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Neil Gabler NEIL GABLER 1908-2006; American professor, journalist and commentator
The illusion of entertainment. • of Hollywood blockbuster films on the early 21st century, New York Times, 4 August 2002. Gabler attributes the phrase to television producer Paul Rosenthal
J K Galbriath JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH 1908-2006; American economist
There is an insistent tendency among solemn social scientists to think of any institution which features rhymed and singing commercials, intense and lachrymose voices urging highly improbable enjoyment, caricatures of the human oesophagus in normal or impaired operation, and which hints implausibly at opportunities for antiseptic seduction, as inherently trivial. This is a great mistake. The industrial system is profoundly dependent on commercial television and could not exist in its present form without it. • The New Industrial State, 1967
Peter Gammond PETER GAMMOND and PETER CLAYTON British record producers (Decca Record Company)
Rock and roll. Rock ‘n’ roll. Rock. A more commercial form of skiffle generally using contrived themes instead of folk-music and with the emphasis on the rhythm or beat, which is magnified to frantic proportions. It does not employ the jazz inflection so completely as rhythm and blues and skiffle, but rather a number of tricks and affectations which emphasise the crude rhythms. The effect is also generally emphasised by suggestive body movements. ... It would seem to have the characteristics of a temporary craze rather than the more lasting folk element of skiffle. • A Guide to Popular Music, 1960. Skiffle was a form of music that flourished in Britain for about three years from 1955.
Abel Gance ABEL GANCE 1889-1981; French film director
I felt that if the audience saw the effect they would be seduced by it and be less interested in the content of the film. If it fascinated the eye, it would fail to do the same for the mind and heart. • rejecting experimental 3D colour footage for Napolιon, c.1926
Ava Gardner AVA GARDNER Ava Lavinia Gardner
1922-1990; American film actress
For the loot, honey, for the loot. • Reason for coming out of retirement to appear in a soap opera. Quoted in People, 10 June 1985
Bill Gates BILL GATES William H Gates III
1955- ; Founder of Microsoft
1 640K ought to be enough for anybody. • 1981, referring to computer hard disk memory capacity
2 The entire world is going digital. • March 1997
3 It is still going to be quite a while before we have interactive digital TV. • March 1997
4 The Internet is the most important development in mass communications since the invention of the printing press. • March 1997
5 Technological advances alone aren't enough to drive social change. At least some people have to embrace change or it won't happen. Two tendencies cause new products to be adopted over prolonged periods rather than immediately: products evolve slowly to meet the needs of the market, and the market adapts slowly to new opportunities. People only slowly adapt their patterns, mindsets, skills and expectations to match the opportunities afforded by a new product. It takes years for people to hear about a product, try it, get used to it, rely on it. • May 1997
William F Gavin WILLIAM F GAVIN Political adviser; member of Richard Nixon presidential campaign team 1968
Reason pushes the viewer back, it assaults him, it demands that he agree or disagree; impression can envelop him, invite him in, without making an intellectual demand, or a demand on his intellectual energies. • cit. Joe McGinniss: The Selling of the President, 1970
George Gerbner GEORGE GERBNER 1919- ; Hungarian-born; Dean, Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania
The product is the delivery of the largest number of people at the least cost. • Of television, Christian Science Monitor, 10 June 1985
Lou Gerstner LOU GERSTNER 1942- ; Chairman, IBM
Every now and then, a technology comes along that is so profound, so powerful, so universal, that its impact will change everything. It will transform every institution in the world. It will create winners and losers, will change the way we do business, the way we teach our children, communicate and interact as individuals. • 1996, referring to the Internet
