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Billy Wilder


speedracer5
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For me, I've found that I'm always using Billy Wilder films as examples for the various topics discussed on this board.  While I'm sure he has been discussed in the past on these boards; I thought I would bring him back up again.  I tried searching the past threads to see if I could resurrect something; but I couldn't find any topics dedicated specifically to Billy Wilder. 

 

Billy Wilder is one of my favorite directors and not only because he and I have the same birthday.  He ranks right up there with Hitchcock.  While Hitchcock mostly concentrated on suspense films (after all, he was "The Master of Suspense"), Wilder was skilled in a variety of genres-- film noir, drama, romance, comedy, etc.  

 

My favorites of his are probably:

 

Double Indemnity

Sunset Boulevard

Sabrina

Some Like it Hot

 

There are more of his films that I'd love to see, mainly: Ace in the Hole and Stalag 17.  

 

I have to say that I think Love in the Afternoon is probably his weakest film, Kiss Me Stupid might rank up there as well; but I've only seen part of it, so maybe it's not fair to make that conclusion.

 

I also really enjoyed The Lost Weekend; but it definitely wasn't a feel good film and I don't see myself popping it into the DVD player just randomly.  It definitely is a film to watch when you feel in the mood to see it.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think the film was bad by any means.  Ray Milland was excellent in it.  It's just a tough film to watch.  

 

What are your favorites? "Un-Favorites" ? What about Wilder himself? Fan? Not a fan?

 

Talk amongst yourselves.

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I really enjoy Sabrina.  I know there's a lot of discussion regarding Bogart's role in this film.  There are many criticisms that he was too old and while I can see where people are coming from, I think Bogart was an excellent choice.  I know that Cary Grant was offered the role; but he felt he was too old to be paired with Audrey Hepburn.  While I'm a fan of Grant, I think if he were cast in Sabrina, there would have needed to be a few more casting changes.  His Mid-Atlantic accent would have been out of place to the other actors portraying the Larabee family.  I don't think it's believable that Grant and William Holden would have been brothers.  Now, if Holden were cast in Bogart's role, and a younger actor (not sure who) were cast in Holden's role, that would have been a little more believable. 

 

Anyway, I like the contrast between Bogart and Hepburn.  Whereas Bogart is the hardened, no nonsense business man; Hepburn is youthful and idealistic.  Her youth and optimism offsets Bogart's cynicism and it is believable that he would be charmed by her and start falling for her.  Even though his courting her starts off as a means to get rid of her so that his business deal won't be ruined, it is apparent that he likes her and feels bad for putting up such a facade.  While it would have been easy to have Hepburn and Holden end up together (it's the obvious choice), it's nice that the tired businessman Bogart gets the girl.  Sabrina probably wouldn't have been happy with David after awhile anyway.  She and Linus probably wouldn't get married; but at least they'll have the fun romantic trip to Paris to remember.

 

I absolutely love Some Like it Hot.  That film is hilarious from beginning to end.  Jack Lemmon steals the whole movie.  Marilyn Monroe, while playing one of her typical ditzy blondes is charming and Tony Curtis is amusing especially with his Cary Grant impression.  For me though, this film wouldn't be nearly as good without Jack Lemmon.  Half of his lines are made funnier because of how he says his lines and his facial expressions-- which are made even funnier when he's in his Daphne makeup.  He really seems to enjoy being a woman. 

 

My favorite parts of Some Like it Hot:

 

-The impromptu party in the upper bunk on the train.  No crackers in bed!

-Daphne announcing "her" engagement to Josephine

-Josephine and Daphne announcing themselves to Beanstock before getting on the train.  My name is Josephine and this is... Daphne!... Well I never did like the name Geraldine!

-The trombone player with her joke: ...So the one legged jockey says... Don't worry about me, I ride side saddle!

-Joe E. Brown's ending line: Nobody's perfect is one of the best film endings ever.

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I love all of Wilder's films. He never made a bad movie. Actually this is an interesting time for this topic to come up, as one of his final films, 1978's Fedora, is making its DVD and Blu-Ray debut tomorrow.

