• Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That's how the best pictures get made.
  • When I made The Public Enemy (1931), I was way ahead in thinking. No love story, but loaded with sex and violence.
  • The best director is the director whose handprints are not on the film.
  • I couldn't stand being an actor. I haven't liked many actors anyway, and I've directed most of them. One of my sons is an actor and it breaks my heart, but there's nothing I can do about it.
  • Frankly, if you examine my whole background, it's not very good. I can tell you that for every good picture, I made at least five or six stinkers.
  • [on Robert Taylor, whom he directed in Small Town Girl (1936) and Westward the Women (1951)] I have never gotten along with actors but I was crazy about Bob Taylor. I think he's one of the finest men I've ever known. He was probably handsomest of them all. I had no trouble with him at all. He did everything I asked him to; he was wonderful.
  • [Ray Milland] is one of the toughest guys I've ever known in my life, believe it or not. He is an Englishman, you know, but he is a rugged guy. If I got into any trouble, I'd be glad to have Milland with me. And I've had some pros with me.
  • [on Clark Gable] Never have I known a man who loved to live, to live well, as he did.
  • I've been fired from every major studio in Hollywood except Disney. They never hired me!