Walter Gifford WALTER GIFFORD 1885-1966; president AT&T 1925-48; US ambassador to Great Britain 1950-53
The elaborateness of the equipment precludes the possibility of television being available in homes or businesses generally. What its practical use may be, I will leave to your imaginations. • on the occasion of the first public transmission of television by telephone line, 7 April 1927
A A Gill A A GILL British journalist
We've complacently agreed that culture is a synonym for entertainment. We've become consumers, not epicureans. We applaud people who market things rather than make things. • Sunday Times, 30 September 2001
George Gobel GEORGE GOBEL George Leslie Gobel
1919-1991; American television comedian (known as 'Lonesome George')
If it weren't for electricity we'd all be watching television by candlelight. • Source unknown
After a day of work, the artists wanted to get away from their studios, and get away from what they were creating. They all met in the cafes to argue about this and that, to discuss their work, politics and philosophy. ... We went to the bar of La Coupole. Bob, the barman, was a terrible nice chap. As there was no telephone in those days everybody used him to leave messages. At the Dome [La Coupole] we also had a little place behind the door for messages. The telephone was the death of Montparnasse. • January 1995; quoted in Bruce Sterling: The Dead Media Project
Jean-Luc Godard JEAN-LUC GODARD 1930- ; French film director
1 True cinema consists in putting something before the camera. • Source unknown
2 The truth twenty-four times a second. • Source unknown
3 Indeed, naturally I think that a film should have a beginning, a middle and an end—but not necessarily in that order. • Source unknown
4 On ιtait bien dans un film politique, c’est-ΰ-dire du Walt Disney plus du sang.
[We were really into a political film—ie, Walt Disney with blood.]
• of his film Made in USA, 1966
5 The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn’t. • quoted in Richard Roud: Godard, 1970]
See also Go to Truffaut Franηois Truffaut 1
Joseph Goebbels Dr JOSEPH GOEBBELS Paul Joseph Goebbels
1897-1945; Nazi propaganda minister
1 I gain the impression that all present are honestly willing to co-operate. The film can only be re-established on a healthy basis if German nationality is remembered in the industry, and German nature is portrayed by it. • First address to German film producers' association, 23 March 1933
2 Critics will now learn how to describe works of art. If a critic feels himself capable of doing more than that, we are looking for these capacities in many artistic fields and he is welcome to undertake positive works. • announcing ‘abolition’ of film criticism in favour of reporting, April 1935
  HERMANN GOERING See Go to Hanns Johst Johst, Hanns
Menachem Golan MENACHEM GOLAN 1929- ; Israeli film director
For what I spent in England for four days I could, without exaggeration, shoot for three weeks in Israel, with prices and government subsidies. • April 1975
Whoopi Goldberg WHOOPI GOLDBERG 1955- ; (Black) American film actress
Remember the good old time of black and white TV? It was mainly white. • Academy Awards ceremony, 1999
Leonard Goldenson LEONARD GOLDENSON 1905-1999; Head of ABC television network
The FCC was created by Congress to develop and foster our American system of free radio and free television—not to authorize or encourage another system which could lead to its destruction, without first ascertaining the will of Congress. • evidence about pay TV to a Congressional committee, 1958
Peter Goldmark PETER GOLDMARK Dr Peter Carl Goldmark
1906-1977; Hungarian-born, Head of CBS Laboratories, inventor of the LP and EVR video system and member of the team that developed NTSC colour television standard
1 The disc and tape will exist side by side. Neither one of them seems to be replacing the other one. The disc is convenient for choosing a certain selection—which a lot of people prefer. There are ways you could put a whole library on laser disk . . . laser beams. The only problem is, it wouldn't be profitable. People will expect to pay the same for a laser disc that they do for a single piece of music. • Maverick Inventor: My turbulent years at CBS. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1973.