I've read about Fedora.  I actually scheduled it in my schedule for the programming challenge.  I am curious to see it.  I'm a big fan of William Holden and of Billy Wilder and of Holden and Wilder's collaborations together.  I'm not as familiar with Holden's later career (1960s-onward); but recently saw Network.  Once I got past how much older Holden looked and the fact that he swore and had a sex scene, I found his performance enjoyable and he still had the William Holden charm. 

 

Hopefully with the DVD/Blu-Ray release, this will inspire TCM to premiere this film.  They just need to premiere it when I have TCM again ;-)

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I really enjoy Sabrina.  I know there's a lot of discussion regarding Bogart's role in this film.  There are many criticisms that he was too old and while I can see where people are coming from, I think Bogart was an excellent choice.  I know that Cary Grant was offered the role; but he felt he was too old to be paired with Audrey Hepburn.  While I'm a fan of Grant, I think if he were cast in Sabrina, there would have needed to be a few more casting changes.  His Mid-Atlantic accent would have been out of place to the other actors portraying the Larabee family.  I don't think it's believable that Grant and William Holden would have been brothers.  Now, if Holden were cast in Bogart's role, and a younger actor (not sure who) were cast in Holden's role, that would have been a little more believable. 

 

Anyway, I like the contrast between Bogart and Hepburn.  Whereas Bogart is the hardened, no nonsense business man; Hepburn is youthful and idealistic.  Her youth and optimism offsets Bogart's cynicism and it is believable that he would be charmed by her and start falling for her.  Even though his courting her starts off as a means to get rid of her so that his business deal won't be ruined, it is apparent that he likes her and feels bad for putting up such a facade.  While it would have been easy to have Hepburn and Holden end up together (it's the obvious choice), it's nice that the tired businessman Bogart gets the girl.  Sabrina probably wouldn't have been happy with David after awhile anyway.  She and Linus probably wouldn't get married; but at least they'll have the fun romantic trip to Paris to remember.

 

 

Hey Speedy! Did I ever tell ya about my idea that Robert Taylor would have made the perfect Linus in this flick??? ;)

 

LOL(I'm only laughing here because I mention this all the time whenever the topic of this movie arises)

 

Interesting thought about Holden playing Linus and some other younger actor playing David, however. You might have somethin' there, seeing as how Holden by 1954 had indeed established his more "hardened" persona in film, especially in a couple of Wilder's other films such as SUNSET BLVD and STALAG 17.

 

 

I absolutely love Some Like it Hot.  That film is hilarious from beginning to end.  Jack Lemmon steals the whole movie.  Marilyn, while playing one of her typical ditzy blondes is charming and Tony Curtis is amusing especially with his Cary Grant impression.  For me though, this film wouldn't be nearly as good without Jack Lemmon.  Half of his lines are made funnier because of how he says his lines and his facial expressions-- which are made even funnier when he's in his Daphne makeup.  He really seems to enjoy being a woman.  

 

 

My favorite parts of Some Like it Hot:

 

-The impromptu party in the upper bunk on the train.  No crackers in bed!

-Daphne announcing "her" engagement to Josephine

-Josephine and Daphne announcing themselves to Beanstock before getting on the train.  My name is Josephine and this is... Daphne!... Well I never did like the name Geraldine!

-The trombone player with her joke: ...So the one legged jockey says... Don't worry about me, I ride side saddle!

-Joe E. Brown's ending line: Nobody's perfect is one of the best film endings ever.

 

 

No argument here at all.

 

(...though one of my favorite scenes/lines is when Curtis and Lemmon are walking for the train while in drag and they see Marilyn Monroe hot-footin' it past 'em, and Lemmon turns to Curtis and says, "Look at THAT! Look at the way she moves. It's just like Jello on springs!")

