Happy Birthday, Billy Wilder! (Bloggers Beguile Us with Bday Bash Gifts)

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For the 2nd year in a row, the ‘Cubish duo’ Aurora aka @CitizenScreen of Once Upon A Screen and yours truly of Outspoken & Freckled aka @IrishJayhawk66 are so in awe of the mega talents of writer/director Billy Wilder that hosting a birthday party blogathon in his honor is simply a must! I think Billy would appreciate the best gifts are those in the form of words about film, don’t you agree?

My lovely co-host Aurora kicked off the day shift of this birthday blogathon bash (see her post here ) as she has been tweeting out fab tweets all afternoon of our talented participants, and now passes the baton to me. Look for my tweets this evening at @IrishJayhawk66 for additional participants as they trickle in.

So let’s honor him and continue this ‘Wilder birthday party’ by reading all of these fascinating posts on all things Wilder…

Wilder Entries

Movie Movie Blog Blog – “Straight Down the Line” – The Importance of Dialogue in Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity

Mib’s Instant Headache – Witness for the Prosecution

By Jeff a guest post on Once Upon a Screen – Considering the Cult Movies of Billy Wilder

Dial M for Movies – Billy Wilder vs. Censorship

Moon in Gemini – Remembering My First Movie: Irma La Deuce

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Billy Wilder and the Marx Brothers – A Match Almost Made in Heaven

Love Letters to Old Hollywood – Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche are John Barrymore’s parents in… Midnight (1939)

Cinephilia – Reaching for the Moon

Pop Culture Reverie – A Foreign Affair

Girls Do Film – Billy Wilder and The Apartment: “Shut Up and Deal”

Goose Pimply All Over – The Seven Year Itch

Movie Rob – The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes

Wide Screen World – Stalag 17

Caftan Woman – Rhythm on the River and The Emperor Waltz

The Stop Button – Five Graves to Cairo

Le Mot du Cinephiliaque – One, Two, Three

Old Hollywood Films – The Fortune Cookie

Movie Rob – Buddy Buddy

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood – Midnight

Serendipitous Anachronisms – The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes

A Shroud of Thoughts – The Apartment

Twenty Four Frames – The Major and the Minor

The Wonderful World of Cinema – Love in the Afternoon

Silver Screenings – Billy Wilder’s Life-Affirming Ninotchka

Critica Retro – Kiss Me, Stupid

The Cinematic Frontier – Sunset Blvd.

Outspoken & Freckled – Some Like it Hot

Shadows and Satin – Famous Couples of Noir: Norma and Joe (and possibly Joe and Betty, too!) in Sunset Boulevard

Cinephiled – The Major and the Minor

Stars and Letters – Correspondence on The Spirit of St. Louis

Flickin’ Out – The Lost Weekend

Almost Ginger – Some Like it Hot

Be sure to check back for blog posts still yet to come- and follow us on twitter, too. Great writers deserve praise (hence our reason for this annual event) so please leave kind feedback for these extraordinary bloggers! (Because that’s what Lubitsch would do!)

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Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

SomeLikeItHot_poster

To honor Billy Wilder’s birthday (today would have been his 109th birthday), I’m sharing my thoughts on one of his most beloved comedies of all-time, SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959). Written (along with long-time writing partner IAL Diamond), produced, and directed by Billy Wilder, this film is a comedy that’s both classic and contemporary. Then and now.

some-like-it-hot-trio

It was a slight change of pace for Wilder who was better known for his darker edge in filmmaking as evident by the majority of his films up through this time. (And they continued thereafter.) But here was a Billy Wilder film that was pure light-hearted fun, with a slapstick tone reminiscent of the silent comedies.

The story is simple enough. Two broke and struggling musicians (Tony Curtis as Joe and Jack Lemmon as Jerry) in 1929 Chicago witness a mob hit after a speakeasy raid and find themselves desperate enough (both financially and eager to hide from the mafia) to take on a gig with impossible odds. They’ve got the musical skills to fit the bill and the sojourn to breezy Seminole Ritz in Miami would be a warm welcome from the freezing midwest winter. But the cross-dressing in order to join this all-female band requires a leap in courage – and adaptation, in more ways than they bargained for.

