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The chief obstacle to success lies in the stubborn fact that if the favorable prospects of a concern are clearly apparent they are almost always reflected already in the current price of the stock. Buying such an issue is like betting on a topheavy favorite in a horse race. The chances may be on your side, but the real odds are against you.
I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who had heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.
The first favourite was never heard of, the second favourite was never seen after the distance post, all the ten-to-oners were in the rear, and a dark horse which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph.
You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.
The choice or decision to take on a film certainly isn’t calculated as far as doing something that will be successful against something that will have a smaller audience. It’s all a gamble to me, I don’t bet on the horses; I just go with the story that speaks to me and that I feel strongly about which is this one [The Assassination of Jesse James].
The first time we did cavalry charge I was so breathless with excitement I nearly fell off the horse. I actually saw stars in front of my eyes and thought I was going to faint. The second time I had a bit more control but was still giddy with excitement. And the third time I was an emotional wreck. I had to really try hard not to cry.