Billy Wilder is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is considered one of the greatest filmmakers in history. His career spanned over five decades, including a decade as a writer-director in the 1930s and 1940s.

He won two Academy Awards for Best Director (1940 and 1954) and was nominated for three other Oscars. In 1999, he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award “for his rich body of work, which has established him as one of the most original and influential filmmakers of our time.”

Wilder’s best known films include Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Ace in the Hole (1951), and Witness for the Prosecution (1957).

He won twice for The Lost Weekend and for Sunset Boulevard, both adapted from novels by Billy Wilder’s brother Raymond, who died before he could see his brother’s films screen; Billy’s nephew Francis Ford Coppola also adapted Wilder’s book The Front Page into his subsequent directorial debut.

In 1999, he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award “for his rich body of work, which has established him as one of the most original and influential filmmakers of our time.”

Best Billy Wilder Movies

Wilder was known as a major film director during the period known historically as the Golden Age of Hollywood. Here’s our video guide to the Golden Age of Hollywood:

Here are what we consider the best Billy Wilder films of all time.

1. Sunset Blvd. (1950)   

Sunset Blvd. (1950) is a timeless classic that has stood the test of time. Directed by the legendary Billy Wilder, the film tells the story of a fading silent film star, Norma Desmond, and her desperate attempt to make a comeback in the rapidly changing world of Hollywood.

Gloria Swanson’s performance as Norma Desmond is nothing short of mesmerizing. She captures the desperation, delusion, and vulnerability of a once-famous actress who is now struggling to cope with the harsh reality of being forgotten by the world. William Holden, who plays Joe Gillis, a struggling screenwriter who becomes entangled in Norma’s web, delivers a solid performance as well.

Sunset Blvd. (1950) is a visual masterpiece, with stunning cinematography that captures the glamour and decay of Hollywood in the 1950s. The film’s haunting score, composed by Franz Waxman, adds to the eerie atmosphere and perfectly complements the dark themes of the story.

Overall, Sunset Blvd. (1950) is a must-watch for anyone who loves classic Hollywood cinema. It is a haunting and unforgettable film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Sunset Boulevard
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim (Actors)
  • WilderBilly (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Charles Brackett (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Double Indemnity (1944)        

Double Indemnity (1944) is a classic film noir that delivers all the expected twists, turns, and suspense that the genre is known for. Directed by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, the film stars Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff, an insurance salesman who falls for the seductive Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) and becomes embroiled in a plot to kill her husband for the insurance money.

The film’s black-and-white cinematography is stunning, with shadows and silhouettes creating an atmosphere of danger and deception. The dialogue is sharp and snappy, with a memorable exchange between Neff and Phyllis as they discuss the perfect murder. The chemistry between MacMurray and Stanwyck is electric, their attraction and mistrust of each other palpable.

   

The supporting cast is equally strong, with Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes, the dogged insurance investigator who suspects Neff’s involvement in the murder, and Jean Heather as Lola Dietrichson, the innocent daughter caught up in her parents’ deadly scheme.

Double Indemnity is a must-see for fans of film noir and classic cinema in general. Its influence can be seen in countless films that followed, and its themes of greed, lust, and betrayal remain timeless. As Keyes says in the film, “I love you too, baby…but I’m going to nail you.” And that’s exactly what Double Indemnity does, nailing its audience to their seats until the very end.

Double Indemnity
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Buddy G. DeSylva (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

3. The Apartment (1960)              

The Apartment (1960) is a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today. Jack Lemmon delivers a standout performance as C.C. Baxter, a lonely office worker who allows his superiors to use his apartment for extramarital affairs. The film’s exploration of loneliness, corporate culture, and the complexities of human relationships is masterfully executed by director Billy Wilder. The chemistry between Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine is electric, as they navigate the challenges of their unconventional relationship. The film’s witty script and charming vintage aesthetic make it a must-watch for fans of classic cinema. Overall, The Apartment is a poignant and entertaining film that deserves its place in cinematic history.

No products found.

