Catalogue

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Some like it Wilder : the life and controversial films of Billy Wilder /
Gene D. Phillips.
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : The University Press of Kentucky, c2010.
description
xiv, 446 p. : ill.
ISBN
0813125707 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780813125701 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : The University Press of Kentucky, c2010.
isbn
0813125707 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780813125701 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
From Berlin to Hollywood : the early screenplays -- Champagne and tears : Ninotchka, Midnight, and Ball of fire -- New directions : The major and the minor and Five graves to Cairo -- The rise of film noir : Double indemnity -- Through a glass darkly : The lost weekend and Die todesmühlen -- Wunderbar : The emperor waltz and A foreign affair -- Dark windows : Sunset Boulevard -- Barbed wire satire : Ace in the hole and Stalag 17 -- Fascination : Sabrina and The seven year itch -- Light up the sky : The spirit of St. Louis and Love in the afternoon -- Remains to be seen : Witness for the prosecution -- The gang's all here : Some like it hot -- Love on the dole : The apartment -- Love on the run : One, two, three and Irma La Douce -- Grifters : Kiss me, stupid and The fortune cookie -- The game's afoot : The private life of Sherlock Holmes -- The perfect blendship : The front page and Avanti! -- Twilight years : Fedora and Buddy buddy -- Epilogue : a touch of class.
catalogue key
7029859
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Although his career spanned fifty years and included more than fifty films, Austrian-American film director Billy Wilder (1906--2002) may be best known for the legendary shot of Marilyn Monroe's dress billowing over a subway grating in The Seven Year Itch (1955). This "shot seen round the world" is representative not only of Hollywood's golden era of cinema but also of one of its most prolific and brilliant directors. Wilder, whose filmography includes such classics as Sunset Boulevard (1950), Sabrina (1954), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959), is often remembered for his versatility, biting wit, and passion for challenging social and moral conventions. Author Gene D. Phillips departs from the traditional biography in Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder, offering new insights into the acclaimed director's professional and private life. In preparation for the book, Phillips conducted personal interviews with Wilder and other key players from the legendary director's life and times. Phillips's unique combination of analysis and biographical detail brings Wilder to life, as both an artist and man. Phillips traces Wilder's path from Berlin, where he worked as a scriptwriter for one of the city's largest studios, to Hollywood, where he would quickly establish himself as a premier film director. Forming a partnership with writer-producer Charles Brackett, Wilder directed the classic films Five Graves to Cairo (1943), Double Indemnity (1945), and The Lost Weekend (1945), which earned Academy Awards for best picture, best director, and best screenplay. During the 1960s, Wilder continued to direct and produce controversial comedies, including Kiss Me Stupid (1964) and The Apartment (1960). The Apartment brought Wilder another round of Oscars for best picture, best director, and best screenplay.Wilder's maverick approach and independent artistic vision pushed boundaries and ensured his legacy as one of the Hollywood greats. Sharply written, Some Like It Wilder serves as a comprehensive companion to Wilder's films, offering a personalized and heartfelt account of the life and genius of this compelling director.
Flap Copy
Although his career spanned fifty years and included more than fifty films, Austrian-American film director Billy Wilder (1906--2002) may be best known for the legendary shot of Marilyn Monroe's dress billowing over a subway grating in The Seven Year Itch (1955). This "shot seen round the world" is representative not only of Hollywood's golden era of cinema but also of one of its most prolific and brilliant directors. Wilder, whose filmography includes such classics as Sunset Boulevard (1950), Sabrina (1954), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959), is often remembered for his versatility, biting wit, and passion for challenging social and moral conventions.Author Gene D. Phillips departs from the traditional biography in Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder, offering new insights into the acclaimed director's professional and private life. In preparation for the book, Phillips conducted personal interviews with Wilder and other key players from the legendary director's life and times. Phillips's unique combination of analysis and biographical detail brings Wilder to life, as both an artist and man.Phillips traces Wilder's path from Berlin, where he worked as a scriptwriter for one of the city's largest studios, to Hollywood, where he would quickly establish himself as a premier film director. Forming a partnership with writer-producer Charles Brackett, Wilder directed the classic films Five Graves to Cairo (1943), Double Indemnity (1945), and The Lost Weekend (1945), which earned Academy Awards for best picture, best director, and best screenplay. During the 1960s, Wilder continued to direct and produce controversial comedies, including Kiss Me Stupid (1964) and The Apartment (1960). The Apartment brought Wilder another round of Oscars for best picture, best director, and best screenplay.Wilder's maverick approach and independent artistic vision pushed boundaries and ensured his legacy as one of the Hollywood greats. Sharply written, Some Like It Wilder serves as a comprehensive companion to Wilder's films, offering a personalized and heartfelt account of the life and genius of this compelling director.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-07-01:
