Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Quotes

1 [To Katharine Hepburn on the set of Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)] We will resume shooting, Miss Hepburn, when the Directors Guild card, which I ordered for you, arrives from Hollywood.
2 It was difficult to explain to people what it was like living in the studio. You had lunch there. You had dinner there. You ran movies after dinner. It never stopped. Everything functioned twenty-four hours a day. You didn't have to leave the studio to register to vote, because they came in and got your voter registration. You didn't have to leave the studio to renew your driving license. They came to you. The barber shop was open twenty-four hours a day if you needed it. They had a dentist on the lot. They had a doctor full time on the lot. They were like duchies, these studios.
3 (on Judy Garland ): The most remarkably bright, gay, happy, helpless, and engaging girl I've ever met.
4 (on Cecil B. DeMille ): De Mille had his finger up the pulse of America.
5 (on Joan Crawford ): The consummate movie star, she dressed the part, played it off screen and on, and adored every moment of it.
6 I felt the urge to direct because I couldn't stomach what was being done with what I wrote.
7 Every screenwriter worthy of the name has already directed his film when he has written his script.
8 I don't see why democracy should suddenly equalize literacy and illiteracy. I believe that people should have to qualify for voting privileges. Each person should have a vote, but some should count for more than others because some people know more than others and are better qualified to vote.
9 I am never quite sure whether I am one of the cinema's elder statesman or just the oldest whore on the beat.
10 [on Katharine Hepburn ] The most experienced amateur actress in the world.
11 [at the premier of Cleopatra (1963) when host Bert Parks called the film "a wonderful, wonderful achievement"] You must know something I don't.
12 [at the premiere of Cleopatra (1963) after being asked how he felt now that the movie was finally in the can and about to have its first showing] I feel like the guillotine is about to drop.
13 The death of Hollywood is Mel Brooks and special effects. If Mel Brooks had come up in my day he wouldn't have qualified to be a busboy.
14 [on the birth of the famous line usually attributed to Spencer Tracy ] I was walking into the commissary on the day Kate [ Katharine Hepburn ] and Spencer met for the first time in the corridor. Kate said, "I'm afraid I'm a little tall for you, Mr Tracy". I turned to her and said, "Don't worry, Kate, he'll soon cut you down to size".
15 There were always financial crises. Someone would come out from the east and announce that the business was in deep trouble, and what would happen was that they'd reduce the number of matzo balls in Louis B. Mayer 's chicken soup from three to two. Then they'd fire a couple of secretaries and feel virtuous.
16 I got a job at Metro and went to see Louis B. Mayer , who told me he wanted me to be a producer. I said I wanted to write and direct. He said, "No, you have to produce first, you have to crawl before you can walk". Which is as good a definition of producing as I ever heard.
17 I think it can be said fairly that I've been in on the beginning, rise, peak, collapse, and end of the talking picture.
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