Kellee Pratt of Outspoken & Freckled and the famed @Irishjayhawk66 sent me an email earlier this week: “Hey, are we reprising the Billy Wilder Blogathon this year?” My initial reacton was, “are you freakin’ crazy?!” Then I thought, “what would Lubitsch do?” And so here I am celebrating Wilder with a great friend and classic movie blogger.
The Billy Wilder Blogathon
This is all about Billy Wilder. The great.
Beginning his screenwriting career in 1929 Germany, Billy 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.
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 are beside ourselves with excitement to announce the second annual Billy Wilder Blogathon. As was the case last year this will be a one-day event to celebrate this master’s work on what would have been the 109th anniversary of his birth on June 22. And we hope you are willing and able to join the celebration.
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.
NOTE: Kellee and I discourage repeat choices. However, several bloggers have chosen the same Wilder film and knowing each person’s take will be different we’re changing that policy. In fairness, however, no more than two per movie if it comes to that.
And now the usual drill…
- 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. And happy blogging!
Participating Blogs and Wilder topics
Movie Movie Blog Blog – Double Indemnity
Once Upon a Screen – Ace in the Hole
The Cinematic Frontier – Sunset Blvd.
Mib’s Instant Headache – Witness for the Prosecution
Outspoken & Freckled – Some Like it Hot
Critica Retro – Kiss Me, Stupid
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood – Midnight
Shadows and Satin – Famous Couples of Noir: Norma and Joe (and possibly Joe and Betty, too!) in Sunset Boulevard
Wide Screen World – Stalag 17
Caftan Woman – Bing Crosby movies: The Emperor Waltz and Rhythm on the River
A Shroud of Thoughts – The Apartment
Old Hollywood Films – The Fortune Cookie
Cinephiled – The Major and the Minor
Rachel the Cinephile – Wilder and Lemmon films
Twenty Four Frames – The Major and the Minor
Moon in Gemini – Irma La Deuce
The Wonderful World of Cinema – Love in the Afternoon
Girls Do Film – The Apartment
Silver Screenings – Ninotchka screenplay
Pop Culture Reverie – A Foreign Affair
Cinephilia – Sabrina
Stars and Letters – Correspondence on The Spirit of St. Louis
Flickin’ Out – The Lost Weekend
Jeff – Fedora and Kiss Me, Stupid (guest post on Once Upon a Screen)
The Stop Button – Five Graves to Cairo
Almost Ginger – Some Like it Hot
Serendipitous Anachronisms – The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes
Movie Rob – Buddy Buddy and The Private Lives of Sherlock Holmes
Goose Pimply All Over – The Seven Year Itch
Love Letters to Old Hollywood – Midnight
Le Mot du Cinephiliaque – One, Two Three
Reblogged this on and commented:
Billy Wilder Blogathon, y’all!
May I nab DOUBLE INDEMNITY before some other two-faced punk grabs it?
LOL! You got it! Smart thing to grab that one quickly!
I’ve got a few Wilder reviews on my site! Can I submit Witness For The Prosecution for this?
We prefer new posts since Wilder’s so popular. The likelihood that most blogs have featured his work is high. But I guess if you refresh including the banner and links to the event I don’t see why not.
Done and done! https://mibih.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/witness-for-the-prosecution/ Thanks! 🙂
So this is an annual event now? Hooray!
May I grab Kiss Me, Stupid?
SURE!! How can we not make this an annual thing? Too many blogathons, but Wilder’s a must! Thanks for joining us!
Hi Aurora. Could I do “Midnight” 1939?
Yes!! 😀 I’ll add you in a bit!
Hi, Aurora — Continuing with last year’s Wilder blogathon series, I’d like to do Famous Couples of Noir: Norma and Joe (and possibly Joe and Betty, too!) in Sunset Boulevard. Howzat?
Freakin’ amazing! Er…I mean, yes those are acceptable. Thank you for signing up!! 🙂
I’d like to do A Foreign Affair.
I’ll take STALAG 17.
I’d like to jump in with Wilder and two Bing Crosby movies: THE EMPEROR WALTZ and RHYTHM ON THE RIVER. I’ve covered them both in the past as “Bing’s Birthday Movies”, but will go at them from the Wilder angle.
Put me down for The Major and the Minor.
Hi John – we decided to accept repeats after all since so many are requesting similar choices. Note that another blogger already chose that on Kellee’s page. I’ll add you to the list, but just so you know. Everyone has a different take anyway. Thrilled you’ll be joining us.
One of my earliest blog posts was about my very first (remembered) movie-going experience: seeing Irma la Douce dubbed into Spanish when I was four years old.
I would love to expand on the original article for the blogathon, if that’s O.K.
Hi Debbie – that’s fine, but so that you know your comment came in at the same time as another bloggers who chose the same film. Kellee and I decide to allow repeat choices, but want you to know.
Mine’s more the memory of watching the movie as a four year old, so I’m sure our two posts will be very different! 🙂
Wow! I love all Billy Wilder’s film I saw. I’ll go with “Irma la Douce”. 🙂 My blog is The Wonderful World of Cinema. (I’m telling you just in case, but you probably already know). 😉
Hi Virginie! Another blogger also chose Irma La Deuce. Kellee and I decided to accept repeats since it looks like Wilder’s popular films are being chosen. But I want you to know.
I Aurora, is it too late to change my choice, Irma La Douce, for Love in the Afternoon? It’s really a marvellous film and I think I would love to write about it. Plus, it will create diversity in the blogathon as it has not already been taken!
Not at all! I’ll make the change tomorrow.
Oh if no one’s got Some Like it Hot I’d definitely be able to write something for that! 🙂
Not sure if my previous comment went through so feel free to delete this one… But I’d love to do Some Like it Hot if no one else is doing a post on it! 🙂
Yay – thank you for reviving this blogathon! Please could I take The Apartment? 🙂
Hi! I’m adding you to the list for The Apartment, but note that another blogger has already chosen that film. Kellee and I decided to accept repeat choices so two is OK, but I wanted you to know.
Ahh I must’ve missed that! Well thanks for being accommodating, I’ll make sure to go off on my usual tangent to make sure it’s not repetitive!
Lol. No worries. No two posts are alike. 🙂
Hey!!I would love to write on Sabrina.I see no one has selected it yet.Audrey Hepburn & Bogart,can’t get any better:)
It’s yours!! YAY! 🙂
What?! No one’s taken Ninotchka (screenplay)? If still available, could I have that one?
IT’S YOURS!! I know, I was surprised that wasn’t one of the first picks! Thrilled you’re joining us.
I’m so happy seeing so much love for The Major and The Minor, one of my absolute favorite films. If no one has taken The Lost Weekend, I’d love to write an entry regarding it. 🙂
You got it!! I wrote about The Major and the Minor last year or I would’ve chosen that one. Love it! But Wilder has so many greats. Thanks so much for joining us!
The link to your blog doesn’t work. Can you send me the correct one?
Hey! Its flickinout.wordpress.com
Sorry about that! It’s flickinout.wordpress.com
I would like to write one essay that includes both Kiss Me, Stupid and Fedora. Is that possible? I see that someone has chosen Kiss Me, Stupid, but no one has claimed Fedora. If I can only write about Fedora, that’s fine by me.
Take both and THANKS!! We sort up gave up on the no duplicates thing. No two posts will be the same anyway. When possible please give us your blog title and link.
Hi! Thank you for adding me. Unfortunately, I am afraid I will have to withdraw. My fault entirely — I was so inspired by the notion of writing about the two films I neglected to read the rules carefully — I don’t have a blog as yet and don’t have the time to maintain one on a regular basis. I had the impression that the essays would be appended to this blog, but I totally understand why it’s done the other way. It’s not a great loss, thank goodness, since I see that someone has chosen Kiss Me, Stupid. Maybe by next June 2016 (Mr. Wilder’s 110th b’day!), I’ll have a blog and will be able to post my thoughts on those cult movies of his! My total apologies for the misunderstanding — all my fault. Thanks again!!
Hi Jeff – I would be happy to post your commentary on this blog as a guest contributor. I would need the completed write-up by Thursday the latest so I can set it up. You can email it to me: citizenscreenclassics (at) gmail.com and include any images you want in the post. No pressure to do so, but if you want the invitation is open.
Oh, thank you! That is wonderful! Ironically, after I wrote the reply above, I found I was in the mood to watch Fedora again (probably seen it a dozen times by now!), so I’m glad I did!! I promise to have the full write-up to you by Thursday. I’ll send it as an attachment, but I’ll also include the writeup in the body of the email. I will try to find poster pictures of each movie to use as attachments. Am looking forward to seeing the entire blog of essays!!!
Wonderful! If possible also send me and specify which image you’d like me to use as the ‘featured’ one that appears on the blog home page. The ones that work best are the ones in ‘landscape’ position if that makes sense.
Yes, I’ll let you know which image to use as “featured.” And I do know what you mean by “landscape,” basically a wide, horizontal, rather than a skinny vertical!
Hi Aurora, I have some correspondence on the “The Spirit of St Louis”. Can I join with that?
Yes! I’d love to read about that! Thank you, Janet. I’ll be updating the list later today.
I never got a reply to my request to do A Foreign Affair.
My blog is Pop Culture Reverie. https://popculturereverie.wordpress.com/
Hi! My apologies. Your initial comment didn’t show on my page. Adding your choice now! Thank you!
How about Five Graves to Cairo at The Stop Button (http://www.thestopbutton.com)?
I’m not sure what’s going on with my comments, but I received this and added you to the list. THANKS so much for joining us!
Hi I would love to participate, may I add The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) to this list?
Yes!! I’ll add you to the list in the morning. Happy you’re joining us! 🙂
Hey, I commented a while ago on the day this post was published but it looks like it never came up… Am I okay to also do Some like it Hot?
Hi. That’s strange. That movie has already been chosen, but if you don’t mind then we don’t either. 🙂
I added you to the list, Rebecca with blog title “Almost Ginger.’
All right, time to put “goosepimply all over” back in action, so I’ll do The Seven Year Itch! 🙂
Sorry to reply to late, Tonya BUT I’M THRILLED!!!! I can’t even watch that scene without thinking of you!
Can I have One, Two Three? Michaël from Le Mot du Cinephiliaque
Just a reminder that my contribution to your blogathon is posted at: https://moviemovieblogblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/straight-down-the-line-the-importance-of-dialogue-in-billy-wilders-double-indemnity-1944/
Also, on Wilder’s birthday on Monday, I’m going to post a blog about Wilder’s aborted Marx Bros. project. It’s not specifically for your blogathon, but you’re welcome to link to it if you’d like.
Got it and if you want us to include it it’s no problem at all. Just leave the link in a comment here on in tomorrow’s blogathon post.
Here’s my entry about Wilder’s nearly-made Marx Bros. movie: https://moviemovieblogblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/billy-wilder-and-the-marx-brothers-a-match-almost-made-in-heaven/
All set for the Blogathon:)
Reaching for the Moon http://wp.me/p2CkjI-13
Here’s my entry for the blogathon. I never had time to do a new entry on Midnight, so I’m sending the last one I did in February.
Here’s my entry for the blogathon. I never had time to do a new entry on Midnight, so I’m submitting the latest one from February.
Here’s my post: http://cinephiliaque.blogspot.com/2015/06/one-two-three.html