In comparison to Maurice Zolotow's journalistic Billy Wilder in Hollywood (CH, Dec'77), or Ed Sikov's On Sunset Boulevard (CH, Apr'99, 36-4396), or the amusing Conversations with Wilder, by Cameron Crowe (1999)--the last of which puts the reader at Wilder's elbow--the present book, its title notwithstanding, is not remarkable for its humorous treatment. Far from a laugh riot, this is biography and analysis. In fewer than 15 pages, Phillips rushes Wilder (1906-2002) from his birthplace in what is now Poland to Vienna to Berlin to Paris to Los Angeles; Kevin Lally took 60 pages to cover the same territory in Wilder Times (CH, Dec'96, 34-2073). Phillips leaves the remaining pages for Wilder's career. The book started as an interview, and Phillips later expanded it to cover the career. Without doubt, he has read and seen everything related to Wilder, and he summarizes it all. And he understands problems of adaptation better than most who write books about writer-directors: his chapter on Double Indemnity (1944), which Wilder and Raymond Chandler, working in nearly perfect synchronization, adapted from a story by James M. Cain to create a noir classic, does not disappoint. Wilder's life story, told before, is here updated. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, general readers. J. M. Welsh emeritus, Salisbury University
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-02-01:
In a typical "life and works" fashion, Phillips (Beyond the Epic: The Life & Films of David Lean; Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chandler, Detective Fiction, and Film Noir) begins with biographical information about filmmaker Billy Wilder's humble beginnings in Austria, his move to Berlin, and his eventual flight from the Nazis to the United States. Phillips intertwines Wilder's life story, drawn from archival records and his interviews with Wilder, with his films (e.g., Sunset Boulevard; Sabrina; Some Like It Hot), providing a plot synopsis, quotes, anecdotes, and mildly interesting trivia for each film. Verdict Charlotte Chandler's Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder; A Personal Biography and Kevin Lally's Wilder Times: The Life of Billy Wilder discuss the same films and basic information Phillips compiled for this uninspired addition to Billy Wilder tributes. Not an essential purchase.-Rosalind Dayen, South Regional Lib., Broward Cty., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Featuring Gene D. Phillips' 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....This definitive biography reveals that Wilder was, and remains, one of the most influential directors in filmmaking" -- Turner Classic Movies
"Phillips intertwines Wilder's life story, drawn from archival records and his interviews with Wilder, with his films, providing a plot synopsis, quotes, anecdotes, and mildly interesting trivia for each film." -- Library Journal
"Phillips presents Wilder in accurate detail and sets many legends to rest. He understands and analyzes each project with support from his copious research, countless interviews with those who knew and worked with Wilder, as well as an interview with the grand master himself.... He goes beyond the surface and deep into the complex mind and soul of the famous film director.... This book is, in my view, definitive." -- Vincent LoBrutto, author of Martin Scorsese: A Biography
"[Phillips] tells the story of this iconic filmmaker's journey from being a writer who escaped Nazi controlled Germany to becoming an Academy award-winning director." -- kydirect.net
""Phillips, who interviewed Wilder several times, has mastered the voluminous correspondence between Wilder and his antagonists and collaborators, which reveals a hidden history of studio filmmaking that often contradicts the myths."--dga quarterly" --
"Some Like it Wilder is an absolute must for any fan of film history or for film history collections in general." -- Wisconsin Bookwatch
"The real trick is to keep the narrative interesting, and Father Phillips is certainly up to the task, so much so that his book has recently been touted on the America Movie Classics cable television network -- surely a promotional coup for the University Press of Kentucky. Wilder's life story told many times before is here usefully updated." -- J.M. Welsh, Literature/Film Quarterly
"Wilder often clashed with the strict production codes and national conservatism in order to present lively characters and plots that were out of the ordinary. He left behind a rich legacy and the reputation for being a master at his craft." -- King Features Syndicate, Inc.
""Wilder often clashed with the strict production codes and national conservatism in order to present lively characters and plots that were out of the ordinary. He left behind a rich legacy and the reputation for being a master at his craft."--Vincent LoBrutto, author of Martin Scorsese: A Biography" --
"Wilder's life story, told before, is very usefully updated here. Recommended." -- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, February 2010
Choice, July 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
It is a definitive look at the career of Billy Wilder. Each film has interesting stories connected to it. Very insightful and entertaining, especially for a movie buff.

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