Ben Hecht Quotes
37 Sourced Quotes
The factors that laid low so whooping and puissant an empire as the old Hollywood are many. I can think of a score, including the barbarian hordes of Television. But there is one that stands out for me in the post-mortem.... The factor had to do with the basis of movie-making: 'Who shall be in charge of telling the story.'
When I come to put down their names, there weren't many. David O. Selznick, Sam Goldwyn, Darryl Zanuck, Walter Wanger, Irving Thalberg seem to exhaust the list…Ninety per cent of the producers I have known were not bright. They were as slow-witted and unprofessional toward making up a story as stockbrokers might be, or bus drivers. Even after twenty or thirty years of telling writers what and how to write, they were still as ignorant of writing as if they had never encountered the craft.
Most of my script-writing friends – I never had more than a handful—took eagerly to the bottle or the analyst's couch, filled their extravagant ménages with threats of suicide, hurled themselves into hysterical amours. And some of them actually died in their forties and fifties. Among these were the witty Herman Mankiewicz and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the fine novelist.
There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.