Orson Welles, fully George Orson Welles

Welles, fully George Orson Welles

American Actor, Director, Writer and Producer in Theater, Radio and Film

Author Quotes

Thank you, Donald, for that well-meant but rather pedestrian introduction. Regarding yourself, I quote from the third part of Shakespeare's Henry VI, Act Two, Scene One. Richard speaks, "Were thy heart as hard as steel as thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine." To translate into your own idiom, Donald; you're a yo-yo. Now I direct my remarks to Dean Martin, who is being honored here tonight... for reasons that completely elude me. No, I'm not being fair to Dean because - this is true - in his way Dean, and I know him very well, has the soul of a poet. I'm told that in his most famous song Dean authored a lyric which is so romantic, so touching that it will be enjoyed by generations of lovers until the end of time. Let's share it together. [Opens a songsheet for Dean's "That's Amore" and reads in a monotone] "When the moon hits your eye/ Like a big pizza-pie/ That's amore" Now, that's what I call 'touching', Dean. It has all the romanticism of a Ty-D-Bol commercial."When the world seems to shine/ Like you've had too much wine/ That's amore" What a profound thought. It could be inscribed forever on a cocktail napkin. Hey, there's more. "Tippy-tippy-tay/ Like a gay tarantella" Like a gay tarantella? Apparently, Dean has a 'side Dean' we know nothing about. "When the stars make you drool/ Just like a pasta fazool... Scuzza me, but you see. Back in old Napoli. That's amore" No, Dean; that's infermo, Italian for "sickened". Now, lyrics like that - lyrics like that ought to be issued with a warning: a song like that is hazardous to your health. Ladies and gentlemen...[motions to Dean] you are looking at the end result!

The title is so good, you don't have to make the movie; just release the title.

You don't know what I'm up against. Because it's full of, of, of things that are only correct because they're grammatical, but they're tough on the ear, you see. This is a very wearying one. It's unpleasant to read. Unrewarding. "Because Findus freeze the cod at sea, and then add a crumb-crisp" Ooh, "crumb-crisp coating." Ahh, that's tough, "crumb-crisp coating." I think, no, because of the way it's written, you need to break it up, because it's not, it's not as conversationally written.

That doesn't make any sense. Sorry. There's no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with "in" and emphasize it. Get me a jury and show me how you can say "In July" and I'll go down on you. That's just idiotic, if you'll forgive me by saying so. That's just stupid... "In July"; I'd love to know how you emphasize "In" in "In July". Impossible! Meaningless!

The trouble with a movie is that it's old before it's released. It's no accident that it comes in a can.

You know from past experiences that whenever you have been driven to the wall, or thought you were, you have extricated yourself in a way which you never would have dreamed possible had you not been put to the test. The trouble is that in your everyday life you don't go deep enough to tap the divine mind within you.

The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.

The word genius was whispered into my ear, the first thing I ever heard, while I was still mewling in my crib. So it never occurred to me that I wasn't until middle age.

You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

The basic and essential human is the woman.

There are a thousand ways of playing a good classic. If it were effective, I would play Hamlet on a trapeze.

You long-faced, over-dressed anarchist!

The best thing commercially, which is the worst artistically, by and large, is the most successful.

There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.

You're beautiful. Yes you are, you're very, very beautiful. Extremely beautiful.

Nowadays, people's interest in motion pictures is restricted to wanting to know whether Veronica Lake's hair is all her own. I don't see how it could be.

The camera is much more than a recording apparatus. It is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.

There are three intolerable things in life - cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women...

Old age is the only disease you don’t want to be cured of.

The director is simply the audience. So the terrible burden of the director is to take the place of that yawning vacuum, to be the audience and to select from what happens during the day which movement shall be a disaster and which a gala night. His job is to preside over accidents.

They teach anything in universities today. You can major in mud pies.

One should make movies innocently — the way Adam and Eve named the animals, their first day in the garden.... Learn from your own interior vision of things, as if there had never been a D.W.Griffith, or a [Sergei] Eisenstein, or a [John] Ford, or a [Jean] Renoir, or anybody.

The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.

This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character, to assure you that The War of the Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be; The Mercury Theatre's own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying "Boo!" Starting now, we couldn't soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the next best thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears and utterly destroyed the CBS. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn't mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember please for the next day or so the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody's there, that was no Martian, it's Halloween. [on-air apology given at the end of his infamous War of the Worlds broadcast]

Only in a police state is the job of a policeman easy.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Welles, fully George Orson Welles
Birth Date
Death Date

American Actor, Director, Writer and Producer in Theater, Radio and Film