Friday, December 25, 2009

Some classic Malapropos!

I can’t speak for the accuracy of these Goldwynisms, but Jesus, if only half of them are true at least that’s a majority!

SAMUEL GOLDWYN QUOTES

Samuel Goldwyn (1882–1974) was an Academy Award and Golden
Globe Award-winning producer, also a well-known Hollywood
motion picture producer and founding contributor of several motion
picture studios. His inferior English language skills led to many of
his malapropisms, paradoxes, and other speech errors called
Goldwynisms. Having many writers in his employ, Goldwyn may
not have come up with all of these on his own:


“Keep a stiff upper chin.”

“In two words: im-possible.”

“Gentlemen, include me out.”

“They stayed away in droves.”

“Let’s have some new clichés.”

“There is a statue of limitation.”

“Tell them to stand closer apart.”

“Gentlemen, listen to me slowly.”

“That’s our strongest weak point.”

“A hospital is no place to be sick.”

“Modern dancing is old fashioned.”

“The harder I work the luckier I get.”

“I read part of it all the way through.”

“Flashbacks are a thing of the past.”

“You fail to overlook the crucial point.”

“I paid too much for it, but it’s worth it.”

“I have been laid up with intentional flu.”

“God makes stars. I just produce them.”

“Our comedies are not to be laughed at.”

“He treats me like the dirt under my feet.”

“You’ve got to take the bitter with the sour.”

“A bachelor’s life is no life for a single man.”

“If I look confused it’s because I’m thinking.”

“That’s the kind of ad I like, facts, facts, facts.”

“What we need now is some new, fresh clichés.”

“This makes me so sore it gets my dandruff up.”

“What nerve. Not even a modicum of originality.”

“You’ve got to take the bull between your teeth.”

“I had a great idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.”

“It’s absolutely impossible, but it has possibilities.”

“Never make forecasts, especially about the future.”

“A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.”

“For your information, just answer me one question!”

“For your information, I would like to ask a question.”

“Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day.”

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”

“Every director bites the hand that lays the golden egg.”

“Plenty of room for a tiny brain and a huge ego, though.”

“Don’t worry about the war. It’s all over but the shooting.”

“Can she sing? She’s practically a Florence Nightingale.”

“If I could drop dead right now, I’d be the happiest man alive.”

“The trouble with this business is the dearth of bad pictures.”

“Don’t pay any attention to the critics — don’t even ignore them.”

“Put it out of your mind. In no time, it will be a forgotten memory.”

“I’ll take fifty percent efficiency to get one hundred percent loyalty.”

“I never put on a pair of shoes until I’ve worn them at least five years.”

“Color television! Bah, I won’t believe it until I see it in black and white.”

“We have that Indian scene. We can get the Indians from the reservoir.”

“Let’s bring it up to date with some snappy nineteenth century dialogue.”

“I don’t think anyone should write his autobiography until after he’s dead.”

“I’m willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.”

“Anyone who would go to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined!”

“Why did you name him Sam? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Sam!”

“Give me a couple of years, and I’ll make that actress an overnight success.”

“If I were in this business only for the business, I wouldn’t be in this business.”

“Go see that turkey for yourself, and see for yourself why you shouldn’t see it.”

“Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.”

“When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.”

“That would doubtless be a dank and dark and a desolate and dreary place to dwell.”

“From success you get a lot of things, but not that great inside thing that love brings you.”

“I hate a man who always says yes to me. When I say no I like a man who also says no.”

“That’s the way with these directors, they’re always biting the hand that lays the golden egg.”

“I don’t want yes-men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.”

“I don’t care if it doesn’t make a nickel. I just want every man, woman, and child in America to see it.”

“Why should people go out and pay to see bad movies when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing.”

“True, I’ve been a long time making up my mind, but now I’m giving you a definite answer. I won’t say yes, and I won’t say no — but I’m giving you a definite maybe.”

17 comments:

ajm said...

Critic/screenwriter George Oppenheimer came up with this widely-circulated spurious Goldwynism: "It rolls off my back like a duck."

jviolette73 said...

some of these are downright poetic, though, and actually work in a way.

“Let’s have some new clichés.”

“The harder I work the luckier I get.”

“You fail to overlook the crucial point.” -- a complaint about most contract disputes.

“A bachelor’s life is no life for a single man.” -- how many times has Hugh Hefner been married?

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” -- well?

“I don’t think anyone should write his autobiography until after he’s dead.” -- also, largely true. (qv. Sarah Palin)

“Why should people go out and pay to see bad movies when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing.” Seriously.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Yogi Berra is rolling over in his grave with laughter.

Nathan said...

Yogi Berra is rolling over in his grave with laughter.

Is he just trying it on for size? (Yogi's not dead.)

Michael said...

Maybe Jerry Coleman is his long-lost son.

Curt Alliaume said...

From Gil Fates' book on the TV series "What's My Line?":

"Bob Bach had booked Mr. Goldwyn as Mystery Guest well in advance since he was coming to New York in connection with the opening of his latest film. Goldwyn saw Dorothy Kilgallen at dinner at the 'Twenty One' restaurant and rushed over to her table.

"'Guess what, Dorothy?' he enthused, 'I'm going to be on your show Sunday night!'

"'Sam,' Dorothy groaned, 'you shouldn't have told me. Now I'll have to disqualify myself.'

"Later that week Mr. Goldwyn ran into panelist Bennett Cerf at a part.

"'Did I do a dumb thing the other night?' said Sam to Bennett. 'I saw Dorothy Kilgallen at Twenty One and I told her I was going to be on her show this Sunday.'

"That Sunday night both Dorothy and Bennett disqualified themselves."

Tom Quigley said...

I wonder if Mr. Goldwyn possibly might have had Groucho Marx ghostwriting some of these for him. A lot of them sound almost "Marxian" in nature... On the other hand, Groucho Marx probably would have come up with something like "How Lana Turner got in my pajamas, I'll never know"...

te said...

Blogger Nathan said...

Yogi Berra is rolling over in his grave with laughter.

Is he just trying it on for size? (Yogi's not dead.)

12/26/2009 4:33 AM

So:

"If he were dead, Yogi Berra would be rolling over in his grave."

Steve W. said...

My father worked for Goldwyn as a story editor in the forties. He said that many of the most famous Goldwynisms were concocted by publicists and writers -- most suspect are any that sound like jokes. He said that the real Goldwynisms were sentences that just sounded a little off. My father remembered visiting with Goldwyn one nice day. Sam looked around and said "Isn't this a lovely day to spend Sunday?" Now that, he said, was a real Goldwynism.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Goldwyn's man in New York called to tell him about Lillian Hellman's hit play "The Children's Hour." "Buy it," said Goldwyn. "Well, there's a problem, Mr. Goldwyn. The two women in the play are lesbians." "Don't worry, we'll change it. We'll make them Americans."

Mary Stella said...

You could have told me that Dubya said most of these things and I'd have believed it.

wv: begmacat. Needs no further definition.

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

(Yogi's not dead.)

No kidding. I stand corrupted and beg your fortuitousness.

rita said...

some of them are almost wildean. :D

Anonymous said...

some of those are pretty legit, like “Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.”, and a bunch of others like that.

sephim said...

"When the going gets tough, go and get stuffed..."

One of mine. I've been telling people those are the words to that Billy Ocean song for years.

ks said...

My hairdresser gifts me with at least one per visit.

Recently he was telling me about his grandmother, and her dementia.
He said, "I just KNOW when I'm old, I'll be dementianal."

Johannes Factotum said...

You missed my favorite, said to a sycophantic underling at a board meeting: "Don't say yes until I stop talking."