2 I remember the first non-classical album turned out to be South Pacific; and that helped more than the entire classical library to launch the LP. Financially the impact and the success of the LP is almost exclusively from popular music. • ‘Ragtime to Rock ‘n’ Roll’, BBC Radio 2, 3 November 1974
Samuel Goldwyn SAMUEL GOLDWYN Schmuel Gelbfisz
1879-1974; US film producer
See also Go to G B Shaw George Bernard Shaw
1 For years I have been known for saying ‘Include me out’; but today I am giving it up for ever. • Address, Balliol College, Oxford, 1 Mar 1945
2 I don’t care if it doesn’t make a nickel. I just want every man, woman and child in America to see it! • 1946, of The Best Years of Our Lives
3 Let's have some new clichιs. • The Observer , ‘Sayings of the Week’, 24 Oct 1948
4 Motion pictures are entering their third major era. First there was the silent period. Then the sound era. Now we are on the threshold of the television age. ... Once again it will be true, as it was in the early days of motion picture history, that it will take brains instead of just money to make pictures. ... The competition we feared in the past—the automobile in the early movie days, the radio in the twenties and the thirties, and the developing of night sports quite recently—will fade into insignificance by comparison with the fight we are going to have to keep people patronizing our theaters in preference to sitting at home and watching a program of entertainment. It is a certainty that people will be unwilling to pay to see poor pictures when they can stay home and see something which is, at least, no worse. ... There is no doubt that in the future a large segment of the talents of the motion picture industry will be devoted to creating motion pictures designed explicitly for this new medium. ... Nor will the public be content to spend an evening looking at a series of fifteen minute shorts such as are now being made for television. There will be a vast demand for new full-length motion picture entertainment brought directly into the home. • ‘Hollywood in the Television Age’, in New York Times Magazine, 13 February 1949
5 Instead of any talk about how to lick television, motion picture people now need to discuss how to fit movies into the new world made possible by television. • ‘Hollywood in the Television Age’, in New York Times Magazine, 13 February 1949
6 Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing? • Sayings of the Week, The Observer, 9 September 1956
7 When everybody’s happy with the dailies [rushes], the picture’s always a stinker.
8 What we want is a story that begins with an earthquake and works its way up to a climax. • addressing a writers’ conference
9 It’s more than magnificent—it’s mediocre! • Attrib
10 Every director bites the hand that lays the golden egg. • Attrib
11 When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. • Attrib; to a writer
12 I’ll give you a definite maybe. • Attr; cf Go to Michael Tuchner Michael Tuchner
13 The only reason so many people attended his funeral was they wanted to make sure he was dead. • On Louis B Mayer’s funeral, 1957
14 Too caustic? To hell with cost; we'll make the picture anyway. • Attrib
15 I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs. • Attrib
16 We're overpaying him but he's worth it. • Attrib.
17 I am willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong. • Attrib.
18 Chaplin is no business man; all he knows is that he can't take anything less. • Attrib.
19 A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad. • 9 September 1956
20 In two words: im-possible. • Attrib.
21 Anybody who goes to see a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined. • Attrib.
22 A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. • Attrib. Of course, what he actually meant to say was 'an oral contract'...
23 You ought to take the bull between the teeth. • Attrib.
24 We have all passed a lot of water since then. • Attrib.
25 I read part of it all the way through. • Attrib.
26 If Roosevelt were alive he'd turn in his grave. • Attrib.
27 ‘Why only twelve?’ ‘That's the original number.’ ‘Well, go out and get thousands.’ • Attrib. Referring to the number of disciples whilst filming a scene for The Last Supper (but did he ever make such a film?)
