Humphrey Bogart Quotations


The trouble with the world is that it's always one drink behind.

Acting is experience with something sweet behind it.

She's a real Joe. You'll fall in love with her like everybody else.
-- on Lauren Bacall.

I should never have switched from scotch to martinis.
-- attributed last words.

They'll nail anyone who ever scratched his ass during the National Anthem.
-- on the House Un-American Activities Committee.

I came out here with one suit and everybody said I looked like a bum. Twenty years later Marlon Brando came out with only a sweatshirt and the town drooled over him. That shows how much Hollywood has progressed.

A hotdog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz.

When the heavy, full of crime and bitterness, grabs his wounds and talks about death and taxes in a husky voice, the audience is his and his alone.

Democrat in politics, Episcopalian by upbringing, dissenter by disposition.
-- about himself.

I can't say I ever loved my mother, I admired her.

I don't approve of the John Waynes and the Gary Coopers saying 'Shucks, I ain't no actor -- I'm just a bridge builder or a gas station attendant.' If they aren't actors, what the hell are they getting paid for? I have respect for my profession. I worked hard at it.

The only good reason to have money is this: so that you can tell any SOB in the world to go to hell.

I hate funerals. They aren't for the guy who's dead. They're for the guys who are left alive and enjoy mourning.

The whole world is three drinks behind. If everybody in the world would take three drinks, we would have no trouble.

Acting is like sex: you either do it and don't talk about it, or you talk about it and don't do it. That's why I'm always suspicious of people who talk too much about either.

The only thing you owe the public is a good performance.

You're not a star until they can spell your name in Karachi.

I made more lousy pictures than any actor in history.

Shout 'gas' around the studios today, and half the young male stars will come running.
-- on the untrained beefcake stars of the early 1950s, many of them picked up for screen tests from sidewalks and gas stations.

Do I subscribe to the [Laurence Olivier] school of acting? Ah, nuts. I'm an actor. I just do what comes naturally.

I don't hurt the industry. The industry hurts itself, by making so many lousy movies - as if General Motors deliberately put out a bad car.

I didn't do anything I've never done before, but when the camera moves in on that Bergman face, and she's saying she loves you, it would make anybody feel romantic.
-- on Ingrid Bergman.

This studio has more suspensions than the Golden Gate Bridge.
-- on Warner Brothers.

She talks at you as though you were a microphone. She lectured the hell out of me on temperance and the evils of drink. She doesn't give a damn how she looks. I don't think she tries to be a character. I think she is one.
-- on Katharine Hepburn.

Even when I was carrying a gun, she scared the be-jesus out of me.
-- on Bette Davis.

It is at least worth arguing that there is a modicum of the creative novelist in all of us, and that this absorption with how men get out of difficulties, single-handedly and alone if possible, is the stuff of which we weave the warp and woof of our own better dramatic imaginings.
This guy [Marlon Brando] - he'll be doing Hamlet when the rest of us are selling potatoes.
-- while visiting the set of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).

Acting is experience with something sweet behind it.

People who don't drink are afraid of revealing themselves

I always cry at weddings, especially my own

The phrase 'movie star' is misused so much that it has no real meaning any more. Any little pinhead who makes one picture is called a star.... To be a star you have to drag your weight in the box office and be recognized wherever you go.

The best way to survive an Oscar is to never try to win another one. You've seen what happens to some Oscar winners. They spend the rest of their lives turning down scripts while searching for the great role to win another one. Hell, I hope I'm never even nominated again. It's meat-and-potato roles for me from now on.
-- quoted in 1951, following his Best Actor Academy Award win for The African Queen.

I'm a professional. I've done pretty well, don't you think? I've survived in a pretty rough business.

After me, he's the best.
-- joking about close friend, Spencer Tracy.

I went on the stage the first time as a gag. I'd been kidding Neil Hamilton about the soft life of an actor. 'Acting doesn't look very hard to me,' I'd said. The funny thing was that that was what I actually thought. The last night of the play, he dared me to go on in his place. I took the dare, and it was all a horrible fiasco. In one scene, an actor was supposed to be mad at me, and I thought he was really mad; he scared the hell out of me. It was the first time I had been face to face with actors at work. I did't realize how convincing they could be. After that experience, I thought, 'Never again.'

Hemingway tells me you're not a good writer.
-- to author John Steinbeck, upon meeting him for the first time.


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