Born On This Day — December 30

Carol Reed - By Camera

The most important purpose of the commercial film-maker is to produce entertainment which will draw the largest possible number of the paying public into the cinema, and keep them there. You could gather a large number of people together to gaze at a two-headed dog, especially if you had a man with a loud enough voice announcing it; but the number of times people can be induced to pay money to see the dog is strictly limited; the wise showman provides also a bearded lady and a living skeleton—all, be it emphasized, strictly genuine. The public may be gullible, but there is a limit to its credulity. The swindling or unimaginative showman, like the man who deliberately makes bogus or otherwise unworthy films, may be successful for a while; but he has no future.

Films are made in fear and worry and panic. There is no happiness in this business.

—Carol Reed