Billy Wilder

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Billy Wilder
Samuel Wilder
BirthplaceSucha, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (present-day Sucha Beskidzka, Poland)
Film director, producer and screenwriter

Wilder, Billy,

1906–2002, American film director, producer, and writer, b. Sucha, Galicia (now Poland) as Samuel Wilder. He wrote for films in Berlin, fled the Nazis, and arrived in Hollywood in 1934. After writing various screenplays, he directed his first film in 1942, and soon developed a reputation as a witty and harshly sardonic critic of American mores. At first he mixed dramas and comedies, later concentrating on satire, and his 25 films represent many styles, approaches, and themes. His The Lost Weekend (1945), an unsparing study of alcoholism, won Academy Awards for direction, production, and screenplay; Sunset Boulevard (1950), an acidic look at Hollywood, won another for best screenplay; and The Apartment (1960), a morally ambiguous modern tale, again won him three Oscars. Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959) is one of the finest comic films ever made. His other films include Double Indemnity (1944), Stalag 17 (1953), Sabrina (1954), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Fedora (1979), and Buddy Buddy (1981).


See C. Crowe, Conversations with Wilder (1999); biographies by M. Zolotow (1977), E. Sikov (1998), K. Lally (1999), and C. Chandler (2002); studies by A. Madsen (1969) and T. Wood (1970).

Wilder, Billy (b. Samuel Wilder)

(1906–  ) film director, screenwriter, producer; born in Vienna, Austria. After a time as a law student at the University of Vienna, he turned to newspaper work in Vienna and then in Berlin. He began his film career as the cowriter of Menschen am Sonntag (1929). Fleeing Hitler in 1933, he went to France, then to America, working on movie scripts with Charles Brackett. An American citizen from 1934, he made his Hollywood directorial debut with The Major and the Minor (1942), which he also cowrote. He became a specialist in cowriting and directing incisive dramas, acerbic comedies, and bittersweet romances, then later turned to farce. In the late 1950s he became his own producer. His Academy Awards came with The Lost Weekend (1945, for director and screenwriter), Sunset Boulevard (1950, screenwriter), and The Apartment (1960, director and screenwriter).
References in periodicals archive ?
Hal Ashby: Interviews and Billy Wilder, Movie Maker are valuable contributions to the scholarship on two Hollywood filmmakers whose auteur status is often questioned by critics.
Crowe walked away wounded from his brush with Billy Wilder.
Kevin Lally's new biography of Billy Wilder is packed with fascinating tidbits from the director's full life: Wilder went everywhere, knew everyone, and had an anecdote for every occasion.
Continue reading "A Rare Documentary on Billy Wilder Will Be Screened Again" at.
This is probably because of the sparkling screenplay co-written by director Billy Wilder with Samuel Taylor (who wrote the play on which it''s based) and Ernest Lehman.
of Southern California) chronicles the under-estimated contributions to the evolution of the film noir genre by emigres including Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger, Max Ophuls, and John Brahm (who directed episodes of The Twilight Zone among other TV series in the 1950s-1960s).
Comedy drama starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, which garnered best picture and the best director Oscars for Billy Wilder.
David Work (left), Bob Carwither and Nikki Pagniano react as Chris Carwither removes his wig and announces he is not a woman in Cottage Theatre's "Sugar," a comedy based on the Billy Wilder film "Some Like It Hot.
1 Some Like It Hot, 1959, directed by Billy Wilder (United States) After witnessing a gangland murder in Chicago, two musicians tuck their privates and join an all-girl band headed to pre-Versace Miami.