Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder

Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder

by Gene D. Phillips
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813125707

ISBN-13: 9780813125701

Pub. Date: 07/30/2010

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Although his career spanned fifty years and included more than fifty films, Austrian-American film director Billy Wilder (1906—2002) may be best known for the legendary shot of Marilyn Monroe's dress billowing over a subway grating in The Seven Year Itch (1955). This "shot seen round the world" is representative not only of Hollywood's golden era of cinema but

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Overview

Although his career spanned fifty years and included more than fifty films, Austrian-American film director Billy Wilder (1906—2002) may be best known for the legendary shot of Marilyn Monroe's dress billowing over a subway grating in The Seven Year Itch (1955). This "shot seen round the world" is representative not only of Hollywood's golden era of cinema but also of one of its most prolific and brilliant directors. Wilder, whose filmography includes such classics as Sunset Boulevard (1950), Sabrina (1954), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959), is often remembered for his versatility, biting wit, and passion for challenging social and moral conventions.

Author Gene D. Phillips departs from the traditional biography in Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder, offering new insights into the acclaimed director's professional and private life. In preparation for the book, Phillips conducted personal interviews with Wilder and other key players from the legendary director's life and times. Phillips's unique combination of analysis and biographical detail brings Wilder to life, as both an artist and man.

Phillips traces Wilder's path from Berlin, where he worked as a scriptwriter for one of the city's largest studios, to Hollywood, where he would quickly establish himself as a premier film director. Forming a partnership with writer-producer Charles Brackett, Wilder directed the classic films Five Graves to Cairo (1943), Double Indemnity (1945), and The Lost Weekend (1945), which earned Academy Awards for best picture, best director, and best screenplay. During the 1960s, Wilder continued to direct and produce controversial comedies, including Kiss Me Stupid (1964) and The Apartment (1960). The Apartment brought Wilder another round of Oscars for best picture, best director, and best screenplay.

Wilder's maverick approach and independent artistic vision pushed boundaries and ensured his legacy as one of the Hollywood greats. Sharply written, Some Like It Wilder serves as a comprehensive companion to Wilder's films, offering a personalized and heartfelt account of the life and genius of this compelling director.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813125701
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
07/30/2010
Series:
Screen Classics
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
546,935
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: Fred Zinnemann Speaking

1 From Berlin to Hollywood: The Early Screenplays 1

2 Champagne and Tears: Ninotchka, Midnight, and Ball of Fire 19

3 New Directions: The Major and the Minor and Five Graves to Cairo 33

4 The Rise of Film Noir: Double Indemnity 53

5 Through a Glass Daddy: The Lost Weekend and Die Todesmuhlen 71

6 Wunderbar: The Emperor Waltz and A Foreign Affair 89

7 Dark Windows: Sunset Boulevard 109

8 Barbed Wire Satire: Ace in the Hole and Stalag 17 129

9 Fascination: Sabrina and The Seven Year Itch 153

10 Light Up the Sky: The Spirit of St. Louis and Love in the Afternoon 177

11 Remains to Be Seen: Witness for the Prosecution 197

12 The Gang's All Here: Some Like It Hot 211

13 Love on the Dole: The Apartment 231

14 Love on the Run: One, Two, Three and Irma la Douce 247

15 Grifters: Kiss Me, Stupid and The Fortune Cookie 269

16 The Game's Afoot: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes 293

17 The Perfect Blendship: The Front Page and Avanti! 307

18 Twilight Years: Fedora and Buddy Buddy 323

Epilogue: A Touch of Class 341

Filmography 347

Notes 367

Selected Bibliography 409

Index 417

Illustrations follow page 162

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