28 Television has raised writing to a new low. • Source unknown.
I J Good Dr I J GOOD Irving Jack Good (born Isidore Jacob Gudak)
1916- ; Bletchley Park cryptanalyst, Lecturer in Mathematics and Electronic Computing at Manchester University (1945-1948), Senior Fellow at Trinity College, Oxford; University Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia (1968- )
When I hear the word ‘gun’ I reach for my culture. • The Scientist Speculates; cf Go to Hanns Johst Hanns Johst and Go to Alan Bennett Alan Bennett
Al Gore AL GORE Albert Gore
1948- ; US Vice-President 1983-1991
The data superhighway is the most important marketplace of the 21st century. • May 1993
Stanley M Gortikov STANLEY M GORTIKOV 1919-2004; President, Recording Industry Association of America (1972-1987)
Private copying is a world problem, and the dramatic escalation of this practice in the United States has resulted in damage to our industry estimated at $1.5 billion annually. • c.1984; quoted in IFPI: The Case for a Home Taping Royalty
JACK GOULD 1914-1993; New York Times television critic 1947-1972
1 What hath Sarnoff wrought? • on daytime TV launch of Queen for a Day, 1 January 1955. Sarnoff was head of NBC
cf Go to Samuel Morse Samuel Morse
2 There is something supremely reassuring about television; the worst is always yet to come. • Source unknown
3 Commercials on television are similar to sex and taxes; the more talk there is about them, the less likely they are to be curbed. • Source unknown
4 The peculiar joy of hemorrhaging without bleeding starts when the evil little red light glows on the monstrous camera. • Source unknown
Lew Grade Lord LEW GRADE 1906-1998; Louis Winogradsky
British showbiz entrepreneur, Chairman, ATV
1 I want to be entertained by good dramas, by variety shows, by good escapist adventure stories. • 1971
2 It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic. • inaccurately attributed, on the budget of Raise the Titanic
3 All the shows I've done have been great. Some of them were bad, but all of them were great. • attrib
Michael Grade MICHAEL GRADE 1943- ; British television executive, Chief Executive Channel Four (1988-1997), Chairman BBC (2004- ); nephew of Lew Grade
1 I don’t understand why anyone wants to be an independent producer. You spend more time sitting down with lawyers deciding who gets which dressing room than you do talking about programmes. • Edinburgh Television Festival, 1983, while working for US independent production company Embassy Television
2 I am making crap for arseholes. • attrib. while working for Embassy Television in Los Angeles; Broadcast, 8 June 1984
3 If Murdoch didn't own 36 per cent of the newspapers, supporting a Conservative government [in 1990] ... he would never have got where he is. • about the merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting; quoted in The Observer 24 August 2003
See also David Mellor, Margaret Thatcher
Sir CECIL GRAVES Captain Sir Cecil George Graves KCMG MC
1892-1957; Joint Director General, BBC, 1942-43
Should there be people who need more convincing evidence that war is ended ... they can tune their wireless sets to somewhere between 1290 and 1300 metres, and hear this station [Radio Luxemburg] painfully trying to get into its pre-war stride. If they do this they may wonder what the British Broadcasting Corporation is going to do about it. The Corporation may or may not be anxious; when it introduced its Light Programme some six months ago it may have had in mind that this form of broadcasting from Luxembourg and other European countries, directed at the British Isles, would soon be resumed.
    Whether this was so or not it would be an error of judgment to allow the activities of such stations to influence the policy of British broadcasting. The listener has complete freedom in his choice of programmes. ... Nothing can prevent him from searching elsewhere if the BBC programmes are bad or, at a given moment, not suited to his taste. ...
    At the end of this year the present charter of the BBC will expire. Between now and then consideration will presumably be given to whether it shall be renewed with minor or major alterations. Those whose duty it is to decide this will do well to close their ears to clamour about Radio Luxembourg and a host of other trivialities and to concentrate on how best to preserve, stimulate and expand all that is good in this country's broadcasting system. ...
    It will be well to remember that BBC officials ... are not always right in their judgment of the impact of their work on the listener. They are experts in their own job. They are not necessarily competent assessors of the public taste.
