Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder

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Dave Annable, Billy Wilder and Odette Yustman - Dave Annable, Odette Yustman Sunday 12th December 2010 at Hammer Museum Los Angeles, California

Dave Annable, Billy Wilder and Odette Yustman
Dave Annable, Billy Wilder and Odette Yustman
Dave Annable, Billy Wilder and Odette Yustman

Sabrina Review


OK
I'm afraid your opinion of Billy Wilder's 1954 romantic comedy classic Sabrina depends on your opinion of Audrey Hepburn. And even if you find her enchanting, a delicate flower, you may have a tough road to hoe.

Hepburn plays the title character, a shy girl who's desperately in love with David Larrabee (William Holden), a rakish Long Island playboy whose too busy chasing skirts and getting married to notice the wispy chauffeur's daughter. Nearly suicidal over David's lack of attention, she reluctantly goes to cooking school in Paris for a couple of years. It's time well spent. She meets a wealthy baron, gets a great new wardrobe, and secures some self-confidence. "I've learned how to live of the world and in the world," she writes her father before leaving Paris.

Continue reading: Sabrina Review

Ace In The Hole Review


Extraordinary
Ace in the Hole is simultaneously regarded as a classic noir and considered one of the hardest major films to find on the market. How could a film nominated for a major Oscar be so tricky to obtain? Chalk it up to biting the hand that feeds you.

Billy Wilder made Ace in the Hole as a follow-up to the acclaimed Sunset Boulevard, essentially writing his own ticket in Hollywood. The story he opted to make was a cruel indictment of the American media, one which has only become more accurate and biting over the years. The film opens with reporter Chuck Tatum, a refugee from big city newspapers who's now stuck in a desolate New Mexico town. Desperate to get back on top (and earn enough money to feed his drinking habit), he stumbles upon the perfect story after toiling away for a miserable year in the sticks: A treasure hunter (a looter, if you will) has gotten stuck in a cave-in in some old Indian caves. Guy in a well: That'll sell papers, right?

Continue reading: Ace In The Hole Review

Love In The Afternoon (1957) Review


Good
Audrey Hepburn and Billy Wilder put together another Sabrina -- that is, a relatively staid romantic comedy where Hepburn fals for a much older American. It's over two hours of overwrought sentimentalism and terribly corny jokes, pegged to a hard-to-swallow love affair between Hepburn and an ancient Gary Cooper. Generally regarded as a classic, probably by people who haven't sat through it. Based on the book Ariane.

The Spirit Of St. Louis Review


Very Good
Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Stewart -- "Americana" doesn't have a better definition than these two larger-than-life characters. The film is a straightforward tale of the making of Lucky Lindy, focusing on his 1927 Trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, 33 1/2 harrowing hours that inaugurated the era of flight. Billy Wilder's movie isn't particularly daring in its telling, but as a piece of American -- and world -- history, The Spirit of St. Louis is something everyone should see.

Love In The Afternoon Review


Good
Audrey Hepburn and Billy Wilder put together another Sabrina -- that is, a relatively staid romantic comedy where Hepburn fals for a much older American. It's over two hours of overwrought sentimentalism and terribly corny jokes, pegged to a hard-to-swallow love affair between Hepburn and an ancient Gary Cooper. Generally regarded as a classic, probably by people who haven't sat through it. Based on the book Ariane.

Sunset Boulevard Review


Essential
It's the Psycho of film noir.

Sunset Boulevard starts out telling one story -- about a down-on-his-luck writer and serious financial trouble -- and ends up telling another -- about an insane and faded silent-film star who lives in a decrepit old mansion on the titular boulevard. (Sunset Blvd. just doesn't look the same these days, does it.)

Continue reading: Sunset Boulevard Review

Some Like It Hot Review


Excellent
"Nobody's perfect," as Joe E. Brown's Osgood memorably utters, thus finishing off one of Hollywood's greatest screwball comedies. And indeed, Some Like It Hot is far from a perfect film. But Billy Wilder took what might have been a rather banal story line and juiced it up into classic territory by squeezing Monroe, Curtis, and Lemmon into dresses and giving them some of the wittiest one-liners on film.

To be sure, Tony Curtis thinks he looks like Cary Grant in his sailor uniform but he really looks more like Charles Nelson Reilly, and Marilyn is visibly, obviously trashed out of her gourd for the entire picture, but hey, it was fun in the sun at the Hotel Del Coronado in the Prohibition era, and even the mob on their collective tails can't put a dent in the fun.

Continue reading: Some Like It Hot Review

The Spirit Of St. Louis Review


Very Good
Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Stewart -- "Americana" doesn't have a better definition than these two larger-than-life characters. The film is a straightforward tale of the making of Lucky Lindy, focusing on his 1927 Trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, 33 1/2 harrowing hours that inaugurated the era of flight. Billy Wilder's movie isn't particularly daring in its telling, but as a piece of American -- and world -- history, The Spirit of St. Louis is something everyone should see.

The Fortune Cookie Review


Excellent
This very funny Billy Wilder comedy actually stands as the first on-screen pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and Matthau took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Whiplash Willie, a shyster attorney who convinces his cameraman brother-in-law (Lemmon) to sue the NFL when he's injured a football game, exaggerating his injuries. A bit long (over two hours), but Wilder's use of title cards to present numbered "chapters" keeps things moving along pretty well. The banter between Lemmon and Matthau is, as always, priceless.

The Front Page Review


Very Good
Billy Wilder's version of the classic play carries a lot of fond memories for former newspapermen like myself, but I don't expect The Front Page to resonate quite so well with the rest of the populace. Lemmon plays it straight as a reporter bent on getting out of the business in order to get married while Matthau's hilariously over-the-top editor does everything in his power to keep him on the payroll during a fantastic jailbreak in 1920s Chicago. It drags in the middle, but a good first act and a stellar finale make the movie completely worthwhile.
Billy Wilder

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Billy Wilder Movies

Sunset Boulevard Movie Review

Sunset Boulevard Movie Review

It's the Psycho of film noir.Sunset Boulevard starts out telling one story -- about a...

Some Like It Hot Movie Review

Some Like It Hot Movie Review

"Nobody's perfect," as Joe E. Brown's Osgood memorably utters, thus finishing off one of Hollywood's...

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