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1. Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's
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2. Witness for the Prosecution
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3. The Apartment
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4. Some Like It Hot (Special Edition)
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5. The Seven Year Itch
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6. Sabrina
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7. The Lost Weekend
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8. One, Two, Three
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9. Stalag 17
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10. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
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11. Love in the Afternoon
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12. Irma La Douce
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13. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's
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14. Some Like It Hot
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15. Double Indemnity
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19. The Front Page
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20. The Front Page

1. Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition)
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.99
our price: $11.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003CXCW
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1960
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (151)

5-0 out of 5 stars Grand Guinol scathing satire of Hollywood and its oddities
Sadly, the mastermind behind Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder has passed on recently, but his genius lives on in this dark comedic indictment of Hollywood and its star system. The film shot William Holden to stardom and he became a major player in the '50s and it also afforded Gloria Swanson her last piece of public honor and she made a dramatic comeback as faded screen star Norma Desmond. Both she and Holden earned Oscar nominations here as did supporting players Erich von Stroheim (Max the butler) and Nancy Olson (as a script reader and love interest of Holden's screenwriter Joe Gillis). The film was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director (Wilder), but unfortunately it lost on all counts.....possibly because Hollywood felt bullied and intimidated by Wilder's not-so-rosy depiction of their little town. Wilder even received death threats during and after filming. Classic dialogue and forever memorable scenes abound (the chimpanzee burial scene is a keeper). This black comedy may seem too morbid and ghoulishly funny for some tastes, but it is one of my absolute favorites........

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark and Addictive--Melodrama at its best!
Simply put, this is the greatest movie ever. And Gloria Swanson gave the greatest film performance in thie movie. You forget your Bette Davises, your "All About Eve"s, your "Titanic"s, your Katharine Hepburns, your Jack Nicholsons, and your "Citizen Kane"s. This--Hollywood will never produce anything better.

A striking film, visually, emotionally, and in every sense, this is a dark, bitter, darkly comical study of what happens when a faded star (who was a bit out of touch with reality to begin with) clings a little too tightly to her gone days of fame. Gloria Swanson gives a phenomenally powerful, over-the-top performance as Norma Desmond, histrionic ex-silent film star. Bill Holden is fine as the down-and-out screenwriter from Dayton, Ohio, that accidentally gets mixed up with her. Max von Stroheim is magnificently creepy as Norma's devoted butler, and Nancy Olson is heartbreaking as the one innocent with no idea of the trouble that surrounds her.

Every frame is perfectly filmed, every image marverlously conveyed, every line wonderfully spouted. Nothing is wrong or out of place. And practically every line is a classic. Most remember the last line of the film's insane conclusion: Norma, finally completely descended into madness, sweeping dramatically down the grand staircase as cops, reporters, and even Hedda Hopper look on; the music swells to a deafening height, and Norma--with that deranged look in her eyes--breathes, "I'm ready for my closeup..." But the best line of all, and the line that symbolizes everything that stands for the golden days of Hollywood, is spoken when Joe recognizes Norma and makes the mistake of saying, "You used to be big." She eyes him bitterly, raises her chin, looks down her nose at him and cries, "I AM big! It's the PICTURES that got smaller!"

If you have to choose a movie to see one day, and can only choose one, don't let the opportunity go by. See this.

5-0 out of 5 stars SWANSON SHOULD HAVE WON THE ACADEMY AWARD
Swanson deserved the Academy Award for this picture. The ending shot alone shows this.

A superb film all the way around except for the casting of Nancy Olson. Inexplicably, Olson won a supporting actress nomination from the academy that year, but I fail to see why. Her character gets on my nerves, especially making goo eyes at William Holden. But this is just a little quirk I have.

The film succeeds brilliantly mainly because of Swanson. It has an effecting score, great cinematography and great acting from the principle characters (Olson notwithstanding).

You will not be disappointed with this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars FULL AND WIDE
While widescreen films date back as early as 1930 (The Bat Whispers), Sunset Boulvard is not a widescreen DVD because Sunset Boulevard is not a widescreen film.

5-0 out of 5 stars A supreme film: a ltrue andmark in the american cinema.
This movie belongs to the legend from its release. Never before Wilder got down to the deepest regions of the soul, like in this one.
A voice in off (William Holden) will be as introductory device to involve us in this gripping story about the loneliness of an old fashioned actress who lives only in her lost picture images.
In this sense it's worthy to name the only five films which have had a succesful exit about this no mercy theme.
These are: Cries and whispers, The silence and Persona (Ingmar Bergman), The anxiety of Veronica Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) and American Beauty(from Sam Mendes).
The sense of loneliness grows progressively in this old lady, who decided to stop the physical time and create her own reality between the dark clouds of her ancient memories.
An eternal treasure of the american cinema and in my point of view the masterpiece of that film maker giant called Billy Wilder. ... Read more


2. Witness for the Prosecution
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.96
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Asin: B00005PJ6Z
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5317
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (46)

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect courtroom drama...
Quite simply, this film is brilliant. In addition to being one of Billy Wilder's best films, this is one of the best courtroom dramas ever made! It is cleverly directed, has a compelling plot, features great performances (especially by Marlene Dietrich), and is all in all very exciting and entertaining. This is a film you won't forget.

This plot of this film, which was based on a play by Agatha Christie, is your basic courtroom drama: a series of witnesses testify about the murder of a wealthy widow. Tyrone Power plays the young man accused of the murder, Marlene Dietrich gives an amazing performance as the key witness in the case, and Charles Laughton plays the lawyer determined to unravel the mystery. This film has some terrific, very surprising, twists and turns, so to say any more about the plot would give too much away!

