[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.
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.
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.
It comes down to a simple choice – get busy living or get busy dying.