Billy Wilder

With Billy Wilder’s death (Billy Wilder, Master of Caustic Films, Dies at 95) it is the end of an era. When you look through his list of films, there can’t be many other directors or writers whose films are all on anyone’s “top ten” list. (“Sunset Boulevard,” “Double Indemnity,” “Some Like It Hot”) And how interesting that many of them have quite gay overtones. Think about the scene in “Sunset Boulevard” where the Gloria Swanson character gets the William Holden character fitted for a whole new wardrobe. What gay man wouldn’t want to have that formalwear, particularly if it was somebody else paying for it! And Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis gave new meaning to bad drag in “Some Like It Hot.”

I think that Vincent Canby summed it up in this quote in the NY Times obituary:

“Wilder is often called cynical, mostly, I think, because his movies seldom offer us helpful hints to better lives. There are few people in his movies one could model one’s behavior on. He doesn’t deal in redeeming social values. Instead, he sees the demeaning ones.”

Here, here!

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