SomeLikeItHot_tonyaandJackWalk_trainstation

The simple act of walking becomes their first lesson on the challenges of being female

 

like jello on springs...

like Jell-O on springs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early on, they discover the challenges of passing as women; from the wardrobe, even down to the walk. They meet the beautiful Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, one of the members of their new troupe and Joe (dressed as ‘Josephine’) is fully smitten. Meanwhile, Jerry (dressed as ‘Daphne’) finds he’s become a target of cupid’s arrow himself. Joe E. Brown portrays the wealthy ‘mature playboy’ Osgood Fielding III, in dogged pursuit of Daphne. As you might imagine, it doesn’t take long before the mafia tracks the boys down to their beach side hideaway. The hilarious antics and chaotic pace entangle as the fellas do their best to keep their gender roles in check, and balance their romantic pursuits, all while trying to save their skin from the mob’s hunt.

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Billy Wilder exemplifies that he could handle anything… from light-hearted comedies like this, to thought-provoking dramas. His legacy as one of the very best writer/directors in Hollywood reflected dramas that had some elements of dark comedy in it, and comedies with flickers of darkness underneath, as well. Let’s face it, we all know that tragedy and comedy are just 2 sides of the same coin of storytelling. And Wilder was the master like none other.

Some highlights of Wilder’s brilliant mastery in SOME LIKE IT HOT…

The Cast: It takes a skilled actor to command a great performance. But it takes a master director to bring out his/her very best. It helps to start with a stellar cast (no problem here) but you can’t fake chemistry. Curtis and Lemmon are a dynamic duo – both adept at comedy and drama and play off each other like they’ve been close chums their entire lives. I’m a bit biased; but for me, Jack Lemmon can do no wrong. He worked very well with Billy Wilder and their partnership across seven films remains one of the best actor/director collaborations in Hollywood history. And while it’s no secret that Wilder did not enjoy working with Monroe, it speaks volumes to their professionalism and skills to bring such iconic results.

The Writing: Billy Wilder would often take rather unexpected situations (like cross-dressing jazz musicians in the roaring twenties on the lam from the mob) for his stories then highlight the most fascinating characters that become vibrantly alive and real, thanks to his writing. We are pulled in and can’t get enough. Here’s an example of one of my favorite scenes that showcases this; starting when Joe asks Jerry (giddily shaking maracas, still dressed up as Daphne from his date), “who’s the lucky girl?” to which Jerry responds “I am”:

Some other fabulous lines:

Sugar: “Water polo? Isn’t that terribly dangerous?”

Junior: “I’ll say. I had two ponies drowned under me.”

——

Sugar: “Real diamonds! They must be worth their weight in gold!”

—–

Sugar: “Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.”

—–

Sweet Sue: “Are you two from the Poliakoff agency?” 

Josephine: “Yes, we’re the new girls.” 

Daphne: “Brand new!”

—–

Sugar: “I come from this musical family. My mother is a piano teacher and my father was a conductor.” 

Joe: “Where did he conduct?” 

Sugar: “On the Baltimore and Ohio.”

—–

Osgood: “I am Osgood Fielding the third.” 

Daphne: “I’m Cinderella the second.”

—–

Osgood: “You must be quite a girl.” 

Daphne: “Wanna bet?”

Note, cross-dressing is not as relevant today as a vehicle for comedy as it once was as a premise, simply because we have evolved as a society that is more aware and accepting of transgender, transsexual, and cross-dressing populations. Keep in mind, the ‘high jinks of cross-dressing’ as a comedy tool has been utilized in a multitude of films and TV shows. But SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) holds up better than most because it doesn’t rely upon that element as a singular joke or gag to occupy the entire film. Billy Wilder was smart enough to know that. His talents of layering multiple characters and sub stories, while creating delightful obstacles of chaos resulted in cinematic magic. Magic that is still as contemporary as it is a classic.

