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Billy Wilder Director Hall of Fame **VOTE HERE**


Billy Wilder  

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So I was thinking when athletes enter the HOF, they have to pick the team they will go in for. Randy Johnson, Mariners or Diamondbacks? Gretzky, Oilers or Kings? Deion, Falcons or Cowboys?

What if directors were entered into the Movie Hall of Fame and had to choose 1 movie to represent them. Look at it however you want: best movie, most successful movie, breakout movie that put them on the map, etc. It's however you see the director best represented.

 

We had the closest poll yet with Titanic edging out Aliens by 1 vote. The Terminator movies had a chance getting 40% between them but that split likely prevented either from winning.

Scrolling Twitter, I saw today is the birthday of the great writer-director Billy Wilder. I know this is going back many years so it might be a case where people haven't seen a lot of these movies. I highly suggest seeking them out though, they are all wildy entertaining. 

 

Rd 1: Jaws for Spielberg (50%)

Rd 2: Alien for Ridley Scott (43%)

Rd 3: Psycho for Hitchcock (44%)

Rd 4: 2001: A Space Odyssey for Stanley Kubrick (31%)

Rd 5: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre by John Huston(46%)

Rd 6: Titanic by James Cameron (26%)

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9 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

I picked The Apartment. I don’t really know if it’s the “best” Wilder film, but it’s the one that meant the most to be me at a darkish time. And Jack Lemmon is as fine a film actor as has ever walked the earth. 

Absolutely love it, maybe my favorite movie ever? And yet I actually picked Sunset Boulevard. Thought it struck the best balance of his serious side and funny side. 

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Going to preface this by saying that The Apartment and The Spirit of St. Louis are his only films I've seen all the way through, though I know most of the others on the list by reputation.

That said, and in order to stay somewhat consistent with my other picks in this series, my vote would be Sunset Boulevard. It hits all his notes and has the most iconic line of any of his films; All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Also a special nod to him for capturing Juliet Mills au naturel in Avanti!.

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35 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

I picked The Apartment. I don’t really know if it’s the “best” Wilder film, but it’s the one that meant the most to be me at a darkish time. And Jack Lemmon is as fine a film actor as has ever walked the earth. 

It’s his best one IMHO….

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32 minutes ago, Charlie Steiner said:

Going to preface this by saying that The Apartment and The Spirit of St. Louis are his only films I've seen all the way through, though I know most of the others on the list by reputation.

That is an interesting combo. 

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2 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

That is an interesting combo. 

FWIW, it was over 40 years between seeing each one for the first time.  I was really into airplanes when I was a kid and that plane was a favorite so of course I watched it, and didn't get around to seeing The Apartment until I joined the FBG Movie Club.

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On 6/23/2022 at 5:49 AM, otb_lifer said:

went with Stalag 17 ... who doesn't love Klink & Hogan & Schultz! 

 

:unsure:

 

gotta go along, wasnt brave enough and had to wait for some loudmouth dunno what he's talking about to say it first.....

80s and my most-in-commons are our affections for his dad's music and The Apartment - which has now  passed Groundhog Day (due to encroaching creepiness as it ages) as my favorite romcom, but it's not "great" enough. Hot and Sunset (ive previously voted for the one i thought the director would nom and it would be thisare wonderful movies i dont happen to enjoy; Indemnity is too genre even if it was genre-establishing. that leaves Stalag 17, which doesnt get enough credit for the birth of the wiseguy anti-hero that has dominated movies ever since.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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Good timing, for some reason I had popped off a couple Wilder movies I haven't seen and did an Apartment rewatch in an attempt to connect more with that one.     My love most of his movies that I've seen, but my vote went to Some Like it Hot.   It was and still is for me one of the comedies of the era that still hold up, and legitimately funny enough to get laughs throughout the movie from me.  That's a rare thing.   As great as movies like Sunset and Double Indemnity are, IMO there are also comparable movies of the genres that you could put them up against, but Some Like it Hot really stands out from it's peers to me.  

Edited by KarmaPolice
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Love and respect Wilder for an amazing career that spanned decades and genres.  I can't fault anyone's vote but absolutely love Some Like It Hot.

Possibly has my favorite all-time backstory relating to an 'incident' that happened while filming.

Two unknown contract actors, Tony Curtis (real name Bernard Schwartz) and Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker) became romantically involved a few years before they became big stars.  It 'seems' the breakup didn't go well so years later when she was working with Curtis, she decided to get some revenge.

Monroe knew how to 'excite' Tony so while shooting the love scene on the yacht Monroe was 'pushing Curtis' buttons so-to-speak and to the chagrin of Tony, he became STIFLY excited.  They reshot the scene so Curtis' 'excitement' didn't show on-camera but watch the  film again and pay attention to THAT SCENE and you can tell Curtis is having real trouble and Monroe is having a great time knowing the 'effect' she is having.

Edited by Bracie Smathers
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9 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I am still wrestling with why I don't like The Apartment much at all.    If I break it down, it has a lot of elements of movies that I love, but I actually have trouble getting through it.   Just about universally praised too, and I know one of my movie buddy 80s' faves.  

likely the same reason i have trouble selling "The Producers" as the best-ever comedy - the star's performance is magnificent but heavily-mannered. you could actually scholastically break down the choices Lemmon makes putting across this comedic role. but if mannered puts one off, it closes most of its impetus, rootingwise.

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I see Some Like It Hot made a surge and I do get it. Making a 1960s comedy about men posing as women featuring a same sex relationship and a man being super manipulative to sleep with a woman that is still funny and not at all outdated or offensive is a remarkable accomplishment. 

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2 minutes ago, otb_lifer said:

... another cat who ripped off Ed Wood's bold foray into the cross dressing milieu - "Glen Or Glenda" (1953!) broke barriers, baby ... and Wood remains no more than a mere punchline - all subsequent "deviance" stood on his shoulders.

💃

 

May have been a slight difference in quality between the films.

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4 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

men posing as women featuring a same sex relationship

I don't think so.

One of the reasons I love the movie are the patented Billy Wilder 'seeded comeback' jokes that he interwinds throughout his scripts.

I always laugh at this comeback.

Sugar: Shell Oil Junior. He's got millions, he's got glasses, he's got a yacht!

Joe: You don't say.

Jerry: He's not only got a yacht, he's got a bicycle!

Later when Jerry as Daphnie is talking with Osgood he sees Joe riding a bicycle and says.

Jerry: Why.  He DOES have a bicycle!

I also love the music which is very under rated especially Monroe's voice.  Her contract prevented her from putting out albums.  A famous singer of her day said Monroe would have had multiple hit recordings if she were contractually allowed to sing.  I also love the bumper musical vignettes between scenes. 

By the sea. 

By the sea, by the beautiful sea. 

You and me.  You and me, oh how happy we'll be. 

I love to be beside, beside-beside the sea by the sea beside the seaside.

By the beautiful sea.

And speaking of fantastic Billy Wilder endings.  Wilder mixes in the Tango theme with perfect comedic timing that nails the punchline with the Tangos ending right on the 9th Sacada.  Its comedic timing combining Rubic cube mathematical and musical perfection.  

Wilder has many strong qualities and that is why we're still talking about him today.  One of his biggest strengths were the endings of his movies which are incredible.  

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1 hour ago, otb_lifer said:

... another cat who ripped off Ed Wood's bold foray into the cross dressing milieu - "Glen Or Glenda" (1953!) broke barriers, baby ... and Wood remains no more than a mere punchline - all subsequent "deviance" stood on his shoulders.

💃

 

Plan 9 was on TCM the other day and its just as perfectly awful as ever. makes me miss Ed Wood, which i aint seen in a good long while but would be under consideration if i had to pick a movie i had to watch every day for the rest of my life

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21 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

Plan 9 was on TCM the other day and its just as perfectly awful as ever. makes me miss Ed Wood, which i aint seen in a good long while but would be under consideration if i had to pick a movie i had to watch every day for the rest of my life

If one were to ask me what movie I thought @wikkidpissah would watch every day for the rest of his life, Plan 9 would be among my top 3 guesses.

The other two would be Behind the Green Door and The Brave Little Toaster.

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2 hours ago, otb_lifer said:

... another cat who ripped off Ed Wood's bold foray into the cross dressing milieu - "Glen Or Glenda" (1953!) broke barriers, baby ... and Wood remains no more than a mere punchline - all subsequent "deviance" stood on his shoulders.

💃

 

And props to him for resurrecting Boris Karloff's career.

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5 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

likely the same reason i have trouble selling "The Producers" as the best-ever comedy - the star's performance is magnificent but heavily-mannered. you could actually scholastically break down the choices Lemmon makes putting across this comedic role. but if mannered puts one off, it closes most of its impetus, rootingwise.

I can't watch it.  Too much "business".  But I don't think Lemmon is in that movie. 

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22 minutes ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

I can't watch it.  Too much "business".  But I don't think Lemmon is in that movie. 

im not gud wid werds, but i meant to compare Zero Mostel's tour de force Producers performance (which i actually taught when i was mentoring standups) with Lemmon's equally prodigious affectations in Apartment. so................buttons!

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4 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

im not gud wid werds, but i meant to compare Zero Mostel's tour de force Producers performance (which i actually taught when i was mentoring standups) with Lemmon's equally prodigious affectations in Apartment. so................buttons!

That makes much more sense.  And I find all of Lemmon's performances to be affected.  (I haven't seen Glengarry, Glen Ross.)  The only thing I really like him in is Bell, Book, and Candle.  (Also the only thing I like Ernie Kovacs in.)

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1 hour ago, HellToupee said:

So many good choices but for me it’s Double Indemnity despite Barbara Stanwycks wig

I like the cheap wig, fits her character. 

2 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

Plan 9 was on TCM the other day and its just as perfectly awful as ever. makes me miss Ed Wood, which i aint seen in a good long while but would be under consideration if i had to pick a movie i had to watch every day for the rest of my life

Plan 9 is fantastic

3 hours ago, otb_lifer said:

 

see below -

 

i rest my case :grad:

 

Eddy crawled so others could run ...

 

I don't think it is insulting to say Billy Wilder made better quality movies. His budget was quite a bit larger for starters. Also Ed Wood was far from the first person to cast actors in corssdressing/trans roles. I enjoy Wood's camp. He and Bela made an interesting pair. 

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12 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Don't think what?

...men posing as women featuring a same sex relationship

It featured a conventional relationship with Joe and Sugar.  Jerry and Joe dressed as women to survive, not for sexual reasons.

Wilder noted a common male sexual fantasy of men sharing intimate space with many attractive females who do not realize they are males and let their guard down.  He leveraged the inherent comedy with that dynamic and set up a rumpus rolling comedic relationship with Jerry and Osgood.  Joe and Jerry were portrayed as heterosexual, the females were portrayed as heterosexual, Osgood was portrayed as heterosexual.  

I don't think it did feature a same sex relationship.

6 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I am a little surprised to see Stalag 17 at the front of the pack, even ahead of  DI.

Agree.

Stalag 17 was ok, but I got it as a Christmas gift about twenty years ago and typically rewatch movies I like but never re-watched Stalag 17.  The only things that I remember were Sig Ruman who was great but from what I recall, the film did not look good.

It looked like a B-movie with low production values.  I prefer Irma la Douce over Stalag 17.  I love that film but IMHO Wilder's three biggies are, Some Like It Hot, Sunset Blvd., and The Apartment.

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12 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

Also Ed Wood was far from the first person to cast actors in corssdressing/trans roles.

 

oh, he most definitely wasn't the first ... no quibble there - but his end game wasn't just schtick, as in other directors prior to '53 going "HEY, let's slap a wig on Johnny and a dress on Bobby - it'll be so madcap, what a HOOT!"

see, thing is ... Eddy didn't just cast actors - he cast himself as the lead - "Glen Or Glenda" was more than a mere movie ... it was a confession, if not his treatise, on cross dressing/transvestism/gender reassignment surgery ... he laid it all out there, zero effs to give. 

this was as radical a work for the 'idyllic' 50s as "Howl" was - but, of course, Wood continues to get slagged and discounted as high camp, rather than the revolutionary auteur he actually was for having the ####### sack to lay this opus on a world that was far from ready for such disturbance.

suffice to say that both "SLiH" and "Psycho" (among others) took cues from Wood's daring - but "SSSSHHHHH!", we can neither admit nor acknowledge that. 

so, no ... he wasn't the first to cast or touch on - but he was the only one to tell his story firsthand- find me another director who did similar prior to Eddy, then we'll talk. 

 

- dude ached for the feel a woman's cashmere set and undergarments on his flesh ... and he ####### showed us, cotdamnit.  

balls, man ...  dude had gargantuan sack. 

 

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5 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

It featured a conventional relationship with Joe and Sugar.  Jerry and Joe dressed as women to survive, not for sexual reasons.

 

I was referring to Jack Lemmon and Joe E Brown’s same sex relationship. 

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4 hours ago, Mrs. Rannous said:

Umm- those are two different directors.  You know that, right?

Good catch on that. Big Sky is Wyler who is also a HOFer. I would love to nominate him but I’m not sure his movies are well seen enough. 

Edited by Ilov80s
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17 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Good catch on that. Big Sky is Wyler who is also a HOFer. I would love to nominate him but I’m not sure his movies are well seen enough. 

 

Wyler made a handful of classics but the vote would go to Ben Hur in a landslide.

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