You know, gentlemen, this man here, he married a whore. Used to ride with us. We all had her, but he married her! And you know, that makes him a better man than us. He's a better man...

Dutch van der Linde, speaking about John Marston

Great Men are Not Always Wise is the forty-third mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


Word has it that Dutch Van Der Linde is coming into Blackwater to meet with the Banker. John heads to the bank joining Edgar Ross and his posse. The posse ends up on a roof across the courtyard from the bank and must snipe Dutch's gang before they get away.

Once inside the bank, a small stand-off between Marston and Dutch ends with the death of a female bank worker and Dutch's escape. The posse rides a short distance tailing Dutch, killing more of his gang along the way. Despite finding Dutch's automobile burning on the side of the road, he still manages to escape. Ross, of course, blames Marston.


Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

  • Climb to the roof and snipe Dutch's men as they try to escape the bank.
  • Save the hostages in the bank vault.
  • Find Dutch on the second floor.
  • Chase Dutch to Bearclaw Camp.
  • Kill all of Dutch's men in the camp.

Mission Details

Climb the ladder and take position on the roof. Use your rifle to view the execution in front of the bank (you can stop the execution if you go to Dead Eye and shoot the executioner), then gun down the gang members as they come out. There will also be some gang members in windows so keep an eye out for them as well.

After a small cutscene, run across the yard into the bank and kill the enemies inside. There will be one gang member holding a hostage — use Dead Eye targeting to take him out and then head upstairs after the civilians run out. Don't take too long, or the hostage will be executed, which fails the mission. Take out the few enemies upstairs, then head into the back room to get a dramatic cutscene of Dutch killing a hostage and leaving with the banker.

Mount your horse and ride with the lawman after Dutch to Bearclaw Camp. You'll find his automobile burning and the banker's corpse, and then a large gang of enemies. Take them out and meet up with the other government agents for a cutscene to end the mission.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: Great Men are Not Always Wise/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults or kills Ross, Fordham or any other lawman.
  • Abandons the rooftop.
  • Kills the hostage at the front door.
  • Allows any gang members to escape.
  • Assaults or kills any hostages in the bank.
  • Allows the hostage in the bank to be killed.
  • Abandons the bank.
  • Kills his own or any other lawman's horse.
  • Strays too far from the mission location.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 6:40
  • Shot Accuracy: 75%
  • Number of Headshots: 10



  • To get 100% accuracy on this mission, simply use dynamite when asked to shoot the lock. Aim the dynamite at the window above the locked door, or it most likely will kill the deputy next to it. The explosion should blow the doors open while preserving accuracy, now just make sure all the other shots connect. On a side note, the explosion should also take out two gang members on the second floor of the bank.
  • There is a unique safe that can be cracked at the start of this mission. After the opening cutscene, before climbing the ladder to the roof go back inside the building and enter Agent Ross' office. There is a safe that can only be accessed during this mission, and no honor will be lost and no wanted level will be gained. You will not fail the mission either. Will yield around the normal amount of $ as any other bank safe.


  • The start of the mission, when Marston and the Marshals are firing on the gang members, could be a tribute to the 1969 Western, The Wild Bunch, where a character and a group of bounty hunters are firing down on a criminal gang robbing the bank.
  • The article on the incidents of this mission published in The Blackwater Ledger incorrectly states that the shootout at Bearclaw Camp took place at Broken Tree.
  • Even though outdated, all the Sheriffs and Marshals use the Repeater Carbine, while Ross and Fordham use the Winchester Repeater.
  • It is revealed the Benton Manning calls his horse "Abraham" after getting on it to chase Dutch.
  • The burning automobile can be sat in if you dismount your horse; the right seat will set you on fire while the left will not. Also, the automobile is lightweight and can be pushed with your horse.
  • The default sniper rifle in this mission is always changed to the Rolling Block Rifle even if you possess the Carcano Rifle, and the amount of ammunition you can carry with the sniper rifle is increased to 100.
  • After getting on the roof of the agency building, if the last rifle used was the Rolling Block Rifle, then it appears on Marston's back as well as in his hands.
  • According to Rockstar Games Social Club, the trophy "A Savage Soul" is unlocked after completing this mission, but it isn't.
  • The mission's name is a Biblical reference to Job 32:9 "Great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment".
  • The two lawmen who join you in attacking the bank are named Benton Manning and Dell Hopkins.
  • The Bank Manager's corpse can be seen next to the burning automobile.
  • Strangely enough, when you are in room where you encounter Dutch, and the camera cuts to the lawman holding the Pump-action Shotgun, he holds it like it has a pistol grip, though it does not.
  • Activating the invincibility cheat will allow the player to enter the burning car's passenger seat. However, the player cannot drive the vehicle.
  • Sometimes a glitch will occur in this mission during the shootout at Bearclaw Camp.If you die, then respawn sometimes there will be a random citizen who will be using a Repeater Carbine and will be fighting alongside Marston, Ross, and the Marshals and will be shooting at the Native Americans, although he seems to be replacing one of the marshals. He is also sometimes seen wearing a holster around his waist while doing this.
  • The woman killed by Dutch is called Muriel Scranton.
  • Reinforcing the belief that John is blind in his left eye, John misses an opportunity to get a clear shot at Dutch after Dutch shoots Muriel Scranton and walks through the doorway on John's left side.
  • At the beginning of the mission, if you go back into the room that Edgar Ross was in you will see a safe that you can crack. There is usually around 60 dollars in there. You will still lose honor if you crack it so put the bandana on if you wish not to lose honor.


Video Walkthroughs


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.
Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
West Elizabeth Chapter
"Bear One Another's Burdens""Great Men are Not Always Wise""And You Will Know The Truth""And The Truth Will Set You Free"
"At Home with Dutch""For Purely Scientific Purposes""The Prodigal Son Returns (To Yale)"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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