I’ll leave you with some behind-the-scenes snapshots and the man behind the magic, Billy Wilder, as he orchestrates his talented cast in SOME LIKE IT HOT…

Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe get direction from Billy Wilder- in matching swimsuits

Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe get direction from Billy Wilder- in matching swimsuits

getting ready for a scene, outside

getting in the drag mode, in slippers

Tony Curtis in Josephine wardrobe, as Wilder checks details

Tony Curtis in Josephine wardrobe, as Wilder checks details

Billy Wilder shows Jack Lemmon how to cut a rug in full Daphyne garb

Billy Wilder shows Jack Lemmon how to cut a rug in full Daphne garb

Joe E. Brown (Osgood Fielding III) teaches Jack Lemmon (Daphne) how to tango. Director Billy Wilder observes.

Joe E. Brown (Osgood Fielding III) teaches Jack Lemmon (Daphne) how to tango. Director Billy Wilder observes.

Billy giving direction to Marilyn for the 'train station runway' scene.

Billy giving direction to Marilyn for the ‘train station runway’ scene.

Makeup was an essential factor in convincingly playing Josephine and Daphne. Tony Curtis pictured here in the makeup chair.

Makeup was an essential factor in convincingly playing Josephine and Daphne. Tony Curtis pictured here in the makeup chair.

Wardrobe also played a key role in convincing cross-dressing. Here famous designer Orry-Kelly checks details and fit.

“Does this make my ass look big?” Wardrobe also played a key role in convincing cross-dressing. Here, famous designer Orry-Kelly checks for details and fit.

This article was my contribution to the 2nd annual BILLY WILDER BIRTHDAY BLOGATHON, hosted by the ever-lovely Aurora aka @CitizenScreen of Once Upon A Screen and yours truly of Outspoken & Freckled. Please explore both host sites as each of us will list the many, talented participants’ posts- enjoy!

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And happy birthday, Billy!!

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ANNOUNCEMENT! 2nd Annual BILLY WILDER Blogathon

I reached out to my Cubish cinema sister Aurora of ONCE UPON A SCREEN aka @CitizenScreen to see if she wanted to reprise our BILLY WILDER birthday blogathon again this year. As we contemplated our insanely busy schedules, we agreed we are of course out of our minds to add anything else to our plates- but of course we’ll happily celebrate Billy’s birthday in style. After all, “what would Lubitsch do?”

The Billy Wilder Blogathon

This is all about Billy Wilder.  The great.

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Beginning his screenwriting career in 1929 Germany, Wilder would make a definitive mark on Hollywood from behind the camera, both by way of his pen and later as a premier director.  Films written by or directed by Billy Wilder continue to spark debate and adoration to this day thanks to his sharp wit and memorable imagery. Wilder directed only 27 films yet stands among an elite group of seven directors who have won Best Picture, Director and Screenplay Oscars.

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These may be mere numbers contrived from opinion, but they are nonetheless impressive:  Five Billy Wilder films are listed on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of 100 Funniest Movies of all time: Some Like It Hot (1959) is listed at #1, The Apartment (1960) at #20, The Seven Year Itch (1955) at #51, Ninotchka (1939) at #52 and Ball of Fire (1941) at #92. Four Wilder films are on the AFI list of 100 Greatest Movies of all time: Sunset Blvd. (1950) at #16, Some Like It Hot (1959) at #22, Double Indemnity (1944) at #29 and The Apartment (1960) at #80. And perhaps most astonishing – when one considers his mere 27 films – is the fact that Wilder directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances.

Now, putting all stats and numbers aside, what makes Billy Wilder one of the greatest directors who ever lived is not reflected on a list nor is it illustrated by his numerous awards, but rather by his enduringly entertaining filmography. A Wilder film grabs the viewer from the opening shot and always leaves a lasting impression because a Wilder ending is always memorable.

