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On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder
by Ed Sikov
From the early years of anti-Semitism and frustration in Austria to the glory of Hollywood and six Academy Awards, Billy Wilders life is as fascinating as his movies. Now, drawing on new interviews, current research, and previously inaccessible archives, Ed Sikov offers endlessly entertaining portrait of one of this centurys most influential directors and screenwriters.
Paperback, 688 pages
Published November 17th 1999 by Hyperion
(first published November 23rd 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 149)
In terms of biographies, I prefer to look at the subject's life through the filter of an historic event or what the person is best known for in context. So A Team of Rivals is good; The "life and times" of so-and-so not so much. On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder is a little bit of both. Actually, it's a little bit "life and times" and quite a bit Hollywood history and Wilder's role within said history as well as how he influenced it. For me this book got off a little slow a ...more
Very readable bio of Billy Wilder, focusing on his career more than his private life, which is perfect for me. Detailed but never boring descriptions of each production is paired with box office and contemporary critical response, as well as Sikov's own critical perspective, interspersed with anecdotes from Billy's life. Many of these stories are told in multiple versions, as it seems Wilder himself was quite prone to exaggeration to increase any story's comedic value, and the producers and acto ...more
Great informative bio of one of Hollywood's greatest directors. Very detailed and well-researched, this book is an inside look at a lifelong outsider, as well as the backstory and casting decisions made for each of his films. A movie buff's delight!
This book is amazing in the amount of detail presented. Sometimes, it's too much for a casual read. An excellent resource for anyone interested in the irascible, brilliant Billy Wilder, his early days as a screenwriter in Vienna and Berlin, and of course, Hollywood. How he must have suffered to know that he tried to get his mother to leave Vienna before the Anschluss, and to know that she later died at the hands of the Nazis.
Skimmed for the bits I was interested in. Started it after seeing Sabrina for the first time. Now am on an old movie jag and may finally watch Sunset Blvd. Glad he got out of Europe when the getting was good. Lots of everything in here and much more about the shooting process for each film than I needed.