Orson Welles
Quotations


A good artist should be isolated. If he isn't isolated, something is wrong.

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.

Ecstasy is not really part of the scene we can do on celluloid.

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

Everybody denies I am a genius--but nobody ever called me one!

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

Hollywood is the only industry, even taking in soup companies, which does not have laboratories for the purpose of experimentation.

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.

I think we're a kind of desperation. We're sort of a maddening luxury. The basic and essential human is the woman, and all that we're doing is trying to brighten up the place. That's why all the birds who belong to our sex have prettier feathers--because males have got to try and justify their existence.

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

I hate it 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.

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed--they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock!

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.

I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act.

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.

If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girl friends. And they tolerated it and let us go ahead and play with our toys.



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