For all of those reasons and because we’re girls gone Wilder, Aurora of ONCE UPON A SCREEN @CitizenScreen and I (Kellee @IrishJayhawk66) are giddy with excitement to announce the second annual Billy Wilder Blogathon.  As was the case last year, this will be a one-day event to celebrate this master’s work on what would have been the 109th anniversary of his birth on June 22. And we hope you are willing and able to join the celebration.

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billy banner monroe

Entries for this event can be anything Wilder related – commentaries on his films or television work, created by his pen or from his place behind the camera.  You choose, blog and post and we’ll be sure to enjoy it.  We are, however, encouraging no repeats to ensure as many of his classic works are covered.

And now the usual drill…

Participants:

  • Let us know which Billy Wilder film or TV program you’d like to dedicate a post to. Choose from any he wrote, directed or produced.
  • Post your entry by June 22 so we can properly promote it in celebration of his birthday.
  • Be sure to include the title of your blog, twitter tag, etc. or any information that would assist us in identifying your page and facilitate communication.
  • Please post one of the event banners on your site and in your entry to help us promote the Wilder love.
  • Aurora and I discourage repeat choices.  However, several bloggers have chosen the same Wilder film and knowing each person’s take will be different, we’re changing that policy.  In fairness, however, no more than two per movie if it comes to that.
  • Have fun!  It’s sure to be a Wilder time!

Participating Blogs and Wilder topics

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Double Indemnity

Once Upon a Screen – Ace in the Hole

The Cinematic Frontier – Sunset Blvd.

Mib’s Instant Headache – Witness for the Prosecution

Outspoken & Freckled – Some Like it Hot

Critica Retro – Kiss Me, Stupid

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood – Midnight

Shadows and Satin – Famous Couples of Noir: Norma and Joe (and possibly Joe and Betty, too!) in Sunset Boulevard

Wide Screen World – Stalag 17

Caftan Woman – Bing Crosby movies: The Emperor Waltz and Rhythm on the River

A Shroud of Thoughts – The Apartment

Old Hollywood Films – The Fortune Cookie

Cinephiled – The Major and the Minor

Rachel the Cinephile – Wilder and Lemmon films

Twenty Four Frames – The Major and the Minor

Moon in Gemini – Irma La Deuce

The Wonderful World of Cinema – Love in the Afternoon

Girls Do Film – The Apartment

Silver Screenings – Ninotchka screenplay

Pop Culture Reverie – A Foreign Affair

Cinephilia – Sabrina

Stars and Letters – Correspondence on The Spirit of St. Louis

Flickin’ Out – The Lost Weekend

Jeff – Fedora and Kiss Me, Stupid (guest post on Once Upon a Screen)

The Stop Button – Five Graves to Cairo

Almost Ginger – Some Like it Hot

Serendipitous Anachronisms – The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes

Movie Rob – Buddy Buddy and The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes

Goose Pimply All Over – The Seven Year Itch

Love Letters to Old Hollywood – Midnight

Le Mot du Cinephiliaque – One, Two Three

Shut up and deal.  And happy blogging!

Kellee

Happy Birthday Billy! The BILLY WILDER BLOGATHON is here…

STALAG 17 (1953)

stalag 17 poster

Billy Wilder was an Austrian born filmmaker/writer/director… and all-around cinema genius. Born Samuel Wilder on June 22, 1906 in Sucha, Austria, Wilder went from being a Viennese reporter to a free-lance writer in Berlin where he started working on film scripts in 1929. As Hitler rose to power, Wilder moved to Paris to direct his first film, as he feared his Jewish ancestry would threaten his existence in nazi occupied Germany. Via his film connections including friend Peter Lorre, he made a new home the United States. Once in the U.S. he found great success in writing and directing films. But it became a very personal film for Wilder when he made STALAG 17 (1953).

