The superlative American director Billy Wilder, who wrote and directed over two dozen films, worked the fine, serrated edge between-between dark noirs and ribald comedies, between blithe romance and sorrowful drama. Our series showcases his pithy storylines, breakneck banter, and award-winning casts, and includes Sunset Blvd., Double Indemnity, Sabrina, The Lost Weekend, Some Like It Hot, and more.
Billy Wilder (US/UK, 1970). Sherlock Holmes navigates between twenty-four canaries, eight Trappist monks, six midgets, his Machiavellian brother Mycroft, and the queen of all Victorian heroines, Victoria herself, in Wilder's update of the mystery man. “The best Holmes movie ever made” (Kim Newman, Empire Magazine). (125 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1960). Jack Lemmon, Fred MacMurray, and Shirley MacLaine in a riotously acidic tale of sex and corporate success. Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Art Direction. “An American classic” (NY Times).
Ernst Lubitsch (US, 1939). This comedy develops from cynicism into about as warm a Cold War film as ever there was, as severe Soviet commissar Greta Garbo has her head turned by dashing capitalist Melvyn Douglas. The ads proclaimed, “Garbo laughs!” And so will you. (110 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1959). Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon star in Wilder's outrageous cross-dressing comedy, selected by the American Film Institute as the funniest movie ever made. (120 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1964). Dean Martin stars as “Dino,” a lascivious lounge singer adrift on a sea of booze who falls for the “wife” of a fellow songwriter. Kim Novak costars in this deliriously vulgar sex comedy, played as embittered film noir. (124 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1943). Archival Print! Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff, and a preening Erich Von Stroheim (as General Rommel!) star in Wilder's taut, fast-moving war film, set in the deserts of the North African front. “A crispy spy thriller” (Dave Kehr). (96 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1961). American businessman Jimmy Cagney has the cure for Occupied Berlin's ills (Coca Cola!) in Wilder's manic Cold War slapstick comedy, filmed in Berlin as the Wall went up. “Celebrates as it satirizes American cultural imperialism” (J. Hoberman). (108 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1945). A failed writer (Ray Milland) turns to alcohol over one long, lost weekend in Wilder's powerful tale of the wrong, trembling end of the American dream. Jane Wyman costars. Winner of four Academy Awards. (101 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1954). Audrey Hepburn is the simple daughter of a family chauffeur who is transformed into a delectable sophisticate, and must choose between ne'er do well playboy William Holden and sober workaholic Humphrey Bogart, in Wilder's classic romance. One of Audrey's most iconic roles. (113 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1951). Kirk Douglas stars as a cynical newspaperman covering the story of a man trapped in a remote New Mexico cave; here, the story isn't the truth, but the lies and rot within journalism itself. "Here is, half a century out of the past, a movie so acidly au courant it stings” (Village Voice). (111 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1955). Buttoned-down middle-aged adman Tom Ewell is ready for some extramarital fun in his seventh year of marriage, and new upstairs tenant Marilyn Monroe provides the perfect mirage for his dreams in Wilder's caustic comedy. Monroe's billowing skirt above a subway grate provides one of American cinema's most iconic images. (105 mins)
Stanwyck's toxic peroxide blonde is the archetype of the noir femme fatale in Billy Wilder's gleefully cynical tale of murder and insurance fraud, costarring Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson.
Billy Wilder (US, 1944). Stanwyck's toxic peroxide blonde is the archetype of the noir femme fatale in Billy Wilder's gleefully cynical tale of murder and insurance fraud, costarring Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson. (106 mins)
Billy Wilder (US, 1950). 4K Digital Restoration. Fledgling screenwriter William Holden stumbles into the mansion of faded silent-film superstar Gloria Swanson in Billy Wilder's poison pen to Hollywood, its dreamers, its failures, and its allure. Winner of three Academy Awards. (115 mins)