Day 4 of Noirvember: Real-Life Lines

If you know me at all, you know that I just love the hard-boiled lines that are scattered throughout film noir like falling leaves on an autumn day.

But that’s not the focus of this Noirvember post.

Today, I’m looking at a different kind of quote – the kind that was uttered by the actual men and women who brought our favorite noir characters to life. Their true-life lines offer us a glimpse, however brief, into the real lives and actual personas of these fascinating performers. If anything, they make us love them all the more. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean . . .

“I developed a burning ambition – as only a too-fat 17-year-old can burn – to become a good actress. . . . It didn’t require my being a genius to realize Fox was spending a great deal of time and money on my behalf and I intended for them to get their money’s worth!” – Rita Hayworth

“During my first year or so in pictures, I was rather proud of being the big, bad man who scared little children. Kids along the street would give me side glances and shudder – and I’d leer at them and giggle inwardly. Then, the novelty wore off, and in the past four years I have been fighting desperately against heavies. What I want to do is make ‘em laugh.” – Brian Donlevy

“Look, it’s very simple. God gave me certain physical attributes that made it possible for me to become a star. But that didn’t change the kind of person I am – deep down. The church and show business are all the same to me – part of my life.” – Jane Russell

“I like Hollywood. It is not a crazy, nervous place. An actor is less bothered here than anywhere else. You can live your life as you please and nobody cares.” – Peter Lorre

“You seldom become famous playing good girls. I appeared in 20 pictures, mostly as a wide-eyed ingénue, and nobody ever heard of me. Then I did I, the Jury. It wasn’t exactly the greatest picture ever made. But now people know who I am.” – Peggie Castle

“I always wanted to be in the limelight and I found I could get it by being on the stage. That was the beginning of everything for me.” – John Garfield

“Our English teacher had each person voice their ambition in life, and most of the girls wanted to be a teacher or a nurse or a housewife. That’s about all anybody’s imagination was at that time in rural America. I said I wanted to be a movie star and they laughed at me – boy, did they laugh. So I never said it again, ever.” – Coleen Gray

“If you don’t do a lot of interviews and you want to keep your life separate from your profession, people think you’re a little nuts or stupid. I’m [against] all these Barbara Walters-type interviews where people get on TV and tell all in great detail. I don’t care about someone else’s inside life. They can work it out for themselves. You say all that to the public and really, what’s left for you? Whaddya got? There’s got to be something for you and your family that everybody in the world doesn’t have to be in on.” – Richard Widmark

“I never thought of it as retiring. I simply decided there was more to life than just making films. And I proceeded to explore all of life’s other facets. The most important thing to me is my personal life. To be content, happy, and to be at peace – these are the top requisites. I’m terribly interested in being creative, but for me, time is not of the essence.” – Lizabeth Scott.

“I’m identified in print as a ‘lush Lothario,’ ‘Technicolor Tarzan,’ and ‘over-ripe Romeo.’ Directors who make pictures for the ages and actors who make pictures with one eye cocked on the Academy Award dismiss me as ham – uncured and uncurable. . . . Little guys are forever yearning to cut me down to their size. Even scripters who get paid out of the same till as I do find it hard to resist the temptation to take a poke at me by writing cute little scenes in which I am supposed to cavort as a strong boy of sorts. But don’t get me wrong, whatever you do. I picked this racket, and I love it.” – Victor Mature

Join me tomorrow for Day 5 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 4, 2019.

7 Responses to “Day 4 of Noirvember: Real-Life Lines”

  1. Good idea.Especially liked Widmark’s comment. Re: Liz Scott-wonder why she came back to do Pulp?

  2. Very insightful quotes. I like these folks.

  3. LOVE these. John Garfield’s one is particularly heart-breaking considering how young he was when he died and the knd of things he could have gone on to do.

  4. Oh, these are terrific !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Fascinating quotes, especially the one from Peter Lorre about living life in Hollywood.

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