Peter Ustinov quotes

Peter Ustinov photo
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Peter Ustinov

Birthdate: 16. April 1921
Date of death: 28. March 2004
Other names: Peter Alexander Ustinov

Sir Peter Alexander Ustinov was an English actor, voice actor, writer, dramatist, filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, screenwriter, comedian, humourist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter. He was a fixture on television talk shows and lecture circuits for much of his career. An intellectual and diplomat, he held various academic posts and served as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and President of the World Federalist Movement.

Ustinov was the winner of numerous awards over his life, including two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards for acting and a Grammy Award for best recording for children, as well as the recipient of governmental honours from, amongst others, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. He displayed a unique cultural versatility that has frequently earned him the accolade of a Renaissance man. Miklós Rózsa, composer of the music for Quo Vadis and of numerous concert works, dedicated his String Quartet No. 1, Op. 22 to Ustinov.

In 2003, Durham University changed the name of its Graduate Society to Ustinov College in honour of the significant contributions Ustinov had made as chancellor of the university from 1992 until his death. Wikipedia

Works

Dear Me
Dear Me
Peter Ustinov
Romanoff and Juliet
Romanoff and Juliet
Peter Ustinov

„The only one who's always punctual is Death“

—  Peter Ustinov, Romanoff and Juliet

Act I
Romanoff and Juliet (1956)
Context: The only one who's always punctual is Death … whatever the time he always strikes his knell at the first streak of dawn … and believe me, he knows what he's doing. How I hate the dawn! It's the hour of the firing squad. The last glass of brandy. The ultimate cigarette. The final wish. All the hideously calculated hypocrisy of men when they commit a murder in the name of justice. Then it's the time of death on a grander scale, the hour of the great offenses … fix your bayonets boys …gentlemen, synchronize your watches … in ten seconds time the barrage starts … a thousand men are destined to die in order to capture a farmhouse no one has lived in for years... And finally dawn is the herald of the day, our twelve hours of unimportance, when we have to cede to the pressures of the powers, smile at people we have every reason but expediency to detest … A diplomat these days is nothing but a head-waiter who's allowed to sit down occasionally.

„Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.“

—  Peter Ustinov

As quoted in Morrow's International Dictionary of Contemporary Quotations (1982) by Jonathon Green

„I am an optimist, unrepentant and militant. After all, in order not to be a fool, an optimist must know what a sad place the world can be. It is only the pessimist who finds this out anew every day.“

—  Peter Ustinov, book Dear Me

Dear Me (1977)
Context: I am an optimist, unrepentant and militant. After all, in order not to be a fool, an optimist must know what a sad place the world can be. It is only the pessimist who finds this out anew every day. <!-- p. 167

„We have fought two wars to end war. In 1976, the nations of this world set aside the same amount of money for its starving children as the lavished on armaments every two hours.“

—  Peter Ustinov, book Dear Me

Dear Me (1977)
Context: We have fought two wars to end war. In 1976, the nations of this world set aside the same amount of money for its starving children as the lavished on armaments every two hours. Can any right-minded man afford to be a pessimist? That was a luxury for easier days. <!-- p. 167

„They need enemies, not friends, to focus their two-dimensional ideas. Life for them is a simple tune, never an orchestration, or even a pleasant harmony.“

—  Peter Ustinov

On Serbian war aims and human rights abuses during the post-Yugoslavian conlicts, and especially the Bosnian War, as quoted in (10 June 1993)
Context: It is unfortunate for all that no moral issue has ever been clearer. Any attempt to plea-bargain with outlaws and renegades will only be at the expense of honor, decency and self-respect. The Serbs, are two-dimensional people with a craving for simplicity and an ideology so basic it can be understood without effort. They need enemies, not friends, to focus their two-dimensional ideas. Life for them is a simple tune, never an orchestration, or even a pleasant harmony. Animals make use of their resources with far greater felicity than these retorted creatures, whose subscription to the human race is well in arrears.

„I like everything about it except the flavor.“

—  Peter Ustinov

Bill Budd, on the ship's gruel.
Billy Budd (1962)
Context: It's hot. And there's a lot of it. I like everything about it except the flavor.

„It is unfortunate for all that no moral issue has ever been clearer. Any attempt to plea-bargain with outlaws and renegades will only be at the expense of honor, decency and self-respect.“

—  Peter Ustinov

On Serbian war aims and human rights abuses during the post-Yugoslavian conlicts, and especially the Bosnian War, as quoted in (10 June 1993)
Context: It is unfortunate for all that no moral issue has ever been clearer. Any attempt to plea-bargain with outlaws and renegades will only be at the expense of honor, decency and self-respect. The Serbs, are two-dimensional people with a craving for simplicity and an ideology so basic it can be understood without effort. They need enemies, not friends, to focus their two-dimensional ideas. Life for them is a simple tune, never an orchestration, or even a pleasant harmony. Animals make use of their resources with far greater felicity than these retorted creatures, whose subscription to the human race is well in arrears.

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„A diplomat these days is nothing but a head-waiter who's allowed to sit down occasionally.“

—  Peter Ustinov, Romanoff and Juliet

Act I
Romanoff and Juliet (1956)
Context: The only one who's always punctual is Death … whatever the time he always strikes his knell at the first streak of dawn … and believe me, he knows what he's doing. How I hate the dawn! It's the hour of the firing squad. The last glass of brandy. The ultimate cigarette. The final wish. All the hideously calculated hypocrisy of men when they commit a murder in the name of justice. Then it's the time of death on a grander scale, the hour of the great offenses … fix your bayonets boys …gentlemen, synchronize your watches … in ten seconds time the barrage starts … a thousand men are destined to die in order to capture a farmhouse no one has lived in for years... And finally dawn is the herald of the day, our twelve hours of unimportance, when we have to cede to the pressures of the powers, smile at people we have every reason but expediency to detest … A diplomat these days is nothing but a head-waiter who's allowed to sit down occasionally.

„All the hideously calculated hypocrisy of men when they commit a murder in the name of justice.“

—  Peter Ustinov, Romanoff and Juliet

Act I
Romanoff and Juliet (1956)
Context: The only one who's always punctual is Death … whatever the time he always strikes his knell at the first streak of dawn … and believe me, he knows what he's doing. How I hate the dawn! It's the hour of the firing squad. The last glass of brandy. The ultimate cigarette. The final wish. All the hideously calculated hypocrisy of men when they commit a murder in the name of justice. Then it's the time of death on a grander scale, the hour of the great offenses … fix your bayonets boys …gentlemen, synchronize your watches … in ten seconds time the barrage starts … a thousand men are destined to die in order to capture a farmhouse no one has lived in for years... And finally dawn is the herald of the day, our twelve hours of unimportance, when we have to cede to the pressures of the powers, smile at people we have every reason but expediency to detest … A diplomat these days is nothing but a head-waiter who's allowed to sit down occasionally.

„Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.“

—  Peter Ustinov

Achtung! Vorurteile (2003); original German: "Der Terrorismus, der im furchtbaren 11. September kulminierte, ist ein Krieg der Armen gegen die Reichen. Der Krieg ist ein Terrorismus der Reichen gegen die Armen." typically cited in short: "Terrorismus ist der Krieg der Armen und der Krieg ist der Terrorismus der Reichen."

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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