Orson Welles Quotes On Filmmaking, Politics and Justice

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Orson Welles

60 Orson Welles Quotes

Orson Welles Quotes
  1. “I don’t want any description of me to be accurate. I want it to be flattering.”

2. “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.”

3. “If you want a happy ending, it just depends on where you close the book!”

4. “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

5. “There are no villains who doesn’t have his reasons.”

6. “Don’t give them what you think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.”

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

8. “I’m not basically a happy person, but I have all kinds of joy.”

9. “Old age is the only disease you dont want to be cured of.”

10. “Almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie.”

Famous Orson Welles Quotes

11. “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

12. “My definition of success is not having things thrown at me!”

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

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

15. “You’re beautful. Yes you are, you’re very very beautiful. Extremely beautiful.”

16. “I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life.”

17. “People are losing the capacity to listen to words or follow ideas.”

18. “When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.”

19. “I don’t pray really, because I don’t want to bore God.”

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

Orson Welles Quotes on Life

21. “Nobody who takes on anything big and tough can afford to be modes.”

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

23. “A man does not belong to the place he was born in, but to the place he chooses to die.”

24. 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.

25. “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.”

26. “Roosevelt used to say, “You and I are the two best actors in America.”

27. “Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck.”

28. “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.”

29. “What’s happening now is what happened before, and often what’s going to happen again sometime or other.”

30. “I have always been more interested in experiment, than in accomplishment.”

Orson Welles Quotes on Filmmaking

31. “I hate women, hate them generally, not in particular but in an abstract way. I hate them because one never really learns anything about them. They are inscrutable.”

32. “Criticism is the essence of creation.”

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

35. “A movie in production is the greatest train set a boy could ever have.”

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

37. “In my opinion, there are two things that can absolutely not be carried to the screen: the realistic presentation of the sexual act and praying to God.”

38. “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.”

39. “Many would never speak with a full mouth, but do it with an empty head”

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

Thought-Provoking Orson Welles Quotes

41. “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 occurred to me that I wasn’t until middle age.”

43. “I never make my mind up about anything at all, until it’s over and done with.” 

44. “Working is part of life, I don’t know how to distinguish between the two… Work is an expression of life.”

45. “A man is not from where he is born, but where he chooses to die.”

46. “A bad word from a colleague can darken a whole day. We need encouragement a lot more than we admit, even to ourselves.”

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

48. “I much prefer people who rock the boat to people who jump out.”

49. “If you want a happy ending, it depends on where you stop the story”

50. “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.”

Short Orson Welles Quotes

51. “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for a moment that we’re not alone.”

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

53. “I got that good a contract because I really didn’t want to make a film.”

54. “You highbrows writing on movies are nuts! In order to write about movies you must first make them.”

55. “The cinema has no boundary; it is a ribbon of dream.”

56. “When you are down and out, something always turns up – usually the noses of your friends.”

57. “We come into the world alone, we die alone, we live alone. Love and friendship is the nearest thing that we can find to create the illusion that we are not totally alone”

58. “The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.” 

59. “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’s 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.”

60. “Future shock is a sickness which comes from too much change in too short a time. It’s the feeling that nothing is permanent anymore.”

George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter who lived from May 6, 1915, to October 10, 1985, is renowned for his groundbreaking work in theater, radio, and film. He is regarded as one of history’s greatest and most influential filmmakers.

Additional Read: Orson Welles – Movies, Books & Spouse

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