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A collection of thoughts and quotations by David Mamet on dessert, stress, film, writing, survival, trial, drama, death, acting, genius and inspiration.

30 Notable David Mamet Quotes That Sound So True

Quick Facts

Born On: November 30, 1947

Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States

David Alan Mamet is an American director, playwright, author and essayist, who rose to prominence as a playwright in the 1970s. He is counted among the distinguished playwrights in the world. He studied at Francis W. Parker School and then went to attend Goddard College. Mamet’s rise as a playwright started after the success of trio off-Broadway plays that were staged in 1976. They were ‘American Buffalo’, ‘The Duck Variations’ and ‘Sexual Perversity in Chicago’. Some of his other well-known plays include ‘The Water Engine’, ‘A Life in the Theatre’, ‘Squirrels’, ‘Mr. Happiness’, ‘Edmond’, ‘The Shawl’ and ‘Bobby Gould in Hell’ among others. His 1984 play ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ is particularly famous and Mamet was awarded the ‘Pulitzer Prize’ for the same. He has also worked as the director and writer of motion pictures and some of the noted ones include ‘Spartan’, ‘House of Games’, ‘Oleanna’, ‘The Spanish Prisoner’ and ‘The Winslow Boy’ among others. Mamet is also an accomplished writer and some of his renowned books include ‘The Old Religion’, ‘The Wicked Son’ and ‘Three War Stories’. The below collection of David Mamet’s most famous quotes have been excerpted from his writings, papers, books, plays, essays, interviews and thoughts. We bring to you a collection of sayings and quotes by David Mamet on plays, truth, humor, aphorism and drama.

We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.

David Mamet

It's only words... unless they're true.

David Mamet

Every scene should be able to answer three questions: "Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don't get it? Why now?

David Mamet

People may or may not say what they mean... but they always say something designed to get what they want.

David Mamet

We're all put to the test... but it never comes in the form or at the point we would prefer, does it?

David Mamet

We all hope. It's what keeps us alive.

David Mamet

It’s not a lie. It’s a gift for fiction.

David Mamet

Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.

David Mamet

Art is an expression of joy and awe. It is not an attempt to share one's virtues and accomplishments with the audience, but an act of selfless spirit.

David Mamet

Put. That coffee. Down. Coffee's for closers only.

David Mamet

Every fear hides a wish.

David Mamet

Life in the movie business is like the beginning of a new love affair: it's full of surprises, and you're constantly getting fucked.

David Mamet

Everybody makes their own fun. If you don't make it yourself, it isn't fun. It's entertainment.

David Mamet

I go out there. I'm out there every day. [Pause] There is nothing out there.

David Mamet

As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.

David Mamet

What is our life: (Pause.) it’s looking forward or it’s looking back. And that’s our life. That’s it. Where is the moment?

David Mamet

My motto is “Be Prepared.” I am told this is also the motto of the Boy Scouts, but, if so, this only proves that they were acting according to my motto earlier than I.

David Mamet

We can only interpret the behavior of others through the screen we create.

David Mamet

How can I be secure? (Pause.) Through amassing wealth beyond all measure? No. And what’s beyond measure? That’s a sickness. That’s a trap. There is no measure. Only greed.

David Mamet

It's called a confidence game. Why? Because you give me your confidence? No. Because I give you mine.

David Mamet

I pray you indulge me for a space, for I am going to set out on a speech which may have some duration, but whose theme may be gleaned from its opening phrase: how dare you.

David Mamet

Fox: It's lonely at the top. Gould: But it ain't crowded.

David Mamet

Storytelling is like sex. We all do it naturally. Some of us are better at it than others.

David Mamet

FAUSTUS. To have fooled the philosopher. MAGUS. One finds, in my profession, sir, the greater the intellect, the more ease in its misdirection. FAUSTUS. One finds the same in mine.

David Mamet

The leaf of the camomile, parboiled in water, conduces to calm. And yet I do not worship it.

David Mamet

How was her crumbcake? oh.. from the store... .......

David Mamet

Well, there are those who would say it’s a form of aggression." "What is?" "A surprise.

David Mamet

Don't call your wife baby

David Mamet

Accepted nowhere, belonging nowhere, The Human Ant is forced to roam the world, half-ant, half-cow.

David Mamet

An American will fight for three things.’” “…a girl,” Sam said. “Yes. A girl, himself, or ‘to save the world.

David Mamet