Robert Straus and Billy Wilder poke fun on the set of STALAG 17

Robert Straus and Billy Wilder poke fun on the set of STALAG 17

Billy Wilder giving direction to Otto Preminger

Billy Wilder giving direction to Otto Preminger

His parents, Berl and Gitla Siedlisker died at the hands of nazis. He discovered that his stepfather had died at a concentration camp in 1942 and his mother was murdered a year later in another concentration camp, Plaszow. Additionally, his grandmother died in 1943 in a Jewish ghetto. While he generally avoided discussing this dark and tragic topic openly, this horrific tragedy no doubt left and imprint on his life. His successes grew with films across the 30’s and 40’s and into the 50’s. But it was during the early 1950’s with films like ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) and STALAG 17, Wilder felt free to take a more cynical, personal cause approach to his filmmaking.

STALAG 17 was originally a play written by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski which ran on Broadway, as directed by Jose Ferrer, for 472 performances. When Wilder took it the big screen, Paramount wanted to downplay the German negativity to avoid offending West Germany audiences, so they suggested making the German officers Polish. Wilder refused. And despite solid profits from STALAG 17 (1953), Paramount felt less generous in sharing to make up for the financial loses from ACE IN THE HOLE (1951), which experienced less than stellar performance at the box office. (A film that was ahead of its time and is much more appreciated today.) Wilder made this his last film with Paramount.

This story is based on reflections of the real experiences from Stalag 17B in a POW camp in Austria. The big screen version begins with a voice-over narrative, as several Billy Wilder films did. At the POW camp where the entire story takes place, we are introduced to a cast of characters from one of the barracks and the nazi guards:

William Holden… Sgt. JJ Sefton

Don Taylor… Lt. James Dunbar

Otto Preminger… Oberst von Scherbach

Robert Strauss… Sgt. Stanislaus “Animal” Kuzawa

Harvey Lembeck… Sgt. Harry Shapiro

Richard Erdman… Sgt. “Hoffy” Hoffman

Peter Graves… Sgt. Frank Price

Neville Brand… Duke

Sig Ruman… Sgt. Johann Sebastian Schulz

Michael Moore… Sgt. Manfredi

Peter Baldwin… Sgt. Johnson

Robinson Stone… Joey

Robert Shawley… Sgt. “Blondie” Peterson

William Pierson… Marko the mailman

Gil Stratton… Sgt. Clarence Harvey “Cookie” Cook

[Warning: the following Synopsis will likely contain spoilers…]

Stalag 17

Stalag 17 confrontation

The men have planned an escape for two of the prisoners. They all discuss the details of the route inside the barracks: from a secret opening under the stove, over to the latrine, to an underground path to a spot near the fence by the woods nearby. The men show a unified presence to support the escape plan – all but one, Sgt. Sefton. Sefton is a hard-core cynic and the camp’s unapologetic black market profiteer. Instead of a ‘good luck’ send-off, he immediately starts taking bets against the two men making it successfully out of the camp. He’s certain they’ll fail, claiming the odds are not in their favor.

Unfortunately, Sefton’s predictions ring true as the entire camp is called to the muddy yard the next morning and the Nazi Commandant displays the two dead bodies in the center for all to see. As punishment, the guards make them fill in the escape tunnel and remove their stove. They can’t figure out how the guards figured out their plan. Two more prisoners are added to this barrack, including an officer, Lt. Dunbar, that reveals to the group how he foiled the nazis via destroying an integral point of transport. Sefton knows Dunbar from his past; when he attempted but failed to make officer level. He makes verbal jabs at Dunbar for being a spoiled little rich boy who he suggests bought his way in to being an officer. At mail call, a prisoner on crutches with a missing leg is able to smuggle in a radio. They briefly listen to details of the troop movements, before guards approach and they hide the radio.

The men let loose in the barracks

The men let loose in the barracks

Shapiro and "Animal" combat the Stalag 17 tension with their own Betty Grable dance

Shapiro and “Animal” combat the Stalag 17 tension with their own Betty Grable dance

Nazi guard Sgt. Schulz announces a representative from the Geneva Convention will be making a visit soon. Just in time for Christmas, they’ll all receive a good delousing and new blankets. From the reactions its obvious they are expected to lie about their actual conditions during this visit and the blankets won’t be around for long. Schulz is one guard in particular the POWs enjoy teasing:

Shapiro: Hey Schultz, sprechen Sie Deutsches?

