American film producer Samuel Goldwyn (1879-1974) was known for his humorous misstatements or malapropisms that became known as “Goldwynisms.” One famous “Goldwynism” was when he allegedly told an actor or a director who had received a bad review:
“Don’t pay any attention to the critics—don’t even ignore them!”
Hollywood newspaper reporter Sidney Skolsky wrote in March 1937 that this “don’t even ignore him” advice was given to a director on how to handle a temperamental actor. Skolsky wrote in June 1937 something very different:
“Sam Goldwyn told Joel McCrea (an actor—ed.) to have nothing to do with his agent. ‘Don’t even ignore him,’ said Goldwyn.”
In 1943, actor Chico Marx told a Sam Goldwyn story, but this time it involved Goldwyn telling an assistant to stay away from a business executive. “Don’t pay any attention to him—don’t even ignore him” was cited in 1963 with Goldwyn referring to a critic. The “don’t pay any attention to the critics” version is cited the most, but the original circumstances of the “don’t even ignore him/them” quote are uncertain.
Wikipedia: Samuel Goldwyn
Samuel Goldwyn (born Schmuel Gelbfisz (Yiddish: שמואל גלבפֿיץ); c. July 1879 – January 31, 1974), also known as Samuel Goldfish, was an American film producer. He was most well known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood.
Samuel Goldwyn was also known for malapropisms, paradoxes, and other speech errors called ‘Goldwynisms’ ("A humorous statement or phrase resulting from the use of incongruous or contradictory words, situations, idioms, etc.") being frequently quoted.
26 March 1937, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, “Hollywood” by Sidney Skolsky, pg. 4, col. 6:
Variety tells about the director who asked for a suggestion on how to get along with a temperamental actor. The director was told: “Don’t pay too much attention to him. Don’t even ignore him.”
Google News Archive
17 June 1937, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, “Hollywood” by Sidney Skolsky, pg. 3, col. 3:
Sam Goldwyn told Joel McCrea to have nothing to do with his agent. “Don’t even ignore him,” said Goldwyn.
7 March 1943, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE) “Stage and Screen” by Jake Rachman, entertainment section, pg. 1, col. 4:
“Don’t Even Ignore Him”
Chico (Marx—ed.) told about the time Goldwyn became perturbed and exited—he couldn’t do one without the other—over some executive with whom he was doing business..."Tell that feller to stay out of my office,” he yelped into a battery of telephones to a battery of assistants...Then turning to his secretary he fixed him with a long, cold and uncompromising frown: “You stay away from him too, you hear?” he ordered, “I don’t want you to have anything to do with him personally, socially or commercially. Don’t even ignore him.”
10 July 1963, New York (NY) Times, “Foreign Affairs” by C. L. Sulzberger, pg. 28:
Wasn’t it Sam Goldwyn who was quoted as saying about a critic, “Don’t pay any attention to him—don’t even ignore him.”
Art or Anarchy?:
How the extremists and exploiters have reduced the fine arts to chaos and commercialism
By Huntington Hartford
Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Don’t pay any attention to the critics— don’t even ignore them.
3 April 1964, Boston (MA) Herald, “Marge” by Marjorie Mills, pg. 42, col. 2:
Remember Sam Goldwyn who said, “Don’t pay any attention to the critics. Don’t even ignore them.”
Google News Archive
1 December 1965, Lewiston (ME) Evening Journal, “Try and Stop Me” by Bennett Cerf, pg. 28, col. 3:
Famous movie producer’s advice to a star much-maligned but a potent box office-magnet: “Don’t pay the slightest attention to those jealous critics, my dear: don’t even ignore them!”
A Long Row of Candles:
Memoirs and Diaries, 1934-1954
By C. L. Sulzberger
New York, NY: Macmillan
Wasn’t it Sam Goldwyn who was quoted as saying about a critic, “Don’t pay any attention to him — don’t even ignore him.” (That doesn’t quite fit but it’s the idea.)
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
28 December 1970, Tonawanda (NY) News, “Try and Stop Me” by Bennett Cerf, pg. 23, col. 1:
Famed movie producer Sam Goldwyn, in one of his more benign moods, was attempting to buck up a director whose ego had been bruised by a cruel critic from the effete East. “Don’t pay any attention to what that no-good says,” counseled Goldwyn, then clinched his advice with a parting, “Don’t even ignore him!”
An Experiment in Multimedia
By Truman Capote, Eleanor Perry and Frank Perry
New York, NY: Collier Books
This same mentality may have occasioned Sam Goldwyn’s famous quip, “Don’t pay any attention to the critics; don’t even ignore them.”
The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said
By Ross and Kathryn Petras
New York, NY: Harper Perennial
Don’t pay any attention to the critics — don’t even ignore them.
movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn