I was wondering what "they didn't want them good; they wanted them Thursday" means.

Apparently it was said by Reagan wiki link

I am only guessing but is it sort of quantity over quality? As in it doesn't really matter how good they are as long as they can do that specific day of the week?

  • 3
    I think you are exactly correct. Reagan is talking about making "B movies", which do not have high budgets and are not supposed to be very good. The movie producers do not care if the B movies are good, but they do care if they stay on schedule.
    – stangdon
    Jan 20, 2022 at 19:16
  • 3
    Yes, as @stangdon says. These clauses are parallel in structure, but Reagan is being a bit whimsical by using an adjective ("good") in the first sentence and an adverb ("Thursday") in the same position in the second. Jan 20, 2022 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


The contrast here is between good and timely.

From the same Wiki article:

He spent the first few years of his Hollywood career in the "B film" unit, where, Reagan joked, the producers "didn't want them good; they wanted them Thursday".

B films are usually low-budget and have tight production schedules. Thursday is used as an adverb. It doesn't refer to any specific day of the week (any weekday could be used). It means films should be produced according to schedule.

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