Harry Cohn? Samuel Goldwyn? David O. Selznick? Jimmie Fidler? Lyndon B. Johnson? Anonymous?
Dear Quote investigator: According to a Hollywood legend a movie mogul expressed his unhappiness by angrily upbraiding underlings. Eventually, an assistant cautioned him that delivering repeated harangues can cause stomach ulcers. The magnate snarled:
I don’t get ulcers. I give them.
This remark has been attributed to several people including:
- Harry Cohn who was president of Columbia Pictures Corporation which made films such as “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “All the King’s Men”.
- Samuel Goldwyn who worked at Paramount and Samuel Goldwyn Productions while making films such as “Wuthering Heights” and “The Best Years of Our Lives”.
- David O. Selznick who worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, and RKO while producing films such as “King Kong” and “Gone With the Wind”.
Would you please explore this topic?
Quote Investigator: The earliest match located by QI appeared in the syndicated gossip column of Jimmie Fidler in March 1947. The line was delivered by a Hollywood producer who was not named but was described as famous and egotistical. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
Seems one of his employes, after listening to the big shot administer a fifteen-minute tongue-lashing to an assistant, ventured one solicitous remark. “You shouldn’t let yourself become so excited,” he warned. “You’re liable to get stomach ulcers.” “I don’t get ulcers,” roared the mighty one, “I give them!”
Fidler retold the tale in June 1949, and he belatedly identified the producer as David O. Selznick.
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1947 March 31, The Democrat and Leader (Quad-City Times), In Hollywood by Jimmy Fidler (Jimmie Fidler), Quote Page 7, Column 2, Davenport, Iowa. (Newspapers_com) ↩