Orson Welles Quotes

A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.

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

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.

At twenty-one, so many things appear solid, permanent, untenable.

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.

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

Every actor in his heart believes everything bad that’s printed about him.

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

Fake is as old as the Eden tree.

Gluttony is not a secret vice.

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

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 pray because I don’t want to bore God.

I don’t say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could.

I feel I have to protect myself against things. So I’m pretty careful to lose most of them.

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

I have a great love and respect for religion, great love and respect for atheism. What I hate is agnosticism, people who do not choose.

I have an unfortunate personality.

I have the terrible feeling that, because I am wearing a white beard and am sitting in the back of the theatre, you expect me to tell you the truth about something. These are the cheap seats, not Mount Sinai.

I passionately hate the idea of being with it; I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.

I started at the top and worked my way down.

I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.

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.

I’ve always found it very sanitary to be broke.

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 girlfriends.

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

Movie directing is a perfect refuge for the mediocre.

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.

Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck.

Nobody who takes on anything big and tough can afford to be modest.

Now I’m an old Christmas tree, the roots of which have died. They just come along and while the little needles fall off me replace them with medallions.

Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations.

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

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

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.

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

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

The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.

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

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

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

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

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.

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