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A strong willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob, when she helps a wounded gang member.
Vienna: [Spoken to Johnny Guitar, with a certain scornful bitterness] A man can lie, steal... and even kill. But as long as he hangs on to his pride, he's still a man. All a woman has to do is slip - once. And she's a "tramp!" Must be a great comfort to you to be a man.
Johnny: There's only two things in this world that a 'real man' needs: a cup of coffee and a good smoke.
Johnny: How many men have you forgotten? Vienna: As many women as you've remembered. Johnny: Don't go away. Vienna: I haven't moved. Johnny: Tell me something nice. Vienna: Sure, what do you want to hear? Johnny: Lie to me. Tell me all these years you've waited. Tell me. Vienna: [without feeling] All those years I've waited. Johnny: Tell me you'd a-died if I hadn't come back. Vienna: [without feeling] I woulda died if you hadn't come back. Johnny: Tell me you still love me like I love you. Vienna: [without feeling] I still love you like you love me. Johnny: [bitterly] Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Johnny: There's nothin' like a good smoke and a cuppa' coffee. You know, some men got the craving for gold and silver. Others need lotsa' land, with herds of cattle. And then there's those that got the weakness for whiskey, and for women. When you boil it all down, what does a man really need? Just a smoke and a cup of coffee. Marshal Williams: And who are you? Johnny: The name, sir, is Johnny Guitar. Dancin' Kid: [Scornfully] That's no name! Johnny: [Cooly] Anybody care to change it? Vienna: I hired you to play the guitar, not insult my customers. Johnny: Well, if these are your customers, I'm not so sure I'll take this job. Vienna: That's pretty strong talk for a man who doesn't wear a gun.
Emma: I'm going to kill you. Vienna: I know. If I don't kill you first.
Vienna: You haven't changed at all, Johnny. Johnny: What made you think I had? Vienna: In five years, a person should learn something. Johnny: Five years ago, I met you in a saloon; now I find you in one. I don't see much change. Vienna: Except I *own* this one.
Vienna: Sam, light a lamp and hang it outside. Sam: [Reluctant, since a fierce storm is blowing outside] Nobody'll be in in this weather. Vienna: And if they do, how can they find the place? Just hang a lamp! Sam: [Meekly, to the two men in the kitchen] Never seen a woman who was more of a man. She thinks like one, acts like one, and sometimes makes me feel like I'm not.
Dancin' Kid: I like you, Guitar Man. How'd you like to work for me? Johnny: I wouldn't. Dancin' Kid: Now all of a sudden I don't like you. Johnny: Now that makes me real sad.
Vienna: [Referring to her long-ago love for Johnny Guitar] When a fire burns itself out, all you have left is ashes.
Vienna: You shouldn't have come back, Tom. Old Tom: I won't be in the way. Vienna: I can't have anyone here. Old Tom: Nobody notices me. I'm just part of the furniture.
Vienna: If you remember, McGyvers gave me 24 hours to close. I drew out my own money, paid off my boys... and I'm closed. You can't buy a drink or turn a card. I'm sitting here in my own house, minding my own business, playing my own piano. I don't think you can make a crime out of that.
Mr. Andrews: [Dining privately with Vienna in her upstairs room] Tell me, why did you pick this spot to build? How could you possibly know that the railroad was coming this way? Vienna: Some time ago I ran into your surveyor and... we exchanged confidences. When the railroad comes through here, how much do you think this property will be worth? Mr. Andrews: What's Albuquerque worth? Vienna: How would you like to share in it? I'll need all the help I can get. Mr. Andrews: I couldn't help you. I'm not very handy with a gun. Vienna: I'm offering you an opportunity to get rich! Mr. Andrews: An opportunity to get killed would be more accurate.
Vienna: Down there I sell whiskey and cards. All you can buy up these stairs is a bullet in the head. Now which do you want?
Dancin' Kid: Bart, you don't drink, you don't smoke, you're mean to horses. What do you like? Bart: Me! I like me! And I'm takin' good care of me!
Dancin' Kid: How'd Turkey take it? Hard? Johnny: You ever know anyone to take a hangin' easy?
Old Tom: That's a lot of man you're carryin' in those boots, stranger! You know, there's something about a tall man makes people sit up and take notice.
Emma: You're nothing but a railroad tramp.
