A murder without gleaming scissors is like asparagus without the hollandaise sauce - tasteless.
Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.
A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.
Variation: A good film is when the price of the admission, the dinner and the babysitter was well worth it.
Even my failures make money and become classics a year after I make them.
I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville.
When accepting the American Film Institute Life Achievement award.
I enjoy playing the audience like a piano.
I have the perfect cure for a sore throat: cut it
The inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the manmade sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.
I was an uncommonly unattractive young man.
It's only a movie, and, after all, we're all grossly overpaid....
I once received a letter from a mother ambitious for her daughter. It read: "I have a perfectly beautiful daughter. She is seventeen years old, five feet three inches tall, and weighs eight stone. Do you think she might succeed in films?" I replied "Madam, it would be impossible to say, as you did not state her width."
If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.
In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.
I'm full of fears and I do my best to avoid difficulties and any kind of complications. I like everything around me to be clear as crystal and completely calm.
In the old days villains had moustaches and kicked the dog. Audiences are smarter today. They don’t want their villain to be thrown at them with green limelight on his face. They want an ordinary human being with failings.
In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.
I'm a philanthropist: I give people what they want. People love being horrified, terrified.
I never said actors were cattle. All I said is that actors should be treated as cattle.
It is no accident that an anagram of 'actors' is 'scrota'.
Some movies are slices of life. Mine are slices of cake...
Some of our most exquisite murders have been domestic, performed with tenderness in simple, homey places like the kitchen table
The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.
In reponse to his style of suspense
There are several differences between a footballl game and a revolution. For one thing, a football game usually lasts longer and the participants wear uniforms. Also there are more injuries at a football game.
Then Madam I suggest you have her dry cleaned.
To a woman who complained that the shower scene so frightened her daughter that the girl would no longer shower
They like to put their toe in the cold water of fear.
On why people were fond of his thrillers
This paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace a hardcover book -- it makes a very poor doorstop.