Det Jim McLeod

And Your Favorite William Wyler Film Is

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copied and pasted from imdb, this is an incomplete WYLER filmography (it's all his Director credits in sound films, but I left some silents off.)

Director (73 credits)
 1968 Funny Girl
 1965 The Collector
 1959 Ben-Hur
 1956 Producers' Showcase (TV Series) (1 episode)
- The Letter (1956)
 1953 Roman Holiday
 1952 Carrie
 1949 The Heiress
 1947 Thunderbolt (Documentary short) (as Lt Col William Wyler)
 1944 The Fighting Lady (Documentary) (uncredited)
 1942 Mrs. Miniver
 1940 The Letter
 1940 The Westerner
 1939 Raffles (uncredited)
 1938 The Cowboy and the Lady (uncredited)
 1938 Jezebel
 1937 Dead End
 1936 Dodsworth
 1936 These Three
 1935 Barbary Coast 🙂 (uncredited; replaced by Howard Hawks - uncredited)
 1934 Glamour
 1933 Private Jones (uncredited)
 1930 The Storm
 1929 Hell's Heroes
 1929 The Love Trap
 1929 The Shakedown
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FYI, DODSWORTH (1936) is coming on today (Sunday the 20th) at noon.

TBH tho, it's not one of my favorites of his.

This may be awful, but it's honest, my sympathies in this one lie entirely with RUTH CHATTERTON.

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ps- all of those titles in WYLER'S imdb filmography that I pasted above are ACTIVE LINKS, if you click on a title- it will take you to the imdb page for the title.

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So many to choose from, but I'll just pick two:

Mrs. Miniver

Wuthering Heights

 

 

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I will go with The Heiress, The Letter and Carrie.

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4 hours ago, Swithin said:

So many to choose from, but I'll just pick two:

Mrs. Miniver

Wuthering Heights

 

 

Wow! And coincidentally, both set in Jolly Ole England!

(...gee, what a shock, Swithin...you anglophile, you!)  ;) 

LOL

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Neither of them is particularly jolly.

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6 hours ago, Fedya said:

Neither of them is particularly jolly.

Yeah, but THAT'S only because I've always said Wyler should have used more moor(no, I didn't stutter there) scenes in the second one.

And where Cathy and Heathcliff(no, not Red Skelton's seagull) frolic in eternal blithe.

;)

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Wuthering Heights is an interesting case. I can recall when I was young hearing about the much-vaunted 1939, "The Greatest Year in Movie History". The familiar litany of titles would be mentioned: Gone with the WindMr. Smith Goes to WashingtonStagecoachThe Wizard of OzThe Hunchback of Notre DameGunga Din, etc. And Wuthering Heights was usually included, too. 

However, in the past few decades, it seems that Wuthering Heights is mentioned less and less, and I often see people post on here an antipathy for it. Has anyone else noticed this? Is there something about the film that isn't aging well? I saw it once, probably 25+ years ago, and liked it, but I confess to recalling very little from it now.

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6 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Wuthering Heights is an interesting case. I can recall when I was young hearing about the much-vaunted 1939, "The Greatest Year in Movie History". The familiar litany of titles would be mentioned: Gone with the WindMr. Smith Goes to WashingtonStagecoachThe Wizard of OzThe Hunchback of Notre DameGunga Din, etc. And Wuthering Heights was usually included, too. 

However, in the past few decades, it seems that Wuthering Heights is mentioned less and less, and I often see people post on here an antipathy for it. Has anyone else noticed this? Is there something about the film that isn't aging well? I saw it once, probably 25+ years ago, and liked it, but I confess to recalling very little from it now.

The 39 film is my favorite screen version of the Bronte novel. That haunting ending of the lovers in the snow stays with me. Very beautiful.

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25 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Wuthering Heights is an interesting case. I can recall when I was young hearing about the much-vaunted 1939, "The Greatest Year in Movie History". The familiar litany of titles would be mentioned: Gone with the WindMr. Smith Goes to WashingtonStagecoachThe Wizard of OzThe Hunchback of Notre DameGunga Din, etc. And Wuthering Heights was usually included, too. 

