Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder

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University Press of Kentucky, 2010 M02 5 - 464 pages

One of the most accomplished writers and directors of classic Hollywood, Billy Wilder (1906--2002) directed numerous acclaimed films, including Sunset Boulevard (1950), Sabrina (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959). Featuring Gene D. Phillips's unique, in-depth critical approach, Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder provides a groundbreaking overview of a filmmaking icon. Wilder began his career as a screenwriter in Berlin but, because of his Jewish heritage, sought refuge in America when Germany came under Nazi control. Making fast connections in Hollywood, Wilder immediately made the jump from screenwriter to director. His classic films Five Graves to Cairo (1943), Double Indemnity (1945), and The Lost Weekend (1945) earned Academy Awards for best picture, director, and screenplay. During the 1960s, Wilder continued to direct and produce controversial comedies, including Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) and The Apartment (1960), which won Oscars for best picture and director. This definitive biography reveals that Wilder was, and remains, one of the most influential directors in filmmaking.


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Fred Zinnemann Speaking
The Early Screenplays
The Major and the Minor and Five Graves to Cairo
Double Indemnity
The Lost Weekend and Die Todesmühlen
The Emperor Waltz and A Foreign Affair
Sunset Boulevard
The Apartment
One Two Three and Irma la Douce
Kiss Me Stupid and The Fortune Cookie
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
The Front Page and Avanti
Fedora and Buddy Buddy
A Touch of Class

Ace in the Hole and Stalag 17
Sabrina and The Seven Year Itch
The Spirit of St Louis and Love in the Afternoon
Witness for the Prosecution
Some Like It
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2010)

Gene D. Phillips is author of Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chandler, Detective Fiction, and Film Noir and Godfather: The Intimate Francis Ford Coppola.

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