4. Some Like It Hot (1959)           

Some Like It Hot (1959) is an absolute classic that still manages to hold up brilliantly today. Directed by Billy Wilder, this film is a perfect example of how comedy can be smart, witty, and even a little bit irreverent without being crass or vulgar. The story is simple enough: two struggling musicians, played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, witness a mob hit and go into hiding by dressing up as women and joining an all-female band. Along the way, they encounter the gorgeous and talented Marilyn Monroe, who steals the show with her iconic performance as the band’s lead singer.

The chemistry between the three leads is electric, and the script is so sharp and clever that it’s impossible not to be swept up in the hilarious hijinks that ensue. The film also has a surprising amount of heart, with themes of love, loyalty, and acceptance woven throughout. Some Like It Hot is a true classic that deserves all the praise it has received over the years, and it’s easy to see why it’s still considered one of the greatest comedies of all time. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and watch it as soon as possible –’t be disappointed!

Some Like It Hot
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, George Raft (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - R. Thoeren (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English, French (Playback Language)
  • English, French (Subtitles)

5. Ace in the Hole (1951)             

Ace in the Hole (1951) is a masterpiece of film noir that truly stands the test of time. Directed by the legendary Billy Wilder, this gripping drama tells the story of a down-on-his-luck journalist named Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) who discovers a man trapped in a mine and sees it as his chance to make a big career comeback.

The film is a scathing critique of the media’s exploitation of tragedy for personal gain, and it’s as relevant today as it was when it was first released. Douglas gives a tour-de-force performance as the ruthless and manipulative Tatum, and the supporting cast is equally strong.

Wilder’s direction is masterful, with every shot and line of dialogue contributing to the film’s tense and claustrophobic atmosphere. The film’s climax is a harrowing and unforgettable sequence that leaves a lasting impact on the viewer.

Overall, Ace in the Hole is a must-see for fans of film noir, journalism dramas, and anyone who appreciates great cinema. It’s a dark and powerful film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Ace In The Hole
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - William Schorr (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

6. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)    

Witness for the Prosecution (1957) is a gripping courtroom drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end. Directed by Billy Wilder, the film is based on Agatha Christie’s play of the same name and features an ensemble cast that delivers outstanding performances.

   

The story revolves around Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton), a brilliant and sharp-witted barrister who takes on the case of Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), a man accused of murdering a wealthy widow. As the trial unfolds, Sir Wilfrid discovers a web of lies and deceit that threatens to unravel the entire case.

The standout performance in the film comes from Charles Laughton, who delivers a masterclass in acting as the cantankerous and witty Sir Wilfrid. He is supported by a strong cast that includes Marlene Dietrich as the enigmatic and alluring wife of the accused, and Tyrone Power, who perfectly captures the desperation and fear of a man who finds himself on trial for his life.

The film’s twists and turns keep you guessing till the very end, and the final reveal is both shocking and satisfying. The script is taut and well-crafted, with just the right amount of humor and drama to keep the audience engaged.

Overall, Witness for the Prosecution (1957) is a must-watch for fans of courtroom dramas and Agatha Christie’s work. With its strong performances, gripping plot, and expert direction, it’s a film that stands the test of time and remains a classic of its genre.

 

Witness For The Prosecution (1957)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Arthur Hornblow Jr. (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

7. One, Two, Three (1961)           

One, Two, Three (1961) is a hilariously fast-paced comedy directed by the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder. Set in Cold War-era Berlin, the film follows the frantic efforts of Coca-Cola executive C.R. MacNamara (played brilliantly by James Cagney) to secure a business deal while dealing with a myriad of personal and professional obstacles.

Wilder’s signature wit and sharp dialogue are on full display, as the film expertly skewers both American and Soviet sensibilities. The performances are top-notch, with Cagney delivering a tour-de-force turn as the frenzied MacNamara, and Horst Buchholz providing a scene-stealing performance as the impish but lovable Otto.

The film’s breakneck pace and intricate plotting keep the audience guessing until the very end, and Wilder’s expert direction elevates the material beyond simple slapstick. One, Two, Three is a must-see for fans of classic comedy and Cold War-era satire alike. Overall, it’s a delightfully irreverent romp that showcases Wilder’s boundless talent and wit.

