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Quotes of the day: Ben Hecht

Published Friday, February 27, 2015 @ 5:08 PM EST
Feb 27 2015

Ben Hecht (February 28, 1894 – April 18, 1964) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist. He received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some 70 films. He wrote 35 books and created some of the most entertaining screenplays and plays in America. The Dictionary of Literary Biography - American Screenwriters calls him "one of the most successful screenwriters in the history of motion pictures." At the age of 16, Hecht ran away to Chicago, where in his own words he "haunted streets, whorehouses, police stations, courtrooms, theater stages, jails, saloons, slums, madhouses, fires, murders, riots, banquet halls, and bookshops". In the 1910s and early 20s, Hecht became a noted journalist, foreign correspondent, and literary figure. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A movie is never better than the stupidist man connected with it.

Despite all our toil and progress, the art of medicine still falls somewhere between trout casting and spook writing.

In Hollywood, a starlet is the name for any woman under thirty who is not actively employed in a brothel.

Life, alas, is an intricate illusion. God is a pack of lies under which man staggers to his grave.

Movies are one of the bad habits that have corrupted our century. They have slipped into the American mind more misinformation in one evening than the Dark Ages could muster in a decade.

Nobody but a writer can write. People who hang around writers for years- as producers did- who are much smarter and have much better taste, never learn to write.

Of the things men give each other the greatest is loyalty.

People will hang on to illusion as eagerly as life itself.

People's sex habits are as well known in Hollywood as their political opinions, and much less criticized.

Prejudice is a raft onto which the shipwrecked mind clambers and paddles to safety.

The movies are an eruption of trash that has lamed the American mind and retarded Americans from becoming cultured people.

The only practical way yet discovered by the world for curing its ills is to forget about them.

There is nothing as dull as an intellectual ally after a certain age.

Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away.

Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand on a clock.

Writing a good movie brings a writer about as much fame as steering a bicycle.


(February 28 is also the birthday of Michel de Montaigne.)

Categories: Ben Hecht, Quotes of the day


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