I'm sure everyone is familiar with this phrase, used by Duke's character Wil Anderson in The Cowboys.
Following this conversation
I have heard we're burning daylight recently in everything from current movies to tv soap operas and everything in between. Was it the Duke that made this phrase famous? I know it was used in Hollywood before.
"We're burning daylight" was Wil Anderson's catch phrase in The Cowboys. It may have been used somewhere else to cause it to be so popular but I always think of JW when I hear it.
I am most familiar with the phrase, having heard it in The Cowboys. Interestingly enough, in the movie Secondhand Lions (2003), the phrase is used once by Walter's mother, though the story appears to take place in the early sixties and of course, The Cowboys wasn't until 1972. The Irish Duke said he thinks the phrase was used by Hollywood earlier, it would be interesting to know more about the history of it.
from another thread, I went to IMDB to see if I could learn more about the history of the quote. I was quite surprised to discover that there were only three references to films or TV shows that included the quote, and not one was The Cowboys (the oldest was 2001!)! When I shortened the phrases to "burning daylight", there were four results (again, The Cowboys was not among them).
Put the phrase "We're burnin' daylight" into the IMDB search and filter by "Quotes" and the only reference that comes up is The Cowboys. Go figure . . . .
Putting "We're burning daylight" into a Google search led me to a couple of interesting sites - this one, that gives a much larger result (34, still doesn't include The Cowboys but does include Secondhand Lions) and this one, which gives a brief explanation of the original use of the phrase.
Again, use the phrase "We're burnin' daylight", and The Cowboys is the ONLY result. What a difference that little 'g' makes!