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Added by classic movie buff on 6 Aug 2008 02:45
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THE BILLY WILDER STORY

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BILLY WILDER was born on June 22nd 1906 in Hungary. He died on March 27th 2002.

REAL NAME: SAMUEL WILDER.

When Billy Wilder first arrived in Hollywood in 1933 he spoke no English. He shared an apartment with Peter Lorre who helped him to learn the language. He had a long writing partnership with I.A.L. Diamond with whom he won an Oscar for "The Apartment" (1960). He liked the name "Sheldrake" so much he used it in three of his films - "The Apartment", "Sunset Boulevard" and "Kiss Me Stupid". Jack Lemmon was his favourite actor and he directed him in seven movies.
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Famous quote (after directing Marilyn Monroe for the second time): "I have discussed this with my doctor and my psychiatrist and they tell me I'm too old and too rich to go through this again".
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HIS SIX FAVOURITE FILMS WERE:

1: “Sunset Boulevard” (1950)
2: “Double Indemnity” (1944)
3: “Witness for the Prosecution” (1957)
4: “The Apartment” (1960)
5: “Stalag 17” (1953)
6: “Some Like it Hot” (1959)

MY FAVOURITE BILLY WILDER FILM IS:

“Ace in the Hole” (1951)

HIS FAVOURITE ACTORS TO WORK WITH INCLUDE:

Jack Lemmon, William Holden, Tony Curtis, James Stewart, Dean Martin, Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton, Walter Matthau, Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson, Ray Milland, James Cagney, Tom Ewell, Humphrey Bogart and Gary Cooper.
(all the above actors have appeared in Billy Wilder movies)

HIS FAVOURITE ACTRESSES TO WORK WITH INCLUDE:

Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson, Shirley MacLaine, Jan Sterling, Nancy Olsen, Audrey Hepburn and Anne Baxter.
(all the above actresses have appeared in Billy Wilder movies)

HIS FAVOURITE SUPPORTING ACTORS INCLUDE:

Porter Hall (“Double Indemnity”)
Ray Teal (“Ace in the Hole”)
Jack Webb (“Sunset Boulevard”)
Howard Da Silva (“The Lost Weekend”)
John Williams (“Witness for the Prosecution”)
Robert Strauss (“Stalag 17”)
Fortunio Bonanova (“Five Graves to Cairo”)
Fred Clark (“Sunset Boulevard”)

MY FAVOURITE LINES FROM BILLY WILDER FILMS INCLUDE:

Gloria Swanson: “All right, Mr De Mille, I’m ready for my close up”. ("Sunset Boulevard").
Joe E. Brown: “Nobody’s perfect!” ("Some Like it Hot").
Shirley MacLaine: “Shut up and deal”. ("The Apartment").
Jan Sterling: “I met a lot of hard boiled eggs in my life, but you – you’re twenty minutes!”. ("Ace in the Hole").
William Holden: – “Poor dope. He always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool – only the price turned out to be a little high”. ("Sunset Boulevard").

RECOMMENDED BOOKS ABOUT BILLY WILDER:

“ON SUNSET BOULEVARD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BILLY WILDER” by Ed Sikov
“NOBODY’S PERFECT: BILLY WILDER – A PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY” by Charlotte Chandler
“CLOSE UP ON SUNSET BOULEVARD” by Sam Staggs
“BILLY WILDER – THE COMPLETE FILMS” by Glenn Hopp
“BILLY WILDER” by Bernard F. Dick
"CONVERSATIONS WITH WILDER" by Cameron Crowe

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