   
One Two Three
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Cagney, Arlene Francis, Horst Buchholz (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

8. Stalag 17 (1953)          

Stalag 17, directed by Billy Wilder, is a gripping and suspenseful film that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Set in a German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, the film follows a group of American soldiers as they try to uncover the identity of a traitor in their midst.

The film is expertly crafted, with Wilder’s signature blend of humor and drama. The performances are outstanding, particularly William Holden as the cynical and street-smart Sergeant Sefton. Holden delivers a nuanced and complex performance that perfectly captures the character’s mix of bravado and vulnerability.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with standout performances from Robert Strauss as the bumbling Animal and Peter Graves as the stoic and loyal Price. The film also features one of the most memorable villains in cinema history, the sadistic and manipulative Sergeant Schultz, played with chilling effectiveness by Otto Preminger.

But what really sets Stalag 17 apart is its masterful storytelling. The film is full of twists and turns, with Wilder expertly building suspense and keeping the audience guessing until the very end. The final reveal is both shocking and satisfying, and leaves the audience with plenty to think about long after the credits roll.

Overall, Stalag 17 is a classic film that deserves its reputation as one of the greatest war movies ever made. With its stellar performances, taut script, and expert direction, it’s a must-watch for any fan of cinema.

Stalag 17
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

9. The Lost Weekend (1945)      

The Lost Weekend (1945) is a haunting and powerful film that masterfully tackles the subject of alcoholism. Directed by Billy Wilder, this classic film tells the story of an aspiring writer named Don Birnam, who struggles with addiction and finds himself unable to resist the lure of the bottle.

Ray Milland’s performance as Don Birnam is nothing short of incredible, capturing the character’s desperation and inner turmoil with a raw and honest portrayal. The film’s use of flashbacks and dream sequences adds depth to the story, and the black and white cinematography helps to create a mood that is both bleak and atmospheric.

One of the strengths of The Lost Weekend is its refusal to shy away from the harsh realities of addiction. The film is unflinching in its depiction of the damage that alcoholism can cause, and it doesn’t try to sugarcoat or romanticize the issue. The result is a film that is both sobering and deeply moving.

Overall, The Lost Weekend is a classic film that remains relevant today, and is a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the darker side of the human experience. Billy Wilder’s direction and Ray Milland’s performance make for a powerful combination that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

The Lost Weekend
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Charles Brackett (Writer) - Charles Brackett (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

10. Sabrina (1954)          

Sabrina is a timeless classic that showcases the talents of Hollywood legends Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden. Hepburn’s portrayal of the title character is enchanting, as she transforms from a shy, awkward girl to a confident and sophisticated woman. The chemistry between Bogart and Hepburn is undeniable, despite their age difference, and their scenes together are some of the film’s most memorable moments.

Holden, on the other hand, plays the role of Sabrina’s love interest and provides a charming performance as the playboy brother of the wealthy family Sabrina works for. The film’s story is a delightful blend of romance, comedy, and drama that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

The film’s cinematography and score are also noteworthy, providing a stunning backdrop to the story of love and self-discovery. Overall, Sabrina is a must-watch for anyone who loves classic Hollywood films and wants to experience the magic of Hepburn, Bogart, and Holden on the big screen.

Sabrina (1995)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear (Actors)
  • Sydney Pollack (Director) - Samuel A. Taylor (Writer) - Scott Rudin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

11. The Fortune Cookie (1966)  

“The Fortune Cookie” is a classic comedy film that has stood the test of time. Directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, this movie tells the story of a dishonest cameraman who fakes an injury after a football game to claim a large compensation. The film is set in the 1960s and captures the era’s values and culture perfectly.

The chemistry between Lemmon and Matthau is undeniable, and they both deliver hilarious performances that keep the audience engaged throughout the entire film. The witty dialogue and clever plot twists make for an entertaining and enjoyable viewing experience.

