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See biographies by S. Kern (1984) and J. Herman (1996); B. Bowman, Master Space: Film Images of Capra, Lubitsch, Sternberg, and Wyler (1992); M. Harris, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War (2014).
Born July 1, 1902, in Mulhouse, in German Alsace. American film director.
Wyler studied at the Higher School of Commerce in Lausanne and at the Paris Conservatory. In 1921 he began working in Hollywood, where he directed his first films in the late 1920’s. From the mid-1930’s to early 1940’s, Wyler was one of the leading representatives of the trend toward social drama manifested in American cinema at that time. His films of the period, Dead End (1937, based on the play by S. Kingsley) and The Little Foxes (1941, based on the play by L. Hellman), as well as later ones, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, based on a novel by M. Kantor) and The Liberation of L. B. Jones (1970, based on the novel by J. H. Ford), are distinguished by their acute presentation of social problems. During World War II, Wyler saw action while serving in the US Army Air Force; he also made documentary war films.
A master filmmaker, Wyler combines strict classical form with tense inner drama, while making the actor the main spokesman of the author’s ideas. These traits are best seen in his finest films, Wuthering Heights (1939, based on the novel by E. Brontè) and Carrie (1952, based on T. Dreiser’s novel Sister Carrie). Wyler’s talents are also evident in his amusing film comedies Roman Holiday (1953), How to Steal a Million (1966), and Funny Girl (1968).
REFERENCEKolodiazhnaia, V. Uil’iam Uailer. Moscow, 1975.
IA. A. BEREZNITSKII