Anyhow, this film is really suspenseful, captivating, and memorable. It's a true classic by the brilliant director Billy Wilder, and has been imitated countless times since its release. But no imitation has come close to the original, which is why this film is a must-see. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Wilder's ultimate best!!!!!
Director Billy Wilder has crafted the most energetic adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel entitled "Witness for the Prosecution" An aging bannister named Wilfrid Robards (played brilliantly by Charles Laughton) can't resist taking an intriguing murder case involving Leonard Vole (played by Tyrone Power in his final film). A seemingly open and shut case becomes more and complicated as the case gains momentum. Splendid acting by all including Marlene Dietrich as Leonard's wife Christine and Elsa Lanchester as Miss Plimsoll (Robard's pesky nurse) Full of surprises from beginning to end. A classic for all time!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Witness for the Prosecution
I first saw this movie as I was walking out the door, and continued to stand mezmirized by the twists and turns. To see these two great actors, not playing their normal roles but so opposite of what I normally see them as.
I was 2 hours late for an appointment, because I was literally glued to the TV

5-0 out of 5 stars "It's not the jury's judgment that worries me. It's mine."
"No more murder cases," is the doctor's strict prohibition upon reluctantly releasing renowned barrister and recent heart attack survivor Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) from hospital. (Although even the word "release" seems to be a matter of some dispute here, because according to Sir Wilfrid's nurse Miss Plimsoll [Elsa Lanchester], he was "expelled for conduct unbecoming a cardiac patient." But let's leave that aside for now.) And following the doctor's orders, Sir Wilfrid's staff have lined up an array of civil cases: a divorce, a tax appeal, and a marine insurance claim - surely those will satisfy their hard-to-please employer's demands?

Err ... not likely.

So, try as he might to be a good patient, Sir Wilfrid needs only little encouragement to accept the case of handsome drifter and small-time inventor Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), accused of murdering his rich benefactress Emily French (Norma Varden). Of course, the very circumstances that most disturb the famous barrister's colleagues Mayhew and Brogan-Moore (Henry Daniell and John Williams) - Mrs. French's infatuation with Vole, his visit to her on the night of the murder, the lack of an alternative suspect and his inheritance under her new will - just make the matter more interesting in Sir Wilfrid's eyes. Most problematic, however, is Vole's alibi, which depends entirely on the testimony of his German wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich), an actress he had met when stationed with the RAF in WWII-ravaged Hamburg. Troubling, insofar, isn't only that Christine is her husband's sole alibi witness and that - Sir Wilfrid explains - a devoted wife's testimony doesn't carry much weight anyway. The real problem is that Christine isn't the loving, desperate wife one might expect: far from that, she is cool, calculating and surprisingly self-controlled; so much so that, worried because he cannot figure out her game, Sir Wilfrid decides not let her testify at all, rather than risk damaging his case. That, however, seems to have been one of his illustrious career's few major miscalculations - because now he and his client suddenly have to face Christine as a witness for the prosecution. And her testimony on the stand is only one of several surprises she has in store.

"Witness for the Prosecution" is based on a concept Agatha Christie first realized as a four-person short story (published in the 1933 collection "The Hound of Death") and subsequently adapted into what she herself would later call her best play, which opened in London in 1953 and in 1954 on Broadway, where it won the N.Y. Drama Critics' Circle citation as Best Foreign Play. Throughout the adaptations the storyline was fleshed out more and more, the focus shifted from the work of solicitor Mayherne (whose name changed to Mayhew) to that of QC Sir Wilfrid Robarts, and the screenplay ingeniously added Miss Plimsoll's character, utilizing the proven on-screen chemistry of real-life spouses Laughton and Lanchester, for whom this was an astonishing eleventh collaboration, and whose banter bristles with director/co-screenwriter Billy Wilder's dry wit and the fireworks of the couple's pricelessly deadpan delivery, timing and genuine joy in performing together.

Perhaps most importantly, the story's ending changed: not entirely, but enough to give it a different and, albeit very dramatic, less cynical slant than the short story's original conclusion. - To those of us who have grown up with Christie's works, those of her idol Conan Doyle and on a steady diet of Perry Mason, Rumpole of the Bailey and the many subsequent other fictional attorneys, the plot twists of "Witness for the Prosecution" (including its ending) may not come as a major surprise. At the moment of the movie's release, however, the ending was a much-guarded secret; viewers were encouraged not to reveal it both in the movie's trailer and at the beginning of the film itself; and even the Royal Family was sworn to silence before a private showing. Similarly, features such as the skillful, methodical unveiling of a seemingly upstanding, disinterested witness's hidden bias in cross-examination have long become standard fare in both real and fictional courtrooms, and any mystery fan worth their salt has heard more than one celluloid attorney yell at a cornered witness: "Were you lying then or are you lying now?" (Not recommended in real-life trial practice, incidentally.) Yet, in these and other respects it was "Witness for the Prosecution" which laid the groundwork for many a courtroom drama to come; and herein lies much of its ongoing importance.

Moreover, this is simply an outstandingly-acted film; not only by Laughton, Lanchester and a perfectly-cast Marlene Dietrich but by every single actor, also including Torin Thatcher (prosecutor Mr. Myers), Francis Compton (the presiding Judge) and, most noteably, Una O'Connor (Mrs. French's disgruntled housekeeper). This is true even if Tyrone Power's emotional outbursts in court may be bewildering to today's viewers - and even if one wonders why an American-born star was acceptable for an Englishman's role without even having to bother trying to put on an English accent in the first place, whereas Dietrich and other non-native English speakers of the period, like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, were routinely cast as foreigners. (Yes, yes, I know. Redford and "Out of Africa" come to mind more recently, too, but that's a can of worms I won't open here.)

