Poll

What's your favorite film by William Wyler?

Hell's Heroes
0 (0%)
Counsellor at Law
0 (0%)
The Good Fairy
0 (0%)
These Three
0 (0%)
Dodsworth
0 (0%)
Dead End
0 (0%)
Jezebel
1 (3.4%)
Wuthering Heights
0 (0%)
The Westerner
0 (0%)
The Letter
0 (0%)
The Little Foxes
1 (3.4%)
Mrs. Miniver
0 (0%)
The Best Years of Our Lives
8 (27.6%)
The Heiress
1 (3.4%)
Detective Story
0 (0%)
Carrie
0 (0%)
Roman Holiday
6 (20.7%)
The Desperate Hours
0 (0%)
Friendly Persuasion
0 (0%)
The Big Country
1 (3.4%)
Ben-Hur
2 (6.9%)
The Children's Hour
0 (0%)
The Collector
2 (6.9%)
How to Steal a Million
0 (0%)
Funny Girl
1 (3.4%)
Haven't seen any
5 (17.2%)
Don't like any
1 (3.4%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Author Topic: Wyler, William  (Read 3045 times)

worm@work

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Re: Director's Best: William Wyler
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 11:56:56 AM »
Such a great movie. Walter Huston's best performance?
He's so so so good in it. Broke my heart.

sdedalus

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Re: Director's Best: William Wyler
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 11:59:31 AM »
Still waiting to hear about Naruse. . .
I'll upload it tonight for sure. My upload speeds are pretty rubbish right now with the snowstorm.

If we got that much snow, our power would be out for a month.
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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Director's Best: William Wyler
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2013, 01:00:20 PM »
Roman Holiday

MartinTeller

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Re: Director's Best: William Wyler
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2013, 04:21:17 PM »
Poll leader The Best Years of Our Lives coming to Blu-Ray, November 5th.

1SO

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Re: Director's Best: William Wyler
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2014, 10:51:13 PM »

The Good Fairy

The film begins with Alan Hale walking into an Orphanage. He points to a large sign that reads "Municipal Orphanage" and says to the person who let him in, "this is this of course." And simple as that I was hooked. The screenplay is by Preston Sturges, who has a magical way with dialogue. The lines are often not nearly as funny as written but like with Mamet you have to give them the correct rhythm. Get that right and Shazam!

The Good Fairy gets it right a couple of dozen times, with wonderful performances by Hale (playing rich and respectable for once), Frank Morgan (fluster stuttering like a pro) and Eric Blore, who goes a bit too far but also has a hilarious rant against architects who put too many stairs into their designs. There's a moment where Morgan and Blore sit to dinner and compete for Margaret Sullavan's affection and I would've been happy if we never left that table.

That's right, the film stars Margaret Sullavan. If you love Borzage and/or Lubitsch then you must love Sullavan, who does an adorkable job in the Cinderella role of Luisa 'Lu' Ginglebuscher. Not that this is a simple Cinderella story. It also mixes in Emma, Amile and all those other good rom/coms. Wyler may be the director, but I wouldn't blame you if you mistook it for Lubitsch. It tries too hard in places and with Sturges you have to be okay with his long way around a plot and times where humor is tied into the volume of the dialogue. This makes me want to Watchlist everything he's ever written.
RATING: * * * - Very Good
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 12:12:57 AM by 1SO »

1SO

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Re: Director's Best: William Wyler
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2014, 08:34:17 PM »
Felt like reposting because I'm proud of this review, it's from 3 1/2 years ago and the film is a buried treasure, my #165 of All Time.



The Collector
"I suppose it was the loneliness and being far away from anything else that made me decide to buy the house. And after I did I told myself I'd never go through with the plan, even though I'd made all the preparations and knew where she was every minute of the day."

I wasn't sure at first if The Collector would hold up to my respectful memory of it.  The first 20 minutes is needlessly slow.  A mostly two-character drama about a psychologically wounded butterfly collector who kidnaps an attractive woman in the hopes that she will come to love him, the set up is a lengthy, wordless section where predator (Freddie, played by Terence Stamp) stalks Prey (Miranda, played by Samantha Eggar).  I would have loved to spend this opening learning more about our two leads, but we only learn what Freddie tells us in the opening narration (quoted above).  It's rather dull, with an overbearing score by Maurice Jarre.

A bit later, there's an awkward flashback that shows Freddie's outsider status in society.  It's cartoonishly directed, like the coworkers in Wanted.  However, every time Freddie brings up his deep rooted feelings of alienation - a major theme of the picture - I reflected back to this scene.

MIRANDA: We all want what we can't have.
FREDDIE: We all take what we can get.

The bulk of the film is the interplay between Freddie and Miranda and this is a classic case of "they don't make 'em like that anymore."  Rather than rely on sensational suspense pieces, or cheap and tawdry violence and sexuality, The Collector gets under your skin merely on the basis of the great performances, the verbal battles.  It's cat and mouse where the mouse must constantly talk the cat out of eating her.  That being said, there is a perverse air to the claustrophobic setting.  The film feels as sleazy as you can get for 1965, a mixture of Freddie's disturbing look at the world and Miranda's inability to hide her disdain - which Freddie interprets to be based on social class and not the fact that he's her captor - as well as her spectacular beauty.

During a great, very telling moment at the beginning of the film Freddie grabs hold of Miranda, and is in such close proximity can't help blurting out "I love you."  He immediately recoils in shame, begins to make excuses like a lover who suffered from (*ahem*) premature release.  Freddie constantly insists his attraction to her isn't sexual, yet time and again his actions show a man fighting with his primitive nature.  He says he wants her to get to know him, but when she asks questions his answers are terse.  He's walled off.  She constantly tries to appease his requests, but he's too damaged by this point to let his guard down and trust her.  He finds reason to fault her for not trying to connect, but the problem is his own.  (Part of what I love about The Collector is you can interpret the relationship different ways.  Many will argue that Miranda is partly responsible for what happens to her.  That there was a better way to handle the situation.)

It's worth noting that Stamp and Eggar won Best Actor and Actress at Cannes.  Eggar went on to earn an Oscar nomination.  This is all deserved.  While there's a very suspenseful sequence involving a bath, and a couple of physical fights they're not nearly as interesting as the two leads and their characters engaging in psychological battles.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 08:38:35 PM by 1SO »

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Wyler, William
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2015, 04:49:25 AM »
Roman Holiday
How to Steal a Million
Wuthering Heights
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1SO

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Re: Wyler, William
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2015, 01:29:40 AM »
The Children's Hour (1961)
* * * - Good
Children suck, gay bashing is terrible and William Wyler is a great director. Maybe this was preaching to the choir, but it's a powerful sermon with many an intense or uncomfortable moment. Age has softened some of the sharp edges, but there's plenty to cut deep with.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 01:34:08 AM by 1SO »

Corndog

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Re: Wyler, William
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2016, 12:15:27 PM »
1. The Best Years of Our Lives (4)
2. Roman Holiday (4)
3. The Heiress (3)
4. Ben-Hur (3)
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Paul Phoenix

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Re: Wyler, William
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2016, 02:09:20 PM »
Carrie
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

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