quote by Buster Keaton

What really got my goat at MGM were comedians like The Marx Brothers who never wrote their own jokes.

— Buster Keaton

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I was born at the age of twelve on an MGM lot.


I'm a collector of cartoons. All the Disney stuff, Bugs Bunny, the old MGM ones. It's real escapism, it's like everything's alright. It's like the world is happening now in a far away city. Everything's fine.

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There was a saying around MGM: "Norma Shearer got the productions, Greta Garbo supplied the art, and Joan Crawford made the money to pay for both".

I had a really good time at MGM. And we had no quarrels much, except once in a while, I'd go up to the front office and say I thought I should be doing something big, like washing elephants ... All my life I wanted to have talent ... Finally I had to admit there was nothing there.

Crikey means gee whiz, wow! Crikey, mate.

You're far safer dealing with crocodiles and western diamondback rattlesnakes than the executives and the producers and all those sharks in the big MGM building.


Even though I had a lucrative contract with MGM, I had a husband who was drinking and gambling our money away faster than I could make it.

As a kid, I just was a contract player at MGM Studios.

They put me into goodness knows how many different roles.Some of them were wonderful and some of them were very just distasteful and awful because I was playing out of my age range and I was thoroughly uncomfortable, let's put it that way. So it took me many years to find my acting feet.

By the time we got to MGM, and Lions Gate the movie was done there was nothing else to say. It was done. Just as at Universal, it was art by committee.

I gave my eardrums to MGM. And it's true: I really did.

I was signed to MGM. I was in Vegas for sixteen weeks at the Sands Hotel.


And actually, about three weeks ago, Micky, Peter and I were in Vegas at the MGM Grand. And we did about 12 shows in seven days. It was quite an experience.

When my mother signed at MGM, that was the only kind of contract you could sign.

There was no such thing as an independent agent.

Under no circumstances would it be right for me to go with MGM. Irene shares my opinion.

Anything I've asked of MGM Grand, they've done for me in a heartbeat.

They're all about making entertainers and athletes happy.

[From a window in the Writer's Building at MGM, which overlooked a cemetery:] Hello down there. It might interest you to know that up here we are just as dead as you are.


Growing up, I would watch a movie on video and would go to the back of the VHS and locate the address for Universal Pictures or MGM or whatever. I'd write to the studios asking them if I could be in a movie. They never wrote me back.

My last days at MGM were like the fall of the Roman Empire in fast motion.

I'm from Chicago, my family started a chain of movie theaters in Chicago that were around for 70 years and then one of them became the head of Paramount and the other was the head of production at MGM and we all came out of Chicago.

I thought I was making fifty dollars a week [at MGM], but it turned out to be $35 because twelve weeks of the year you were on layoff. It was white slavery, and it lasted for seventeen years.

We had the same doomsday people when we were building the MGM Grand, same people, same doomsday. You have to ask a lot of questions and listen to people, but eventually, you have to go by your own instincts.


I tap danced for ten years before I began to understand people don't make musicals anymore. All I wanted to do was be at MGM working for Arthur Freed or Gene Kelly or Vincent Minelli. Historical and geographical constraints made this impossible. Slowly but surely the pen became mightier than the double pick-up time step with shuffle.

When I was in Middle of The Night, MGM came and offered me a contract and I said that when I got out of the play, I'd like to try it. I didn't know anything about making movies but I was certainly finding it interesting.

There was this little shaggy dog on it, and Frank Weatherwax was working the dog. One day we were all sitting around, and Frank said, listen, my brother Rudd just got the rights back from MGM for Lassie, and said have your agent check into it. I did, and I went for a screen test.

Most of the contract people at MGM stayed and stayed and stayed.

Why? Because the studio looked after them. Warner Brothers wouldn't - they were always spanking somebody or selling them down the river.

I enjoyed working at RKO more than at MGM. At RKO the parts were better!


When you worked in a studio it was the studio system that you kind of missed because it was a big, big family. I mean MGM had 5,000 people working a day there. You miss it.

I was like a kept woman during my twenty-one years at MGM.

The reason that MGM hired Bobby for Our Gang was that they could look at him and say, cry, and he'd cry, and not many kids can do that unless they really want to cry.

We gave the show away and in return, we received a certain number of minutes per hour for the three-hour show that we could sell to Madison Avenue. One of the first sponsors was MGM Records.

In the beginning I had a real work problem.

Every time I had job I had to convince the immigration authorities I was the only man for that job and get a special work permit until I went under contract to MGM.


We're talking to New Line. They've got a couple projects they're interested in me doing and I'm having meetings at MGM. There's a lot of available projects.

Pippin had an opening number called "Magic to Do," and Jules Fisher, the brilliant lighting designer lit it. Tony Walton did all of the sets. As a kid I thought, "Wow, I'm seeing onstage what a MGM musical would look like live." It was that good, and it was directed by Bob Fosse.

Bobby [Fosse] was very difficult to work with, he wanted to be a big star at MGM, but it was the end of making musical movies at the time.

You asked me my favorite question: What happened and what did you learn from being under contract to MGM? And the answer is I know how to make movies. I understand how to do that. I've been doing that my whole life. It's just easier to raise the money yourself and then hire yourself. It's possible if you reduce your own budget a little.