[On Ernst Lubitsch] He could do more with a closed door than other directors could do with an open fly.
Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.
Nowadays Robert Mitchum doesn’t so much act as point his suit at people.
I like using the thriller genre because when people go see a thriller – unless it’s really worthless – they never say, “We’ve wasted our time.”
A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
I have a foolproof device for judging whether a picture is good or bad. If my fanny squirms, it’s bad. If my fanny doesn’t squirm, it’s good.
The cinema, like the detective story, makes it possible to experience without danger all the excitement, passion and desirousness that must be repressed in a humanitarian ordering of life.
Self-plagiarism is style.
[On working with director Werner Herzog] I have to shoot without any breaks. I yell at Herzog and hit him. I have to fight for every sequence. I wish Herzog would catch the plague.
It comes down to a simple choice – get busy living or get busy dying.