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

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

1. Sunset Blvd. (1950)   

Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 American drama film directed byBilly Wilder, written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, and starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson. The movie was adapted from a story by A. I. Bezzerides and Darryl F.

Zanuck. The supporting cast includes Stephen McNally, Angelo Rossitto, Joe McDoakes and Dolores Fuller. The cinematographer was Ephraim Katz.

The film is about an aging silent screen star who slips into alcoholism and despair after being dumped by his latest leading lady, played by Gloria Swanson. Swanson had been nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Sunset Boulevard but lost to Ingrid Bergman for Anastasia (1956).

The title refers to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California where Swanson lives with her sister Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who is dying of cancer.

Norma’s delusions of grandeur are due to the fact that she is unaware that she has been blacklisted from Hollywood after refusing to star in her own movie when told that it would be the last film she would ever be able to make.

Sunset Boulevard
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim (Actors)
  • WilderBilly (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - Charles Brackett (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

2. Double Indemnity (1944)        

Billy Wilder’s classic crime film is one of the best examples of how to tell a story while keeping it simple. The movie is structured around Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) and Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), two insurance salesmen who are enjoying a successful business career in Los Angeles.

Their life changes when they meet Fred’s niece, Phyllis, and take her into their home as a house guest. After meeting her friend, Rita (Deanna Durbin), they start seeing each other romantically as well.

The insurance companies are interested in buying out Fred and Phyllis’ coverage on their policies, so they decide to kill Phyllis after she is diagnosed with cancer. As their plan goes into motion, we see that these two men have some serious issues working through their past and present relationships with women.

And although Fred does eventually admit his love for Phyllis, he ultimately chooses his job over the woman he loves. In some ways, this film can be viewed as morality tale about how men should be loyal to women even if it puts them at risk for losing everything else in life.

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 is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder, written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, and starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray. The film was based on the play You Said a Mouthful by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, which was first broadcast on television in 1959.[1]

The film tells the story of Bud White (Jack Lemmon), a bachelor who has just been hired as an apartment manager at a large apartment building in New York City. He lives with his mother and sister in Brooklyn, but he enjoys life as a bachelor and has no plans to get married or have children.

Bud’s new employer is Mr. Benson (Walter Matthau), who runs the building along with his partner Mr. Lindley (Jackie Gleason). During his first day at work, Bud meets Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), an attractive widow who makes it clear that she would like to date him; however, she also wants to meet his mother so that they can discuss personal matters before dating further.[2]

The Apartment
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - I.A.L. Diamond (Writer) - Billy Wilder (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. Some Like It Hot (1959)           

 Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American romantic comedy film directed and produced by Billy Wilder. The screenplay by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on the short story “The Lady from Chicago” by Harry Segall, which appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine in December 1930.

The film stars Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, with an all-star supporting cast, including Joseph Cotten, George Raft, Pat O’Brien, Patrice Wymore, Rita Moreno, Keenan Wynn and Joe E. Brown[1].

The film was one of the top ten box office hits of 1959,[2] grossing over $40 million in domestic receipts.[3] Some Like It Hot won three Academy Awards out of 10 nominations,[4] including Best Actress for Monroe and Best Writing (Screenplay) for Wilder.

[5] In 2010 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.[6] According to MGM records

Some Like It Hot
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Marilyn Monroe, George Raft, Edward G. Robinson (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer) - I.A.L. Diamond (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Ace in the Hole (1951)             

The director Billy Wilder’s review of Ace in the Hole asks how much we should trust the eyes and ears of a cynical, cynical reporter. The answer is: not very much.

The story is based on an actual event: real life reporter Charles Kuralt and his producer Jack Perkins were invited to participate in a CBS special on the Oglala Lakota tribe of South Dakota, where they met with tribal elder Richard Henry Pratt, who had founded his own school for Native American children in 1881.

The film is not about that time period, though; it’s about what happened next. A few years later, Pratt turned against his own tribe and led an expedition that massacred all the Lakotas living around Pine Ridge reservation (about 1,400 people).

He justified this atrocity by claiming that since their culture was primitive and savage — even though it had been developed from European civilization — they needed to be exterminated so that civilization could be introduced.

