Posted by ESC on April 21, 2001
In Reply to: 'It's a dirty job . . .' posted by R. Berg on April 18, 2001
: : I was thinking it's from the John Wayne movie 'The Fighting Seabees', but couldn't find quotes from that film on the web.
: John Wayne's characters are the perfect type for that line, all right, but I'm not familiar with that movie. A difficulty is that even if you find the phrase in dialogue in a particular film, it may have appeared in earlier films or writings and then the source is still not known.
While looking for another phrase, I found this. It's not the exact quote but it's a John Wayne line with a similar meaning.
A MAN'S GOT TO DO WHAT A MAN'S GOT TO DO -- "One must follow the dictates of conscience, whatever the consequences. One must do whatever is necessary to achieve the desired result. One has no choice in the matter. Originated in the United States. Usually associated with actor John Wayne (1907-79) who used it in the 1939 John Ford western 'Stagecoach.'" From the "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).