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- When a man of forty marries a girl of twenty, it isn't her youth he's seeking but his own.
- Intertitle from The Dangerous Age (1923); as quoted in Storyline: Recollections of a Hollywood Screenwriter (1973) by Coffee, p. 82; The Women who Write the Movies (1994) by Marsha McCreadie, p. 92; and Women Screenwriters: An International Guide (2015) by Jill Nelmes and Jule Selbo
- In most pictures today, the 'sex appeal' is primarily manifested through the feminine characters. But women, as I said before, constitute by far the greatest portion of all audiences. It should be aimed at them. It is an almost indefinable thing. I should call it a hint of great capacity for emotion, a capacity which can only be tapped by a touch on a hidden spring, seldom found. Take, for instance, Victor Varconi and William Boyd, who played what might almost be called a double lead in the last picture I did for Cecil DeMille. In both of them 'sex appeal' will be strikingly manifested. Between these two men I have appealed to every potential feminine spectator of the picture. And that is the way 'sex appeal' should be directed, not to the men, but to the women, I believe.
- As quoted in "Most Successful Films Have Sex Appeal As Basis: Lenore Coffee, Writer, Says Women Vicariously Live Parts Enacted in Pictures," The Hartford Courant (September 12, 1926)
- They pick your brains, break your heart, ruin your digestion -- and what do you get for it? Nothing but a lousy fortune.
- Speaking with friend and colleague Frances Marion; as quoted in Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (1997) by Cari Beauchamp
- I met him one day coming out of Louis B. Mayer's office, and he told me Mr. Mayer had been telling him how much he liked the picture we had done. Mr. Brown said, "I told him, 'Give me writers like Lenore Coffee, and I'll give you stuff like that all the time." I put my hand on his shoulder, and I said, "Goodbye, Clarence." He said, "What do you mean?" I said, "I'll never work for you again. This is a producer's studio. They don't like teams of writers-directors." And I never worked for him again.
- Speaking in 1983, as quoted in Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age (2002) by Patrick McGilligan, p. 145
- I look back on my forty years in Hollywood with nothing but pleasure. If you can work forty years in Hollywood without getting your throat cut, you can count yourself lucky.
- Speaking in 1983, as quoted in Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age, p. 150
Quotes about Coffee
- I have seen Family Portrait. I went into the theatre with a chip on my shoulder and came out on my knees.
- Cecil B. DeMille, telegram received by Coffee circa Spring 1939; as quoted in Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age (2002), p. 141
- Coffee took pride in her sharp eyesight (no need of eyeglasses); she continued to read avidly (mostly romantic paperbacks), to talk of writing (although her hands were not up to it), and to be witty and sharp-tongued. The afternoon visit with her was memorable for its bon mots, its rambling panorama of Hollywood life, and the sly, sexual innuendo so surprising in a woman whose storytelling roots were essentially Victorian (and Roman Catholic). One could detect a sense of what a feisty and inventive writer the young Lenore Coffee must have been, fresh off the train in 1919; what a formidable presence she must have been in a roomful of male studio executives.
- Patrick McGilligan, describing Coffee circa 1983; in Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age (2002), p. 134