The Director's Chair Interviews

Orson Welles Quotes

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"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 Switerzland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock." Orson Welles in The Third Man (Screenplay by Graham Greene) [Excerpt from the book: The Portable Curmudgeon Redux by: Jon Winokur]

"Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason." [Excerpt from the book: The Portable Curmudgeon Redux by: Jon Winokur]

"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 occured to me that I wasn't until middle age!" [Excerpt from: Orson Wells A Biography by: Barbara Leaming]

O.W. "What's all that, for God's sake? You look like a one-man filing cabinet."
P.B. Research
O.W. "Throw it all away, Peter - it can only cripple the fine spirit of invention."
[Excerpt from This Is Orson Welles by: Peter Bogdanovich, 1992]

"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."
[To Kenneth Tynan, 1967]

"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."
[To Kennety Tynan, 1967]

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