Famous Quotes & Sayings

Billy Wilder Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 63 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Billy Wilder.

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The best director is the one you don't see. — Billy Wilder

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I would rather sleep in a bathroom than in another hotel. — Billy Wilder

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The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer. — Billy Wilder

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France is the country where the money falls apart and you can't tear the toilet paper. — Billy Wilder

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On Ernst Lubitsch: He could do more with a closed door than other directors could do with an open fly. — Billy Wilder

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I'm delighted with it, because it used to be that films were the lowest form of art. Now we've got something to look down on. — Billy Wilder

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She was an absolute genius as a comedic actress, with an extraordinary sense for comedic dialogue. It was a God-given gift. Believe me, in the last fifteen years there were ten projects that came to me, and I'd start working on them and I'd think, 'It's not going to work, it needs Marilyn Monroe.' Nobody else is in that orbit; everyone else is earthbound by comparison. — Billy Wilder

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I just always think, 'Do I like it?' And if I like it, maybe other people will come and like it too. — Billy Wilder

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I'd worship the ground you walked on if only you walked in a better neighborhood. — Billy Wilder

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I've met a lot of hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're twenty minutes. — Billy Wilder

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My English is a mixture between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archbishop Tutu. — Billy Wilder

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If something smells bad, why put your nose in it? — Billy Wilder

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Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. — Billy Wilder

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Make subtlety obvious. — Billy Wilder

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An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation. — Billy Wilder

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My Aunt Minnie would always be punctual and never hold up production, but who would pay to see my Aunt Minnie? — Billy Wilder

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One's too many, and a hundred's not enough. — Billy Wilder

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I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons. — Billy Wilder

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That's the trouble with you readers. You know all the plots. — Billy Wilder

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Eighty percent of a picture is writing, the other twenty percent is the execution, such as having the camera on the right spot and being able to afford to have good actors in all parts. — Billy Wilder

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I had one life. And what did I do? Wasted it in some palooka preliminaries in Spain, just before Hitler and Chamberlain warm up for the main event. — Billy Wilder

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I'm not happy. I'm not happy at all. — Billy Wilder

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What critics call dirty in our pictures, they call lusty in foreign films. — Billy Wilder

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Develop a clean line of action for your leading character — Billy Wilder

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The ultimate trick is to convince, persuade. Every single person out there is an idiot, but collectively they're a genius. — Billy Wilder

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It was hell at the time, but after it was over, it was wonderful. — Billy Wilder

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He has Van Gogh's ear for music. — Billy Wilder

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Hollywood didn't kill Marilyn Monroe, it's the Marilyn Monroes who are killing Hollywood. — Billy Wilder

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France is a place where the money falls apart in your hands but you can't tear the toilet paper. — Billy Wilder

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Jerry: Oh, you don't understand, Osgood! Ehhhh ... I'm a man.
Osgood: Well, nobody's perfect.
Billy Wilder

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The only pictures worth making are the ones that are playing with fire. — Billy Wilder

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Now, what is it which makes a scene interesting? If you see a man coming through a doorway, it means nothing. If you see him coming through a window - that is at once interesting. — Billy Wilder

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If there's anything I hate more than not being taken seriously, it's being taken too seriously. — Billy Wilder

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When Chaplin found a voice to say what was on his mind, he was like a child of eight writing lyrics for Beethoven's Ninth. — Billy Wilder

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Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's. — Billy Wilder

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Money makes even bastards legitimate. — Billy Wilder

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That's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise — Billy Wilder

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An audience is never wrong. An individual member of it may be an imbecile, but a thousand imbeciles together in the dark - that is critical genius. — Billy Wilder

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I never overestimate the audience, nor do I underestimate them. I just have a very rational idea as to who we're dealing with, and that we're not making a picture for Harvard Law School, we're making a picture for middle-class people, the people that you see on the subway, or the people that you see in a restaurant. Just normal people. — Billy Wilder

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Marilyn was mean. Terribly mean. The meanest woman I have ever met around this town. I have never met anybody as mean as Marilyn Monroe or as utterly fabulous on the screen. — Billy Wilder

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The forest of Compiegne. Look at it. Like a kind grandmother dozing in her rocking chair. Old trees practicing curtsies in the wind because they still think Louis XIV is king. — Billy Wilder

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A bad play folds and is forgotten, but in pictures we don't bury our dead. When you think it's out of your system, your daughter sees it on television and says, My father is an idiot. — Billy Wilder

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Happiness is working with Jack Lemmon. — Billy Wilder

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If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act. — Billy Wilder

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If you're going to tell people the truth, be funny or they'll kill you. — Billy Wilder

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Film's thought of as a director's medium because the director creates the end product that appears on the screen. It's that stupid auteur theory again, that the director is the author of the film. But what does the director shoot-the telephone book? Writers became much more important when sound came in, but they've had to put up a valiant fight to get the credit they deserve. — Billy Wilder

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I just made pictures I would've liked to see. — Billy Wilder

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I hate that word. It's return
a return to the millions of people who've never forgiven me for deserting the screen. — Billy Wilder

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They've tried to manufacture other Marilyn Monroes and they will undoubtedly keep trying. But it won't work. She was an original. — Billy Wilder

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If you don't like what you're doing, it's unlikely anyone else will either, so be sure you are happy with your own work first. — Billy Wilder

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Don't be too clever for an audience. Make it obvious. Make the subtleties obvious also. — Billy Wilder

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God save me from myself. — Billy Wilder

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Ah, Marilyn, Hollywood's Joan of Arc, our Ultimate Sacrificial Lamb. Well, let me tell you, she was mean, terribly mean. The meanest woman I have ever known in this town. I am appalled by this Marilyn Monroe cult. Perhaps it's getting to be an act of courage to say the truth about her. Well, let me be courageous. I have never met anyone as utterly mean as Marilyn Monroe. Nor as utterly fabulous on the screen, and that includes Garbo. — Billy Wilder

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I have ten commandments. The first nine are, thou shalt not bore. The tenth is, thou shalt have right of final cut. — Billy Wilder

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A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard. — Billy Wilder

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You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning. — Billy Wilder

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We are on the track of something absolutely mediocre. — Billy Wilder

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After so many drive-in waitresses becoming movie stars, there has been this real drought, when along come class; somebody who actually went to school, can spell, maybe even plays the piano. She may be a wispy, thin little thing, but when you see that girl, you know you're really in the presence of something. In that league there's only ever been Garbo, and the other Hepburn, and maybe Bergman. It's a rare quality, but boy, do you know when you've found it. — Billy Wilder

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Ever notice how these European trains always smell of eau de cologne and hard boiled eggs? — Billy Wilder

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The Austrians are brilliant people. They made the world believe that Hitler was a German and Beethoven an Austrian. — Billy Wilder

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Shoot a few scenes out of focus. I want to win the foreign film award. — Billy Wilder

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You know, that stuff about pink elephants, that's the bunk. It's little animals. Little tiny turkeys in straw hats. Midget monkeys coming through the keyholes. — Billy Wilder

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You're as good as the best thing you've ever done. — Billy Wilder