"Witness for the Prosecution" won a Golden Globe for Elsa Lanchester, but unfortunately none of its six Oscar nominations (which undeservedly didn't even include Marlene Dietrich), taking second seat to the year's big winner "Bridge on the River Kwai" in the Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), Best Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Editing categories, and to "Sayonara" for Best Supporting Acress (Miyoshi Umeki) and Best Sound. No matter: with the noirish note resulting from its use of multiple levels of ambiguity - in noticeable contrast to Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple mysteries - it fits seamlessly next to such Billy Wilder masterpieces as "Sunset Boulevard" and "Double Indemnity;" and it has long since become a true courtroom classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The first time I saw this...
...six unblinking, spellbound eyes took every moment in--that is to say, my parents and I (eye!) were thoroughly riveted. The plot was deliciously unpredictable, and Marlene was so unflinching in her role. Perhaps it's not the most feel-good movie in the world, but it's well worth watching anyhow. You're a witness... ... Read more


3. The Apartment
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.96
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Asin: B00003CX8V
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2649
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Shut up and deal..."
This movie, directed by the legendary Billy Wilder, is one of my all-time favorites. It features a funny script, great acting, and an interesting and original plot. The Apartment is a perfect example of what is missing in Hollywood today: it is a witty, entertaining movie that relies on the script and on the acting to keep the viewer's attention and consequently does not need to use obscene language or inappropriate scenes to be amusing!

Essentially, The Apartment is about a young insurance company worker (played by Jack Lemmon in an excellent performance) who is forced to allow his philandering bosses to use his apartment on dates. In exchange for allowing his bosses to use the apartment, Lemmon is recommended to recieve promotions. Things get more complicated, however, when the bigger boss, Sheldrake (played by Fred McMurray) gets involved in the apartment renting. This would seem like a good thing for Lemmon - but there is one problem: McMurray (who is married and has no plans of divorcing) is dating Lemmon's dream girl, the beautiful elevator operator at the company (played by Shirley MacLaine). To say any more would be to give too much away...

In addition to having an intertaining plot and a funny, sarcastic script (like most Billy Wilder movies), The Apartment features amazing performances by all of its actors, especially Lemmon and MacLaine.

So I don't know how else to recommend this movie - get it soon and enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION: a Home Theatre/HDTV/16:9/480p DVD Review!!
Now that the Home Theatre environment is becoming more common it is time to sort the GOOD from the BAD DVD's. This is only from a videophile who enjoys the total viewing and listening Home Theatre experience. The movies themselves are the main ingredient but unfortunately Film Studios don't always give us what we think we are getting. (Quality vs quantity) Another words they are already re-releasing DVD movies with enhancements and extras for wide screen TV's etc. So we need to buy right the first time and not repeat buying on the same movie.
My first (#1) Home Theatre DVD Review "The Apartment" is an AFI (American Film Institute) top 100 movie of the last 100 years. It won "5" Oscars including "Best Picture of 1960", and Best Director, Billy Wilder (in 1959 he directed, "Some Like It Hot" - voted by AFI as the #1 Comedy in the last 100 years) So you can see this was and is a GREAT Comedy (filmed in Black and White). Jack Lemmon, Shirely MacClaine and Fred MacMurray lead the emsemble cast.
Simply put its a boy meets girl, falls in love she is distracted by another man and "The Apartment" brings them together. A great story, great characters and the greatest comedic director.
Now this DVD is Digitally ReMasterd (Picture and Sound). It is enhanced for widescreen 16:9 (Aspect Ratio) TV's & HDTV's. The movie's 235:1 means you still get a LETTERBOX presentation but it is enhanced for maximum viewing enjoyment. The Picture clarity is perfect (480p - 480 horz lines with Progressive Scan (a line doubler feature. NOTE: regular DVD players are 480i). The only extra is a Trailer. "The Apartment" is a must both for its entertainment value and viewing quality. It is the best!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars They Should All be Like This
Wouldn't it be great if all movies were this good? This funny? This wise? This clever? This heartfelt? This true? My favorite Jack Lemmon movie. He plays a perfect schmuck who discovers himself. My favorite Shirley MacLaine movie. She plays a sweet but wounded modern girl who wises up. My favorite Billy Wilder movie. A perfect ear for dialogue and eye for mannerisms in his adopted country. Fred McMurray turns in a perfect performance as a shameless cad. No reason not to own this on dvd.

4-0 out of 5 stars The boss borrows his apartmwnt for a love tryst


Director: Billy Wilder
Format: Black & White
Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Video Release Date: August 3, 1999

Cast:

Jack Lemmon ... Calvin Clifford 'C.C.' 'Bud' Baxter
Shirley MacLaine ... Fran Kubelik
Fred MacMurray ... Jeff D. Sheldrake
Ray Walston ... Joe Dobisch
Jack Kruschen ... Dr. Dreyfuss
David Lewis ... Al Kirkeby
Hope Holiday ... Mrs. Margie MacDougall
Joan Shawlee ... Sylvia
Naomi Stevens ... Mrs. Mildred Dreyfuss
Johnny Seven ... Karl Matuschka
Joyce Jameson ... The blonde
Willard Waterman ... Mr. Vanderhoff
David White ... Mr. Eichelberger
Edie Adams ... Miss Olsen
Mason Curry
David Macklin ... Messenger
Hal Smith ... Santa Claus
Benny Burt ... Charlie (the bartender)
Frances Weintraub Lax ... Mrs. Lieberman
Dorothy Abbott ... Office worker

C.C. 'Buddy Boy' Baxter (Jack Lemmon) has a downwtown apartment near his work where he is an insurance analyst in a large firm. He is ambitious to work is way up the ladder, and so loans his apartment out to various of his supperiors for their trysts in an effort to win their favors, which means that he is forced ro work overtime and stay out late while his apartment os occupied.

