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Michael Radford MICHAEL RADFORD 1946- ; British film director
The last piece of paper that we had to sign—and it had to be signed by 17 groups of lawyers—was a piece of paper which was a chain of title to make sure that Shakespeare had no lien on the property. And we had to prove it. • on the recent making of a US-Italian-Luxembourgeois-British film co-production of The Merchant of Venice, 'Front Row', BBC Radio 4, 29 November 2004
J Arthur Rank Lord J ARTHUR RANK 1888-1972; UK flour miller, film magnate and philanthropist
1 There is a certain residual value in films which is never fully exploited. • Evidence to Hankey Committee of Inquiry into the Future of Television, 1944, on exploiting large screen television in cinemas
2 It is definitely not my view that television will harm cinema. American experience is that, after the novelty period, it has helped other entertainments. • November 1950; quoted in Geoffrey MacNab: J Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry
Basil Rathbone BASIL RATHBONE 1892-1967; British (South African-born) film, radio and television actor, famous as Sherlock Holmes
Radio is unquestionably a superior medium to television because it makes us use our imaginations. • In and Out of Character, 1962
Nicholas Ray NICHOLAS RAY Raymond Nicholas Kienzle
1911-1979; US film director
There is no formula for success. But there is a formula for failure and that is to try to please everybody. • source unknown
See also Francois Truffaut
Satyajit Ray SATYAJIT RAY 1921-1992; Indian film director
For me it is the inexorable rhythm of its creative process that makes film making so exciting in spite of the hardships and the frustrations. • Sight and Sound, Spring 1957
Ronald Reagan RONALD REAGAN 1911-2004; US President 1981-1989
Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders. • quoted in The Guardian, 14 June 1989
Harry Reasoner HARRY REASONER 1923-1991; US television newscaster
There is only a limited professional satisfaction in informing people who have gone to sleep. • ABC Evening News, 13 June 1974
  Sir JAMES REDMOND 1918-1999; BBC Director of Engineering
Because of the Plumbicon tube which is only 1Ό inches diameter and about eight inches long—little longer I am told than one of Sir Lew Grade’s cigars—the present colour cameras are no bigger and no heavier than the monochrome cameras they displace. • 1969
Phil Redmond PHIL REDMOND 1949- ; British television producer, notably of long-running soaps
They go on for so long because I can't think of a good ending. • interview on Front Row, BBC Radio 4, 31 January 2002
Sumner Redstone SUMNER REDSTONE 1923- ; President, Viacom
Theoretically people would never get out of bed ... but after offering consumers a free [video-on-demand] trial, we found that viewers took three movies a month. Let me tell you, the economics of this new business cannot survive on three movies a month. I am very sceptical about this talk of 500 channels. I just don’t know what’s going to play on them. • quoted in Screen International, 21 October 1994
Carol Reed Sir CAROL REED 1906-1976; British film director
If the public can watch good artists in dramatic situations with colourful backgrounds in a way of life they may never experience for themselves, why should we drag them into the cinema to look for an hour or two at a kitchen sink, a one-set film, the greasy dishes and the mental and moral miasma of certain elements in society? • 1962; quoted in Nicholas Wapshott: The Man Between: A biography of Carol Reed, 1990
John Reith Sir/Lord JOHN REITH 1889-1971; Managing director, British Broadcasting Company 1922-1926; founding director general, BBC 1927-1938
1 In this country the development of broadcasting has been rapid and remarkable. Two years ago it was a matter which interested a comparatively small number of wireless enthusiasts. ... When some two dozen influential companies were prepared to follow the American precedent by providing individual programmes for transmission, it became clear that broadcasting had become a practical proposition. To obviate the chaos that certainly would have arisen as a result of these different transmissions, the Government wisely determined that there should be only one broadcasting company in Great Britain. As a result of this the British Broadcasting Company was formed ... The income of the company was to be obtained from a percentage of the Post Office Licence fee received from the possessors of receiving sets, and a tariff of approximately 10 per cent on the wholesale selling price of those sets manufactured by member-firms of the BBC. • ‘Broadcast Listeners’ Year Book 1924
