“I’ve been to Paris, France, and I’ve been to Paris, Paramount. Paris Paramount is better.” Ernst Lubitsch

Translation: my life is film


Okay, he’s one of the best, most diverse, directors there ever was… But this about sums it up about the mindset of the director. He just wasn’t afraid to say it.

Director, Michael Curtiz to newbie David Niven, “You think you know f*ck everything and I know f*ck nothing. Well let me tell you, I know f*ck all!!”

Translation: none needed



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  1. April 21, 2014

    Dearest V
    I’m not sure I approve of the attitude of Mr Lubitsch, but I’ll admit it must be necessary to get an enterprise as enormous as a movie just made.
    Question though: did Mr Curtiz really mean to say that to Mr Niven, for if he did in British English he sounds awfully stupid!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • April 22, 2014

      Yes, he did, and *oh yes* it means exactly what it does there, here… A lot of the confusion, when speaking to Mr. Curtiz, came from Americans not being able to decipher his Hungarian accent and syntax. I believe what he meant to say was he was “all powerful and all knowing.”

      • April 22, 2014

        Dearest V
        How amusing, as it always is, when people say the exact opposite of what they mean too.
        He’s a foul mouthed Mrs Malaprop for film’s golden age!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  2. April 22, 2014

    More incredible photos. That last one blew me away…

    • April 22, 2014

      It’s cropped! I should have included the wider shot on set…

  3. April 22, 2014

    Interesting coincidence with this post. I took a break from reading your mss this morning to look something up and found myself rereading a passage from “Day of the Locust,” where Tod is making his way through a studio backlot:

    “Throwing away his cigarette, he went through the swinging doors of the saloon. There was no back to the building and he found himself in a Paris street. He followed it to its end coming out in a Romanesque courtyard…”

    You get the idea. This interplay of “reality” and “illusion” never ceases to fascinate me, and it has long since pervaded the world. I had gone to look up, in a book now out of print, an account of Reagan, traveling to Normandy one June to commemorate Dday. He did his photo-op on a cliff – not the actual one the rangers stormed under heavy fire, but one about a mile away that was more photogenic.

    Paramount Paris may well be better than the original, as Reagan’s cliff had more personality than the real battlefield, and also, perhaps, in the way that Reagan played the role of President better than anyone else.

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