(Wesley Ruggles, U.S. screenwriter. Tira (Mae West), I'm No Angel, description of her reputation (1933).
West once said to an interviewer that this film's story was "all about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.")
I've never before had to fight an angel, but I suggest you take off your coat and put up your dukes.
(Robert E. Sherwood (1896-1955), U.S. screenwriter, Leonardo Bercovici, and Henry Koster. Henry Brougham (David Niven), The Bishop's Wife, when he has finally decided to fight Dudley for his wife's love (1947).
From the novel by Robert Nathan.)
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
(James Madison (1751-1836), U.S. president. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, p. 322, ed. Clinton Rossiter, New York (1961). The Federalist, No. 51 (February 6, 1788).)
Sometimes I have wondered whether life wouldn't be much more amusing if we were all devils, and no nonsense about angels and being good.
(William Hurlbut (1883-?), U.S. screenwriter, James Balderston, and James Whale. Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger), Bride of Frankenstein, talking to Frankenstein in his laboratory (1935).
Suggested by the original story written in 1816 by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and adapted by William Hurlbut, James Balderston.)
Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
(Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (1694-1778), French philosopher, author. "On the Pensées of Pascal," letter 18, Letters on England (1732).
Note to Pascal's aphorism no. 358 (numbered 52 by Voltaire): "Man is neither angel nor brute, and the pity of it is that he who wants to play the angel acts the brute.")
It is no doubt possible to flybut first you must know how to dance like an angel.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 10, p. 552, selection 17, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to Fall 1883.)