cf Go to David Sarnoff David Sarnoff 1
2 So the responsibility at the outset conceived, and despite all discouragements pursued, was to carry into the greatest number of homes everything that was best in every department of human knowledge, endeavour and achievement; and to avoid whatever was or might be hurtful. In the earliest years accused to setting out to give the public not what it wanted but what the BBC thought it should have, the answer was that few knew what they wanted, fewer what they needed. • Into the Wind, 1949
3 Somebody introduced dog-racing into England; we know who for he is proud of it and proclaims it urbi et orbi in the columns of Who’s Who. And somebody introduced Christianity and printing and the uses of electricity. And somebody introduced smallpox, bubonic plague and the Black Death. Somebody is minded now to introduce sponsored broadcasting into this country. • House of Lords, 22 May 1952; Hansard col 1297
4 It was the combination of public service motive, sense of moral obligation, assured finance and the brute force of monopoly which enabled the BBC to make of broadcasting what no other country in the world has made of it. • source unknown
5 Broadcasting has helped and hastened the secularising of the Sabbath. Fine, perhaps, for the majority, but others may feel otherwise. I, for one, am sorry to be old enough to remember the days when Sunday was otherwise. • article in Life and Work, official magazine of the Church of Scotland, April 1953
6 He who prides himself on giving what he thinks the public wants is often creating a fictitious demand for low standards which he will then satisfy. • source unknown, 1925
Montague Rendall Dr MONTAGUE RENDALL Montague John Rendall
1862-1950; Headmaster of Winchester College 1911-1924, one of the founding governors of the BBC
Nation shall speak peace unto nation. • British Broadcasting Corporation motto, 1926. John Reith said the motto was composed by Rendall. However, there is a possibility that the motto was suggested by the BBC's first Director of Education, J C Stobart. According to one source, the motto was not used between 1934 and 1948. [Rendall's forenames are sometimes erroneously given as John Montague.]
Jean Renoir JEAN RENOIR 1894-1979; French film director
All technical refinements discourage me. Perfect photography, larger screens, hi-fi sound, all make it possible for mediocrities slavishly to reproduce nature; and this reproduction bores me. What interests me is the interpretation of life by an artist. The personality of the film maker interests me more than the copy of an object. • Robert Hughes (ed): Film: Book I, New York, 1959
Tony Richardson TONY RICHARDSON Cecil Antonio Richardson
1928-1991; British film director
What is wrong with the policy of the major studios in America is that they are not content to make films for a small audience; to recognise that certain films only have a limited audience and that once you’ve worked within those terms you can do all sorts of things and have much greater freedom: but if you think of the greatest possible amount all the time, then obviously you are going to sacrifice the minority picture. • ‘The Two Worlds of the Cinema’, Films and Filming, June 1961
Hans Richter HANS RICHTER 1888-1976; German writer and film-maker
The Age demands the documented fact. • at the Second International Congress of the Avant-Garde Film, Belgium, 1930, beginning a trend for ‘artists’ to work in documentary and promotional film
  J W RIDGEWAY Chairman, Radio Industry Council, UK
It is inevitable that television will become the primary service and sound radio the secondary one. • October 1950
Arnold Ridley ARNOLD RIDLEY 1896-1984; playwright and actor, famous in old age as Private Godfrey in BBC Television’s Dad’s Army
[Television is] an instrument of the Devil, a mechanical device to make the human race utterly miserable. • Meet Mr Lucifer, stage play adapted for film in 1953 by Monja Danischewsky
Leni Riefenstahl LENI RIEFENSTAHL 1902-2003; German film-maker, director of Olympische Spiele and Triumph of the Will
Cinema is the best means of covering athletics, for capturing the essence of sporting competition. Television is for news; cinema, and only cinema, can really show what athletes and spectators feel. • source unknown
Cormac Rigby, 1972 CORMAC RIGBY Head of Continuity, BBC Radio 3 1972-1985; later a Catholic priest
