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206 Top Quotes By Orson Welles That Will Touch Your Heart

Famous As: One of the Greatest Filmmakers of All Time and Director of 'Citizen Kane'
Born On: May 6, 1915
Died On: October 10, 1985
Born In: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Founder / Co Founder: Mercury Theatre
Died At Age: 70

George Orson Welles, known for his innovative works, believed in creating his own visual style, which he advised should be unique, yet relatable.  A successful actor, director, writer and producer, he also believed that work is an expression of life. Indeed, he looked at life through special lenses, which enabled him to see the world differently from most of his fellow beings. Let us now go through some of his unique quotes, which give us an insight into his distinctive mind; be they on his work and creativity, his love for food, his ideas about friendship and love, creativity in peaceful Switzerland as against Italy under Borgias, justice, racial hatred, prohibition and politics, all told in his unique style.

In my real movie-going days, which were the thirties, you didn't stand in line. You strolled down the street and sallied into the theater at any hour of the day or night.

In my real movie-going days, which were the thirties, you didn't stand in line. You strolled down the street and sallied into the theater at any hour of the day or night.

George Orson Welles
I don't like television when it gets near to photographed plays.

I don't like television when it gets near to photographed plays.

George Orson Welles
I drag my myth around with me.

I drag my myth around with me.

George Orson Welles
As for my style, for my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect; it's the aspect.

As for my style, for my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect; it's the aspect.

George Orson Welles
If I had only one film in the world to save, it would be 'Grand Illusion.'

If I had only one film in the world to save, it would be 'Grand Illusion.'

George Orson Welles
Why spend 18 hours watching someone else's war, when you know how it comes out? We win, and then have to buy all their cars.

Why spend 18 hours watching someone else's war, when you know how it comes out? We win, and then have to buy all their cars.

George Orson Welles
The trouble with a movie is that it's old before it's released. It's no accident that it comes in a can.

The trouble with a movie is that it's old before it's released. It's no accident that it comes in a can.

George Orson Welles
Old age is the only disease you dont want to be cured of.

Old age is the only disease you dont want to be cured of.

George Orson Welles
I don't regard my career as something so precious that it comes before my convictions.

I don't regard my career as something so precious that it comes before my convictions.

George Orson Welles
The basic and essential human is the woman.

The basic and essential human is the woman.

George Orson Welles
I don't think any word can explain a man's life.

I don't think any word can explain a man's life.

George Orson Welles
I don't pray really, because I don't want to bore God.

I don't pray really, because I don't want to bore God.

George Orson Welles
We will sell no wine before its time.

We will sell no wine before its time.

George Orson Welles
I never make my mind up about anything at all, until it's over and done with.

I never make my mind up about anything at all, until it's over and done with.

George Orson Welles
A movie studio is the best toy a boy ever had.

A movie studio is the best toy a boy ever had.

George Orson Welles
The truth about any man can only be calculated by the sum of everything that has been said about him.

The truth about any man can only be calculated by the sum of everything that has been said about him.

George Orson Welles
I'm not a walking extra in a Chekhov play; I'm no Slavic gloom or Irish gloom. I mark only the happy hours, like the sundial, because otherwise I would have gone nuts.

I'm not a walking extra in a Chekhov play; I'm no Slavic gloom or Irish gloom. I mark only the happy hours, like the sundial, because otherwise I would have gone nuts.

George Orson Welles
I don't take art as seriously as politics.

I don't take art as seriously as politics.

George Orson Welles
I discovered at the age of six that everything was a phony, worked with mirrors. Since then, I've always wanted to be a magician.

I discovered at the age of six that everything was a phony, worked with mirrors. Since then, I've always wanted to be a magician.

George Orson Welles
I'm a lurid character!

I'm a lurid character!

George Orson Welles
It would be so much better if the critics would come, not on first nights, but on last nights, when they could exercise their undoubted flair for funeral orations.

It would be so much better if the critics would come, not on first nights, but on last nights, when they could exercise their undoubted flair for funeral orations.

George Orson Welles
My definition of success is not having things thrown at me!

My definition of success is not having things thrown at me!

George Orson Welles
[The movies] make the sort of comment only a novel can make, an allusion to the world in which people live, the psychological and economic motivations, the influences of the period in which they lived.

[The movies] make the sort of comment only a novel can make, an allusion to the world in which people live, the psychological and economic motivations, the influences of the period in which they lived.

George Orson Welles
You could write all the IDEAS of all the movies, my own included, on the head of a pin.

You could write all the IDEAS of all the movies, my own included, on the head of a pin.