Fran Kubelik (Shirley McLaine), elevator girl, is in love with big boss and branch manager Jeff D. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray), who is a married, cheating philanderer with a long history of conquests among the female staff. C.C. Baxter is also in love with Fran, who is having an affair with Sheldrake in his apartment.

This is not really a comedy, although it has its funny moments. It is a good story which comes out all right in the end.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute Gem from Lemmon and Wilder
Mr. Lemmon figured prominently in a good dozen of the best films ever made, and he is at the absolute top of his game in "The Apartment" as C.C. Baxter - an up and coming business man who makes his way through the corporate ranks faster than usual by making his apartment available to higher executives to carry on affairs without paying for hotel rooms. This is probably a borderline premise for a romantic comedy today, and it must have seemed absolutely scandalous 44 years ago, but the truth is that it is very contemporary in tone today while also being funny, thoughtful and poignant. It's too bad there's noone as clever as Billy Wilder making Romantic Comedies today. Shirley Maclaine has never been better, and anyone who grew up watching Fred MacMurray in "My Three Sons" or any of those Disney films will be surprised to see him playing an absolute scumbag in this movie. The dialogue is witty and sharp and the acting is crisper than a fresh celery stick. This is a good time. ... Read more


4. Some Like It Hot (Special Edition)
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003CXCR
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1082
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (176)

3-0 out of 5 stars COLD RECEPTION FOR A HOT WILDER CLASSIC
MGM continues to insult the intelligence of the DVD consumer with this 'special edition' of one of Billy Wilder's all time great romantic comedies. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are witnesses to the Valentine's Day Massacre. To stay alive the boys shave their legs, dress in drag and join an all-girl's band fronted by sulty singing sensation, Sugar Cane (Marilyn Monroe). Featuring Monroe's inimitable renditions of "Running Wild" and "I Wanna Be Loved By You" this is a keeper in every respect.
Unfortunately MGM Home Entertainment has done a terrible job of remastering the print. Though the black and white picture exhibits exceptional contrast and clarity, the obtrusive inclusion of edge enhancement, artifacting, aliasing, fine detail shimmering and digital grit make for a really unattractive visual presentation. The sound has been remixed to 5.1, but the dated fidelity shines through. Still, the audio is presented at an acceptable listening level and without much distortion or echo.
Extras included a trip down memory lane with Tony Curtis that is overly long and really dragged down by Curtis' flamboyant hamming it up for the cameras. Oh well, I can't imagine too many people are asking him to shave his legs these days. Bottom line: If you absolutely must have the film I guess you could waste your money on this version. My hope is that someone at MGM will want to revisit this classic at a later date and with a more reputable transfer. Here's to hoping. Besides - nobody's perfect!

5-0 out of 5 stars Still A Gem
"Some Like It Hot" is one of those great classics that has as much comedy in it as well as it does romance. It is the story of two musicians, Joe and Terry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), who intenvertidly stumble upon a mob squad hit (The St. Valentine's Day Massacre) and must flee from Chicago to Florida in hopes of getting away from the mobsters. Realizing that two female musicians are needed, Joe and Terry decide to dress in drag, board a bus filled with female musicians, and head to Florida. Of course, one of the leading ladies on board the bus, is the sexy Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), who has guy problems and represents the rebel.

The film has such balance between the comic exploits of Curtis and Lemmon looking out for their backs and trying to pull off this whole female identity without getting caught, and the romantic parts, which involve Curtis' character trying to woo Sugar Kane. While Curtis is trying to make the moves on Sugar Kane, Lemmon's character is trying to escape the advances of a multi-millionare who continally attempts to make the moves on him/her.

There is plenty of double-meaning humor, slapstick humor and fun romance in this movie. It has a little of everything, and it is understandable why most still refer to this movie as a gem.

4-0 out of 5 stars Transvestites, yipes!
This one shows up on Turner Classics every once in a while, but I hadn't focused till the other night. There's something creepy about dressing like a woman. Some burly men may have no qualms, but I find transvestites, ahh, uncomfortable. I know. It's me and there's nothing wrong with that. In Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are cross-dressing to escape some killers. They're not very attractive as women, which allowed me to enjoy the sex identity farce. Farce in America means screwball comedy. If Monroe crawled into my Pullman berth to sleep, hmm -- Lemmon pops one no doubt, and I'm not sure it was in the script if you know what I mean. Then he's swarmed by bunches of scantily clad ladies and the fun escalates. Monroe wears two dresses that give an interesting illusion. What a bod.

