Tag Archives: Billy Wilder

The Front Page (1974): Uneven, but Hilarious

Billy Wilder’s 1920s period piece,  The Front Page (1974) tells the tale of Hildy Johnson (Jack Lemmon), a top-flight Chicago-based journalist who seeks to escape his job for greener pastures–a new life together with his fiancé. On the eve of the execution of Earl Williams, an alleged murderer and communist sympathizer, Hildy’s managing editor, Walter Burns (Walter Matthau) pulls every trick out of the book to keep Hildy in town and on the job. The film is one of many adaptations of a 1928 play of the same name, including Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday (1940). Continue reading

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Iron Director: Billy Wilder vs. Preston Sturges

I’m going back in time to my first entry in the Iron Director series, borrowing the same theme. My first entry was about two directors who I’d become obsessed with in 2010–François Truffaut and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. This entry will focus on two more directors I’ve developed an obsession about over the last 18 months–Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges. When you’re a hardcore film nerd, you spend too much of your time trying to spackle in the cracks in your film knowledge. Hollywood’s 1940s and 1950s heyday was certainly a crack for me until somewhat recently. As such, I’ve started slowly tackling various actors and directors from the era. Wilder and Sturges have emerged as directors whose style resonates with me–both comic, both deep, both mastering the dramedy in ways that few (if any) directors have done since. Which one is better?

First, let’s take a quick look at which films I’ve seen from Wilder and Sturges and how I’ve rated them. Note that all films are rated on Netflix’s five star system. Here’s an infographic: Continue reading

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For the Love of Bingie


No, “Benji” isn’t misspelled. You see, my name is John and I have a problem. When it comes to movies, I binge. I find certain directors or genres or actors and actresses that I like and I feast on one movie after another from said director, genre, or actor/actress. It usually takes a month or two to wear itself out depending on my level of enjoyment and the depth of availability. Allow me to give some examples. Continue reading

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