Sgt. Schulz: Ja?

Shapiro: Then droppen Sie dead!

another funny exchange…

Sgt. Schulz: How do you expect to win the war with an army of clowns?

Lt. James Skylar Dunbar: We sort of hope you’d laugh yourselves to death.

Their secrets, including the radio and Lt. Dunbar’s recent maneuvers against the nazis continue to find their way into the guards’ knowledge.  Dunbar has been taken by Nazi guards and is being tortured to reveal more details. At this point, they know someone from inside the barracks must be a mole betraying them. The tension in the barracks are growing thick. From Sefton’s cynical attitude and his ability trade favors, they assume he must be the betrayer and all the men band together to beat him. Sefton maintains his innocence, keeping a low profile.

Sefton (William Holden) starts to make a discovery

Sefton (William Holden) starts to make a discovery

 

a simple lightbulb is the key to the treason puzzle

a simple lightbulb is the key to the treason puzzle

But soon, during a Christmas celebration that is interrupted by an air raid, the mole slips up as Sefton stays behind and hidden when the real traitor makes his contact with Schulz, revealing how he exchanges information- via a lightbulb and the chess set pieces. Now that Sefton knows the enemy’s identity within the barracks, it’s not long before he finds an opportunity to reveal his true colors. It’s also the ideal time to show his own true character, as maybe not as much of a bad guy as all had thought, by helping Dunbar escape himself.

It’s in signature Billy Wilder fashion to tackle a subject like this, one so dark in reality (one that also must have been such a personal journey), and with complicated characters that are not so ‘black and white’ in morality.  But then he twists it so it’s funny and entertaining with his witty dialogue and characters that draw us in because they often surprise us in the end. He takes an anti-hero like Sefton and turns him into the most brave and honorable character by the film’s conclusion, despite himself.

He adds flavoring of characters like Shapiro and “Animal” who deliver the funniest moments throughout with their chemistry and friendship, Animal’s obsession with Betty Grable, and some profoundly real moments too. In example when Shapiro brags that his multiple letters received are love letters as a result of being so popular with the ladies, yet it turns out the letters are repeated overdue bill notices of his Plymouth being repossessed.  And in another ‘harsh reality meets dark humor’ moment, another POW reads his wife’s letter in which she reveals how a baby just showed up at their door and she chose to keep it- a baby that astonishingly possesses ‘her eyes and her mouth.’ He tells himself and his fellow bunkmate he believes it. Later on we see him speaking out loud, repeating that, “I believe it” as he tries to convince himself and wrestles with, struggling to see if this is something he can live with.

These are all heartfelt touch points that Wilder shares with us in his own, and very brilliant way. This review of STALAG 17 (1953) is my birthday tribute to Billy Wilder who was born 108 years ago today. It is shared with other brilliant Wilder films in the BILLY WILDER BOGATHON that Aurora of ONCE UPON A SCREEN and yours truly are hosting today. Here is the full list of participants.

kirk with billy big

 

BILLY WILDER Blogathon

This is all about Billy Wilder. The great.

billy sits

Beginning his screenwriting career in 1929 Germany, Wilder would make a definitive mark on Hollywood from behind the camera, both by way of his his pen and later as a premier director. Films written by or directed by Billy Wilder continue to spark debate and adoration to this day thanks to his sharp wit and memorable imagery. Wilder directed only 27 films yet stands among an elite group of seven directors who have won Best Picture, Director and Screenplay Oscars.

oscars billy

These may be mere numbers contrived from opinion, but they are nonetheless impressive: Five Billy Wilder films are listed on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of 100 Funniest Movies of all time: Some Like It Hot (1959) is listed at #1, The Apartment (1960) at #20, The Seven Year Itch (1955) at #51, Ninotchka (1939) at #52 and Ball of Fire (1941) at #92. Four Wilder films are on the AFI list of 100 Greatest Movies of all time: Sunset Blvd. (1950) at #16, Some Like It Hot (1959) at #22, Double Indemnity (1944) at #29 and The Apartment (1960) at #80. And perhaps most astonishing – when one considers his mere 27 films – is the fact that Wilder directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances.

