Billy Wilder, Movie-Maker

Critical Essays on the Films


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SKU: 9780786442119 Categories: ,

About the Book

Billy Wilder’s work remains a masterful combination of incisive social commentary, skilled writing and directing, and unashamed entertainment value. One of Hollywood’s foremost émigré filmmakers, Wilder holds a key position in film history via films that represent a complex reflection of his European roots and American cultural influences. This wide-ranging collection of essays by an international group of scholars examines the significance of Wilder’s filmmaking from a variety of original perspectives. Engaging with issues of genre, industry, representation and national culture, the volume provides fresh insights into Wilder’s films and opens up his work to further exploration.

About the Author(s)

Karen McNally is senior lecturer of Film Studies at London Metropolitan University. She has also written on Frank Sinatra and American Male identity, and has contributed to numerous journals and edited collections.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Karen McNally
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 254
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4211-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8520-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents



Karen McNally      1

Part One: Matters of Genre

1. What Exposure Is the World? The Desert Noir of Ace in the Holev
Lance Duerfahrd      11

2. An Unconventional War Film: Death, Disguise and Deception in Five Graves to Cairo

Dale M. Pollock      26

3. Syncope, Syncopation: Musical Hommages to Europe

Katherine Arens      41

4. Realistic Horror: Film Noir and the 1940s Horror Cycle

Mark Jancovich      56

Image and Identity

5. Shame and the Single Girl: Reviving Fran and Falling for Baxter in The Apartment

Alison R. Hoffman      71

6. “Have They Forgotten What a Star Looks Like?” Image and Theme with Dino, Cagney and Fedora

Karen McNally      87

7. Phenomenological Masking: Complications of Identity in Double Indemnity

Phillip Sipiora      102

Part Three: Production and Reception

8. “A Small, Effective Organization”: The Mirisch Company, the Package-Unit System, and the Production of Some Like It Hot

Paul Kerr      117

9. “Esthetically As Well as Morally Repulsive”: Kiss Me, Stupid, “Bilious Billy,” and the Battle of Middlebrow Taste

Ken Feil      132

10. Censorship, Negotiation and Transgressive Cinema: Double Indemnity, Some Like It Hot and Other Controversial Movies in the United States and Europe

Daniel Biltereyst      145

Part Four: Europe, America and Beyond

11. “I Don’t Have a Home!” Paris Interregnum in Mauvaise graine
Leila Wimmer      161

12. Palimpsest: The Double Vision of Exile

Nancy Steffen-Fluhr      178

13. Sabrina, Hollywood and Postwar Internationalism

Dina Smith      193

14. Evolving Modernities: Formation of the Urban Imagination in Hindi Cinema

Sunny Singh      209



INDEX      239

Book Reviews & Awards

“in-depth”—SciTech book News; “some of the freshest and most insightfully written examinations on Billy Wilder to date…fascinating collection…an exceptionally valuable undertaking…engaging and thought provoking”—Professor Robert Dassanowsky, Senses of Cinema.