George Orson Welles
Hollywood expects you to experiment but on a film that makes money and if you don't make money, you're to blame. Your job is to make money.

Hollywood expects you to experiment but on a film that makes money and if you don't make money, you're to blame. Your job is to make money.

George Orson Welles
A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows - his own.

A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows - his own.

George Orson Welles
When television came along, I'd already done more than 10 years of radio work and I thought everyone would want me. I sat around waiting for the phone to ring - and it didn't.

When television came along, I'd already done more than 10 years of radio work and I thought everyone would want me. I sat around waiting for the phone to ring - and it didn't.

George Orson Welles
I don't pray because I don't want to bore God.

I don't pray because I don't want to bore God.

George Orson Welles
Only very intelligent people don't wish they were in politics, and I'm dumb enough to want to be in there.

Only very intelligent people don't wish they were in politics, and I'm dumb enough to want to be in there.

George Orson Welles
I must be sincere towards what I am. ... Experimenting is the only thing that fills me with enthusiasm. ... It is the only sphere where I feel really honest and sincere.

I must be sincere towards what I am. ... Experimenting is the only thing that fills me with enthusiasm. ... It is the only sphere where I feel really honest and sincere.

George Orson Welles
I love moving around from town to town. I never got on a train in my life without my spirits rising.

I love moving around from town to town. I never got on a train in my life without my spirits rising.

George Orson Welles
Almost all serious stories in the world are stories of failure with a death in it. But there is more lost paradise in them than defeat.

Almost all serious stories in the world are stories of failure with a death in it. But there is more lost paradise in them than defeat.

George Orson Welles
By nature, I am an experimentalist. I don't believe much in accomplishment.

By nature, I am an experimentalist. I don't believe much in accomplishment.

George Orson Welles
Cinema as a means of expression fascinates me.

Cinema as a means of expression fascinates me.

George Orson Welles
FDR used to say, 'You and I are the two best actors in America'.

FDR used to say, 'You and I are the two best actors in America'.

George Orson Welles
There are a thousand ways of playing a good classic. If it were effective, I would play Hamlet on a trapeze.

There are a thousand ways of playing a good classic. If it were effective, I would play Hamlet on a trapeze.

George Orson Welles
I have all the equipment to be a politician. Total shamelessness.

I have all the equipment to be a politician. Total shamelessness.

George Orson Welles
I'm a provincial. I live very much like a hermit: reading, listening to music, working in the cutting room, writing, commercial work - which doesn't take up that much time.

I'm a provincial. I live very much like a hermit: reading, listening to music, working in the cutting room, writing, commercial work - which doesn't take up that much time.

George Orson Welles
One shouldn't ever be conscious of the author as lecturer. When social or moral points are too heavily stressed, I always get uncomfortable.

One shouldn't ever be conscious of the author as lecturer. When social or moral points are too heavily stressed, I always get uncomfortable.

George Orson Welles
Husbands should revolt from time to time. Even the best circus-number becomes boring if the beast is too tame.

Husbands should revolt from time to time. Even the best circus-number becomes boring if the beast is too tame.

George Orson Welles
Computers combine things to make new knowledge at such high speed that we cannot absorb it.

Computers combine things to make new knowledge at such high speed that we cannot absorb it.

George Orson Welles
There's no biography so interesting as the one in which the biographer is present.

There's no biography so interesting as the one in which the biographer is present.

George Orson Welles
I'd make my promises now if I wasn't so busy arranging to keep them.

I'd make my promises now if I wasn't so busy arranging to keep them.

George Orson Welles
A movie in production is the greatest train set a boy could ever have.

A movie in production is the greatest train set a boy could ever have.

George Orson Welles
Criticism is the essence of creation.

Criticism is the essence of creation.

George Orson Welles
I would just like to mention Robert Houdin who in the eighteenth century invented the vanishing birdcage trick and the theater matinee - may he rot and perish. Good afternoon.

I would just like to mention Robert Houdin who in the eighteenth century invented the vanishing birdcage trick and the theater matinee - may he rot and perish. Good afternoon.

George Orson Welles
I dont believe in learning from other peoples pictures. I think you should learn from your own interior vision of things and discover, as I say, Innocently, as though there had never been anybody.

I dont believe in learning from other peoples pictures. I think you should learn from your own interior vision of things and discover, as I say, Innocently, as though there had never been anybody.

George Orson Welles
Crooks aren't the worst people, just the stupidest. The fleas of the world.

Crooks aren't the worst people, just the stupidest. The fleas of the world.

George Orson Welles
Human nature is eternal; therefore one who follows his nature keeps his original nature, in the end.

Human nature is eternal; therefore one who follows his nature keeps his original nature, in the end.