Now, putting all stats and numbers aside, what makes Billy Wilder one of the greatest directors who ever lived is not reflected on a list nor is it illustrated by his numerous awards, but rather by his enduringly entertaining filmography. A Wilder film grabs the viewer from the opening shot and always leaves a lasting impression because a Wilder ending is always memorable.

For all of those reasons and because we’re ‘girls gone Wilder’, Aurora of Once Upon A Screen and I -Kellee (@Irishjayhawk66) of Outspoken & Freckled- are beside ourselves with excitement to announce The Billy Wilder Blogathon. This will be a one-day event to celebrate this master’s work on what would have been the 108th anniversary of his birth on June 22. And we hope you are willing and able to join the celebration.

swanson w billy big

Entries can be anything Wilder related – commentaries on his films or television work, created by his pen or from his place behind the camera. You choose, blog and post and we’ll be sure to enjoy it.

And now the usual drill…

Participants:

Let us know which Billy Wilder film or TV program you’d like to dedicate a post to. Choose from any he wrote, directed or produced.
Post your entry by June 22 so we can properly promote it in celebration of his birthday.
Be sure to include the title of your blog, twitter tag, etc. or any information that would assist us in identifying your page and facilitate communication.
Please post one of the event banners on your site and in your entry to help us promote the Wilder love.
Have fun! It’s sure to be a Wilder time!
“Some pictures play wonderfully to a room of eight people. I don’t go for that. I go for the masses. I go for the end effect.”

… this intro post was lovingly written by co-host Aurora

Participating Blogs Thus Far…

Once Upon a Screen – The Major and the Minor

Shadows and Satin – Ace in the Hole

Screenkicker! – The Apartment

Wide Screen World – Sunset Blvd.

Make Mine Criterion! – Kiss Me, Stupid

30 Years On – The Lost Weekend

Critica Retro – Irma La Deuce

Cinema Dilettante – A Foreign Affair

The Vintage Cameo – Witness for the Prosecution

Tales of the Easily Distracted – One, Two, Three

Cindy Bruchman – Double Indemnity

Girls Do Film – Ninotchka

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear – Five Graves to Cairo

Vintage Girl – Some Like it Hot

Outspoken & Freckled – Stalag 17

Classic Becky’s Brain Food – The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Twenty Four Frames – Ball of Fire

The Great Katharine Hepburn – The Front Page

Spoilers – “Billy Wilder Speaks” and other interviews

Mildred’s Fatburgers – The Fortune Cookie

Pre-Code.com – Fedora

Joel’s Classic Film Passion – Ocean’s 11

A Shroud of Thoughts – Sabrina

Barry – Avanti!

[This] Girl Friday – Midnight

Stars and Letters – Jane Wyman letter to Billy Wilder

The Movie Rat – Emil and the Detectives (’31 and ’35)

So that means there’s so many great choices still left to pick, such as…

CASINO ROYALE (1967), LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (1957), THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (1955), THE EMPEROR WALTZ (1948), BUDDY BUDDY (1981), THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947), A SONG IS BORN (1948), HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941), ARISE MY LOVE (1940), RHYTHM ON THE RIVER (1940), THAT CERTAIN AGE (1938), BLUEBEARD’S EIGHTH WIFE (1938), CHAMPAGNE WALTZ (1937), PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (1930), DEATH MILLS (documentary, 1945), THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (1957), MAUVAISE GRAINE (1934), KIDNAPPED (acting role, 1938)….plus more!

Following is the complete gallery of banners for this event. All were conceived, designed and delivered by Kellee…

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kirk with billy small

jack and billy big

jack and billy small

dbl indemnity big

dbl indemnity small

some like it big

some like it small

shirley and billy big

shirley and billy small

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swanson small

wilder trio big

wilder trio small

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