American Actor, Director, Writer and Producer in Theater, Radio and Film
"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone"
"A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys. Anybody can make movies with a pair of scissors and a two-inch lens."
"As for my style, for my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect; it's the aspect."
"Almost all serious stories in the world are stories of failure with a death in it. But there is more lost paradise in them than defeat."
"Create your own visual style... let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others."
"Criminals are never very amusing. It's because they're failures. Those who make real money aren't counted as criminals. This is a class distinction, not an ethical problem."
"Did you ever stop to think why cops are always famous for being dumb? Simple. Because they don't have to be anything else."
"A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows — his own."
"But you can't emphasize "beef", that's like his wanting me to emphasize "in" before "July"! Come on, fellows, you're losing your heads! I wouldn't direct any living actor like this in Shakespeare! The way you do this, it's impossible!"
"Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, an affirmation of the human spirit."
"Even if I’d stayed [in the US to finish ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’] I would’ve had to make compromises on the editing, but these would’ve been mine and not the fruit of confused and often semi-hysterical committees. If I had been there myself I would have found my own solutions and saved the pictures in a form which would have carried the stamp of my own effort."
"Exactly, I repeated myself. I believe we do it all the time. We always take up certain elements again. How can it be avoided? An actor’s voice always has the same timbre and, consequently, he repeats himself. It is the same for a singer, a painter…There are always certain things that come back, for they are part of one’s personality, of one’s style. If these things didn’t come into play, a personality would be so complex that it would become impossible to identify it."
"For thirty years people have been asking me how I reconcile X with Y! The truthful answer is that I don't. Everything about me is a contradiction and so is everything about everybody else. We are made out of oppositions; we live between two poles. There is a philistine and an aesthete in all of us, and a murderer and a saint. You don't reconcile the poles. You just recognize them."
"Hollywood is a gold-plated suburb suitable for golfers, gardeners, assorted middlemen, and contented movies stars. I am none of these things."
"Hollywood is Hollywood. There’s nothing you can say about it that isn’t true, good or bad. And if you get into it, you have no right to be bitter — you’re the one who sat down, and joined the game."
"Hollywood expects you to experiment but on a film that makes money and if you don't make money, you're to blame. Your job is to make money."
"I can think of nothing that an audience won't understand. The only problem is to interest them; once they are interested, they understand anything in the world."
"Hollywood is the only industry, even taking in soup companies, which does not have laboratories for the purpose of experimentation."
"I discovered at the age of six that everything was a phony, worked with mirrors. Since then, I've always wanted to be a magician."
"I don't believe in learning from other people's pictures. I think you should learn from your own interior vision of things and discover, as I say, innocently, as though there had never been anybody."
"I do not suppose I shall be remembered for anything. But I don't think about my work in those terms. It is just as vulgar to work for the sake of posterity as to work for the sake of money."
"I don't want any description of me to be accurate; I want it to be flattering. I don't think people who have to sing for their supper ever like to be described truthfully - not in print anyway. We need to sell tickets, so we need good reviews."