Billy Wilder

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It's a spreadsheet with columns for title, director, year, whether or not I've seen it, Criterion number (if it has one), and what its call number is at a local library's film collection - although I'm skipping town soon, so that one will become entirely useless very soon.

It essentially is a masterlist compilation of a large number of other lists, but only from ones I felt were good, relevant, or had a number of interesting picks I wouldn't have found otherwise. Occasionally I've even included everything listed in the indices of very select books. My only rule is that it's all or nothing - I don't cherry pick what titles from those lists should make it, and therefore my personal taste has no value, aside from picking the lists themselves. It is currently holding at close to 4000 films, and pretty much from the first hundred on, as I slowly started compiling it, I've maintained a steady rate of having seen between 15 and 20 percent of it.

Girolamo Savonarola, Wednesday, 24 September 2003 03:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Wow!

s1utsky (slutsky), Wednesday, 24 September 2003 05:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes, the rumors are true; I am a geek.

Girolamo Savonarola, Wednesday, 24 September 2003 12:08 (eighteen years ago) link

Double Indemnity is great - 'They've got more tricks than a car-full of monkeys'

David Steans, Thursday, 25 September 2003 07:03 (eighteen years ago) link

PHYLLIS
You handle just automobile insurance or all kinds?

WALTER
All kinds: fire, earthquake, theft, public liability, group insurance, industrial stuff and so on, right on down the line.

PHYLLIS
(She sits back down and crosses her legs)
Accident insurance?

WALTER
Accident insurance? Sure, Mrs. Dietrichson. (beat) Wish you'd tell me what's engraved on that anklet.

PHYLLIS
Just my name.

WALTER
As for instance?

PHYLLIS
Phyllis.

WALTER
Phyllis, huh? I think I like that.

PHYLLIS
But you're not sure?

WALTER
Oh, have to drive it around the block a coupla times...

PHYLLIS
(Standing)
Mr. Neff, why don't you drop by tomorrow evening around 8:30. He'll be in then.

WALTER
Who?

PHYLLIS
My husband. You were anxious to talk to him, weren't you?

WALTER
Yeah, I was, but... I'm sorta getting over the idea, if you know what I mean.

PHYLLIS
There's a speed limit in this state, Mr. Neff -- 45 miles an hour.

WALTER
How fast was I going, officer?

PHYLLIS
I'd say around 90.

WALTER

Suppose you get down off your motorcycle and give me a ticket.

PHYLLIS
Suppose I let you off with a warning this time.

WALTER
Suppose it doesn't take.

PHYLLIS
Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.

WALTER
Suppose I bust out crying and put my head on your shoulder.

PHYLLIS
Suppose you try putting it on my husband's shoulder.

WALTER
(Smiling)
That tears it.
(He walks over to pick up his hat)
8:30 tomorrow evening, then.

PHYLLIS
That's what I suggested.

WALTER
Will you be here, too?

PHYLLIS
I guess so, I usually am.

WALTER
Putting on his hat)
Same chair, same perfume, same anklet?

PHYLLIS
I wonder if I know what you mean.

WALTER
I wonder if you wonder.

Jeff-PTTL (Jeff), Thursday, 25 September 2003 17:59 (eighteen years ago) link

BEST NOIR SCENE EVER.

Jeff-PTTL (Jeff), Thursday, 25 September 2003 18:23 (eighteen years ago) link

What is even better is that Fred MacMurray pulls it off, which is hard to believe if you saw a bunch of My Three Sons when you was a kid.

Edgar G. Robinson is also great in that one.

Sunset Blvd. has to be one of the most classic movie endings.

I don't know who the actor was in Stalag 17 that played the guy with the googly eyes who is obsessed with Betty Grable, but he should have been in 50 more movies, as he has great warped look.

earlnash, Friday, 26 September 2003 15:55 (eighteen years ago) link

One Two Three is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, mostly due to James Cagney (who is fuckin' amazing). His last leading role, and his last movie for 20 years until Ragtime.

Gear! (Gear!), Monday, 29 September 2003 04:50 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
My favorite overlooked Wilder comedy is "A Foreign Affair"; Dietrich and Jean Arthur are both great in it, compensating for the unmemorable John Lund in the male lead. That he managed to apply the caustic tone to a comedy set in 1946-47 Berlin shouldn't be underestimated.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 August 2005 15:33 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, that's an excellent film.

i ask again: who can help me find a copy of ace in the hole?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 3 August 2005 10:47 (seventeen years ago) link

Cameron Crowe seems to go crazy over John Lund in that Billy Wilder book. Millard Mitchell has an excellent bit as a commanding officer. And I can't remember if it is actually Friedrich Holllaender playing piano when Marlene sings "Black Market" but it might be.

k/l (Ken L), Wednesday, 3 August 2005 20:33 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
why is this guy so underrated?

deeznuts, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 18:57 (fifteen years ago) link

??

I like him a lot and think he's overrated at this point! Not many Golden Age Hollywood filmmakers are as discussed, or have generated posthumous books, TV specials, etc. Hitchcock and Ford, maybe.

Dr Morbius, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 20:44 (fifteen years ago) link

five years pass...

that list above might come in handy

first u get the flower, then u get the honey, then u get the stamen (darraghmac), Wednesday, 12 December 2012 13:06 (nine years ago) link

ten months pass...

I watched Love In The Afternoon tonight and what a stupid movie. Why did they cast Gary Cooper alongside Audrey Hepburn? Were grandpa playboys not creeper in the late 50's? His lines were lame compared to her's and are we suppose to believe a young clever cellist living in france has no other options than a rich aging womanizer? The more Billy Wilder films I watch the less he impresses me. I'm beginning to think Ace In The Hole and maybe the Apartment are the only films I really enjoy of his. This film really pissed me off, almost as much as Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Both are stupid aging male fantasies clumsily getting the younger smarter woman. What a crock of shit.

JacobSanders, Monday, 4 November 2013 07:29 (eight years ago) link

down boy down

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Monday, 4 November 2013 08:04 (eight years ago) link

Fwiw, the Cooper part in LITA was supposed to be played by Cary Grant (who was also old, but not as decrepit looking as Cooper).

A Made Man In The Mellow Mafia (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 4 November 2013 21:26 (eight years ago) link

seven years pass...

The new Harper’s has something of his about being a taxi dancer from an upcoming collection of his writing.

Next Time Might Be Hammer Time (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 25 January 2021 22:42 (one year ago) link

Rave reviews of the new book from Molly Haskell and J. Hoberman and some others with whom I am not familiar.

Next Time Might Be Hammer Time (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 25 January 2021 23:00 (one year ago) link

Oh, this must be drawing from the same well of journalistic writing that I had a German-language anthology from? Those are great.

One of my fav moments is when he profiles an American businessman and states that "only an American could enjoy drinking this strange 'coca cola'", foreshadowing for 123.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 11:53 (one year ago) link

Excellent!

Next Time Might Be Hammer Time (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 12:17 (one year ago) link


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