Quotes by Ben Hecht

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Ben Hecht (February 28, 1894 April 18, 1964) was a prolific Hollywood screenwriter, even though he professed disdain for the motion picture industry. He was also a Zionist and human rights activist.

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In moderating, not satisfying desires, lies peace.

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 of a clock.
Movies are one of the bad habits that corrupted our century. Of their many sins, I offer as the worst their effect on the intellectual side of the nation. It is chiefly from that viewpoint I write of them -- as an eruption of trash that has lamed the American mind and retarded Americans from becoming a cultured people.
I know that a man who shows me his wealth is like the beggar who shows me his poverty; they are both looking for alms from me, the rich man for the alms of my envy, the poor man for the alms of my guilt.
When you overpay small people you frighten them. They know that their merits or activities entitle them to no such sums as they are receiving. As a result their boss soars out of economic into magic significance. He becomes a source of blessings rather than wages. Criticism is sacrilege, doubt is heresy.
Much more frequent in Hollywood than the emergence of Cinderella is her sudden vanishing. At our party, even in those glowing days, the clock was always striking twelve for someone at the height of greatness; and there was never a prince to fetch her back to the happy scene.
Hollywood held this double lure for me, tremendous sums of money for work that required no more effort than a game of pinochle.
In the court of the movie Owner, none criticized, none doubted. And none dared speak of art. In the Owner's mind art was a synonym for bankruptcy. The movie Owners are the only troupe in the history of entertainment that has never been seduced by the adventure of the entertainment world.
I discovered early in my movie work that a movie is never any better than the stupidest man connected with it. There are times when this distinction may be given to the writer or director. Most often it belongs to the producer.