Starred Review of Billy Wilder's Films & Scripts

Billy Wilder’s legendary career yielded an enduring cinematic output, with his directorial genius behind such works as Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, and The Apartment. Here, Jordan (Robert Wise: The Motion Pictures) studies thirty of Wilder’s works, from early collaborations, through numerous memorable popular hits (Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch, Witness for the Prosecution), and on to his final film Buddy Buddy. He delves deeply into each, offering comprehensive plot summaries and contextual background as well as analyses of Wilder’s signature style, directorial techniques, and unique treatment of characters and scenes. Skillfully interspersing biographical details throughout, Jordan builds a compelling picture of the man who began as a journalist and screenwriter, left Europe under the looming shadow of the 1930s, suffered profound personal sorrows, and ultimately rose to award-winning professional success. Behind-the-scenes anecdotes about a who’s who of actors and the ever-changing film industry culture add flair to the narrative. A superb selection of film stills, an intriguing addendum chronicling Wilder’s trademark recurring motifs, and a thoughtful foreword by Austin Pendleton further enhance this fine work. VERDICT A must for serious film enthusiasts – well-researched, organized, and presented – this provides a memorable picture of Wilder both personally and professionally."
__ Library Journal

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