Aside from the comedic elements, “The Fortune Cookie” also explores themes of greed and loyalty, adding depth to the storyline. The film’s message is still relevant today, making it a timeless classic that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages.

Overall, “The Fortune Cookie” is a must-watch for anyone who loves classic comedies. Wilder’s direction, combined with the excellent performances by Lemmon and Matthau, make this film a true gem of cinema history.

The Fortune Cookie
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Doane Harrison (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. A Foreign Affair (1948)          

A Foreign Affair (1948) is a delightful romantic comedy that showcases the charming talents of Jean Arthur and Marlene Dietrich. Directed by the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder, this film is a testament to his exceptional storytelling skills.

Set in post-World War II Berlin, the film follows the story of Congresswoman Phoebe Frost (Arthur) who travels to the city to investigate the behavior of American troops stationed there. Along the way, she meets the sultry nightclub performer Erika von Schlütow (Dietrich) and falls for her charm.

The chemistry between Arthur and Dietrich is palpable and their performances are top-notch. The film boasts of some hilarious moments and cleverly written dialogues that keep the audience engaged throughout.

Wilder’s direction is masterful and he expertly captures the mood of the city and its people in the aftermath of the war. The film also features some stunning cinematography and production design that transports the audience to a different era.

Overall, A Foreign Affair is a delightful romantic comedy that is well worth a watch. It’s a testament to Wilder’s exceptional talent as a filmmaker and a showcase of the immense talents of its two leading ladies.

 

13. Irma la Douce (1963)              

Irma la Douce (1963) is a delightful romantic comedy that takes place in the bustling streets of Paris. Jack Lemmon stars as Nestor Patou, a naive and ambitious policeman who falls in love with Irma la Douce, a charming and vivacious prostitute played by Shirley MacLaine.

The film is directed by the legendary Billy Wilder, who infuses the story with his trademark wit and humor. The script, co-written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, is full of clever one-liners and hilarious situations that keep the audience engaged from start to finish.

Lemmon and MacLaine have fantastic chemistry on screen, and their performances are both endearing and entertaining. Lemmon in particular shines as the bumbling Nestor, who goes to great lengths to win Irma’s heart.

But what sets Irma la Douce apart from other romantic comedies is its bold and unconventional approach to the genre. The film explores themes of love, jealousy, and societal norms in a way that feels fresh and modern even today.

Overall, Irma la Douce is a timeless classic that still manages to charm audiences over 50 years after its original release. With its delightful performances, witty script, and stunning Parisian setting, it’s a must-see for any fan of romantic comedies or classic cinema.

Irma La Douce
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Alexandre Breffort (Writer) - Alexander Trauner (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

14. Five Graves to Cairo (1943) 

Five Graves to Cairo (1943) is a thrilling and suspenseful World War II film that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Directed by the legendary Billy Wilder and starring the talented Franchot Tone, this film is a true masterpiece of its time.

The story follows Corporal John Bramble (Tone), a British soldier who finds himself stranded in the Sahara Desert after his tank is destroyed during a battle. He discovers an abandoned hotel and decides to take refuge there, only to realize that it is being used as a secret headquarters by the Germans. Bramble then assumes the identity of the hotel’s deceased waiter and begins to gather information about the Germans’ plans, all while trying to avoid suspicion.

The film’s suspenseful plot, combined with Wilder’s masterful direction and Tone’s captivating performance, make for an unforgettable cinematic experience. The supporting cast also shines, particularly Anne Baxter as Mouche, a French maid caught up in the dangerous game of espionage.

Overall, Five Graves to Cairo is a must-see for fans of classic cinema and war films. Its intricate plot, stunning visuals, and riveting performances make it a true gem of its era.

15. Avanti! (1972)           

Avanti! is a charming and witty romantic comedy from director Billy Wilder. The film follows the story of Wendell Armbruster Jr. (played by Jack Lemmon), a successful businessman who travels to Italy to claim his father’s body following a fatal car accident. However, things take a surprising turn when he discovers that his father was having an affair with a British woman named Pamela Piggott (played by Juliet Mills), and that the two of them had been staying in a luxurious hotel in the scenic town of Sorrento.

