Orson Welles, fully George Orson Welles

Welles, fully George Orson Welles

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

Author Quotes

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

The enemy of society is middle class and the enemy of life is middle age.

This theatre is your theatre. You are responsible for its creation and its progress.

Only very intelligent people don't wish they were in politics, and I'm dumb enough to want to be in there.

The essential is to excite the spectators. If that means playing Hamlet on a flying trapeze or in an aquarium, you do it.

Today I believe that man cannot escape his destiny to create whatever it is we make - jazz, a wooden spoon, or graffiti on the wall. All of these are expressions of man's creativity, proof that man has not yet been destroyed by technology. But are we making things for the people of our epoch or repeating what has been done before? And finally, is the question itself important? We must ask ourselves that. The most important thing is always to doubt the importance of the question.

Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash - the triumphs, the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life: we're going to die. Be of good heart, cry the dead artists out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing. Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much.

The greatest enemy of art is the absence of limitations.

We know a little place in the American Far West, where Charlie Briggs chops up the finest prairie-fed beef and tastes... (pauses, and continues with a note of disgust in his voice) This is a lot of shit, you know that! You want one more? One more on the beef?

Paris is the playwright's delight. New York is the home of directors. London, however, is the actor's city, the only one in the world. In London, actors are given their head.

The ideal American type is perfectly expressed by the Protestant, individualist, anti-conformist, and this is the type that is in the process of disappearing. In reality there are few left.

We made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends

Personally, I don't like a girlfriend to have a husband. If she'll fool her husband, I figure she'll fool me.

The laws and the stage, both are a form of exhibitionism.

What's happening now is what happened before, and often what's going to happen again sometime or other.

Popularity should be no scale for the election of politicians. If it would depend on popularity, Donald Duck and The Muppets would take seats in senate.

The most personal thing I've put in [Touch of Evil] is my hatred of the abuse of police power. It's better to see a murderer go free than for a policeman to abuse his power.

When people pray on the screen. It's not because I hate praying, but whenever I see an actor fold his hands and look up in the spotlight, I'm lost. There's only one other thing in the movies I hate as much, and that's sex. You just can't get in bed or pray to God and convince me on the screen.

Race hate isn't human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

The people who’ve done well within the [Hollywood] system are the people whose instincts, whose desires [are in natural alignment with those of the producers] — who want to make the kind of movies that producers want to produce. People who don’t succeed — people who’ve had long, bad times; like [Jean] Renoir, for example, who I think was the best director, ever — are the people who didn’t want to make the kind of pictures that producers want to make. Producers didn’t want to make a Renoir picture, even if it was a success.

When you are down and out something always turns up - and it is usually the noses of your friends.

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.

The right reading for this is the one I'm giving.

You could write all the ideas of all the movies, my own included, on the head of a pin.

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!

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Welles, fully George Orson Welles
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American Actor, Director, Writer and Producer in Theater, Radio and Film