However, in the past few decades, it seems that Wuthering Heights is mentioned less and less, and I often see people post on here an antipathy for it. Has anyone else noticed this? Is there something about the film that isn't aging well? I saw it once, probably 25+ years ago, and liked it, but I confess to recalling very little from it now.

Well, evidently our resident anglophile Swithin doesn't believe it has lost any of its original sheen here anyway, Lawrence. ;)

Now personally, I happened to catch it again for maybe the third or fourth time of viewing on TCM within the past year, and it still held its overwrought(for want of a better word) magic in MY eyes, anyway.

(...yep, I'd still include it as an example for 1939 being a special year in Hollywood history...although you didn't mention another of Jimmy Stewart's films of that year which would be another great addition to your list up there...Destry Rides Again)

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Interesting points made above re: 'Wuthering Heights'. Although for a long time --with the works of Jane Austen--this novel was held high as an example of first-rank literature; (hailed as a female-penned example 'of a type of literature' usually produced by a male-dominated field) respect for the work of the Brontes among women readers themselves, does seem to have waned recently. I can only state what I have seen personally. It may mean nothing. But yes with increasing frequency, you can hear females scorning these books these days. Turning against the ideas found in the book. Deriding the notions of romance found therein.

Whether that translates into a more-common rebuff for the 1939 film adaptation, I don't know. But in the past few years, I have seen women utterly revile the Brontes whereas not too long ago before that, you'd never hear a word against such icons. It's been fairly surprising, although I didn't give it any thought until I saw this page of this thread.

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Seen 21 of his films. I'm listing all of them because to even to try to cut it to just 10 is cruel. So many of these are glorious films.

1. Friendly Persuasion
2. The Best Years of Our Lives
3. Dodsworth
4. How to Steal a Million
5. The Children's Hour
6. The Collector
7. Mrs. Miniver
8. Funny Girl
9. Ben-Hur
10. The Letter
11. The Good Fairy
12. Jezebel
13. Carrie
14. Roman Holiday
15.  Wuthering Heights
16. The Heiress
17. The Little Foxes
18. The Westerner
19. Detective Story
20. These Three
21. Dead End

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Wuthering Heights is an interesting case. I can recall when I was young hearing about the much-vaunted 1939, "The Greatest Year in Movie History". The familiar litany of titles would be mentioned: Gone with the WindMr. Smith Goes to WashingtonStagecoachThe Wizard of OzThe Hunchback of Notre DameGunga Din, etc. And Wuthering Heights was usually included, too. 

However, in the past few decades, it seems that Wuthering Heights is mentioned less and less, and I often see people post on here an antipathy for it. Has anyone else noticed this? Is there something about the film that isn't aging well? I saw it once, probably 25+ years ago, and liked it, but I confess to recalling very little from it now.

I'm one of those people...sort of.

I have seen it many many times, and it's one that if it is on some rainy afternoon, I will most always let it play while i piddle at the crossword or fold laundry....

But:

the 1939 film is but a sliver of the sprawling, generational story in the original BRONTE novel; I know why they focused the movie on the singular love story of HEATHCLIFF AND CATHERINE, but in doing so they miss what the novel's all about (they could have quite easily done the story as it is in the novel within the two hour run-time as well.)

another HUGE ISSUE I HAVE is that THE character of CATHY is so confused, I don't think MERLE OBERON was a bad actress at all, and I certainly wasn't on-set- but it seems as if she is acting with no direction at all.  No one seems to really know just what her Hell her friggin' deal is (for lack of putting it more eruditely)

Also worth noting that while GERALDINE FITZGERALD is excellent, FLORA ROBSON'S housekeeper is actually a major character in the novel and she is underutilized in the film.

LAURENCE OLIVIER is cast perfectly- even if he is a bit too old- though. So is DAVID NIVEN, even if he is a total drip.

it's one of those that ((trite as it may be to say) - if you've read the novel, you just can't really, really like it.

you really, really should see it again though LAWRENCE, and The Good Lord knows, you won't lack for oppotunities with OSCAR MONTH at the doorstep.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

...another HUGE ISSUE I HAVE is that THE character of CATHY is so confused, I don't think MERLE OBERON was a bad actress at all, and I certainly wasn't on-set- but it seems as if she is acting with no direction at all.  No one seems to really know just what her Hell her friggin' deal is (for lack of putting it more eruditely)

In this regard Lorna, I've always felt there were more than few personality traits that Cathy shares with another character in literature and film...Scarlett O'Hara.

