Movie sets can be copacetic, nurturing, artistically charged environments.
Or they can be back-stabbing battlegrounds.
We shouldn’t be surprised, since Hollywood is full of world-class egos that are bound to rub each other the wrong way.
Here we have some savage put-downs of well-known motion picture personalities. Try to match the quote to the person who said it.
1. "I can’t imagine any guy giving her (Bette Davis) a tumble."
2. "The nicest thing I can say about Frances Farmer is that she is unbearable."
3. "He (James Dean) was a hero to the people who saw him only as a little waif, when actually he was a pudding of hatred."
4. "Most of the time he (Marlon Brando) sounds like he has a mouth full of toilet paper."
5. "Poor Ingrid (Bergman)! Speaks five languages and can’t act in any of them."
6. "I’m here to speak about his (Kirk Douglas) wit, his charm, his warmth, his talent...At last, a real acting job."
7. "Working with her (Julie Andrews) is like being hit over the head with a Valentine card."
8. "He’s (Gary Cooper) got a reputation as a great actor just by thinking hard about the next line."
9. "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."
10. "He (Tom Cruise) has the habit of treating you like a princess one minute and then like a piece of furniture the next."
11. "You always knew exactly where you were with him (Errol Flynn) because he always let you down."
12. "(Jane Fonda) A pain in the behind."
13. "Richard (Gere) is so arrogant. I’ve never felt less for a co-star. What people saw on screen as pure passion was pure misery."
14. "Clark (Gable) is the sort of guy if you say, ‘Hiya Clark, how are ya?’ he’s stuck for an answer."
15. "Alan Ladd is hard, bitter and occasionally charming, but he is, after all, a small boy’s idea of a tough guy."
A. John Gielgud, actor
B. Christopher Plummer, actor
C. King Vidor, director
D. William Wyler, director
E. Debra Winger, actor
F. Ava Gardner, actor
G. Rebecca DeMornay, actor
H. Burt Lancaster, actor
I. Robert Evans, producer
J. Raymond Chandler, novelist
K. Carl Laemmle, producer
L. Rex Reed, critic
M. Oscar Levant, pianist/actor/cynic
N. David Niven, actor
O. Elia Kazan, director
About the Author
Robert W. Butler is a lifelong Kansas City area resident, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. For several decades he was the movie editor of the Kansas City Star; he now writes a movie-themed blog at butlerscinemascene.com. He's married to the former Ellen Vaughan; they are the proud parents of LA-based comedian, writer, director and TV personality Blair Butler. He used to be a dog person but now lives with two cats, thus demonstrating the flexibility of the human condition.
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