As Wendell and Pamela navigate their complicated family histories and personal relationships, they begin to develop a deep connection that transcends societal norms and expectations. The chemistry between Lemmon and Mills is palpable, and their performances are nuanced and heartfelt. The supporting cast, including Clive Revill as the hotel manager and Edward Andrews as Wendell’s business associate, provide hilarious comic relief and add depth to the story.

Wilder’s direction is impeccable, capturing the beauty and charm of Sorrento and infusing the film with humor and warmth. The film’s themes of love, loss, and self-discovery are explored with sensitivity and grace, making it a true gem of the romantic comedy genre. Overall, Avanti! is a delightful and unforgettable film that will leave you smiling long after the credits roll.

 

Avanti
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Lemmon, Juliet Mills, Clive Revill (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

16. The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)               

“The Spirit of St. Louis” (1957) is a thrilling biopic that tells the story of Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. James Stewart delivers a standout performance as Lindbergh, capturing both his determination and vulnerability as he faces the challenges of the grueling journey.

Director Billy Wilder masterfully captures the excitement and tension of the era, immersing the audience in the world of early aviation and the pioneering spirit of exploration. The film’s stunning aerial sequences are a highlight, conveying the danger and exhilaration of Lindbergh’s flight with breathtaking realism.

While some may find the film’s pacing slow at times, its focus on Lindbergh’s personal journey and the human elements of his story make for a compelling and engaging narrative. Overall, “The Spirit of St. Louis” is a classic tale of adventure and perseverance that is sure to inspire and entertain audiences for years to come.

The Spirit Of St. Louis
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Stewart, Murray Hamilton, Patricia Smith (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Leland Hayward (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

17. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)  

“The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” is an intriguing and compelling take on the legendary detective’s character. This 1970 film, directed by Billy Wilder, takes a more personal approach to Holmes’ life, exploring his relationships and vulnerabilities beyond his brilliant mind.

The film’s cast, headed by Robert Stephens as Holmes and Colin Blakely as Dr. Watson, deliver standout performances that capture the essence of the iconic characters. The chemistry between the two actors is palpable, and their banter adds a touch of humor to the otherwise serious investigative tale.

Wilder’s direction adds a layer of sophistication to the film, as he seamlessly blends humor, drama, and mystery in a way that keeps the audience engaged throughout. The stunning cinematography and exquisite set design are also notable, transporting viewers to the Victorian era with ease.

The story itself is a unique and captivating take on the Sherlock Holmes canon, with a twist-filled plot that keeps the audience guessing until the very end. While it may not be as action-packed as some of the more recent adaptations of the character, “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” is a classic film that stands the test of time.

Overall, “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” is a must-watch for any fan of the detective genre. It’s a beautifully crafted film that offers a fresh perspective on the iconic character, and is sure to keep you entertained from start to finish.

 

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Colin Blakely, Robert Stephens (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - I.A.L. Diamond (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

18. The Seven Year Itch (1955)  

“The Seven Year Itch” is a classic comedy that showcases the undeniable talent of Marilyn Monroe. The film follows the story of a man whose wife and son leave town for the summer, leaving him alone in his New York City apartment. As he struggles with temptation, he finds himself drawn to his seductive neighbor, played flawlessly by Monroe.

Director Billy Wilder’s witty and sophisticated script, combined with Monroe’s natural charm, makes for a hilarious and entertaining film. The iconic scene of Monroe’s dress blowing up over a subway grate has become a cultural touchstone and remains one of the most memorable moments in cinema history.

While the film may seem dated in some aspects, its themes of infidelity and the societal pressures placed on men are still relevant today. Overall, “The Seven Year Itch” is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates classic Hollywood humor and the incomparable Marilyn Monroe.

The Seven Year Itch
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Evelyn Keyes, Tom Ewell, Marilyn Monroe (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

19. The Major and the Minor (1942)       

The Major and the Minor (1942) is a delightful screwball comedy that showcases the talents of the legendary Billy Wilder in his directorial debut. The film tells the story of Susan Applegate (Ginger Rogers), a young woman who decides to pose as a 12-year-old in order to secure a cheaper train ticket to Iowa. Along the way, she meets Major Philip Kirby (Ray Milland), who becomes enamored with her innocent charm and decides to help her navigate the challenges of posing as a child.

