My all time favorite Billy Wilder movie is Ace in the Hole. What do you think?
I’ve yet to watch Billy Wilder films outside of Double Indemnity. But, I did enjoy it and would like to see more Wilder. I would try to find Ace in the Hole but apparently it’s extremely hard to find here where I live.
I suppose he’s more known for his comedies… I’ve seen Indemnity and Some Like It Hot, which is very good, albeit completely different.
“Sholdn’t you be in church?”
“Kneeeling bags my nylons.”
“I’ve seen hard-boiled eggs before but you, you’re 20 minutes.”
Greatest Dialogue-Exchange EVER!
Billy Wilder was extraordinary. A director adept at drama, comedy, even thrillers…all extremely clever and very well done, with one common thread…the cynicism in each is palpable.
Ace in the Hole
One Two Three
Kiss Me Stupid!
Some Like it Hot
A Foreign Affair
I’m becoming really engrossed in Wilder’s filmography. For my birthday I got a 9 movie collection of his films, and I’m looking forward to delving into it further. My favorite Wilde film is definitely The Apartment, followed by Sunset Boulevard.
“I’m a thousand dollar a day newspaperman, Mr Boot. You can have me for nothing.” The lost art of screenwriting…
Wilder, like Hawks can be hard to pin down. It’s too hard to compare some of his movies, because the tone and style can differ so greatly. For me – “The Apartment” and “Double Indemnity”. I could just as easily list 3 or 4 other movies of his that I love.
For Hawks – “Ball of Fire”, “Rio Bravo”, and “Scarface”. How on earth do you even begin to compare these?
the Apartment is my favorite film of all time so that.
Nathan M. has shown his wisdom.
I agree with Jaspar, too. Wilder was a cynic’s cynic when it came to
studies of human nature in general and American culture in particular.
He reached his peak in misanthropic expression with ACE IN THE HOLE.
If you wanted to use great films of the 1950s to write off mankind forever,
you could screen this picture on a triple bill with SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS and A FACE IN THE CROWD.
However, if all Wilder had been capable of were such close little misanthropic studies,
then I would say this was his best film.
But the wit of THE APARTMENT, the sheer cleverness and narrative economy
of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and the grandeur of SUNSET BLVD. suggest otherwise.
Hm, that’s a hard one. For his heavier work, probably Sunset Blvd. But for his lighter, comedic films, the apartment is such a comforting film to watch. Always brings a smile to my face.
Double Indemnity is it for me…. followed closely by Ace in The Hole and The Apartment. genius.
Sunset Blvd. is my fav. But everything I have seen by him is great. Lost Weekend was not mentioned in here yet.
So hard to pick. I’d have to say any of the Jack Lemmon films. But then The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes suprised me. And Stalag 17 and Double Indemnity are awsome too.
OOH and Sabrina is too…..
Aw hell i cant pick just one.
The more I see of Wilder’s films (and some I must have watched dozens of times), the higher I rate him. And beyond the laugh-out loud moments and the brilliantly cynical lines, I am more and more impressed by his visual sensitivity, especially to interior space, and the emotional resonance of some of the quieter moments (Tony Curtis walking down the stairs to say goodbye to Marilyn Monroe and watching her singing in Some Like It Hot; the first scene between Shirley MacLaine and Fred McMurray in the Chinese restaurant in The Apartment). If I could take only one film to a desert island, I think it might have to be The Apartment. Such wit, such humanity…
Sunset Boulevard is a comedy. A dark one, but a comedy no less. I’m not the only one to argue this.
Like many Wilder films, I find Ace to be somewhat overwritten — the script could have been cut by a third. No one talks this way. But Kirk Douglas is good, and the premise is gripping and who doesn’t love the scissors?
yes. not only is “sunset blvd” a dark comedy, but it also appropriates the iconography of the horror film.
Oh my, Sunset Boulevard without a doubt. Not only does it top my list of “Best Films About Writing/ A Writer”, but it’s in my top 5 of all time. One of the most brilliant films, and being a lover of well-crafted words…I disagree that it is overwritten.
…wait, unless Sunset doesn’t make into the “Many” of Wilder’s that are overwritten. * In which case, My apologies.
Sunset Blvd., no, that’s not so overwritten — because the perfect prose is Joe Gillis’ bitter redemption and last revenge from beyond the grave. But parts of Ace in the Hole are.
It’s obviously extremely difficult to rate “THE BEST” of Billy Wilder’s films, when we look at one the most brilliant narrator, screenwriter, filmaker and global artist of all times… but I personnally consider that “ONE, TWO; THREE” works as the ultimate smashing comedy masterpiece.
Billy Wilder (and I.A.L. Diamond, of course) make controversy jokes out of eternal US & Europe taboo subjects such as US Civil War (the Yankee Go Home cathphrase works in all meanings), Cold War, World War II, the Nazis, Germany, the so-called upper-middle-class American Way of Life’s standards: a catalog of crazy sarcastic topics. Golf: the family that plays together remains together, tennis club, Book-of-the-Month club, etc. and the very best of punchlines of all times, the famous last words: “The situation is hopeless, but not serious”.
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Your comments will be welcome.
I second Carlos. One Two Three never gets the attention it deserves.
I’m not sure if it’s possible to pick the very BEST movie of Billy Wilder’s career, so I’ll just give you a list my favorites…
Kiss Me, Stupid
One, Two, Three
The Spirit Of St. Louis
The Fortune Cookie
The Front Page
Irma La Douce
The Lost Weekend
I have not yet viewed eveything Mr. Wilder has done, so I’ll be adding more as I see them
I’ve only seen Ace in the Hole, The Lost Weekend and The Apartment and Ace in the Hole is my favourite so far. Just an incredible dissection of the media.
I just saw ‘Ace In The Hole.’ Great movie; one of his best.
Not The Apartment. My vote goes for Double Indemnity.
Just saw ‘Ace In The Hole,’ and I consider it one of Wilder’s best.
Matt, have you seen any Billy Wilder films lately?
I find it impossible to pick a BEST. But the two that instantly jump to mind are “One, Two, Three” & “Some Like It Hot”.