Michael Winner

English film director, film producer, film editor and screenwriter (1935-2013)

Michael Robert Winner (30 October 1935 – 21 January 2013) was a British film director and producer.

Michael Winner in 2007

Quotes edit

  • A team effort is a lot of people, doing what I say.
    • quoted by Alix Palmer, The Sunday Times (London, 5 April 1970), cited in his autobiography Winner Takes All: A Life of Sorts (Robson Books, 2004), p. 313
  • I think with less accomplished actors you often have to play tricks [...] You may actually want to upset them to make them look upset on the screen so they carry that forward.
  • [To extras dressed as London policemen] You're just standing there! DOING NOTHING! Why should I pay you for doing nothing? I want you to run. You understand run! [...] R-U-N? RUN?
  • [From the section entitled "Winner Talking" in a personal booklet] Lunacy is a very important quality for a successful director. Most top directors are quite a bit batty. That's what makes them great. They can conceive fantasies beyond the normal mind. Another quality is just keeping alive. It is quite remarkable that no director has been murdered in cold blood on the set.
  • So when I'm directing now, you see, I'm thinking of myself, I'm projecting myself in five weeks' time, sitting in a little room with two assistants, saying, "I now need a piece of film when Mr. Caine does this, or Mr. Moore does that." And if I haven't got it, I say, "Damn it, I should have gotten that." So all the time I'm imagining myself in that little X-time hence which is why I can shoot a very complicated pattern without any pre-planning.
    Because I'm two people. I'm Arnold Crust, the editor, and I'm Michael Winner, the director.
  • I think the lesbians have come over with considerable dignity and you have come over as an arsehole.
  • If I could go back, I would spend much more, earlier. No question. This sounds absolutely crass, but I would have taken private planes earlier, would have had a chauffeur and better cars earlier, I'd have bought better paintings earlier.
  • [On his mother, Helen] Nice, little, white-haired lady. She was a killer. If she decided she wasn't happy about something, she was acid.
  • An OBE is what you get if you clean the toilets well at King's Cross station.
  • I really don't care if I get anything or not. [...] I'm very glad that they recognise my considerable skills as a toilet cleaner.
  • But when you look at the rubbish who are getting these awards and the absolute non-service they have given to the nation other than financing or working for political parties, you say, "What company am I in?"
    At least if you go straight to the House of Lords you can wear fancy dress and have a giggle.
  • I don't want to do something for the sake of it. I am prepared to wait. If I wait until I am buried, too bad.
    • On being asked who his favourite Communist dictator was [1].
  • [On the Swiss Dignitas assisted dying clinic] It's not a walk-in death. You don't just go in and say, "Here I am, do your worst". You have to go through a whole series of papers and re-examinations just to die. You have to fill in forms and things and go have to fly there, go back twice.
  • If you’re dead, you're dead, so who cares.
  • [Marlon] Brando was my best friend, [Robert] Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, even though he tried to kill me three times.
  • Money has no value unless it is spent. (undated)
  • I think if I had my life again I would not be so utterly self-satisfied. (2004)

About Michael Winner edit

  • He can be a generous host and a most entertaining companion but he can also be rude and a bully, as if it amuses him to confront the world in the guise of a self-made shit. It's hard to understand why this should be so. It can't be financial disappointment because God knows he has made enough money. Perhaps what gripes him is that he wanted to be a great director and never became one. Not enough for him, I suspect, that as a producer he has few peers among his contemporaries in the British film industry.

External links edit

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