Both of them are selfish, both choose money over love, both are full of life and yet still destructive to others and self-destructive, and thus making both of them hard to like.

(...if that helps at all)

 

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Wasn't William Wyler Bette Davis' favorite director? I thought I read that somewhere or heard Bette say it in an interview somewhere, or maybe I'm just crazy.  Who knows.

Looking over his credits, he has quite a wide array of films in multiple genres.

I love The Letter.  The opening scene with no musical score, the only sound you really hear is the sound of the outside and Bette's revolver is one of the most memorable film openings ever.  I love the use of shadow and lighting.  Wyler really knew how to light Bette's "Bette Davis Eyes" in that film.  Her eyes are almost haunting. 

I also love Roman Holiday because Audrey Hepburn is so charming.  She and Gregory Peck have such great chemistry.  I love the scene of them at the "Mouth of Truth."  Eddie Albert was so much fun too.  Who knew that "Oli-var Wendell Douglas, Famous Pig Lawyer" was actually kind of cute when he was younger? Apparently Peck's role was written with Cary Grant in mind, but Grant turned it down.  While I don't doubt that Grant would have been excellent in the role, I'm glad that Peck got the part. 

Detective Story was great even though I think Kirk Douglas was a little over the top.  I really like Eleanor Parker and I liked the story.  I also liked William Bendix' part, despite his horrific comb-over. 

The Heiress is great.  I loved the ending with Olivia de Havilland getting the last laugh on Montgomery Clift.  I hated Clift's moustache.  I loved how de Havilland's character evolved from a mousy woman to a woman with a sense of pride and dignity. 

I love How to Steal a Million because I love 60s heist movies.  Audrey Hepburn wears such fun clothes and she makes a great pair with Peter O'Toole. 

It's interesting that Wyler directed both These Three and The Children's Hour.  Despite my liking the cast of 'Hour,' I prefer the original.  Bonita Granville made such a delightfully horrible child and I also like Joel McCrea.  If I remember correctly however, These Three pretty much avoids the idea that Miriam Hopkins and Merle Oberon were lovers--it turns into more of a love triangle where both Hopkins and Oberon are in love with McCrea.  I believe that the Lux Radio version with Flynn in the McCrea role, Barbara Stanwyck in Hopkins' role and Mary Astor in Oberon's part, also followed this same storyline.  I actually really liked the Lux Radio version.  In 'Hour,' the idea that Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine are lesbians is more overt. 

Looking over Wyler's filmography, I seem to have quite a few of his films on my DVR, waiting for me to watch: Barbary Coast, These Three (I actually wanted to re-watch this), Come and Get It, Wuthering Heights, and Mrs. Miniver.  I actually haven't seen The Best Years of Our Lives either.  I've seen The Little Foxes but I can't remember much about it except for Bette Davis' makeup. 

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On 1/20/2019 at 7:09 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

FYI, DODSWORTH (1936) is coming on today (Sunday the 20th) at noon.

TBH tho, it's not one of my favorites of his.

This may be awful, but it's honest, my sympathies in this one lie entirely with RUTH CHATTERTON.

I partly agree with this. Judging by what we see, 1) Mr. Dodsworth probably wasn't the most passionate lover; 2) Hometown was probably boring, and not just by the standards of the European capitals. Mrs. Dodsworth could have been portrayed as a much more sympathetic character. Two other novels by Sinclair Lewis, Ann Vickers and Cass Timberlane, also have the older man/much younger woman theme. I'm guessing this had personal relevance for Lewis himself. Mrs. Dodsworth played around and wanted a divorce, thus giving Mr. D absolute permission to pursue an attractive divorcee quite a few years younger than himself.

And Lorna, I couldn't agree more about Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte's novel is much less romantic and far more complex than the Wyler movie, as good as that is. Again, key point: the novel spans two generations. Merle Oberon gives better performances in other movies, including These Three.

When Olivier brought Vivien Leigh to Hollywood, she was offered the role of Isabella in Wuthering Heights and was told she couldn't possibly get a better role for her Hollywood debut. Well, Geraldine Fitzgerald made a great Isabella, and as for Vivien . . . she did get a better role, after all.