5-0 out of 5 stars No pastry, no butter and no sugar


Director: Billy Wilder
Format: Black & White
Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Video Release Date: May 1, 2001

Cast:

Marilyn Monroe ... Sugar Kane Kowalczyk
Tony Curtis ... Joe (Josephine)/Junior
Jack Lemmon ... Jerry (Daphne)
George Raft ... Spats Colombo
Pat O'Brien ... Mulligan
Joe E. Brown ... Osgood Fielding III
Nehemiah Persoff ... Little Bonaparte
Joan Shawlee ... Sweet Sue
Billy Gray ... Sig Poliakoff
George E. Stone ... Toothpick Charlie
Dave Barry ... Beinstock
Mike Mazurki ... Spats' Henchman
Harry Wilson ... Spats' Henchman
Beverly Wills ... Dolores
Barbara Drew ... Nellie
Edward G. Robinson Jr. ... Johnny Paradise
Paul Frees ... Funeral Director/Josephine
Joe Gray ... Mobster at banquet
Harold 'Tommy' Hart ... Second Official
Ted Hook
John Indrisano ... Waiter
Tom Kennedy ... Bouncer
Fred Sherman ... Drunk
Tito Vuolo ... Mozzarella
Al Breneman ... Bellhop
Pat Comiskey ... Spats' henchman
Penny McGuiggan ... Band Member
Laurie Mitchell ... Mary Lou, Trumpet Player
Helen Perry ... Rosella
Sandra Warner ... Emily, Band Member
Grace Lee Whitney ... Band Member
Marian Collier ... Olga, Clarinet Player
Joan Fields ... Band Member
Mary Foley ... Band Member

The cops bust a "funeral" with a casket full of booze--and nothing else. Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis) and Jerry/Daphne (Jack Lemmon), desperate for work as a bass fiddle player and saxophonist, take a spot as members of an all-girl band, in drag, for a Florida tour, and to get away from gangsters who know that they witnessed a gang war murder by Spats Colombo's (George Raft) gang. There they meet Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) who has a drinking problem.

The pair are attracting the notice not only of the mob, but also of suitors, including millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown) and others, and Joe/Josephine falls for Sugar. This is a wacky movie which provides a lot of laughs, and brings out hidden a talent for comedy from Curtis. Billy Wilder did a great job.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

5-0 out of 5 stars Hot Comedy, Hot Action, Hot Actress, Hot Jazz, Hot Movie
too Hot to be true, Marilyn Monroe,Tony Curtis,Jack Lemmon star in one of the greatest and funniest comedy classics of all time. The 1959 farse about the two musicians Joe and Jerry, who disquise themselves as women under the names Josephine and Daphne to land jobs as the sax and bow fidle in an all girls jazz band.Where they meet gorgeous songbird Sugar Kane. Also where Daphne meets womanizer Osgood Fielding III.When Daphne is stuck with that "dirty old man" Joe(Curtis) borrows a cup of that sugar(Monroe)as the millionare of Sugar's dreams "Shell Oil Junior". If Your looking for a classic comedy this is a good one. It's AFI's number 1 laugh, or if you want more marilyn, you love her in this one and if your looking for more Curtis and Lemmon they're hysterical in this one. See this classic comedy and you'll get "the sweet end of the lolly pop". As Osgood said at the end "nobody's perfect" well thats true ,but Some like it Hot may be a perfect comedy and as Sugar sang "I'm through with love, well she's not through for long ,but We are not through with this movie, because we love this film so much and we all want to "borrow a cup of that sugar" every time we watch it, "ZOWIE" "Yeah real hot" ... Read more


5. The Seven Year Itch
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000059GEF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 4028
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (40)

4-0 out of 5 stars classic sex farce
THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH provided for Marilyn Monroe the chance to play in an accomplished sex comedy, and gave the world a singular Marilyn moment: the now-classic subway grate scene.

Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell in his original Broadway role) has just farewelled his wife and young son for the annual summer exodus from New York. Far from having nothing to do, Sherman fantasises all day and night about the never-named girl (Marilyn Monroe) who has just moved into the apartment above his.

Evelyn Keyes (GONE WITH THE WIND) gives a comically-knowing performance as Sherman's wife, while Marilyn is delightful in her brilliant rapport with Ewell.

George Axelrod's long-running Broadway play was the basis of the film, but the all-powerful censorship board saw too many "vulgarities" in the play (where Sherman actually has an affair with the upstairs girl). In the film it is only toyed with. Walter Matthau was originally considered for the Sherman role, but Ewell fills the role of the everyman so perfectly that it is almost impossible to think of the film without him.

The DVD includes the "Backstory" making-of featurette, deleted scenes, restoration comparisons, trailer and gallery.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE MARILYN.....
This is the ultimate Monroe film. The one where she stands over a subway grating on a hot summer night to feel the rush of cool air from the trains passing beneath---the rush of air blowing the skirt of her sexy white halter dress up around her. But there's a movie that goes with this legendary image and it's a classic. Based on the adult Broadway play, "Itch" was watered down for the screen and stars Tom Ewell as the frustrated married man and Monroe as the Girl Upstairs. One hot New York summer, a man sends his wife and small son away for the summer---as all New York men do this time of the year according to Ewells' narration. He's left alone in their apartment to struggle with his vices---cigarettes and booze---when all of a sudden the Girl moves in sub-letting the apartment upstairs. She's a TV model and commercial actress and delightfully portrayed by Monroe. The homely and dumpy Ewell begins having steamy sex fantasies visualizing himself as a powerful lover irrestible to women. Monroe wants to be neighborly so she keeps inviting herself down to his flat frustrating the hopelessly timid Ewell. She doesn't realize her effect on him but he's got an air condtioner and it's hot upstairs. She's completely guileless. Monroe is perfect as the Girl and Ewell personifies the Everyman confronted with temptation when left to his own devices. Monroe is breathtaking in Technicolor and her performance speaks volumes about her comic potential. The subway grating scene caps her legend as a sex symbol but when you watch her performance here you see she was so much more than that.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Seven Year Itch- One of the top ten Comedies ever
Nobody should die without seeing this masterpiece comedy at least 1 time.