George Orson Welles
Only in a police state is the job of a policeman easy.

Only in a police state is the job of a policeman easy.

George Orson Welles
If I don't like somebody's looks, I don't like them.

If I don't like somebody's looks, I don't like them.

George Orson Welles
I'm never certain of a performance - my own or the other actors' - or the script or anything... But to me it seems there's only one place in the world the camera can be, and the decision usually comes immediately.

I'm never certain of a performance - my own or the other actors' - or the script or anything... But to me it seems there's only one place in the world the camera can be, and the decision usually comes immediately.

George Orson Welles
I've always found it very... sanitary to be broke.

I've always found it very... sanitary to be broke.

George Orson Welles
In the theater there are 1,500 cameras rolling at the same time - in the cinema, only one.

In the theater there are 1,500 cameras rolling at the same time - in the cinema, only one.

George Orson Welles
A director is someone who presides over a series of accidents.

A director is someone who presides over a series of accidents.

George Orson Welles
Hollywood is a gold-plated suburb suitable for golfers, gardeners, assorted middlemen, and contented movies stars. I am none of these things.

Hollywood is a gold-plated suburb suitable for golfers, gardeners, assorted middlemen, and contented movies stars. I am none of these things.

George Orson Welles
The word genius was whispered into my ear, the first thing I ever heard, while I was still mewling in my crib. So it never occurred to me that I wasn't until middle age.

The word genius was whispered into my ear, the first thing I ever heard, while I was still mewling in my crib. So it never occurred to me that I wasn't until middle age.

George Orson Welles
A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys. Anybody can make movies with a pair of scissors and a two-inch lens.

A long-playing full shot is what always separates the men from the boys. Anybody can make movies with a pair of scissors and a two-inch lens.

George Orson Welles
You're beautful. Yes you are, you're very very beautiful. Extremely beautiful.

You're beautful. Yes you are, you're very very beautiful. Extremely beautiful.

George Orson Welles
It isn't worth it. No money is worth this... [walks out]

It isn't worth it. No money is worth this... [walks out]

George Orson Welles
The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.

The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.

George Orson Welles
What's happening now is what happened before, and often what's going to happen again sometime or other

What's happening now is what happened before, and often what's going to happen again sometime or other

George Orson Welles
An artist is always out of step with the time. He has to be.

An artist is always out of step with the time. He has to be.

George Orson Welles
Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing.

Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing.

George Orson Welles
Now I'm an old Christmas tree, the roots of which have died. They just come along and while the little needles fall off me replace them with medallions.

Now I'm an old Christmas tree, the roots of which have died. They just come along and while the little needles fall off me replace them with medallions.

George Orson Welles
I'm one of those fellows so frightened of driving that I go 80 miles an hour - and the more frightened I get, the faster I go.

I'm one of those fellows so frightened of driving that I go 80 miles an hour - and the more frightened I get, the faster I go.

George Orson Welles
A poet needs a pen, a painter a brush, and a director an army.

A poet needs a pen, a painter a brush, and a director an army.

George Orson Welles
The director is simply the audience. His job is to preside over accidents.

The director is simply the audience. His job is to preside over accidents.

George Orson Welles
The director is the most overrated artist in the world. He is the only artist who, with no talent whatsoever, can be a success for 50 years without his lack of talent ever being discovered.

The director is the most overrated artist in the world. He is the only artist who, with no talent whatsoever, can be a success for 50 years without his lack of talent ever being discovered.

George Orson Welles
I hate women, hate them generally, not in particular but in an abstract way. I hate them because one never really learns anything about them. They are inscrutable.

I hate women, hate them generally, not in particular but in an abstract way. I hate them because one never really learns anything about them. They are inscrutable.

George Orson Welles
I look back on my life and it’s 95% running around trying to raise money to make movies and 5% actually making them. It’s no way to live.

I look back on my life and it’s 95% running around trying to raise money to make movies and 5% actually making them. It’s no way to live.

George Orson Welles
Personally, I don't like a girlfriend to have a husband. If she'll fool her husband, I figure she'll fool me.

Personally, I don't like a girlfriend to have a husband. If she'll fool her husband, I figure she'll fool me.

George Orson Welles
In my opinion, there are two things that can absolutely not be carried to the screen: the realistic presentation of the sexual act and praying to God.

In my opinion, there are two things that can absolutely not be carried to the screen: the realistic presentation of the sexual act and praying to God.

George Orson Welles
If I ever own a restaurant, I will never allow the waiters to ask if the diners like their dishes. Particularly when they're talking.

If I ever own a restaurant, I will never allow the waiters to ask if the diners like their dishes. Particularly when they're talking.

