THE BILLY WILDER BLOGATHON Announcement

UPDATE:  

Many great choices still left…

CASINO ROYALE (1967), THE EMPEROR WALTZ (1948), BUDDY BUDDY (1981), THE BISHOP’S WIFE (1947), A SONG IS BORN (1948), HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941), ARISE MY LOVE (1940), MIDNIGHT (1939), THAT CERTAIN AGE (1938), CHAMPAGNE WALTZ (1937), PEOPLE ON SUNDAY (1930), DEATH MILLS (documentary, 1945), THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (1957), MAUVAISE GRAINE (1934), KIDNAPPED (acting role, 1938)….plus more!

This is all about Billy Wilder.  The great.

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Beginning his screenwriting career in 1929 Germany, Wilder would make a definitive mark on Hollywood from behind the camera, both by way of his pen and later as a premier director.  Films written by or directed by Billy Wilder continue to spark debate and adoration to this day thanks to his sharp wit and memorable imagery. Wilder directed only 27 films yet stands among an elite group of seven directors who have won Best Picture, Director and Screenplay Oscars.

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These may be mere numbers contrived from opinion, but they are nonetheless impressive:  Five Billy Wilder films are listed on the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of 100 Funniest Movies of all time: Some Like It Hot (1959) is listed at #1, The Apartment (1960) at #20, The Seven Year Itch (1955) at #51, Ninotchka (1939) at #52 and Ball of Fire (1941) at #92. Four Wilder films are on the AFI list of 100 Greatest Movies of all time: Sunset Blvd. (1950) at #16, Some Like It Hot (1959) at #22, Double Indemnity (1944) at #29 and The Apartment (1960) at #80. And perhaps most astonishing – when one considers his mere 27 films – is the fact that Wilder directed fourteen different actors in Oscar-nominated performances.

Now, putting all stats and numbers aside, what makes Billy Wilder one of the greatest directors who ever lived is not reflected on a list nor is it illustrated by his numerous awards, but rather by his enduringly entertaining filmography. A Wilder film grabs the viewer from the opening shot and always leaves a lasting impression because a Wilder ending is always memorable.

For all of those reasons and because we’re girls gone Wilder, Kellee @Irishjayhawk66 of Outspoken & Freckled and I (Aurora) @CitizenScreen of Once Upon a Screen are beside ourselves with excitement to announce The Billy Wilder Blogathon.  This will be a one-day event to celebrate this master’s work on what would have been the 108th anniversary of his birth on June 22. And we hope you are willing and able to join the celebration.

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Entries for this event can be anything Wilder related – commentaries on his films or television work, created by his pen or from his place behind the camera.  You choose, blog and post and we’ll be sure to enjoy it.

And now the usual drill…

Participants:

  • Let us know which Billy Wilder film or TV program you’d like to dedicate a post to. Choose from any he wrote, directed or produced.
  • Post your entry by June 22 so we can properly promote it in celebration of his birthday.
  • Be sure to include the title of your blog, twitter tag, etc. or any information that would assist us in identifying your page and facilitate communication.
  • Please post one of the event banners on your site and in your entry to help us promote the Wilder love.
  • Have fun!  It’s sure to be a Wilder time!

“Some pictures play wonderfully to a room of eight people. I don’t go for that. I go for the masses. I go for the end effect.”

Shut up and deal.

Aurora

Participants and choices:

Shadows and Satin – Ace in the Hole

Once Upon a Screen – The Major and the Minor

Screenkicker! – The Apartment

Wide Screen World – Sunset Blvd.

