Billy Wilder

Director of classics such as Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot.

Love It Sunset Boulevard (1950) -- A perfect movie in many ways.  Even beyond the compelling story, it's got tons of cool things like the casting of Gloria Swanson (an actual silent film actress) as Norma Desmond, Erich von Stroheim (an actual silent film director) as her butler, Cecil B. DeMille playing himself (in one of the more poignant scenes) along with others such as Buster Keaton (a "waxwork").  Funny, sad, smart, and self-aware in the best of ways.  For years, the satire held up.  If it doesn't work now, it's only because Norma Desmond would be on some reality show on VH-1, which would be even more sad for Norma than what happened to her in the movie.

Really Like It The Seven Year Itch (1955) -- Still a hilarious, laugh-out-loud comedy.  Tom Ewell is perfect as the fantasizing everyman, and Marilyn Monroe is beyond perfect as the sex object.  Most of the comedy of the movie comes from some of the best puns and visual double-entendres ever recorded, becoming more "dirty" (and certainly more funny) than contemporary movies as a result of the execution.  For bonus comedy, we also get some parodies of movies themselves, such as the send-up of From Here to Eternity or the joke about Cinemascope and Technicolor.  Oh and, yes, this is the one where Marilyn's white dress is blown up, one of the many scenes that shows why Marilyn is still lusted after today.  (My personal favorite, by the way, is probably Marilyn cooling her legs through her dress in the wall-unit air-conditioner.)

Copyright (c) Aug 2007 - Apr 2008 by Rusty Likes Movies