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Quotations about
Cinema, Acting, Theater



Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in the theater. ~Roman Polanski


The theatre is a bad thing to live on! It gets into one's bones like an illness. One can wash the make-up off one's face, but one gets a theatrical varnish on one's soul, which makes one think of life as a painted cardboard arrangement that is all right as long as it makes a good show, and of God as a kind of huge property man, who is apt to make mistakes with the accessories. ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896 


Acting: An art which consists of keeping the audience from coughing. ~Ralph Richardson, unverified


What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out. ~Alfred Hitchcock


Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes. ~John LeCarré, as quoted in Robert Byrne, The Fourth — And By Far the Most Recent — 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1990


As a child I was taught that it was bad manners to draw attention to yourself and make a spectacle of yourself. I then went on to make a rather nice living doing just that... I am proud to have been in a business that gives pleasure, creates beauty, and awakens our conscience, arouses compassion, and perhaps most importantly gives millions a respite from our so violent world. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)


I like the play that does not end. The play whose last act is a beginning. ~Horace Traubel (1858–1919), "Play things xxxviii," review of Minnie Maddern Fiske's Leah Kleshna, in The Conservator, March 1905


The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it. ~Dave Barry, "25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years," Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998, davebarry.com


[It] is a good story before the actors take it. It becomes a better story as the actors pass it along. ~Horace Traubel (1858–1919), "Play things xxxviii," about Minnie Maddern Fiske's Leah Kleshna, in The Conservator, 1905


Compared to a novel, a film is like an economy pizza where there are no olives, no ham, no anchovies, no mushrooms, and all you've got is the dough. ~Louis de Bernières, unverified


Theatre is life. Cinema is art. Television is furniture. ~Author unknown


Dance until your feet hurt. Sing until your lungs hurt. Act until you're William Hurt. ~"Phil's-osophy" by Phil Dunphy (Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan, and Dan O'Shannon, Modern Family, "Schooled," original airdate 2012 Oct 10)


Horror films don't create fear. They release it. ~Wes Craven


Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief.... Grief and rage—you need to contain that, to put a frame around it, where it can play itself out without you or your kin having to die.... It is a theater of sacrifice... ~Anne Carson, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides, 2006


Why do critics make such an outcry against tragicomedies? is not life one?  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


[Charlie] Chaplin... is the greatest living actor I've seen, and the prime interpreter of the soul imposed upon by modern civilization. ~Hart Crane, 1922


You would go on the stage
With that strange long stride,
Walking as though there were mountains at your side;
Clothed only in the glamour
Of your intensity,
With no claptrap, no clamour,
No make-up, no mummery;
Standing there
With your gray hair—
The mother, the mistress, the wife—
Confessing life
As it is—sordid, insupportable, sublime;
Admitting time
Uncorseted,
With heavy breasts sucking the grief
Of the world, heavier than lead
With late bitter brief
Milk, with heart as dead
But deep as the sea
To drink, to drown all tragedy,
Smiling like death a little wistfully.
~Joseph Auslander, "Letter to Eleonora Duse," 1920s


Rated G is nobody gets the girl. PG is the good guy gets the girl. R is the bad guy gets the girl. XXX is everybody gets the girl. ~Author unknown


An X-rated movie is an underdeveloped plot with an overdeveloped cast. ~Robert Orben, 2100 Laughs For All Occasions, 1983


There's no thief like a bad movie. ~Sam Ewing, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 2001





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