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)    

The film is based on the novel by John P. Marquand, who wrote it as a play first. That was a different story, of course, but the basic idea was Marquand’s: a man is accused of murder and must testify in court.

As we see him preparing to testify — or not — we realize that he’s not quite sure what he’s doing there, either.

He goes to see his lawyer, who tells him that if he wants to get off, all he has to do is tell the truth about things. The lawyer says this is good advice for anyone who needs help; but it’s especially good advice for someone like this man whose life has been turned upside down by an accusation of murder: he can’t even remember what happened during the alleged crime!

Witness For The Prosecution
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, 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 is a 1961 American comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder, who co-wrote the screenplay with Isobel Lennart. The film stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine as a New York couple who rent an apartment.

The film also features Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon’s sister Joan Lemmon and Peter Sellers. Although it was only nominated for two Academy Awards, One, Two, Three is regarded as one of the top films of its era.

The film begins with retired schoolteacher Harry Bailey (Jack Lemmon) moving into an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with his wife Mary (Shirley MacLaine). Harry has spent six months collecting comic books from his childhood years but has not been able to find any new ones since then.

Harry goes to see Richard Wiseman (Walter Matthau), who teaches humanities at a local high school and is known for his eccentricities. Wiseman tells Harry that he owns the entire collection of comic books in existence and takes him to his house where they collect them together.

As they do so, Wisemann explains that he has been collecting these books since he was a child in order to understand them better; he hopes that someday

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)          

 Billy Wilder’s 1953 Cold War comedy Stalag 17 stars Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Fred MacMurray as three American prisoners of war who are forced to build a fake village deep in the German countryside.

While they’re building the village, they discover that the Nazis are planning to invade England through Germany. They manage to alert the Allies, but not before their own men arrive with plans for an elaborate fake attack on their camp.

The movie is based on John Mollo’s play The Bridge Too Far, which was first produced by the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1949. Mollo also wrote the play’s screenplay.

   

Wilder made changes to his script for this film, most notably removing all references to Miss Perfume (who would be replaced by Miss Hagen), as well as making a few minor alterations to the story line itself.

Fred MacMurray said about working with Wilder: “He never told you anything about his ideas or what he wanted you to do.”

Stalag 17
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • William Holden, Donald 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 is a 1945 American drama film directed by Billy Wilder and based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Charles Jackson. It stars Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Don Taylor, Ian Hunter and Dorothy McGuire.

The film was adapted by John Paxton and George Oppenheimer from the novel by Jackson.

The plot follows Bill Norton (Milland), a struggling writer who is diagnosed with alcoholism and spends a weekend trying to recover. He finds that his friends have betrayed him, as well as his girlfriend (Wyman). He ends up at a party where he drinks excessively again and falls into an alcoholic stupor.

The screenplay was written by John Paxton from the novel by Jackson.[4] Milland’s portrayal of Bill Norton has been praised for its authenticity.[5] Although some critics felt that the ending did not adequately resolve itself into an optimistic conclusion,[6] others felt that Milland’s performance “captures all the agony and hope in this story”.[7]

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)          

The film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Taming of the Shrew, Sabrina is a perfect example of how well-written material can transcend its source material. It’s a shame that it wasn’t released as a single picture at the time, because it would have been a smash hit.

In fact, I would argue that this is one of the best romantic comedies ever made.

Sabrina is about two people who come from completely different worlds: a rich, snobbish young man named Harvey Korman and an Italian immigrant named Lorna Luft. They meet by chance at an airport where he’s about to board a plane for Italy and she’s waiting for her boyfriend.

Their initial encounter goes well, but when they’re introduced again later on by their respective friends, things go downhill fast and they end up fighting like cats and dogs over who gets to sit next to him in first class on their flight back home.

The crux of this story lies in Harvey’s insecurity regarding his status as an American citizen: he fears that if he marries an Italian woman then she’ll immigrate here with him, thus making him an illegal immigrant himself!

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)  

This was the first movie I saw on the big screen. I was six years old, and my parents took me to see this movie at a theater in New York City. I remember that it was a very warm summer night and we had to wait in line for about half an hour before getting into the theater.

After seeing the movie, I remember being fascinated by two things: how fast people can talk and how quickly they can change their clothes. The people in this movie all talked so fast that it was hard for me to follow what they were saying, and when they changed their clothes, it seemed like they were changing them all at once.

