Movie Editor's Blog

Movie Editor's Blog

Michael Winner death: His best quotes

Film director, food critic and occasional advert star Michael Winner - who has died aged 77 - was a  dream to interview.

He had strong opinions about everything; from restaurants to politics to women, and was not shy about sharing them. Here’s the world according to Winner…

Opinionated... Winner an interviewers' dream (Credit: Wenn)

(On why it took him so long to get married) “I used to see flashing above girlfriends' heads ‘Alimony. Alimony. Alimony.”

(On crime) “My sympathy is totally with the little old lady who gets bashed over the head with an iron bar, not with the youngster who did it and gets sent to the South of France for six weeks to turn into a lovely human being.”

(On his weight) “Success has gone to my stomach.”

(On the movie business) “If you want art, don't mess about with movies. Buy a Picasso.”

(On his friends) "I talk to dead people now. I see this street where we did this film with Marlon [Brando], and I talk to him. They're not there anymore."

(On ‘Winner’s Dinners') “Food critics are the most useless people in the world. There’s absolutely no need for them whatsoever.”

(On men) "Men are pigs, darling. I really have every sympathy for women that they actually have to choose one of these arrogant, stupid morons to settle down with and marry.”

(On Burt Lancaster) "He tried to kill me three times, but he only ever tried to kill his friends."

(On politics) “If I was prime minister I would be to the Right of Hitler. No immigration! Shoot anyone who commits a crime! Shoot people who park in the wrong place in front of my garage! I would be ferocious. And believe me, it's needed."

(On the censors) “Largely idiots. One of them was actually at Cambridge with me and he was a f***ing idiot then and he was a f***ing idiot as a censor. They all tended to be failed directors who suddenly find they have power over every director in the world and they misuse it.”

(On 'Death Wish') “I can tell you this: whenever Charlie killed anyone the whole theatre would burst into applause.”

(On career regrets) “I turned down ‘King Kong’, ‘James Bond’, ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie’. Four of my many errors in life but it goes on.”

(On turning down an OBE) “I couldn’t give a s**t about a CBE or a Knighthood so I just thought 'stuff it'. If you look at the people who have turned down honours it makes for a wonderful list. I now put on my notepaper 'Michael Winner, MA CAM OBE (but rejected)'. F**k ‘em.”