Love is a hole in the heart.
Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat.
I know that a man who shows me his wealth is like the beggar who shows me his poverty; they are both looking for alms from me, the rich man for the alms of my envy, the poor man for the alms of my guilt.
What better is there to sigh for than happiness, yesterday’s or tomorrow’s.
Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.
Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.
People’s sex habits are as well known in Hollywood as their political opinions, and much less criticized.
Chicago is a sort of journalistic Yellowstone Park, offering haven to a last herd of fantastic bravos.
I have written a raucous valentine to a poet’s dream and agony.
A man nearly always loves for other reasons than he thinks. A lover is apt to be as full of secrets from himself as is the object of his love from him.
In Hollywood, a starlet is the name for any woman under thirty who is not actively employed in a brothel.
In moderating, not satisfying desires, lies peace.
I’m a Hollywood writer, so I put on my sports jacket and take off my brain.
Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.
The rule in the art world is: you cater to the masses or you kowtow to the elite; you can’t have both.
Hollywood held this double lure for me, tremendous sums of money for work that required no more effort than a game of pinochle.
There’s only one law you gotta follow to keep outta trouble. Do it first, do it yourself, and keep on doin’ it.
I discovered early in my movie work that a movie is never any better than the stupidest man connected with it. There are times when this distinction may be given to the writer or director. Most often it belongs to the producer.
There are millions of Americans who belong by nature in movie theaters as they belong at political rallies or in fortuneteller parlors and on the shoot-the-chutes. To these millions, the movies are a sort of boon – a gaudier version of religion.
In pre-movie days, the business of peddling lies about life was spotty and unorganized. It was carried on by the cheaper magazines, dime novels, the hinterland preachers and whooping politicians.
Of the 60 movies I wrote, more than half were written in two weeks or less.
Producers are men who will keep their heads in the noisy presence of writers and directors and not be carried away by art in any of its subversive guises. Their task is to guard against the unusual. They are the trusted loyalists of cliche.
The German mass murder of the Jews… brought my Jewishness to the surface.
I have lived in other cities but been inside of only one. I once wore all the windows of Chicago and all its doorways on a key ring. Salons, mansions, alleys, courtrooms, depots, factories, hotels, police cells, the lake front, the rooftops and the sidewalks were my haberdashery.
A movie is never any better than the stupidest man connected with it.
Out of the thousand writers huffing and puffing through movieland, there are scarcely fifty men and women of wit and talent… Yet, in a curious way, there is not much difference between the product of a good writer and a bad one. They both have to toe the same mark.
Kindness, tolerance, integrity, modesty, generosity – these are attributes that events permit us. They are our holiday moods, and we are as proud of them as of the fine clothes we have hung away to wear on occasions.
Since my boyhood, I have sought always to please, but out of a kindness in me, never out of fear or respect for what was in others.