The chemistry between Rogers and Milland is electric, and their banter is witty and engaging throughout the film. Rogers gives a standout performance, seamlessly transitioning between her childlike persona and her true self as a sophisticated adult. Milland, meanwhile, is charming as the dashing military man who falls for Susan’s charms.

The Major and the Minor is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud comedy that showcases Wilder’s mastery of the genre. The film is full of hilarious moments, including a memorable scene in which Susan teaches the Major how to kiss. The supporting cast is also excellent, with standout performances from Diana Lynn as the precocious teenager Lucy and Rita Johnson as the Major’s jealous fiancée.

Overall, The Major and the Minor is a delightful romp that will leave you with a smile on your face. It’s a classic screwball comedy that showcases the talents of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars and a director who would go on to become one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

 

Sale
The Major and the Minor
  • Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson (Actors)
  • C. C. Coleman (Director) - Arthur Hornblow, Jr. (Producer)

20. Love in the Afternoon (1957)              

Love in the Afternoon (1957) is a charming romantic comedy directed by the legendary Billy Wilder. Audrey Hepburn shines as Ariane, a young Parisian cellist who becomes enamored with Gary Cooper’s wealthy American playboy Frank Flannagan. The film explores the theme of forbidden love as Ariane’s fascination with Frank leads her to follow him around Paris, attending his various trysts with married women.

The chemistry between the two leads is undeniable, and their scenes together are delightful to watch. Hepburn’s natural beauty and grace are matched by Cooper’s rugged charm, making for a perfect pairing. The supporting cast, including Maurice Chevalier as Ariane’s father, add to the film’s overall charm and humor.

Wilder’s direction is masterful, as always, with his signature wit and sharp dialogue. The film moves at a brisk pace, and the Parisian backdrop adds to the film’s romantic appeal. The score, composed by the legendary Franz Waxman, complements the film perfectly and adds to the overall romantic atmosphere.

Overall, Love in the Afternoon is a delightful romantic comedy that showcases the talents of its two leads and its talented director. It’s a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who loves a good love story.

Love in the Afternoon
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Characteristics of Billy Wilder Movies

 Billy Wilder’s movies are characterized by their realism and their ability to blend comedy with drama. In many of his films, there is a strong element of social commentary that is not overt but nonetheless present. For example, “Some Like It Hot” (1939) deals with the state of relationships between homosexuals and heterosexuals in the 1950s; “Sunset Blvd.”

(1950) critiques Hollywood’s treatment of aging stars; “The Apartment” (1960) shows how a workaholic executive focuses all his energy on his job and neglects his family, leading to marital problems; “Some Like It Hot” contains many jokes about stereotypical gay men and women.

Wilder’s characters are often flawed human beings who must learn lessons about themselves through experiences that may be painful or humiliating. The characters’ relationships with one another are often strained and difficult, but they also tend to be very realistic in terms of their behavior toward one another.

Best Billy Wilder Movies – Wrapping Up

Billy Wilder’s films are a psychological goldmine, full of dark humor and relatable characters caught in the middle of their own lives.

Just as a refresher, here are the best movies he directed in his long career — including Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment, and Some Like It Hot.

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

The film that put Wilder on the map as a director, with a script adapted from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Gloria Swanson stars as Norma Desmond, an aging silent screen legend who returns to her former home on Sunset Boulevard after her personal assistant commits suicide.

She is convinced to make one last movie by her butler, who wants her to play a part in it so she can get back in touch with reality again.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

A comedy set during the height of the Luxe era that’s based on a story by Garson Kanin (later turned into a Broadway musical).

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play two musicians who dress up as women for their own protection while touring Europe during World War II — but when they accidentally bump into an undercover cop posing as female singer Sugar Kane, things get complicated fast.

 

Ready to learn about some other Film Movements or Film History?