Author Topic: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder  (Read 15968 times)

Adam

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Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« on: November 12, 2009, 05:13:39 PM »
Billy Wilder is the topic. 10 weeks, 10 films.

Any experts out there, please feel free to chime in on essential Wilder.
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ses

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 09:54:39 PM »
I am no expert, but from what I have seen, I would include these films:

Double Indemnity (1944)
Sunset Blvd.  (1950)
Ace in the Hole (1951)
Stalag 17  (1953)
Witness for the Prosecution  (1957)
Some Like It Hot  (1959)
The Apartment  (1960)
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1SO

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 10:46:51 PM »
He's my 2nd favorite director.

The Major and the Minor (1942)
Double Indemnity (1944)
The Lost Weekend (1945)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Ace in the Hole (1951)
Stalag 17 (1953)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Apartment (1960)
One, Two, Three (1961)
Irma la Douce (1963)

Most of these titles require no explanation.  The 9 in the middle are essential. 
With The Major and the Minor, you see Wilder develop his style.  It's starts very clunky, almost painfully so.  But it grows into what you call a typical Wilder screwball farce.
Irma la Douce shows Wilder at the start of his decline.  All the Wilder trademarks are there in the writing and directing, but he pushes things a bit too far.  It's busier than it needs to be, ultimately feeling stretched kind of thin.

If neither of these approaches interests you there's always The Fortune Cookie (1966), which is considered by many to be Wilder's last really good film.  I, however, didn't like the film much and think it's only memorable for being a Lemmon & Matthau team-up as well as the film which won Matthau an Academy Award.

pixote

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 11:10:49 PM »
Are you considering showing at least one of the films he wrote but didn't direct?

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Adam

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 11:41:49 PM »
Everything is on the table.
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pixote

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 12:00:18 AM »
Midnight strikes me as essential, given Wilder's (and Sturges') feelings about Leisen's handling of their scripts.  It'd also be useful, as a point of comparison, in drawing out Wilder's directorial style.

Otherwise, I'm happy as long as you include Stalag 17.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Junior

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 12:22:09 AM »
I really super enjoyed Kiss Me, Stupid. That's the only of his that I've seen, though.
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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 01:45:19 AM »
Midnight strikes me as essential, given Wilder's (and Sturges') feelings about Leisen's handling of their scripts.  It'd also be useful, as a point of comparison, in drawing out Wilder's directorial style.

pixote

Seconded.  He co-wrote Ninotchka as well, didn't he?
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Beth

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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 06:35:57 PM »
You could try doing a "light" and "dark" side of Wilder, both of which have at least three essentials in them -

Light: "Some Like it Hot," "The Seven Year Itch" and "The Apartment"
Dark: "Double Indemnity," "The Lost Weekend" and "Sunset Boulevard"

It's hard to ignore "Stalag 17," "Sabrina" and "Witness for the Prosecution" as well.
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Re: Next U. of Chicago Class: Billy Wilder
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 07:48:14 PM »
Now this is a class I would be interested in taking.

 

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