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Hey Speedy! Did I ever tell ya about my idea that Robert Taylor would have made the perfect Linus in this flick??? ;)

 

LOL(I'm only laughing here because I mention this all the time whenever the topic of this movie arises)

 

Interesting thought about Holden playing Linus and some other younger actor playing David, however. You might have somethin' there, seeing as how Holden by 1954 had indeed established his more "hardened" persona in film, especially in a couple of Wilder's other films such as SUNSET BLVD and STALAG 17.

 

 

No argument here at all.

 

(...though one of my favorite scenes/lines is when Curtis and Lemmon are walking for the train while in drag and they see Marilyn Monroe hot-footin' it past 'em, and Lemmon turns to Curtis and says, "Look at THAT! Look at the way she moves. It's just like Jello on springs!")

I'd have to see Robert Taylor in something to judge if he'd be good as Linus.  I'm sorry to say that my only real knowledge of Taylor is that he was married to Barbara Stanwyck for a while and that he apparently autographed an orange for Lucy Ricardo on I Love Lucy (although you didn't see it).  I'm looking at pictures of Taylor, he kind of looks like a cross between James Stewart and Clark Gable. 

 

I'm trying to think of who I would cast in Holden's role if Holden played Linus.  I thought of Dean Martin; but then nixed him, because while I think he'd be good for the playboy aspect of David.. his Italian looks would be out of place.  I thought of Paul Newman, but I don't know if he was active in 1954.  Right now I'm leaning toward Tony Curtis.  Young Tony Curtis looks similar to young William Holden... Although I don't know if Tony Curtis has the charm that Holden has.

 

I love the "Jello" line in Some Like it Hot too.  That movie is perfect.  Except for maybe George Raft; but again, he is lampooning (or at least it seems like it) his gangster roles, so maybe it is perfect. 

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I love the "Jello" line in Some Like it Hot too.  That movie is perfect.  Except for maybe George Raft; but again, he is lampooning (or at least it seems like it) his gangster roles, so maybe it is perfect. 

 

That's pretty much the ONLY movie I've ever liked Raft in, one of THE most wooden actors ever...and for the very reason you just stated.

 

And I'll get back to you later regarding the re-casting of the David part if Holden played Linus and after I give this a little more thought...though I'm not sure with Curtis' Bronx accent he could have pulled off the whole "Old Money" thing a Larrabee would have had to project.

 

(..in fact, I THINK that that's why Curtis affected the exaggerated Cary Grant accent in "Some Like It Hot", and in order to better hide his normal manner of speaking when he played the rich Shell Oil family member)

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That's pretty much the ONLY movie I've ever liked Raft in, one of THE most wooden actors ever...and for the very reason you just stated.

 

And I'll get back to you later regarding the re-casting of the David part if Holden played Linus and after I give this a little more thought...though I'm not sure with Curtis' Bronx accent he could have pulled off the whole "Old Money" thing a Larrabee would have had to project.

 

(..in fact, I THINK that that's why Curtis affected the exaggerated Cary Grant accent in "Some Like It Hot", and in order to hide his normal manner of speaking when he played the rich Shell Oil family member)

 

Is Raft more wooden than Gary Cooper?

 

Yeah, I was thinking about Tony Curtis' accent.  He might have the same issue as Cary Grant being cast in the Linus role.  His accent wouldn't have meshed well with the other actors' voices. 

 

I never considered why Tony Curtis used the Cary Grant accent for his Shell Oil millionaire.  That does make sense.  It would sound a little more upper crust.

 

I've noticed that actors with British accents (or British-sounding, or at least the more "affected" type of speech, I'm thinking of someone like Grace Kelly) are most often cast as upper class Americans if they're cast in a contemporary role.  Cary Grant is almost always fairly well to do in his films as is Myrna Loy and Grace Kelly.  Errol Flynn, if he actually gets to wear a modern suit in his film almost always is someone wealthy.  I guess it wouldn't be believable that Flynn with that British/Australian accent would be heating up a can of beans with the other hobos at "the dump." But I digress... Back to Billy Wilder... 