• Article in The Times, 2 February 1946
  HUGH GRAY British dramatist and critic
This week as never before during the whole history of broadcasting the people of this country have listened in for news and information. Two speeches stand out. They are the recorded statements of Mr Chamberlain before leaving for Germany and on his return. In a time of conflicting rumours and divergent opinions, and in the natural absence of any comprehensive official statements, they did something which revealed once more the possibilities of wireless. They allowed us to gather impressions from the tone of the speaker's voice. ... But what else are we being given? Certainly less than we might reasonably have expected. I do not suggest for one moment that w should ask for news that could not wisely be given. I do not ask for propaganda or personal statements. Surely, though, it should be possible to broadcast even one talk explaining, as simply as possible, the facts about the Czechoslovakian problem. Isn't this where broadcasting should come to our help at a time when each individual is called upon to make up his mind on vital matters, and to come to a decision, the consequences of which are unpredictable? ... What is the value of a democratic vote when the demos is ignorant? The newspapers provide some information. But the simple spoken word is infinitely clearer and more instructive. • Article in The Listener, 22 September 1938, quoted in Chalres Madge and Tom Harrisson: Britain by Mass-Observation (Penguin Special, January 1939)
Michael Green MICHAEL P GREEN Chairman, Carlton Television
Changes in broadcasting regulation in Britain continue to move much more slowly than technology, much more slowly than the growth of media empires elsewhere in the world. If the British government is serious about wanting British companies to compete globally in the media industry, then yesterday is not too soon to liberate the restrictions upon media ownership. • Royal Television Society Fleming Memorial Lecture, 19 April 1994; in Television, April/May 1994
Peter Green PETER GREEN General manager, Digital Peripherals Division, Intel
Within three years digital cameras will probably offer the same quality as a standard film-based camera at about the same price. • August 1997
Peter Greenaway PETER GREENAWAY 1942- ; British film director
I have often thought it was very arrogant to suppose you could make a film for anybody but yourself. • cit. David Thomson: A Biographical Dictionary of Film
See also Go to Alan Parker Alan Parker on The Draughtsman's Contract
Hugh Greene HUGH GREENE Sir Hugh Carleton Greene KCMG OBE
1910-1987; BBC Director-General
1 Commercially controlled television tends in the long run to undermine the intelligence, at any rate of its constant listeners and views. • 1959
2 Radio and television are too powerful in their eventual long-term effects for their control to be entrusted to politicians—or businessmen. • 1959
cf Go to Tony Benn Tony Benn
3 It was as a pillar of the Establishment that I yielded to the fascist hyena-like howls to take it off! • on cancellation of weekly BBC Television satirical show That Was the Week That Was, which ended 28 December 1963
Go to Chronomedia 1963
4 I believe we have a duty to take account of the changes in society, to be ahead of public opinion, rather than always to wait upon it. I believe that great broadcasting organisations, with their immense powers of patronage for writers and artists, should not neglect to cultivate young writers who may, by many, be considered ‘too advanced’ or ‘shocking’. • ‘The Conscience of the Programme Director’, 1965
Sir HARRY GREER 1876-1947; Chairman of Baird Television Co
Last week the Prime Minister came to view this miracle. ... He was aghast. So stunned was he by the marvel which had been shown to him that he spoke in alternate admiration and fear—admiration for the genius that had created it, fear that mankind might not be wise to use it for its own good. • Fifth annual meeting of Baird Television Co, 20 March 1934
John Grierson JOHN GRIERSON 1898-1972; British film producer; founder of the documentary film movement
1 The screen has a value of its own as art, and that value would disappear if its silence were violated. ... When the drama was really dramatic it was made up of poetry. In Shakespeare, Corneille and the rest, the action went through in blank verse or rhyme, as the case might be. ... It was unnatural, perhaps, from a superficial point of view, but it gave a rhythm, a tempo, a power of expression to the drama which caught reality itself. Silence means the same thing to the screen. It, too, is unnatural, but it ensures that psychical distance, that magical and mysterious quality, which all art places between itself and the actual. • New York Sun, 22 September 1925
2 Spontaneous gesture has a special value on the screen. • Cinema Quarterly, Winter 1932
