78 Orson Welles Quotes from the Legendary American Director

Orson Welles hailed a genius by Spielberg and Lucas, struggled for acceptance in a profit-driven Hollywood.

Born in 1915 Wisconsin to an inventor father and artistic mother, Welles showcased intellectual prowess early, allegedly speaking sophisticatedly at 18 months and reading Shakespeare at five.

Starting his career at 16 in Ireland, he gained intellectual recognition in New York.

At 23, his radio dramatization of “The War of the Worlds” caused national panic.

Orson Welles

Welles produced, directed and acted in Citizen Kane at 25, reflecting American capitalism through a character resembling media tycoon Hearst.

Despite its acclaim, the film wasn’t initially commercially successful, mirroring Welles’s career, filled with unfinished and altered projects.

Hollywood’s limited support and Welles’s grand, unrealized dreams marked his career.

Orson Welles was one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.

I have made a greatest list of quotes by Orson Welles.

Best Orson Welles Quotes


The absence of limitations is the enemy of art. ~ Orson Welles.


We will sell no wine before its time. ~ Orson Welles.


I don’t say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could. ~ Orson Welles.


I am essentially a hack, a commercial person. If I had a hobby, I would immediately make money on it or abandon it. ~ Orson Welles.


The basic and essential human is the woman. ~ Orson Welles.


Look at the real prodigies, and I look like nothing compared to them. ~ Orson Welles.

The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world. ~ Orson Welles.


A bad word from a colleague can darken a whole day. We need encouragement a lot more than we admit, even to ourselves. ~ Orson Welles.


A movie studio is the best toy a boy ever had. ~ Orson Welles.

Now I’m an old Christmas tree, the roots of which have died. They just come along and while the little needles fall off me replace them with medallions. ~ Orson Welles.

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone. ~ Orson Welles.


A poet needs a pen, a painter a brush, and a director an army. ~ Orson Welles.

The word genius was whispered into my ear, the first thing I ever heard, while I was still mewling in my crib. So it never occurred to me that I wasn’t until middle age. ~ Orson Welles.

Famous Orson Welles Quotes

I hate women, hate them generally, not in particular but in an abstract way. I hate them because one never really learns anything about them. They are inscrutable. ~ Orson Welles.


I have an unfortunate personality. ~ Orson Welles.

The truth about any man can only be calculated by the sum of everything that has been said about him. ~ Orson Welles.

My definition of success is not having things thrown at me! ~ Orson Welles.

What’s happening now is what happened before, and often what’s going to happen again sometime or other. ~ Orson Welles.

Many would never speak with a full mouth, but do it with an empty head. ~ Orson Welles.


There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror. ~ Orson Welles.

I passionately hate the idea of being with it; I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time. ~ Orson Welles.

The essential is to excite the spectators. If that means playing Hamlet on a flying trapeze or in an aquarium, you do it. ~ Orson Welles.

Popular Orson Welles Quotes


The enemy of society is middle class and the enemy of life is middle age. ~ Orson Welles.

You’re beautiful. Yes you are, you’re very very beautiful. Extremely beautiful. ~ Orson Welles.

The enemy of art is the absence of limitations. ~ Orson Welles.


I prefer people who rock the boat to people who jump out. ~ Orson Welles.

If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends. ~ Orson Welles.

I don’t pray really, because I don’t want to bore God. ~ Orson Welles.

A good artist should be isolated. If he isn’t isolated, something is wrong. ~ Orson Welles.

Human nature is eternal; therefore one who follows his nature keeps his original nature, in the end. ~ Orson Welles.


Gluttony is not a secret vice. ~ Orson Welles.

A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet. ~ Orson Welles.

I have always been more interested in experiment, than in accomplishment. ~ Orson Welles.

Never expect justice in this world. That is not part of God’s plan. Everybody thinks that if they don’t get it, they’re some kind of odd man out. And it’s not true. Nobody gets justice – people just get good luck or bad luck. ~ Orson Welles.


My kind of director is an actor-director who writes. ~ Orson Welles.

Great Orson Welles Quotes

I hate Woody Allen physically, I dislike that kind of man. ~ Orson Welles.

Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing. ~ Orson Welles.

Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck. ~ Orson Welles.

Only in a police state is the job of a policeman easy. ~ Orson Welles.


The cinema has no boundary; it is a ribbon of dream. ~ Orson Welles.

Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up. ~ Orson Welles.

Criticism is the essence of creation. ~ Orson Welles.

I love informality. I hate dressing up. I hate to be conventional – and I hate every kind of snob. ~ Orson Welles.

Thought-Provoking Orson Welles Quotes

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story. ~ Orson Welles.

Film is like a colony and there are very few colonists. ~ Orson Welles.

Personally, I don’t like a girlfriend to have a husband. If she’ll fool her husband, I figure she’ll fool me. ~ Orson Welles.

I’m a provincial. I live very much like a hermit: reading, listening to music, working in the cutting room, writing, commercial work – which doesn’t take up that much time. ~ Orson Welles.

I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life. ~ Orson Welles.

I started at the top and worked my way down. ~ Orson Welles.

Friendship creates only the illusion of not being alone. ~ Orson Welles.

Top Orson Welles Quotes

I love moving around from town to town. I never got on a train in my life without my spirits rising. ~ Orson Welles.


A director is someone who presides over a series of accidents. ~ Orson Welles.

If I had only one film in the world to save, it would be ‘Grand Illusion.’ ~ Orson Welles.

In common with all Protestant or Jewish cultures, America was developed on the idea that your word is your bond. Otherwise, the frontier could never have been opened, ’cause it was lawless. A man’s word had to mean something. ~ Orson Welles.

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts. ~ Orson Welles.

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people. ~ Orson Welles.

Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations. ~ Orson Welles.

Don’t give them what you think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible. ~ Orson Welles.

Ignorance sheer ignorance. There is no confidence to equal it. It’s only when you know something about a profession that you are timid or careful. ~ Orson Welles.

Profound Orson Welles Quotes

An artist is always out of step with the time. He has to be. ~ Orson Welles.

A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows – his own. ~ Orson Welles.


I prefer the old masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford. ~ Orson Welles.

As for my style, for my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect; it’s the aspect. ~ Orson Welles.

I’d make my promises now if I wasn’t so busy arranging to keep them. ~ Orson Welles.

There are three intolerable things in life – cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women… ~ Orson Welles.

Hollywood is Hollywood. There’s nothing you can say about it that isn’t true, good or bad. And if you get into it, you have no right to be bitter – you’re the one who sat down, and joined the game. ~ Orson Welles.

Hollywood expects you to experiment but on a film that makes money and if you don’t make money, you’re to blame. Your job is to make money. ~ Orson Welles.

Crooks aren’t the worst people, just the stupidest. The fleas of the world. ~ Orson Welles.


I never make my mind up about anything at all, until it’s over and done with. ~ Orson Welles.

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch. ~ Orson Welles.

I’m not basically a happy person, but I have all kinds of joy. ~ Orson Welles.

I look back on my life and it’s 95% running around trying to raise money to make movies and 5% actually making them. It’s no way to live. ~ Orson Welles.

The classy gangster is a Hollywood invention. ~ Orson Welles.

So these were the 78 top Orson Welles quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Clara Barton quotes and Johannes Kepler quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar