Billy Wilder - Rotten Tomatoes

Billy Wilder

Highest Rated:   100% Night Will Fall (2014)
Lowest Rated:   29% Casino Royale (1967)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Sucha, Galicia, Austria-Hungary
One of Hollywood's most consistent and enduring filmmakers, Billy Wilder was also among its most daring. In feature after feature, in a wide variety of styles and genres, he explored the taboo subjects of the day with insight, wit, and trenchant cynicism; adultery, alcoholism, prostitution -- no topic was too controversial or too racy for Wilder's films. Unlike the majority of Hollywood's other historically provocative voices, however, he was a major commercial success as well as a critical favorite, with two of his features garnering Best Picture Oscars and numerous others honored with various Academy nominations. Sophisticated and acerbic, his intricate narratives, sparkling dialogue, and painterly visuals combined to illuminate the darker impulses of modern American society with rare brilliance.He was born Samuel Wilder in Sucha, Austria. After first studying law, he began a career as a journalist with a Vienna newspaper, later relocating to Berlin as a reporter for the city's largest tabloid. By 1929, he was working as a screenwriter, often collaborating with director Robert Siodmak. He swiftly became one of the German film industry's most prolific and sought-after writers, but Adolf Hitler's 1933 rise to power effectively brought his career to a halt as Wilder, a Jew, was forced to flee for his life.His first stop was France, where in 1934 he made his debut behind the camera, co-directing Mauvaise Graine with Alexander Esway. He soon landed in the United States, settling in Hollywood to begin his work anew. After moving in with Peter Lorre, Wilder set about learning English, eventually gaining entry into the American film industry with a 1934 adaptation of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein musical Music in the Air, directed by Joe May and starring Gloria Swanson. He worked on a number of other films including 1935's The Lottery Lover and 1937's Champagne Waltz prior to forging a writing partnership with Charles Brackett on 1938's That Certain Age. The Wilder/Brackett team quickly emerged as one of Hollywood's most successful pairings, with credits including Mitchell Leisen's 1939 Midnight, the 1939 Ernst Lubitsch classic Ninotchka, and Howard Hawks' stellar 1941 effort Ball of Fire, winning widespread acclaim for their distinctively sophisticated touch. Ultimately, Wilder's success as a writer also allowed him the opportunity to direct, and he bowed in 1942 with the Ginger Rogers vehicle The Major and the Minor. The wartime thriller Five Graves to Cairo followed in 1943, and the next year Wilder helmed his first classic, the masterful film noir Double Indemnity. Even more powerful was its follow-up, 1945's The Lost Weekend, a remarkably gritty and realistic portrayal of alcoholism which won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (for Wilder and Brackett), and Best Actor (Ray Milland).Wartime duties kept Wilder out of the filmmaking arena for several years, and he did not direct another film before 1948's The Emperor Waltz. Its follow-up, A Foreign Affair, earned the wrath of reviewers over its blackly comic treatment of life in postwar Berlin, but it was later reappraised as one of his stronger efforts. The 1950 Sunset Boulevard, on the other hand, was hailed as a classic immediately upon release, and the tale of a faded movie star (Swanson) -- the final screenplay from the Wilder/Brackett team -- went on to win the Academy Award for Best Screenplay. The bitter The Big Carnival followed in 1951, with the wartime dramatic comedy Stalag 17 winning star William Holden a Best Actor Oscar two years later. Upon completing the 1954 romantic comedy Sabrina, Wilder directed 1955's The Seven Year Itch, the first of his films to star Marilyn Monroe, and after a trio of 1957 efforts -- Love in the Afternoon (the first of many projects with new writing partner I.A.L. Diamond), the Charles Lindbergh biography The Spirit of St. Louis, and Witness for the Prosecution -- he close

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Tcm Presents Double Indemnity Encore
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
2015
No Score Yet Tcm Presents Double Indemnity
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2015
100% Night Will Fall
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Portrait d'un homme 'à 60% parfait': Billy Wilder (Portrait of a '60% Perfect Man': Billy Wilder)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Her Grace Commands (Ihre Hoheit Befiehlt)
  • Screenwriter
2010
No Score Yet Il était une fois... Certains l'aiment chaud
  • Actor
2009
100% A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
  • Actor
1995
62% Buddy Buddy
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1981
73% Fedora
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1978
No Score Yet W.c. Fields And Me
  • Director
1976
73% The Front Page
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1974
87% Avanti!
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1972
96% The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1970
29% Casino Royale
  • Screenwriter
1967
95% The Fortune Cookie
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1966
73% Kiss Me, Stupid
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1964
86% Irma La Douce
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1963
94% One, Two, Three
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1961
93% The Apartment
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1960
96% Some Like It Hot
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Producer
1959
100% Witness for the Prosecution
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1957
88% Love in the Afternoon
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1957
84% The Spirit of St. Louis
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1957
86% The Seven Year Itch
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1955
91% Sabrina
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1954
97% Stalag 17
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1953
89% Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival)
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Director
1951
98% Sunset Boulevard
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1950
100% A Foreign Affair
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1948
63% The Emperor Waltz
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1948
100% The Lost Weekend
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1945
96% Double Indemnity
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1944
100% Five Graves to Cairo
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1943
100% The Major and the Minor
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1942
100% Hold Back the Dawn
  • Screenwriter
1941
100% Ball of Fire
  • Screenwriter
1941
No Score Yet Arise, My Love
  • Screenwriter
1940
97% Ninotchka
  • Screenwriter
1939
92% Midnight
  • Screenwriter
1939
No Score Yet That Certain Age
  • Screenwriter
1938
No Score Yet Kidnapped
  • Producer
1938
29% Bluebeard's Eighth Wife
  • Screenwriter
1938
No Score Yet Music in the Air
  • Screenwriter
1934
No Score Yet Mauvaise Graine
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet Das Blaue vom Himmel (The Blue from the Sky)
  • Screenwriter
1932
No Score Yet Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives)
  • Screenwriter
1931
No Score Yet Der falsche Ehemann (The Wrong Husband)
  • Screenwriter
1931
No Score Yet Der Teufelsreporter (Hell of a Reporter)
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
1929

Quotes from Billy Wilder's Characters

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