George Orson Welles
I love informality. I hate dressing up. I hate to be conventional - and I hate every kind of snob.

I love informality. I hate dressing up. I hate to be conventional - and I hate every kind of snob.

George Orson Welles
[I have a] fondness for telling stories, like the Arab storytellers on the marketplace. ... I will never grow tired of [telling] stories [and] I make the mistake of thinking that everyone has the same enthusiasm!

[I have a] fondness for telling stories, like the Arab storytellers on the marketplace. ... I will never grow tired of [telling] stories [and] I make the mistake of thinking that everyone has the same enthusiasm!

George Orson Welles
There are three intolerable things in life - cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women.

There are three intolerable things in life - cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women.

George Orson Welles
Paris is the playwright's delight. New York is the home of directors. London, however, is the actor's city, the only one in the world. In London, actors are given their head.

Paris is the playwright's delight. New York is the home of directors. London, however, is the actor's city, the only one in the world. In London, actors are given their head.

George Orson Welles
Hollywood is Hollywood. There’s nothing you can say about it that isn’t true, good or bad. And if you get into it, you have no right to be bitter — you’re the one who sat down, and joined the game.

Hollywood is Hollywood. There’s nothing you can say about it that isn’t true, good or bad. And if you get into it, you have no right to be bitter — you’re the one who sat down, and joined the game.

George Orson Welles
I've spent most of my mature life trying to prove that I'm not irresponsible.

I've spent most of my mature life trying to prove that I'm not irresponsible.

George Orson Welles
Ignorance sheer ignorance. There is no confidence to equal it. It's only when you know something about a profession that you are timid or careful.

Ignorance sheer ignorance. There is no confidence to equal it. It's only when you know something about a profession that you are timid or careful.

George Orson Welles
I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could.

I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could.

George Orson Welles
There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.

There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.

George Orson Welles
'The Godfather' was the glorification of a bunch of bums who never existed.

'The Godfather' was the glorification of a bunch of bums who never existed.

George Orson Welles
Friendship creates only the illusion of not being alone.

Friendship creates only the illusion of not being alone.

George Orson Welles
Every true artist must, in his own way, be a magician, a charlatan.

Every true artist must, in his own way, be a magician, a charlatan.

George Orson Welles
The most personal thing I've put in [Touch of Evil] is my hatred of the abuse of police power. It's better to see a murderer go free than for a policeman to abuse his power.

The most personal thing I've put in [Touch of Evil] is my hatred of the abuse of police power. It's better to see a murderer go free than for a policeman to abuse his power.

George Orson Welles
A bad word from a colleague can darken a whole day. We need encouragement a lot more than we admit, even to ourselves.

A bad word from a colleague can darken a whole day. We need encouragement a lot more than we admit, even to ourselves.

George Orson Welles
Future shock is a sickness which comes from too much change in too short a time. It's the feeling that nothing is permanent anymore.

Future shock is a sickness which comes from too much change in too short a time. It's the feeling that nothing is permanent anymore.

George Orson Welles
I'm not basically a happy person, but I have all kinds of joy.

I'm not basically a happy person, but I have all kinds of joy.

George Orson Welles
The cinema has no boundary; it is a ribbon of dream.

The cinema has no boundary; it is a ribbon of dream.

George Orson Welles
Working is part of life, I don't know how to distinguish between the two... Work is an expression of life.

Working is part of life, I don't know how to distinguish between the two... Work is an expression of life.

George Orson Welles
A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army.

A writer needs a pen, an artist needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army.

George Orson Welles
A man is not from where he is born, but where he chooses to die.

A man is not from where he is born, but where he chooses to die.

George Orson Welles
If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.

If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.

George Orson Welles
Race hate isn't human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

Race hate isn't human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

George Orson Welles
We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.

We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.

George Orson Welles
I prefer people who rock the boat to people who jump out

I prefer people who rock the boat to people who jump out

George Orson Welles
Don’t give them what you think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.

Don’t give them what you think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.

George Orson Welles
If everyone worked with wide-angle lenses, I'd shoot all my films in 75mm, because I believe very strongly in the possibilities of the 75mm.

If everyone worked with wide-angle lenses, I'd shoot all my films in 75mm, because I believe very strongly in the possibilities of the 75mm.

George Orson Welles
I prefer the old masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.

I prefer the old masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.

George Orson Welles
I can think of nothing that an audience won't understand. The only problem is to interest them; once they are interested, they understand anything in the world.

I can think of nothing that an audience won't understand. The only problem is to interest them; once they are interested, they understand anything in the world.

George Orson Welles