Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Samuel Goldwyn.

March 27, 1971

Mr. Goldwyn and Mrs. Goldwyn, members of the Goldwyn Jamfly, and ladies and gentlemen:

We are here today for the purpose of presenting the Medal of Freedom to Mr. Sam Goldwyn.

I found in talking to him that he started producing movies the year before I was born, in the year 1912.

When I think of the enormous contribution he has made to the motion picture industry, to entertainment in America and in the world, I can think of no man who more deserves the Medal of Freedom than Mr. Sam Goldwyn.

He particularly, I think, receives it at a time in which we are well reminded of what his contribution was, the movies that he made. They weren't square. They were exciting entertainment. They were great box office. They had all of the interest and all of the beauty of great art.

But he proved that you could have a movie that was good box office, that was entertaining, that was exciting, that was not square, that was not dull, and still that was not dirty.

I noted from an NBC report last night that a new trend has developed where, of the 30 top movies of last year, only two of them were X-rated. It may be that the movie producers of today are learning what Sam Goldwyn practiced throughout his life: the making of great movies that the whole family could go to see.

Now I would like to read the citation which expresses not only my feeling personally as a Californian, my great pride and my friendship for Sam Goldwyn and his for me, and his counsel and advice through the years, but the feelings of all Americans, millions of moviegoers in those years, many years ago, and those who see them even now, today:





His career as a producer of distinguished motion pictures spans the entire history of the American film industry. Since 1913 he has exercised forceful, creative leadership in helping the medium of film to realize its great twofold potential in twentieth century life: Goldwyn movies have not only entertained and delighted millions--they have also broadened the dimensions of dramatic art. Professionally, he has built a body of work whose excellence is unequalled; personally, he stands as a well-loved and widely respected giant on the Hollywood scene. The hallmarks of his life and work are fierce independence, deep respect for quality, strict ethics, and uncompromising integrity. For these, generations of film artists and a nation of moviegoers are in his debt.

MRS. GOI.DWYN. Mr. President, I thank you very much for my husband. We are exceedingly proud.

MR. GOLDWYN. Everything he does is wonderful. You are my favorite President. That is saying enough.

Note: The President spoke at 11:11 a.m. at the Goldwyn residence in Beverly Hills, Calif.

On the same day, the White House released an announcement containing biographical data on Mr. Goldwyn and a fact sheet on the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Samuel Goldwyn. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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