“Why only twelve disciples? Go out and get thousands.”
- Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn (1879?-1974) was born Schmuel Gelbfisz in Poland but left his home on foot as a young man, travelling to England, where he lived for some years in Birmingham as Samuel Goldfish. He then moved to the United States where he worked in a glove factory, and as a salesman, before getting involved in the newfangled motion picture business. When in 1916 he went into partnership with Broadway producers the Selwyn brothers they combined their names to form the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. Goldfish at this point changed his name to Goldwyn.
Several corporate moves and hugely successful films later, Goldwyn had become one of the giants of Hollywood, and would retain a dominant position in the movie business for decades.
Known for his mixed metaphors and mangling of the English language, it is nonetheless true that not everything attributed to him was actually his. Many were created or embellished by others, including actors and scriptwriters.
Some more Goldwynisms, perhaps some are true . . .
– “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
– “Why did you name your baby Arthur? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is called Arthur.”
– “Let’s have some new cliches.”
– “A bachelor’s life is no life for a single man.”
– “Anybody who goes to see a psychiatrist should have his head examined.”
– “You can include me out.”
– “Our comedies are not to be laughed at.”
– On being told filming The Well of Loneliness would be controversial as it was about lesbians: “That’s okay, we’ll make them Hungarians instead.”
– On his deathbed: “I never thought I’d live to see the day.”