I don’t remember much about the plot of this film except that there’s a fortune cookie that tells you what your future will be like if you eat it (and if you don’t eat it). This is because it turns out that all of these people have their own personal fortunes hidden inside their fortune cookies.

They each have a different prediction about their lives, which makes them feel better about themselves because they know what kind of fortune they have been given by fate itself.

In this film, Billy Wilder uses humor as well as pathos to show us how lucky we

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)
  • (Playback Language)

12. A Foreign Affair (1948)          

 A Foreign Affair is a 1948 drama film directed by Billy Wilder, adapted from the French play La Femme Nikita by Marcel Achard and Henri Vernes. It stars Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Daniel Gélin and Nino Castelnuovo. The film was also released in the United States as Woman of the Year.

The action takes place in Paris and Berlin during the Occupation of France by Germany. An American reporter (Charles Boyer) meets an attractive woman (Ingrid Bergman) who tells him she is a spy for the Soviets; she seduces him and then turns him over to the Gestapo for execution.

He escapes with her help and flees to East Berlin where he becomes involved with another agent (Gélin). They are eventually captured by French partisans led by a Communist cell leader (Daniel Gélin). The two men are forced to kill each other in front of their captors as proof of their loyalty to their respective countries.

13. Irma la Douce (1963)              

 Irma la douce (1963) is a comedy of manners, based on the Italian play by Eduardo De Filippo. It’s the story of two bourgeois couples, Carlo and Mariella (Aldo Fabrizi and Gina Lollobrigida), who live in the same apartment building.

Although they are separated by their social classes and Jean-Claude Dreyfus’ character is a lower-class boy, his father Jacques (Jean-Paul Belmondo), who is engaged to Mariella, has been dating her mother (Gina Lollobrigida).

Carlo and Mariella are both emotionally detached from their own lives; they spend most of their time with each other and enjoy playing games that involve seduction. The only time they go out is when they are forced to take part in formal events such as dinners or parties.

However, when Irma appears on the scene she becomes an important part of their lives.

Irma la Douce was one of Billy Wilder’s most successful films at the box office

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) 

 Billy Wilder’s Five Graves to Cairo (1943) is an engaging and entertaining film, but it’s a little too fond of its own cleverness and self-aware to fully justify its stature as one of the greatest films ever made.

The setup is simple enough: a British officer (Freddie Bartholomew) has been ordered by his superiors to find his missing men and bring them home.

He assembles a small band of soldiers, including Tony Curtis as the leader of the group, and they set off on a mission that will take them from Egypt to Gibraltar, across Spain and then back to Alexandria before coming home again.

The group’s adventures are filled with plenty of action sequences, as well as some slapstick humor that makes this feel like one long buddy comedy.

But despite all of this, there’s something lacking in Five Graves to Cairo that keeps it from being anything more than an entertaining diversion for fans of Hollywood adventure movies. The fact that it’s based on a Michael Hogan novel doesn’t help either; even though he wrote about many different types of heroes over his career (including Nazis), Hogan never really had much success when it came time to adapting his work into

Five Graves to Cairo (1943) ( 5 Graves to Cairo ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - Italy ]
  • Five Graves to Cairo (1943) ( 5 Graves to Cairo )
  • Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
  • 5 Graves to Cairo
  • Akim Tamiroff, Erich von Stroheim, Franchot Tone (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Five Graves to Cairo (1943) ( 5 Graves to Cairo ) (Producer)

15. Avanti! (1972)           

 Billy Wilder’s Avanti! is a fun, breezy, and brilliant movie. It’s a great example of the “what if” approach to storytelling, where you imagine what might happen if some event or person did something different.

It’s about an Italian race car driver named Joe Gillis (Jack Lemmon). He’s not very good at either driving or flying planes, but he has two passions in life: racing and women.

One day Joe meets a beautiful woman named Phyllis (Shirley MacLaine) at an airport. She’s flying home to San Francisco after spending some time in Italy. They fall in love and marry each other within five days of meeting one another.

The story then jumps forward 25 years later when Joe is now old and retired from racing with a wife and family who have grown up around him. He has a lot of money at this point in his life because he won a lot of races back in the day but doesn’t have much use for it anymore except as an investment opportunity for his children so they can go into business with him after they get out of college.

