Samuel "Billy" Wilder (22 June 1906 – 27 March 2002) was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films.
- An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.
- As quoted in The Bright Side of Billy Wilder, Primarily (1970) by Tom Wood, p. 20
- 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.
- As quoted in Culture and Commitment, 1929-1945 (1973) by Warren Susman, p. 180
- 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.
- As quoted in The New Hollywood : American Movies in the '70s (1975) by Axel Madsen
- Die Österreicher haben das Kunststück fertiggebracht, aus Beethoven einen Österreicher und aus Hitler einen Deutschen zu machen.
- I have ten commandments. The first nine are, thou shalt not bore. The tenth is, thou shalt have right of final cut.
- As quoted in The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners (2004) by Geoff Tibballs, p. 206
- I just made pictures I would've liked to see.
- As quoted in "Billy Wilder" at The Indian Prairie Public Library
- People copy, people steal. Most of the pictures they make nowadays are loaded down with special effects. I couldn't do that. I quit smoking because I couldn't reload my Zippo.
- [To a cameraman on one of his pictures] Shoot a few scenes out of focus. I want to win the foreign film award.
- Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.
- Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's.
- You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.
- He has Van Gogh's ear for music.
- Hollywood didn't kill Marilyn Monroe, it's the Marilyn Monroes who are killing Hollywood.
- 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.
- My English is a mixture between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archbishop Tutu.
- Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist.
- David Ben-Gurion, as quoted in Israel : Years of Crisis Years of Hope (1973) by Roman Frister, p. 45
Quotes about WilderEdit
- That piece of Hollywood shit with Billy Wilder [Buddy Buddy] is over, thank God. No outsider can imagine the stupidity, blustering hysteria, authoritarianism, and paralyzing boredom of shooting a flick for Billy Wilder. The so-called "actors" are simply trained poodles who sit up on their hind legs and jump through hoops. I thought the insanity would never stop. But I got a shitload of money.
- Klaus Kinski, in Kinski Uncut : The Autobiography of Klaus Kinski (1996), p. 299
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