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I caught about the last 1/3 of WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) yesterday; as I mentioned earlier, while I think it is a flawed film, it's one of those flawed films that I will rewatch endlessly, especially on a grim, grey North of England type day as it was in my neck of the woods.

The last third has lots of SLAPPING! and DIAMONDS! and MELODRAMA!; so I enjoyed it.

I also think OLIVIER is terrific in this. I know we give Larry a hard time on the boards, and sometimes he deserves it, but I do think he couldn't be better in this. I don't think DAVID NIVEN was much of an actor, but he is perfect in this (precisely because he isn't much of an actor)

Also, THE SCORE deserves a lot of credit for elevating the rest of the movie.

(I also love moments in British period melodramas where a woman says something and another character responds indignantly with "you cahn't!" and it totally sounds like they said something else.)

 

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On 1/21/2019 at 4:08 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm one of those people...sort of.

I have seen it many many times, and it's one that if it is on some rainy afternoon, I will most always let it play while i piddle at the crossword or fold laundry....

But:

the 1939 film is but a sliver of the sprawling, generational story in the original BRONTE novel; I know why they focused the movie on the singular love story of HEATHCLIFF AND CATHERINE, but in doing so they miss what the novel's all about (they could have quite easily done the story as it is in the novel within the two hour run-time as well.)

another HUGE ISSUE I HAVE is that THE character of CATHY is so confused, I don't think MERLE OBERON was a bad actress at all, and I certainly wasn't on-set- but it seems as if she is acting with no direction at all.  No one seems to really know just what her Hell her friggin' deal is (for lack of putting it more eruditely)

Also worth noting that while GERALDINE FITZGERALD is excellent, FLORA ROBSON'S housekeeper is actually a major character in the novel and she is underutilized in the film.

LAURENCE OLIVIER is cast perfectly- even if he is a bit too old- though. So is DAVID NIVEN, even if he is a total drip.

it's one of those that ((trite as it may be to say) - if you've read the novel, you just can't really, really like it.

you really, really should see it again though LAWRENCE, and The Good Lord knows, you won't lack for oppotunities with OSCAR MONTH at the doorstep.

Yes, that's my problem with the film. I read the novel before seeing the film and the film is only half of the novel! Plus I found Merle Oberon miscast. Just too tony for the earthy Cathy. None of the film adaptations did justice to the novel. I admit, I've never watched any of the tv adaptions.......

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12 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, that's my problem with the film [WUTHERING HEIGHTS]. I read the novel before seeing the film and the film is only half of the novel! Plus I found Merle Oberon miscast. Just too tony for the earthy Cathy. None of the film adaptations did justice to the novel. I admit, I've never watched any of the tv adaptions.......

the BBC did one not too long ago. they shot it all stylistically with frenetic edits and herky-jerky camera motions and drastic establishing shots with zoom lenses and "swooooshing" sound effects.

It was a bit silly and I turned it off about ten minutes in.

 

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I saw the 1992 TV version with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. It wasn't long after I saw the '39 version, and much like that one, I recall liking it but not much else.

wuthering-1992%5B1%5D.jpg

EDIT: I see I was mistaken about this being a TV movie. It was theatrical, but I saw it on video.

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45 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

the BBC did one not too long ago. they shot it all stylistically with frenetic edits and herky-jerky camera motions and drastic establishing shots with zoom lenses and "swooooshing" sound effects.

It was a bit silly and I turned it off about ten minutes in.

 

Glad I missed it!

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40 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I saw the 1992 TV version with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. It wasn't long after I saw the '39 version, and much like that one, I recall liking it but not much else.

wuthering-1992%5B1%5D.jpg

EDIT: I see I was mistaken about this being a TV movie. It was theatrical, but I saw it on video.

I'd forgotten about that one. I missed it in theaters. Was it the whole novel?

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10 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I'd forgotten about that one. I missed it in theaters. Was it the whole novel?

I really couldn't say, as I've never read the book. However, it's doubtful, as it was only 105 minutes long. 

Wikipedia does state this, though: "This particular film is notable for including the oft-omitted second generation story of the children of Cathy, Hindley, and Heathcliff."

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