Goldwynism

   Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974) was one of the greatest pioneer film makers in America and one of Hollywood's most prominent producers. Born in Warsaw, Poland (his name was Samuel Goldfish), he immigrated to the United States as a teenager with only twenty dollars in his pocket. In a small town in New York state, Goldwyn worked in a glove factory. In 1910, he started producing movies with Cecil B. DeMille and his brother-in-law Jesse Lasky. Their initial release was Squaw Man (1913). The company merged with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players, and then Goldwyn established his own company, Samuel Goldwyn Productions, incorporated as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1924. Thereafter he worked as an independent producer.
   Goldwyn was the first to engage famous writers, such as Ben Hecht, Sinclair Lewis, and Lillian Hellman, to write screenplays. Among his outstanding cinematic features were Wuthering Heights, Dodsworth, The Little Foxes, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Porgy and Bess. His stable of stars included Pola Negri, Will Rogers, Bebe Daniels, Vilma Banky, and Ronald Coleman. Other luminaries whose careers began with Goldwyn were Gary Cooper, David Niven, Lucille Ball, and Susan Hayward. Whether Goldwyn twisted his speech purposely for its effect, or whether the gaffes resulted from ignorance, has never been satisfactorily answered. Of course it could be that some of his publicists concocted the quips. These eponymous Goldwynisms kept Goldwyn's name in the news. It tickled everyone's fancy to hear him say, "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on," "Anyone who goes to see a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined," "If Roosevelt were alive he'd turn in his grave," "We have passed a lot of water since this" (a mangling of "A lot of water has passed under the bridge"), "In two words, im-possible," or his wry retort to associates (one often repeated), "Include me out." Goldwynisms has thus come to refer to Goldwyn's comical misuse of the English language. For example, anyone who says "His brother has his mix all talked up" may be an adherent of malapropism or goldwynism or both.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Goldwynism — 1937, in reference to the many malaprop remarks credited to U.S. film producer Samuel G. Goldwyn (1882 1974); the best known, arguably, being include me out …   Etymology dictionary

  • Goldwynism — /gohld wi niz euhm/, n. a phrase or statement involving a humorous and supposedly unintentional misuse of idiom, as Keep a stiff upper chin, esp. such a statement attributed to Samuel Goldwyn, as Include me out. [1935 40; GOLDWYN + ISM] * * * …   Universalium

  • Goldwynism — noun Any of a number of often repeated malapropisms originally uttered by US film producer (1879 1974) or a malapropism reminiscent of Goldwyns utterances. Bartletts Familiar Quotations had now recorded two of the most celebrated Goldwynisms: In… …   Wiktionary

  • goldwynism — gold·wyn·ism …   English syllables

  • goldwynism — ˈgōldwə̇ˌnizəm noun ( s) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: Samuel Goldwyn b1882 American motion picture producer + ism : a phrase or expression (as “include me out”) involving a grotesque use of a word compare irish bull, malapropism …   Useful english dictionary

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