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Okay, Speedy! Dig this name for the alternate David character, younger brother of Holden's proposed Linus:

 

Robert Wagner

 

Yep, right age at the time(24), usually played the "preppy" glib type during that time in his career, and good looking enough for Sabrina to have thought she was in love with him.

 

(...not bad, eh?!...though I think I might have a few more names coming, as I'm not completely sure R.J. could have handled the part with total success) 

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Love, love, love that man. Love how he writes characters. Love how varied his films are--how could DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SOME LIKE IT HOT come from the same guy? What a genius. He's one of my favorite directors ever and many of his films are in my top 50 favorite films of all time, such as (what comes to mind at the moment):

 

The Apartment

Some Like it Hot

Sunset Blvd

Double Indemnity

Stalag 17

Sabrina

Witness for the Prosecution

The Seven Year Itch

Five Graves to Cairo (why don't more people know this one?)

....and probably lots of others I just can't think of off-hand

 

Oh, and don't forget his wonderful screenplays before he became a director, like NINOTCHKA :)

 

As previously stated, KISS ME STUPID is one of his weakest-- though it starts out promising, the second half kind of falls apart. And though LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON is also weak, the ending is one of the most satisfying in all films. If we could have the beginning of one and the end of the other....

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I am also a big Wilder fan and try to watch his movies whenever I can.  A few I can think of:

 

- I would echo the sentiment for Five Graves to Cairo.  To me it shows that Wilder could make any kind of film.

 

- Recently caught the rarely shown The Emperor Waltz.  Nothing really special, but it's an OK movie and a fine production – love the Technicolor.

 

- Have not seen A Foreign Affair mentioned yet.  Seeing the footage of Berlin from the air as a city reduced to piles of bricks really brought home to me the effect of the war.

 

- Of course The Apartment is also one of the greats.  I know some feel it has been shown too much on TCM, but I think it must be one of the best movies of the 60's.

 

- At the other extreme I also did not care for Kiss Me, Stupid.  Supposedly Peter Sellers bowed out from making the movie, but I'm not sure he could have improved it.  Was a big disappointment to me considering how much I enjoy the others.

 

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I'm a big fan of Herr Wilder and his films. One of the most under rated of his many classics is the wonderful "A Foreign Affair". This film didn't set to well with the Army and Congress when it came out in 1948. With Jean Arthur, John Lund [ his best role] and Marlene who steals the show. Wilder gives us a brutal look at what was once a great city, Berlin, and it's destruction in  Post WW2  bombed out rubble and throws in GI morals, black market and ex nazi's, Russians, all in a semi comic vain. This is one of his forgotten treasures. ...

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Love, love, love that man. Love how he writes characters. Love how varied his films are--how could DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SOME LIKE IT HOT come from the same guy? What a genius. He's one of my favorite directors ever and many of his films are in my top 50 favorite films of all time, such as (what comes to mind at the moment):

 

The Apartment

Some Like it Hot

Sunset Blvd

Double Indemnity

Stalag 17

Sabrina

Witness for the Prosecution

The Seven Year Itch

Five Graves to Cairo (why don't more people know this one?)

....and probably lots of others I just can't think of off-hand

 

Oh, and don't forget his wonderful screenplays before he became a director, like NINOTCHKA :)

 

As previously stated, KISS ME STUPID is one of his weakest-- though it starts out promising, the second half kind of falls apart. And though LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON is also weak, the ending is one of the most satisfying in all films. If we could have the beginning of one and the end of the other....

Agreed----Top 8 Wilder movies

 

1---THE APARTMENT

2----DOUBLE INDEMNITY

3-----WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

4-----THE LOST WEEKEND

5-----SABRINA

6-----SUNSET BLVD

7----ACE IN THE HOLE

8-----SOME LIKE IT HOT 

 

He is my favorite director.

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Love, love, love that man. Love how he writes characters. Love how varied his films are--how could DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SOME LIKE IT HOT come from the same guy? What a genius. He's one of my favorite directors ever and many of his films are in my top 50 favorite films of all time, such as (what comes to mind at the moment):

 

The Apartment

Some Like it Hot

Sunset Blvd

Double Indemnity

Stalag 17

Sabrina

Witness for the Prosecution

The Seven Year Itch

Five Graves to Cairo (why don't more people know this one?)

....and probably lots of others I just can't think of off-hand

 

Oh, and don't forget his wonderful screenplays before he became a director, like NINOTCHKA :)

 

As previously stated, KISS ME STUPID is one of his weakest-- though it starts out promising, the second half kind of falls apart. And though LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON is also weak, the ending is one of the most satisfying in all films. If we could have the beginning of one and the end of the other....

I also agree with you on the great ending of LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, in an otherwise mediocre film.

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What an array of great performances were inspired in Billy Wilder films over the years. Here is a tribute to my favourites:

 

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Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck (as well as Edward G. Robinson, not pictured) in Double Indemnity (1944)

 

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Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend (1945)

 

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William Holden, Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

 

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Charles Laughton in Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

 

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Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot (1959)

 

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Jack Lemmon in The Apartment (1960)

 

HONOURABLE MENTION:

 

Erich Von Stroheim in Five Graves to Cairo

Marlene Dietrich in A Foreign Affair

Erich Von Stroheim in Sunset Boulevard

Kirk Douglas in Ace in the Hole

William Holden in Stalag 17

Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina

Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon

Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich in Witness for the Prosecution

Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray in The Apartment

James Cagney in One Two Three

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I'm a big fan of Herr Wilder and his films. One of the most under rated of his many classics is the wonderful "A Foreign Affair". This film didn't set to well with the Army and Congress when it came out in 1948. With Jean Arthur, John Lund [ his best role] and Marlene who steals the show. Wilder gives us a brutal look at what was once a great city, Berlin, and it's destruction in  Post WW2  bombed out rubble and throws in GI morals, black market and ex nazi's, Russians, all in a semi comic vain. This is one of his forgotten treasures. ...

 

Couldn't agree more, fred! I've also always liked this film a lot. It too has that knowing and mildly cynical Wider touch mixed into a romantic comedy.

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Although I admire many other directors a great deal -- e.g., Welles, Hitchcock, Ford, Hawks, Sirk, Capra -- when I look at filmographies, Billy Wilder's has more movies that I love than that of any other single director. 

 

It's almost impossible for me to say which ones are my top ten Wilder films.  He worked in so many different genres (comedy, drama, film noir, farce, whodunit -- heck, even his one biography is worth seeing) that he can almost always provide a movie that I'm in the mood for.  But still, I think they can be ranked by overall quality -- here's my shot at it:

 

WRITER (of those I've seen)

 

Masterpiece:

  • Ninotchka – with his idol Lubitsch directing; romantic comedy doesn't get any better

 

Highly entertaining:

  • Midnight - Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche shine with Wilder's sparkling lines; great supporting cast
  • Ball of Fire - Stanwyck and Coop are great, backed up by outstanding character actors

 

Worth seeing at least once:

  • Rhythm on the River – decent musical with Bing and Mary Martin

 

Interesting curiosities:

  • People on Sunday – fascinating silent of everyday life in Berlin before Hitler took over; features Robert and Curt Siodmak co-directing, Edgar G. Ulmer as producer, and Fred Zinnemann as cinematographer; available on Criterion DVD 
  • Bluebeard's Eighth Wife – also with Lubitsch directing, but not successful overall; some very entertaining scenes nonetheless 

 

DIRECTOR/WRITER

 

Masterpieces:

  • Double Indemnity - there are other great noirs, but none better than this
  • The Lost Weekend - rivetting but very sad; showed that Milland could be great in the right role
  • Sunset Boulevard - unforgettable performance by Swanson, with Holden holding his own
  • Ace in the Hole - shows that cyncism can provide a great story; one of Kirk's peaks
  • Some Like It Hot - probably the best farce ever made, with Lemmon, Curtis, and Monroe all perfect
  • The Apartment - one of my favorite holiday movies; Lemmon, MacLaine, and MacMurrary all perfect

 

Highly entertaining:

  • The Major and the Minor - just funny -- isn't that enough?
  • A Foreign Affair - good cast, interesting setting in post-war Berlin - I've enjoyed this a few times
  • Stalag 17 - a POW drama that also has comedy?  I always enjoy this movie
  • Sabrina - Bogie and Holden are too old, but that doesn't matter when they and Audrey are so charming
  • The Seven Year Itch - as great as Marilyn is, it's really Tom Ewell's movie - he defines hilarious
  • Witness for the Prosecution - outstanding cast, outstanding whodunit
  • One, Two, Three - Cagney was never funnier
  • The Fortune Cookie - the first teaming of Lemmon and Matthau, with both giving great performances

 

Lesser works – worth seeing at least once (maybe more):

  • The Emperor Waltz - Bing's charming enough to carry the movie, but overall, it's just OK
  • The Spirit of St. Louis - Stewart is way too old as Lindy, but the movie always draws me in
  • Love in the Afternoon - I wish it were better; a good Lubitschian idea, but something just doesn't work
  • The Front Page - great idea for a remake, but not as good as the two previous filmings
  • Buddy Buddy - I saw it when it first came out, but just don't remember much about it 

Further consideration:

  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes - I've enjoyed it once, want to see it again
  • Irma la Douce - ditto (Lemmon and MacLaine are a good team)

Haven’t seen:

  • Five Graves to Cairo (I’ve got the DVD but just haven’t gotten to it yet)
  • Kiss Me, Stupid
  • Avanti!
  • Fedora
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When the French guy who directed THE ARTIST(drawing a blank on his name right now) was accepting his Oscar, he finished by saying, "I would like to thank the three directors who have most inspired me ... Billy Wilder, Billy Wilder and Billy Wilder". I thought that said it all.

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Although I admire many other directors a great deal -- e.g., Welles, Hitchcock, Ford, Hawks, Sirk, Capra -- when I look at filmographies, Billy Wilder's has more movies that I love than that of any other single director. 

 

It's almost impossible for me to say which ones are my top ten Wilder films.  He worked in so many different genres (comedy, drama, film noir, farce, whodunit -- heck, even his one biography is worth seeing) that he can almost always provide a movie that I'm in the mood for.  But still, I think they can be ranked by overall quality -- here's my shot at it:

 

WRITER (of those I've seen)

 

Masterpiece:

  • Ninotchka – with his idol Lubitsch directing; romantic comedy doesn't get any better

 

Highly entertaining:

  • Midnight - Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche shine with Wilder's sparkling lines; great supporting cast
  • Ball of Fire - Stanwyck and Coop are great, backed up by outstanding character actors

 

Worth seeing at least once:

  • Rhythm on the River – decent musical with Bing and Mary Martin

 

Interesting curiosities:

  • People on Sunday – fascinating silent of everyday life in Berlin before Hitler took over; features Robert and Curt Siodmak co-directing, Edgar G. Ulmer as producer, and Fred Zinnemann as cinematographer; available on Criterion DVD 
  • Bluebeard's Eighth Wife – also with Lubitsch directing, but not successful overall; some very entertaining scenes nonetheless 

 

DIRECTOR/WRITER

 

Masterpieces:

  • Double Indemnity - there are other great noirs, but none better than this
  • The Lost Weekend - rivetting but very sad; showed that Milland could be great in the right role
  • Sunset Boulevard - unforgettable performance by Swanson, with Holden holding his own
  • Ace in the Hole - shows that cyncism can provide a great story; one of Kirk's peaks
  • Some Like It Hot - probably the best farce ever made, with Lemmon, Curtis, and Monroe all perfect
  • The Apartment - one of my favorite holiday movies; Lemmon, MacLaine, and MacMurrary all perfect

 

Highly entertaining:

  • The Major and the Minor - just funny -- isn't that enough?
  • A Foreign Affair - good cast, interesting setting in post-war Berlin - I've enjoyed this a few times
  • Stalag 17 - a POW drama that also has comedy?  I always enjoy this movie
  • Sabrina - Bogie and Holden are too old, but that doesn't matter when they and Audrey are so charming
  • The Seven Year Itch - as great as Marilyn is, it's really Tom Ewell's movie - he defines hilarious
  • Witness for the Prosecution - outstanding cast, outstanding whodunit
  • One, Two, Three - Cagney was never funnier
  • The Fortune Cookie - the first teaming of Lemmon and Matthau, with both giving great performances

 

Lesser works – worth seeing at least once (maybe more):

  • The Emperor Waltz - Bing's charming enough to carry the movie, but overall, it's just OK
  • The Spirit of St. Louis - Stewart is way too old as Lindy, but the movie always draws me in
  • Love in the Afternoon - I wish it were better; a good Lubitschian idea, but something just doesn't work
  • The Front Page - great idea for a remake, but not as good as the two previous filmings
  • Buddy Buddy - I saw it when it first came out, but just don't remember much about it 

Further consideration:

  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes - I've enjoyed it once, want to see it again
  • Irma la Douce - ditto (Lemmon and MacLaine are a good team)

Haven’t seen:

  • Five Graves to Cairo (I’ve got the DVD but just haven’t gotten to it yet)
  • Kiss Me, Stupid
  • Avanti!
  • Fedora

 

I didn't realize that Wilder had such an extensive screenplay writing career prior to directing.  I knew that he co-wrote Double Indemnity with Raymond Chandler.  Looking at his filmography, it seems he was a jack of all trades.  He wrote the screenplay and directed many of his films (Double Indemnity, Five Graves to Cairo, Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, just to name a few). 

 

There are so many of his films that I haven't seen.  What I also enjoy about his films is that no matter how many times I've seen a particular Billy Wilder film, there's always something that I didn't notice or a plot point I didn't realize or what not with each viewing. 

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Okay, Speedy! Dig this name for the alternate David character, younger brother of Holden's proposed Linus:

 

Robert Wagner

 

Yep, right age at the time(24), usually played the "preppy" glib type during that time in his career, and good looking enough for Sabrina to have thought she was in love with him.

 

(...not bad, eh?!...though I think I might have a few more names coming, as I'm not completely sure R.J. could have handled the part with total success) 

I thought of Robert Wagner too.  Age wise, he would have been perfect.  In the movie, it seems like the David character isn't that much older than Sabrina by the way that she talks about him kissing her when she was 9 while riding roller skates and from how she tells him that she used to watch him from the tree during the annual Larabee soiree.  It would seem that they'd have to be similar ages (give or take a few years) based on the roller skate story.  Although, I could see him being a bit older than her and kissing her not in a romantic or lustful way but in a friend way, and Sabrina taking the kiss the wrong way and thinking it meant more than it did.  In real life, Holden was 11 years older than Hepburn and I think he looks it. 

 

I think Wagner would have been a good substitute and he looks similar enough to Holden that it's plausible they could have been related.  Though I don't think Wagner quite has the charm that Holden has-- and he's definitely got the preppy pretty boy look down.  I don't know if he strikes me as the playboy type. 

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...Holden was 11 years older than Hepburn and I think he looks it. 

 

 

Yep, I agree Speedy, and especially considering that many people think Holden is, or looks, too old for the part he played in the movie PICNIC, and which was filmed just a year later.

 

Yep, I think your earlier thought about the "what if" scenario of Holden playing the Linus character is very intriguing.

 

 

 

I think Wagner would have been a good substitute and he looks similar enough to Holden that it's plausible they could have been related.  Though I don't think Wagner quite has the charm that Holden has-- and he's definitely got the preppy pretty boy look down.  I don't know if he strikes me as the playboy type. 

 

Maybe not, but just two years later in '56, Wagner played sort of a "evil playboy" who fools a lot of people before being found out for what he is in the film A KISS BEFORE DYING, and I thought he was pretty good in that one.

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