency plane landing (in the ocean) and then swam to safety?

Clint Eastwood, who was in the military at the time, survived (along with the pilot) a doomed dive-bomber that needed to be ditched off the coast of California. Luckily, with the help of a life raft, Eastwood was able to get to shore, and both men were uninjured.


Which actor has a well-known obsession with playing chess?

John Wayne was renowned for spending his downtime playing chess. He'd even play quick games with fans!


He delivered this ominous line: "Hell of a thing, killin' a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."

As William Munny in "Unforgiven," Eastwood was a craggy, dangerous older man. He was hardened to the act of killing, but still wanted to spare lives when possible.


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