Most Sincere Speech

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You’re very kind. And I thank you. From the time I did my first movie, I, needless to say, like everyone else, started to fantasize about Oscar. And I was lucky enough to be nominated on the first movie so I started to fantasize about the speech. And I was a real smart aleck, and I thought I would say something like, “I don’t want to thank anybody. I did it alone.” It wasn’t true but I thought it would be a way of getting a little attention.

When Frank Pierson called me about receiving this one, of course I started thinking about the speech again. And I realized that if I totaled up all the “thank yous” I’ve heard in all these years, I wouldn’t be able to thank all the people that I really want to. I’m not just talking about the glorious talents I’ve worked with on both sides of the camera. But there are so many with whom I’ve never even worked, that I owe so much.

I mean, how do I thank Spielberg and Scorsese and Coppola? How do I thank Jean Vigo, Carl Dreyer, Willy Wyler, and Kurosawa, and Buster Keaton? And I’m not mentioning the ones I really stole from.

What about the Epsteins for writing a line like, “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”? Or Wilder and Diamond for, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Or Faragoh for, “Mother of god, is this the end of Rico?” So, what I guess it comes down to, I’d like to thank the movies. I know that sounds general. But it’s very real to me. I’ve got the best job in the best profession in the world. So, I just want to thank all of it. And, of course, the ones who’ve paid more dues than I have. Thank you Piedy, Amy, Jenny. See you later.

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