Movie Quotes


/ Quotes / By Topic / Art / Plastic Arts / Movies /
(and movie related)

When idealism shatters art gets into trouble.

If you channel Freud tell him I want my money back.

Woody Allen

Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes.

Robert Altman

Mr. and Mrs. Smith get married, they have problems, they get back together and they live happily ever after. End of the movie. Two weeks later, he kills her, grinds her body up, feeds it to his girlfriend who dies of ptomaine poisoning, and her husband is prosecuted and sent to the electric chair for it — but here’s our own little story with the happy ending. What is an ending? There’s no such thing. Death is the only ending.

Robert Altman

Stardom isn’t a career, it’s an accident.

Lauren Bacall

Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends.

Francis Bacon, Love is the Devil

The one thing I learned from Jesus is don’t be a damn martyr!

The Girl

We both love someone for whom everything else comes first.
No, it’s a vocation.

La Belle Noiseuse

Why don’t I have any self-respect?
You’re an actress, honey.


If we are not our brother’s keeper, at least let us not be his executioner.

Marlon Brando

If a studio offered to pay me as much to sweep the floor as it did to act, I’d sweep the floor.

Marlon Brando

We don’t make movies for critics, since they don’t pay to see them anyhow.

Charles Bronson

A new creature, the movie star, lived in places of rapture, and escape.

Mark Cousins

Unpalatable truth in life is buried under layers of lies.

Mark Cousins

If you don’t know Cousins, you know movies: not nearly well enough: correct that this hour.

When I first started acting, and we would all sit down and talk about Shakespeare and how great it was, I thought well, I suppose it is. It is if you get to play Macbeth or Hamlet. But who wants to play bloody Lady Macbeth or Ophelia? And it struck me that most women seem to be required to pit themselves against men in dramatic situations, and the men got to pit themselves against ideas or God.

Judy Davis

Most serious movies live in a world of cynicism and irony, and most good-hearted movie characters live in bad movies.


The old rule from the silent days: comedy in long shot, tragedy in closeup.


(Violence, sex in movies) Like the toy in a Crackerjack box: Worthless, but you feel cheated it it’s not there.


Realism is not the same thing as reality.


Horror lurking underneath [an] affluent surface

Ebert (on Barton Fink)

Strange but true: The more specific a film is, the more universal, because the more it understands individual characters, the more it applies to everyone.


Every genre is a kind of spoiler.

Film “Auteur” Theory: A bunch of guys standing around trying to catch someone shoving art up into the crevices of dreck.

Manny Farber

How do directors and producers feel about each other? Total reciprocal mistrust.

Fellini, Intervista

We belong dead.

The Bride of Frankenstein

I don’t want democracy to rear its ugly head when it comes to filmmaking.

Terry Gilliam

Those little virgins, after five minutes you got sick of playing them – to make them more interesting was hard work.

Lillian Gish

Instead of writing criticism, I now film it.

Jean-Luc Godard

All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.

Jean-Luc Godard

Film: the history of men photographing women.

Jean-Luc Godard

(Mark Cousins points out that with Claire Denis film has become a woman photographing men.)

There is no point in having sharp images when you’ve fuzzy ideas.

Jean-Luc Godard

Still it seems to me the expression on my face must mean something.

Two or Three Things I Know About Her
(dialogue by Godard, face by Marina Vlady)

In my ‘hood the cops come a week after you’re dead.

La Haine

Ben Hecht Quotes

Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

Werner Herzog

Church is for brunettes.

Hick: blond Glenda to blond Luli

Take myself: subtract movies; and the result is zero.

Akira Kurosawa

It’s impossible for one to be totally honest about oneself:
it’s much easier when pretending to be other people.

Akira Kurosawa (paraphrase)

Just ghosts of the people we once thought we were.


Film-making is like spermatozoa. Only one in a million makes it.

Claude Lelouch

The more I go to the movies, the more I like French movies.

Claude Lelouch

One day I’ll make a film for the critics, when I have money to lose.

Claude Lelouch

Aren’t you carrying?
No. If I carry, I draw. If I draw, I fire. So, no thank you, no.


I don’t think luxury is her default mode. I don’t think she likes luxury, actually. I think she’d be far happier on a tractor with muddy boots in the kitchen and lots of dogs running around.

Helen Mirren on Queen Liz II

I think it is very unattractive for me to be seen fawning over little, tiny girls.

Jack Nickolson

The movies have been crowbars that Hollywood’s humanists have used for a generation to pry Americans away from their first principles: religious, moral, and cultural.

Gary North

The shackles of stardom

Michael Palin

Pushed me over the abyss and then jumped in after me

Coburn on Peckinpah

The audience is the real teacher and it’s the audience that has taught me what I know.

Oliver Reed

I found that a conflict of styles … worked for me.

Leni Riefenstahl

Kill! Kill! Kill!
Commit adultery, covet things all the week,

And on Sunday, on Sunday,
Beat up your mother, your father, your sister,
Beat up the young one and steal,
Because everything belongs to you.
Everything belongs to you!

(the song that launches Dekalog X)

It’s better to be type-cast, than not cast at all.

William Sanderson

[The Star Wars] series ate the heart and soul of Hollywood.

Paul Schrader

Good taste [for Billy Wilder] was another name for censorship.

Martin Scorsese

Less money, more freedom

Martin Scorsese

It’s exciting … you know, it’s fun, it’s fake.

Charlie Sheen

Art is the ability to convey that we are not alone.

M. Night Shyamalan

“Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?”

the Gene Siskel Test

There is only one way of thinking in cinema: poetically.

Andrei Tarkovsky

Leonardo, sinister. I’ve always been terrified of Leonardo.

Tarkovsky, The Sacrifice

Film is a mosaic of time.

Andrei Tarkovsky

In his endless search for the truth, man is condemned to knowledge.

Tarkovsky, Solaris

Don’t turn a science problem into a common love story.

Tarkovsky, Solaris

Is that which is harmful to life also indispensible to it?

Tarkovsky, Solaris

Love is a feeling we can experience but never explain.

Tarkovsky, Solaris

On the bedrock of humility you can build any structure.

The Thief of Badgad

Why doesn’t everybody just smoke his own?

Fred C. Dobbs and his fellow gold diggers are being kidnapped by some Mexican indigenes. The chief’s son is sick, they want Walter Huston’s character to cure him. Houston instructs Dobbs to accept the tobacco the villagers are offering and to give them some of his in return.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre

This immortal wisdom (ironic, of course) has been buzzing my brain for a few days now. I credit it with laying a trench (back in the early 1950s) for my own depths.
Bogart is at his best and Houston is even better.

Film should be like a pebble in a shoe.

Lars von Trier

(That is, film should necessitate a little pain.)

I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.

Mae West

What are you rebelling against?
What do you got?

The Wild One

Art, Music … Lit Quotes Subdivisions:

Art Quotes (plastic arts)
Literature Quotes
Movie Quotes
Music Quotes

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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