Make Mine Criterion! – Kiss Me, Stupid

30 Years On – The Lost Weekend

Critica Retro – Irma La Deuce

Cinema Dilettante – A Foreign Affair

The Vintage Cameo – Witness for the Prosecution

Tales of the Easily Distracted – One, Two, Three

Cindy Bruchman – Double Indemnity

Girls Do Film – Ninotchka

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear – Five Graves to Cairo

Vintage Girl – Some Like it Hot

Outspoken & Freckled – Stalag 17

Classic Becky’s Brain Food – The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Twenty Four Frames – Ball of Fire

The Great Katharine Hepburn – The Front Page

Spoilers – “Billy Wilder Speaks” and other interviews

Mildred’s Fatburgers – The Fortune Cookie

Pre-Code.com – Fedora

Joel’s Classic Film Passion – Ocean’s 11

A Shroud of Thoughts – Sabrina

Barry – Avanti!

[This] Girl Friday – Midnight

Stars and Letters – Jane Wyman letter to Billy Wilder

The Movie Rat – Emil and the Detectives (’31 and ’35)

Chris Sturhann – The Seven Year Itch

No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen – Love in the Afternoon

Random Pictures – Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife

LA Explorer – Rhythm on the River

Following is the complete gallery of banners for this event. All were conceived, designed and delivered by Kellee.

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79 thoughts

  1. Aurora, we love Billy Wilder’s films, and we’d love to blog about ONE, TWO, THREE! Please let us know if it’s available!

      1. Hooray! 😀 Thanks, Aurora! Billy Wilder is The Man here at Team B., and we’re looking forward to the Blogathon, big-time!

  2. I may have signed up for this already. Problem is I can’t find with I did. My mind must be going (LOL). Anyway put me down for BALL OF FIRE.

  3. How exciting! I absolutely love billy wilder! Ill have to get to it! Do we have to limit our post to one billy wilder work? I don’t know if I can narrow it down.

  4. May I still participate? Or are all the spots taken? I would like to write a post either on Sunset Blvd. or on Jack Lemmon’s work with Billy Wilder (principally Some Like It Hot and The Apartment). If I can’t sign up this time, I’ll still be happy to give a shoutout on Twitter! And I will definitely write something about Billy for his birthday! Yay!

    1. Hi Shannon!

      We’d love for you to participate. Since we wanted to cover as many Wilder films as possible – both those he directed and wrote, we’re trying to avoid repeat choices. All the films you mentioned have already been spoken for, but if you did a post about Lemmon’s work with Wilder in general, which includes those films I think that’s fine. Does that make sense? Let me know what you think. Otherwise, there are many movies Wilder wrote that are still available.

      Aurora

      1. Thank you! I’d like to do a little post on Billy Wilder’s working relationship with Jack Lemmon, which would of course include all their films (but primarily Some Like It Hot and The Apartment). But if you want each person to profile a single work, then I’ll do Midnight (1939). Just let me know! Thanks!

  5. Hi Aurora, I run a blog on classic Hollywood correspondence and have a letter from Jane Wyman to Billy Wilder regarding “The Lost Weekend” that I haven’t posted yet. I thought it might be a nice entry for your blogathon. So, I won’t be reviewing the movie ( I see somebody else is doing that already), but I would like to contribute in my own way. Let me know if I can join. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Clarissa. Yes, that sounds amazing!! I’ll add you to the list in the morning. While we prefer no repeats, that’s a different take/ perspective.

      Thanks!

      Aurora

    1. Hi Melanie – Sorry for taking so long to respond. I had to check with Kellee because The Seven Year Year was already chosen. Sorry about that I just didn’t add it to my list in time. I hope you’ll consider another movie.

      Aurora

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy! I’m so impressed with your diligence. Haven’t even starting thinking about my post yet. Just know we won’t be promoting the write-ups until the 22nd, Wilder’s birthday.

      Aurora

        1. Thank YOU! So excited! We’ll be promoting all posts on Sunday via Twitter. Do you have a twitter account? If so, please give me your tag so we can include in the mention.

    1. Hi! So sorry. I think your first comment must’ve gone to the spam folder. No worries – YOU GOT IT! I’ll add you to the list immediately. And thanks for your patience and for participating. 🙂

      Aurora

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