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).

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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).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
So here we have actors who can really play the dramatic moments very well and also do comedy--Vincent Kartheiser from Mad Men is playing Billy Wilder, and Larry Pine, who's done everything on Broadway, is Raymond Chandler.
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.
Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in a scene from the Billy Wilder classic Some Like It Hot Curtis and wife Jill Vanden Berg in July 2008 Curtis with Burt Lancaster and Gina Lollobrigida in the 1956 film Trapeze Curtis and wife Janet Leigh with their daughters in 1959 and, left, seated in a studio in 1965
By Mike Derderian Watching Billy Wilder's 1955 The Seven Year Itch has become a ritual that I exercise every time my wife is out of town.
In continuous production since 1956, its familiar sleek-yet-chunky lines of leather upholstery and rosewood veneer were inspired by film director Billy Wilder, who told the Eameses he 'would really appreciate an ultra, ultra, ultra comfortable modern lounge chair'.
1956 and was a birthday gift for their family friend, film director Billy Wilder. And it caught people's attention when Eames appeared with the chair on American TV's Today programme.
BROWN (1892-1973), the oversexed millionaire who falls for Jack Lemmon's in-drag character from Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot" (1959), was a huge baseball fan.
8), was a whimsical homage to Laure and a tiny group of Canadian film actresses who could ignite the screen with beauty and sexual energy, but, of course, Laure, spectacularlry blessed with the quality Billy Wilder called "movie flesh," never got stuck in the realm of mere babedom.
Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder by biographer Charlotte Chandler is the personal and engaging story of one of the great figures of 20th century movie-making--the legendary Billy Wilder (1906-2002).
IN Billy Wilder's movie Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson, as ageing film star Norma Desmond, asked by a young showbiz reporter, 'Weren't you once big in pictures?' replies haughtily: 'I am big.
The roll call of emigres who were able to leave Germany, Austria and Hungary after the Nazis came to power reads like a Who's Who of large sections of modem Anglo-American life: Sir Ernst Gombrich, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, Arthur Koestler, Lord Weidenfeld, Sir Karl Popper, Sir Alexander Korda, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Stefan Zweig, Schoenberg, Hindemith, Bartok, Milhaud, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht and many others.