There is no doubt that this film was influential to many other great comedy films. Ideas like the main character thinking out loud and narrating the movie was used in Ferris Bueller. Ideas like using the main characters fantasies for a laugh was used in the movie A christmas story. Ofcourse this films discussion of sexual tension between males and females has been used many times in movies like American Pie. Ofcourse by todays standards The seven year itch is a classy film compared to films like American Pie. The Seven year itch did it all and influenced some of the greatest comedies of my generation(80's to present).

casting=5 stars
ending=4.5 stars
Directing=5 stars
plot & storyline=5 stars
replay value=5 stars

OVERALL= 4.9 TOTAL STARS

DVD FEATURES: The Seven year itch has awesome DVD features. The AMC backstory explains how Tom Ewell was picked as the starring role, how the censors almost ruined the movie, and Joe Dimmagios reaction to his wife Marilyn Monroes controversial subway scene. Also included is 2 deleted scenes, restoration comparisons and previews for other Marilyn films...

5-0 out of 5 stars The growing height of Marilyn's career
Too bad Marilyn Monroe didn't have kids, to carry on the legacy maybe, because she was something. This movie sure proves it. I think this movie shows Marilyn acting more comortably in front of the screen and I think this is when she began to become a Hollywood superstar. Everyone wanted to be like her. I think this movie is really funny and entertaining and is worth a rent, but GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES {1953} IS MY VERY FAVE, THAT'S HER SECOND OR THIRD MAYJOR HIT, THAT ONE PARTICULAR SPARKED HER CAREER AS WELL AS THE SEVENYEARITCH. SEE IT, YOU WON'T BE DISAPOINTED!

5-0 out of 5 stars charming, funny and witty. a classic
ah ha, yes the famous sub-way scene. i don't know if the male viewers of america know how much that scene upset Marilyn Monroe because that is what American men and woman thought of her after this film. The 7 year itch is about more than that sub-way scene, so let's drop the obsession with it please. that aside, this is an excellent movie, one of the best comedies ever. tom ewell is hysterical, as is marilyn. a must see. a true classic. ... Read more


6. Sabrina
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.99
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Asin: B00003CXCG
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1043
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (75)

5-0 out of 5 stars DESERVES A TEN!!!
My appreciation for this movie has sky-rocketed this last week. I recently watched the new Sabrina with Harrison Ford... it didn't even compare! This version is much much better! I've read the review for this movie... some think Bogart was too old for this movie or that the interplay between Hepburn and Bogart wasn't good. I definitely disagree! The chemistry between Audrey and Bogart is fantastic... the screen just sparks with it! I'm not sure of the behind the screens of this movie... some say that Bogart and Hepburn didn't work well together... all I know is that is produces something between them that is incomparable! Only couples like Cary Grant & Katharine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall & Bogart can produce this much chemistry on the screen!

I love the story of Sabrina...
Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) is the plain looking daughter of a chauffer. She falls in love with the playboy son, David (William Holden), of the wealthy people her father serves. David doesn't notice her... Her father sends her off to a cooking school in Paris and there she becomes transformed into a dazzlingly gorgeous young lady. She comes home stunningly beautiful and catches the eye of the playboy son, David. Linus (Bogart) has worked out a merger with this company and rich family who owns sugarcane plantations. Part of the deal is that David is marrying their daughter. So Linus has to draw Sabrina away from David, because he's already engaged... and Sabrina falls in love with Linus... I won't give the end away... I'll just say it's worth the watch... It leaves you satisfied. Sometimes you watch a movie and at the end you are like... "So?" ... It didn't end well... Well this is not one of those movies! I love this movie to death! The best Actors, music, and chemistry! A definite watch!

5-0 out of 5 stars Isn't It Romantic?
Audrey Hepburn simply sparkles as Sabrina Fairchild, the chauffeur's daughter in this enchanting romance classic. Bogart plays the eldest of two brothers (the other played by William Holden), a bookish industrialist who starts off competing for Sabrina's affections but winds up falling in love with her instead. Hepburn is magical as the lead, glittering like an angel atop a Christmas tree. Holden cuts a romantic, charismatic swath and figure as the devil-may-care playboy working himself up to marriage number three. Based on the play, Sabrina Fair, Billy Wilder directs with sardonic wit, charm and the ease of a true master of the cinema. This is a love story that remains timeless. Paramount hasn't restored the film, though there is nothing terribly wrong with the transfer as is. Fine details occasionally shimmer and once in a long while a scratch or chip in the camera negative can be detected by the naked eye. Over all though, this is a great looking DVD. Also included, a featurette that glosses over the making of the movie. Bottom line: Hepburn, Holden and Bogart prove themselves as not only stars, but American pop icons. Isn't it romantic? - Definitely!

5-0 out of 5 stars Audrey's second film is my favourite
It almost begins like a fairy tale, how once upon a time, on the north shore of Long Island, some 30 miles from New York, there lived a small girl on a large estate. So goes the opening narration by Audrey Hepburn, which sets the story in motion and introduces the Larrabee estate and family, also goes on to describe an English chauffeur named Fairchild and his daughter, Sabrina, played of course by Hepburn, in this romantic comedy based on Samuel Taylor's play Sabrina Fair.

Sabrina's sent to a cooking school in Paris, which not only prepares her for a vocation, but to help her get over her crush over David Larrabee (William Holden), the dashing playboy who spent short periods at many colleges and even shorter periods with his three wives (consecutive, of course). Ironic, considering that Holden had a crush on Hepburn, which led to a brief affair, and for him, a torch he carried through the rest of his life. The advice she gets is "don't reach for the moon." The thing is, she's the last of the romantics, "l'amour toujours" as described by Linus Larrabee, the business brains behind the multimillion Larrabee holdings, which include land and water, copper, construction, and now, a new kind of plastic that's resilient and tastes sweet(!!)