On my first night in the Third Programme, I had to leave a full minute of silence between one programme and the next. The idea was to discourage people from casual listening. They were expected to look at their Radio Times, choose what they want, listen to it, and then go away and do all the other interesting things that their lives were full of. • quoted in Humphrey Carpenter: The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3 (1996)
  Lord ALFRED ROBENS Baron Robens of Woldingham; 1910-1999; industrialist and Labour MP 1945-1961
Commercial television has lowered the general standard of TV in an endeavour to get millions and masses of people to watch the advertising. But that is not the problem of the advertiser. • 1973
Nicolas Roeg NICOLAS ROEG 1928- ; British cinematographer, film director
Movies which set out to be ‘commercial’ usually have an artificial look about them—a certain waxlike quality. They allow for no failure, no moment of mistake. • July 1982
Peter Rogers PETER ROGERS 1914- ; British film producer, ‘Carry On’ films
There’s only one producer’s name that means anything in the cinema and that’s Walt Disney. • Kinematograph Renters Society 60th anniversary dinner, November 1975
Will Rogers WILL ROGERS 1879-1935; American comedian and actor
1 If you think this picture's no good, I'll put on a beard and say it was made in Germany, and then you'll call it art. • Of his film The Ropin' Fool, 1921. German films were beginning to enjoy a period of international critical acclaim following the success of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
2 The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself. • cit Daniel J Boorstin: The Image
3 Once you are a showman, you are plum ruined for manual labour again. • 'A Rogers Thesaurus', Saturday Review, 25 August 1962
Romain Rolland ROMAIN ROLLAND 1866-1944; French writer, Nobel Prize for Literature 1915
C'est le rτle de l'artiste de crιer le soleil, lorsqu'il n'y en a pas.
It is the job of the artist to create sunlight when there is none.
• Jean Christophe: la foire sur la place, 1904
Theodore Roosevelt THEODORE ROOSEVELT 1858-1919; US President 1901-1909
It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things. • source unknown
Steven Ross STEVEN J ROSS 1927-1992; Chief executive, Time Warner
Can we really expect millions of busy people to get in their car, drive to a store, pick out a movie, stand in line, fill out a rental agreement, pay a deposit, drive home, play it on their VCR and then, the next day, repeat the procedure in reverse to return it? • Reaction to the idea of video rental, c1987; source unknown. Nonetheless, Warner was one of the first to develop video rental
Paul Rotha PAUL ROTHA 1907-1984; British film historian and documentary film-maker
One of the most serious shortcomings of the documentary film has been its continued evasion of the human being. • Documentary Film, 1952
cf Go to Juan Antonio Bardem Juan Antonio Bardem 1
Simon Rowson SIMON ROWSON 1877-1950; British film producer, director of British Gaumont Picture Corporation
The great success of the film cannot be due merely to the attractiveness of the modern kinema, nor to the perfection with which the fare offered is generally tuned to the wishes of the masses. I am convinced that the principal factor is the low price of admission. The patron is permitted to enter a new and glorious world, specially created for his delectation at fabulous costs, for a modest coin. ... The egalitarian condition attached to the low price has made the film the solidly based institution it has now become. • Address to the British Kinematograph Society, January 1939
LILLIAN ROXON 1932-1973; Australian writer on popular music
Some people believe that by 2001 rock will be entirely machine-made. Machines will be programmed so that combinations of different sounds will be left to chance. At-home listeners will have controls that will make it possible for them to 'produce' a record—speed it up, slow it down, make it louder and softer, and separate the tracks, adding, subtracting, overdubbing—to create their own version of a hit. There will be no live performances, no stages. Music will be heard with a small circle of friends, not a group of strangers. • Rock Encyclopedia, 1969
BERTRAND RUSSELL Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS
1872-1970; English philosopher, mathematician and historian; Nobel Prize for Literature 1950
It will be of no importance in your lifetime or mine. • said about television to Grace Wyndham Goldie, 1948
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Page updated 26 November 2010
Compilation and notes © David Fisher