Samuel "Billy" Wilder (22 June 1906 – 27 March 2002) was an Austro-Hungarian born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films.
- An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.
- As quoted in The Bright Side of Billy Wilder, Primarily (1970) by Tom Wood, p. 20
- A bad play folds and is forgotten, but in pictures we don't bury our dead. When you think it's out of your system, your daughter sees it on television and says, My father is an idiot.
- As quoted in Culture and Commitment, 1929-1945 (1973) by Warren Susman, p. 180
- Eighty percent of a picture is writing, the other twenty percent is the execution, such as having the camera on the right spot and being able to afford to have good actors in all parts.
- As quoted in The New Hollywood : American Movies in the '70s (1975) by Axel Madsen
- Die Österreicher haben das Kunststück fertiggebracht, aus Beethoven einen Österreicher und aus Hitler einen Deutschen zu machen.
- I have ten commandments. The first nine are, thou shalt not bore. The tenth is, thou shalt have right of final cut.
- As quoted in The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners (2004) by Geoff Tibballs, p. 206
- I just made pictures I would've liked to see.
- As quoted in "Billy Wilder" at The Indian Prairie Public Library
"The truth always reveals itself."
Quotes about Wilder
- That piece of Hollywood shit with Billy Wilder [Buddy Buddy] is over, thank God. No outsider can imagine the stupidity, blustering hysteria, authoritarianism, and paralyzing boredom of shooting a flick for Billy Wilder. The so-called "actors" are simply trained poodles who sit up on their hind legs and jump through hoops. I thought the insanity would never stop. But I got a shitload of money.
- Klaus Kinski, in Kinski Uncut : The Autobiography of Klaus Kinski (1996), p. 299