Quotes (14)

  • [Starlog issue 13, 1978] The Manitou (1978) was something that was never done before. So I did it. It's a cross between The Exorcist (1973) and Star Wars (1977). It has a lot of shock in it as well. I'm a director who believes a lot in the instant shock theory as well as build up shock. Under the [Alfred Hitchcock] theory, it's better to build an audience up, then get them to relax, then hit them over the head with everything you got. It keeps them constantly tense.
  • I know what my other pictures were. I know what was bad about them. I also know that they were pretty good when you consider how inexpensively they were made. Anybody should be able to make a good movie if they spend $20 million the way they did on The Exorcist (1973). Comparatively speaking, for what we spent on it, Abby (1974) was probably a better picture than "The Exorcist."
  • Other people learned how to make movies in film schools. I learned by doing it. Nobody saw [William Friedkin's] or Steven Spielberg's mistakes, but all my mistakes were right up there on the screen for everybody to see.
  • I love making movies so much that hard work doesn't bother me. I work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Some days, I'm so excited about what we're doing I can't wait to get out of bed the next morning and start again. If I were an attorney or running a factory, I would probably die or spend all my time on a golf course. I would have been miserable and ended up an alcoholic by the time I was 30.
  • I'm constantly called an egomaniac, but you have to have an ego to survive. I don't pretend to be anything I'm not. I don't think I'll ever be a D.W. Griffith.
  • When I was first called a rip-off artist, I got really offended. But everybody who makes a film is a rip-off artist. Ripping off an audience is a much more serious thing than ripping off a story.
  • I'm in the business to make money. Why kid yourself? Nobody wants to lose money. We haven't and never will get into the art stuff. I'm not out to give messages to the world. We look at scripts for their commercialism. Art is not the objective of my films, but we try to put as much art into them as possible.
  • I don't have a tremendous respect for critics. I agree with Hitchcock [Alfred Hitchcock], who said the definition of a critic is one who criticizes. That's all they do. They know knowing about picture-making. Critics don't buy tickets, so I don't care.
  • [from a 1977 newspaper interview] I don't know how I'll feel in ten years, but right now I'm not trying to win an Academy award or make message films. All I want to do is entertain people and make a profit for my investors. If I do win one and start getting good reviews, that's fine, too. But the approval that means the most right now is the approval the public gives me when they pay $30 million to see one of my pictures. Their approval is what counts.
  • When I'm making a film, I can turn the lights on for day and off for night. I can tell people what to do or say, and, in 90 to 100 minutes, I have complete control of a character. That's a strange trip. I guess everybody would like to have godliness, but directors and producers get wrapped up in that easier than most.
  • The main thing is I can make a living doing what I want. Most people can't.
  • [Mid-America] will never become MGM, but then I don't want it to. I think we'll be moderately successful. I never expect anything, so I'm never disappointed. I don't claim to be a businessman. All I want to do is make films.
  • [from a newspaper interview in 1975] I classify myself as an action director. I like period pictures like Chinatown (1974). I'd be comfortable with almost any type of film except comedy. Hitchcock [Alfred Hitchcock] is my idol. He's great; he's the only director whose pictures people will go see just off his name alone -- because they know they'll be entertained.
  • [from a newspaper interview in 1977] We made all our pictures fast and cheap. Now we can start making them better and a little more carefully. The Manitou (1978) will be a good picture. Not great, but good. I'm proud of The Manitou (1978).