Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kenneth Tynan quotes

British theatre critic & writer (1927-1980) and the first man to say the word "fuck" on British TV:

"Citizen Coon" (Tynan's description of Orson Welles' performance as Othello).

"A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car."

"The greatest films are those which show how society shapes man. The greatest plays are those which show how man shapes society."

[Upon moving to a house in California well above his means] "What have I done — more ominously, what am I going to have to do to deserve all this?"

[About Vivien Leigh's performance in Titus Andronicus:] "She receives the news that she is about to be ravished on her husband's corpse with little more than the mild annoyance of one who would have preferred foam rubber."

"What, when drunk, one sees in other women, one sees in Garbo sober."

[On Roman Polanski:] "The five-foot Pole you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole."

"Western man, especially the Western critic, still finds it very hard to go into print and say: 'I recommend you to go and see this because it gave me an erection.'"

[Upon encountering Alec Guinness in a bar in Havana, Cuba, Tynan made the following offer:] "I have t-two t-tickets for the fort tonight. . . They are shooting a couple of 16-year-olds. A boy and a girl. I thought you might like to see it. One should see everything, if one's an actor." [Guinness declined the offer][6]

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