Dancin' Kid: [Seeing, for the first time, Johnny Guitar wearing a gun, and not realizing who he really is] Well, look at Mr. Guitar! All dressed up and looking mighty dangerous. Johnny: What did you want to tell me? Dancin' Kid: [Mockingly, and completely unaware that Johnny Guitar is actually an extremely capable gunfighter] Oh, I'm too scared, now that you've gotta' gun. Vienna: You better lay off him, Kid. Dancin' Kid: I wouldn't hurt him. Vienna: I wasn't thinking of *you* hurting *him.* Dancin' Kid: Oh, you mean he might shoot himself in the leg, trying to draw? [chuckles rudely] Vienna: No... but if I were you, I wouldn't fool around with Johnny Logan. Dancin' Kid: [Stunned] Are you... Johnny Logan? Johnny: That's the name, friend.
Vienna: The railroad's sending in people by tens, twenties, hundreds, and thousands! You can't keep them all out! Tell them, Mr. Andrews! Mr. Andrews: I think you put it rather well. John McIvers: You're not buildin' no depot here. Mr. Andrews: That's for Vienna to decide. Vienna: [Brief pause] Vienna decided!
Dancin' Kid: How did it feel with that rope around your neck, Vienna? Vienna: [Sarcastically] Try it sometime.
Old Tom: [dying words] Look... everybody's looking at me. It's the first time I ever felt important.
Vienna: I intend to be buried here - in the 20th century!
Emma: [to Vienna] You're nothin' but a railroad tramp! You're not fit to live among us!
Vienna: Eddie, that's last month's paper. How many times do you have to read it? Eddie: I like to know what's happening in the world, outside. Vienna: There'll be plenty happening here soon. Just worry about that.
Dancin' Kid: Heads I'll kill you. Tails I'll let you play your tune.
Dancin' Kid: Maybe you're right, Bart. This dust and sand is bad for Corey's lungs. How'd you like to come home with me, Corey? Corey: Where's your home? Dancin' Kid: New York. Bart: New York? I been there. Stinks of fish! [laughs rudely] Dancin' Kid: And where you come from don't stink... much.
Emma: You all think she's some fine lady and that doing nothing makes you fine gentlemen. Well she ain't! And you're not!
Vienna: [Looking down at the deserted gambling area of her saloon] Spin the wheel, Eddie. Eddie: [Perplexed] What for? There's no customers. Vienna: I like to hear it spin. [Eddie drops his paper and gives the roulette wheel a good spin]
Dancin' Kid: I didn't get your name stranger. Johnny: Guitar. Johnny Guitar. Dancin' Kid: You call that a name? Johnny: Care to try and change it?
Emma: [Passionately addressing the members of the posse] You heard her tell how they're gonna' run the railroad through here, bringin' thousands of new people from the east. Farmers! Dirt farmers! Squatters! They'll push us out. Is that what you're waitin' for? You're actin' like she's some fine lady, and doin' nothin' makes all of you fine gentlemen. Well, she ain't, and you're not! So you better wake up. Or you're gonna' find you and your women and your kids squeezed between barbed wire and fence posts. Is that what you're waitin' for? Well, I'm not!
Bart: A man who can't hold on to a glass should drink like a baby from a bottle. Open your mouth guitar man, and I'll feed ya.
Marshal Williams: [the posse has come to Vienna's, demanding the whereabouts of the Dancin' Kid's gang] We came for the Kid and his bunch. Vienna: [Calmly sitting and playing the piano] That's what you said yesterday. Marshal Williams: We came for you too, Vienna. Vienna: [Still playing the piano, unperturbed] Why? I had nothing to do with robbing the bank. Every man here knows that. I don't have to hold up banks. All I have to do is sit here and wait for the railroad to come through. And that is my intention.
Johnny: [starting a song] Her name was Emma Smalls, Emma Smalls.
Dancin' Kid: Hangin'... That's a mean way to go.
Johnny: [Mining crews are blasting up in the nearby hills, making the roads impassable] They're closing the pass. If you're thinking of running, it's a little late. I've got a hunch the posse will be droppin' in on ya' before night. Same people who paid you a visit yesterday, only they won't be the same. A posse isn't people. I've ridden with 'em, and I've ridden against 'em. A posse is an animal that moves like one and thinks like one. Vienna: [Dismissively] They're men with itchy fingers and a coil of rope around their saddle horns, lookin' for somebody to hang. And after riding a few hours they don't care much WHO they hang. You haven't told me a thing I don't know.
Vienna: Who are you?! And you, and you, to break into my house with your angry faces and evil minds?!