Joe also has a lot of regrets about his life choices – he feels like he wasted

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

16. The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)               

This is the story of Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, who later became a famous aviator with the “Spirit of St. Louis.” But it’s not really about his flight; it’s about his life and personality, and how he interacts with the people around him.

It’s also about Hollywood and show business, which was booming during this period. The film stars Burt Lancaster as Lindbergh, Eva Marie Saint as Anne Morrow Lindbergh (his wife), Dean Stockwell as Avro Manhattan Ryan (his friend), Edward G. Robinson as Charles A.

Levine (his agent), George Sanders as Owen Dyer (his doctor), Fredric March as Charles A., Walter Brennan as Judge Daniel Van Doren (his lawyer), Agnes Moorehead as Mary Morrow Lindbergh (Charles’ mother), and more!

It’s a very entertaining movie that feels like a classic Hollywood comedy at times but also has serious undertones about American values at other times. It shows how Hollywood can be sometimes a place where dreams come true for people who are looking for them but also where those dreams can be crushed if they don’t live up

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)  

This movie is a great example of how a director can take the same story and make it his own. Billy Wilder, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, took the basic story of Sherlock Holmes and made it his vision. It’s not a remake or a sequel; it’s just another version of the classic tale.

Billy Wilder stars as Holmes himself alongside his much younger wife, played by Jill St. John (who also appeared in Sunset Boulevard). The film also stars William Holden as an American writer who moves to London and becomes obsessed with solving mysteries while writing a novel based on Sherlock Holmes.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is a wonderful blend of lighthearted fun and serious drama that works equally well on both levels. Billy Wilder gives us an enjoyable film that doesn’t take itself too seriously while still being able to capture the essence of its source material.

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 (1955) is a comedy-romance film directed by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The screenplay was adapted by I. A. L. Diamond from the best-selling novel of the same name by William March (pen name of Edward Anhalt).

The film’s plot features several aspects that would later be used in Wilder’s next project, Sunset Boulevard (1950). The story takes place over seven years and revolves around a man who has worked as a secretary for his wife’s company for six years, but he has become restless and desires to start his own business.

The movie’s main character, Monroe’s Doreen Perry Arbuthnot, is dissatisfied with her job as an office assistant and fantasizes about being a singer or actress in New York City. She becomes attracted to her boss, Lemmon’s Stan Ridges, while they are working together on a big promotion at the office Christmas party.

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, a German officer, is trying to escape from France with his wife. He’s been captured and is being held in a French prison where he meets the minor who helps him escape. The Major then goes to see his friend Jean-Paul Sartre in Paris who tells him he can help him get out of France. He then decides to go back to Germany and meet up with Hitler.

This film has many interesting scenes such as when they are on a train and they are stopped by Germans but they don’t shoot them because they don’t want them to know where they’ve been so then when the train starts moving again they speed up so fast that it crashes into another train which causes it to explode causing everyone in it to die except for one person who survives because she was wearing something inappropriate for her situation like men’s clothing which saved her from being killed by the explosion or something else happening at that time in history which would have caused more deaths than just one person surviving alone

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The Major And The Minor [Blu-ray]
  • Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director)

20. Love in the Afternoon (1957)              

 The movie is set in the 1930s and tells the story of a man who wins a million dollars in a bet and returns home to his wife and young son. He wants to share his good fortune with his family, so he hires a butler to take care of things while he is gone.

As soon as he gets back, though, everything goes wrong — the new butler steals all the money, then kills himself and poisons the boy’s mother.

The film is not based on any particular story; Wilder just loved this one so much that he wanted to make it into a movie.

But there are several elements that are taken from real life: The character of Gustav von Aschenbach (played by Joseph Cotten) was based on Conrad’s novella; Frederick Brisson,

who plays von Aschenbach’s friend Emil (and also wrote the screenplay), was an actor who had worked with Wilder before; and Dieterle’s direction frequently echoes Ingmar Bergman’s technique of shooting long takes from multiple angles.

The movie really shines when it focuses on its characters. Cotten’s performance as Aschenbach is perfectly restrained — he never seems like he

Love in the Afternoon
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn, Maurice Chevalier (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - I.A.L. Diamond (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.

 

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