3 The basic force behind it was social and not aesthetic. It was a desire to make a drama from the ordinary to set against the prevailing drama of the extraordinary: a desire to bring the citizen’s eye in from the ends of the earth to the story, his own story, of what was happening under his nose. ... I liked the idea of an art where the dramatic factors depended exactly on the depth with which information was interpreted. I liked the notion that, in making films of modern man in his environment, one would be articulating the corporate character of that environment and finding again, after a long period of sloppy romanticism and the person in private, an aesthetic of the person in public. • ‘The story of the documentary film’ in The Fortnightly Review, August 1939
4 I look on cinema as a pulpit and use it as a propagandist. • ‘Propaganda’ in Sight and Sound, Vol II, 8
5 The documentary film was conceived and developed as an instrument for public use. It was conceived, moreover, as an instrument to be used systematically in all the fields of public instruction and enlightenment. • ‘Documentary: The Bright Example’ in Documentary 47, 1947
6 The film, of all the media, has in the past concentrated most on entertainment, and least on these deliberate processes of enlightenment with which we are now so progressively concerned. It had, It thought, no pressing reason to do so. It was from the first a simple and easy way to spread the popular drama and the romantic story to the small towns of the nations, and this it has done with such enormous success that there has never been any pressing commercial incentive to reach out to larger considerations. Yet, in spite of this, and for twenty years, there has been an increasing drive, both inside and outside Hollywood and the other studio centres of the world, to make the film a vehicle for ideas and a more deliberate instrument of the public service. Achievements have been scrappy to say the least, but they do include a considerable measure of experiment on the popular level by men like Warner, Wanger, and Zanuck. • ‘Report from America’ in Informational Film Year Book 1947
7 I just hate to think that all the good things in the poetic line of documentary are coming from foreigners; the more so in that it was from England they first learned to follow it. • ‘Learning from Television’ in Contrast, Summer 1963
8 In documentary you do not shoot with your head only but also with your stomach muscles. • cit. Forsyth Hardy (ed): Grierson on Documentary
D W Griffith D W GRIFFITH David Wark Griffith
1875-1948; pioneer American film director
1 The task I am trying to achieve above all is to make you see. • to an interviewer 1913, cit. Lewis Jacobs: The Rise of the American Film, 1939
2 With the use of the universal language of moving pictures, the true meaning of the brotherhood of man will have been established throughout the earth. • ‘The Movies One Hundred Years From Now’, in Colliers, 3 May 1924
3 I am quite positive that when a century has passed, all thought of our so-called speaking pictures will have been abandoned. It will never be possible to synchronise the voice with the pictures. • ‘The Movies One Hundred Years From Now’, in Colliers, 3 May 1924
4 One hundred years hence, I believe, the airline passenger lines will operate motion-picture shows on regular schedule between New York and Chicago and New York and London. • ‘The Movies One Hundred Years From Now’, in Colliers, 3 May 1924
MERVYN GRIFFITH-JONES John Mervyn Guthrie Griffith-Jones CBE MC QC
1909-1979; English barrister and judge
Ask yourselves the question: would you approve of your young sons, young daughters—because girls can read as well as boys—reading this book. Is it a book that you would have lying around the house? Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read? • opening for the prosecution in the trial of Penguin Books for obscenity in publishing a paperback edition of Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence, 27 October 1960. The prosecution failed five days later and the book sold 2m copies within a year.
Al Gross AL GROSS Issidore Alexander Gross
1918-2000; Canadian-born US mobile radio communications pioneer, inventor of the walkie-talkie and radio pager
1 One of the hams used to say, 'There goes Al. He's walking and talking with his device.' That's how the word 'walkie-talkie' came about. • quoted in Gross's obituary, The Times, 16 January 2001
2 The nurses didn't want anything hanging off their uniforms and the doctors didn't want anything messing up their golf game. • after demonstrating his idea for a radio pager to a US medical convention, 1954; quoted in Gross's obituary, The Times, 16 January 2001
Andy Grove ANDY GROVE Dr Andrew Stephen Grove
1936- ; Chairman, Intel
What's my return on investment in e-commerce? Are you crazy? This is Columbus in the New World. What was his ROI? • August 1997
Alice Guy Blachι ALICE GUY BLACHÉ 1873-1968; French film-maker, probably the world's first woman film-maker (1896)
It has long been a source of wonder to me that many women have not seized upon the wonderful opportunities offered to them by the motion picture art. ... Of all the arts there is probably none in which they can make such a splendid use of talents so much more natural to a woman than to a man and so necessary to its perfection. • 1914
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Page updated 12 April 2009
Compilation and notes © David Fisher