After two years in Paris, she is a vision of beauty, chic, with a new haircut, and transformed, yet still the romantic, as she vows to be in the world and of the world, and "never ever run away from life, or from love either."

Linus plans to marry David off to Elizabeth Tyson, whose father owns the second largest sugar cane in Puerto Rico, the ceremonial part of a $20 million merger with Tyson. This is put in jeopardy with Sabrina's return, and David, who previously ignored her, is bedazzled. Yet Sabrina, who's reluctantly wooed by Linus to salvage the deal, finds out there's more to him than just the "cold businessman...with ice in his veins, ticker tape coming from his heart." She finds out he's nice and quite human.

"Remember, it's the 20th century" is a reminder that the Victorian days of knowing one's place is gone. Fairchild sees life as a limousine: "there's a front seat, there's a back seat, and a window inbetween." He later says "Nobody poor was called democratic for marrying someone rich." Mother and Father Larrabee believe that, as they are scandalized at David's affections towards Sabrina, and see her in terms of class status.

Other great scenes include the cooking school, but the party scene when Sabrina appears in her bare-shouldered white dress and becomes the belle of the ball dancing with David, shows her at her most radiant and resplendent.

Humphrey Bogart is great as Linus, scheduled, sensible, loyal, observant, honest, and yet with a softer side. John Williams is perfect as Tom Fairchild. And Jenny the maid is played by Nancy Kulp, best known as Ms. Hathaway in the Beverly Hillbillies TV series. But Francis X. Bushman as old Mr. Larrabee has some funny moments with a penchant for martinis and cigars (whenever his wife's not around). Hepburn would be reunited with director Billy Wilder in Love In The Afternoon.

However, Sabrina also sees birth of a long-time association between Audrey and a certain Hubert de Givenchy, who did her costumes for many of her films. No Oscar for Hepburn, though she was nominated, but this film got me on my Hepburn kick back in the 90's, and is especially wonderful for those living "la vie en rose" as Sabrina does. To conclude, forget the 1995 remake--watch the original instead.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sabrina
Personally, I found this movie to be very boring and trite. In fact, I fell asleep through it twice. I am a big Audrey Hepburn fan, so I was very disapointed when I watched this and found it so incredibly dull. I did though very much enjoy the remake and have seen that several times.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Movie but I also like The Remake!
I saw Sabrina on TCM and I liked it and I think it's a wonderful movie and I think Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden were terrific and I recommend this movie and I'm planning on buying the DVD! I will probably get slammed for saying this but I also liked the remake that starred Julia Ormond, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear and I plan on buying that movie on DVD too! They are both charming, delightful movies that can be enjoyed on their ownrights and though I have seen remakes that were horrible the remake of this movie was fine but I suspose that since I saw the remake first that I was able to enjoy it because I wasn't comparing it to the original! ... Read more


7. The Lost Weekend
Director: Billy Wilder
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Asin: B0000549B1
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8199
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Description

Billy Wilder creates a searing portrait of an alcoholic. Don Birnam is a writer whose lust for booze consumes his career, his life, and his loved ones. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful movie about alcoholism
Don Birnam, an want-to-be writer with writer's block, is ecstatic when his brother Wick finally leaves their apartment for a long weekend in the country. Free of the constant watching, he is incredibly happy and feels even better after the second drink. Throughout the five days, Don drinks, makes and forgets promises, discovers a brilliant idea for writing and forgets it just as quickly, loses track of time. His mind takes him on a guilt-ridden trip through past experiences and hallucinations. He even awakens after a spill down the stairs to find himself in the alcoholic wing of a sanitarium.

Billy Wilder's film adaptation of the novel by Charles Jackson does a fine job of detailing what happens to someone in the grips of alcoholism: the desparate need, the hallucinations, the blackouts, etc. Ray Milland delivers one of the finest screen performances as Don, giving the impression that you are living every moment with Don, suffering his hallucinations and withdrawal, and thirsting for alcohol. This performance also earned him the Best Actor Academy Award. Jane Wyman is wonderful as Don's girlfriend Helen, who wants to see him through this terrible ordeal. Phillip Terry also gives a strong performance as Don's brother Wick, who wants to help Don by being the strong one, but always caves in, feeding Don's dependency.

For anyone who has read the book, certain aspects from the story have been removed and altered, but this in no way detracts from this portrait of a man in the throes of alcoholism. It's still a very potent and powerful film dealing with an almost taboo subject at the time. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling vintage classic
"The lost weekend" was a great adaption of Charles Jackson same name novel.Billy Wilder's terrific directing always a bonus. It's about a struggling writer's weekend. Everything happened over a weekend.

The film began with Don pretend to pack his luggage with a bottle tied to a string hanging outside his window.Don's life and fate changed. Don Birnam has writer's block, he is also a alcoholic. He is aware but unable to kick it.He even trade his typewriter for drinks. He been through a lot in a few days and forced to face up to his problem. Luckily he has love and support from his brother and girlfriend.

Ray Milland gave a splendid performance which totally deserved his oscar.He showed Don's fear, depression and all his emotions so vividly. His role is pathetic and psychologically realistic.

This film has a superb script with detailed description of nightmares images and visions. Breakthrough during that era. One of the memorable scene is when Don went to a musical play with actors drinking and he see 'Bottles dancing' instead.

Although this film is black and white I find it amazingly well made and many contemporary movies couldn't hold a candle.

I'm always fascinated by old classic film from 1940 to 1970. Although I belong to new generation I love the feeling and sincerity of old movies.

I find this film psychoanalytic,truthful,compelling and a vintage classic! One of the best film ever made.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still effective after all these years.
Superb mellow drama about a drunk, Don Birman, played by Ray Milland, & his battle with the bottle over one week-end in New York City. Nobody is a drunk anymore. They are said to have a "substance abuse " problem.
There is little stigma attached to the problem today as compared to the self-loathing Milland felt & the repugnance the neighborhood & even his favorite bartender felt towards him. In fact, the long, fairly one-sided conversations with Nat the bartender, played by Howard de Silva, are some of the best scenes in the movie.
Brakett & Wilder took some chances in this ground-breaking movie. They fought the Hollywood studios who probably wanted it watered down & rendered more palatable. They didn't give in &, as a result, this was the best movie of the the year 1945. It was well deserved. Ray Milland also got an Oscar & he was never better. Jane Wyman does a fine job as his long suffering girl friend, Helen.
It is unbelievable that that kind of woman, a real lady, would put up with a loser like that for so long. But after all, this is a movie. A pat ending that doesn't matter at all. The combination of gritty, street level scenes of New York City, the noir atmosphere & black & white filming all combine to make this one of the best aging movies, still relavent, I've seen in a long time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Demon Alchohol
This movie which won 4 academy awards including best picture stars Ray Milland as a debonair drunk who hides alcohol in his apartment and cares more about booze than girls. Playin an aspiring writer, he meets the Jane Wyman character when his ticket stub gets inadvertently switched at the coat rack of a theater: he is perturbed because there is a bottle in its pocket. Even though it's Hollywood, and its dated, it's not easy to watch the Milland character miss his dates, go through delerium tremens, and sink socially because of his obsession with this sometimes-very-addictive legal drug. (The coat caper is rectified by the film's end.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Film About Alcoholism
I rarely watch older films. By "older" films, I mean movies made before 1960. It's not due to some prejudice on my part about black and white cinematography: my inability to view many early films arises from the fact that far too many of these movies are so melodramatic. You know what I mean: lots of swooning, hands swept across foreheads, and exaggerated body movements all set to crashing waves of syrupy orchestral music. Those swelling violins alone are enough to set my teeth on edge anytime I watch an old film, but occasionally a picture overcomes all of these pet peeves of mine and truly delivers on multiple levels. "The Lost Weekend" is one of those films. Sure, the emoting is there, as is the music and the swooning, but this compelling story about an alcoholic at the end of his rope always pulls at my heartstrings. I am going to start seeking out some classic older films that will tickle my fancy, but I don't expect to find too many of them with the power of "The Lost Weekend."

Ray Milland (an actor who starred in several schlockfests at the end of his career, such as "Frogs") plays Don Birnam, a painfully insecure writer who just can't make his life work. Birnam quickly learned that the soothing balm of alcohol took the edge off his various phobias, but he just as quickly learned that drinking took the edge off his talent, too. For years, Birnam never wandered far from the neighborhood bar or the liquor store, secure in the knowledge that a bottle of rye was always within reach. His brother Wick not only financially supports his boozy sibling; he also covers for him when the drinking causes problems. Of course, Don doesn't care much about his brother one way or the other as long as he gets his shot of whisky when he needs it. Another problem for Don appears in the form of Helen St. James (played by an enormously cute Jane Wyman), a successful writer at Time magazine who accidentally met Don at the opera one night and has since latched on to him despite his chronic alcoholism. When Birnam isn't trying to outwit Wick or Helen, he's down at the local bar spouting alcoholic witticisms to Nat the bartender (played wonderfully by Howard Da Silva) and flirting with a beautiful barfly named Gloria. We learn most of the story through a flashback sequence told by Birnam as he ties on yet another massive drunk.

The film starts with a nervous Don packing for a weekend trip with brother Wick, where the two siblings hope to get out of New York City for a nice change of pace. Of course, Don doesn't want to go because he's not sure he can survive without ready access to booze. In fact, during this opening sequence we see Don hiding a bottle of whisky from his brother by hanging it from a piece of string outside his window. In order to start drinking, Birnam convinces Wick and Helen to go to a concert, a little piece of trickery that is only the beginning of the devious schemes hatched by Don throughout the film. Thus begins a downward spiral over the course of a four-day weekend, as Don resorts to outright theft, robbery, and beggary in order to secure just one more drink. This bender comes with a high price, though: Don suffers excruciating blackouts, nearly gets himself arrested, and ends up in the alky ward at the city asylum. The capper is Birnam's bout with the DTs in his apartment, an incident that reduces him to a shattered, screaming wreck. "The Lost Weekend" is a memorable experience.

Only a person who has never had a problem with alcohol would criticize some of Birnam's philosophical musings about drinking. There is a great bit of dialogue where Birnam tells Nat why he drinks, about how alcohol makes a person feel as though he or she is a great artist on top of the world. Believe me, this is how an alcoholic feels when they tie one on, at least in the early euphoric stages of the addiction. Birnam's enthrallment for rituals of drinking is also dead on; such as his fascination about the rings the shot glass leaves on the bar and the propensity to "see" liquor in the most mundane circumstances (look for the dancing raincoats with the rye bottle in the pocket). An alcoholic does not merely work at his trade part-time; the process of drinking is a full-time job built on a series of elaborate rituals that reinforce this nefarious addiction. "The Lost Weekend" captures the intricacies of alcoholism in a way few films ever have. Unfortunately, the movie lost some of its power due to some hokey effects and a conclusion that had me throwing my hands up in disbelief.

The DVD release is quite good for a film nearly sixty years old. There is a trailer and cast biographies included here, as well as a short bio for director Billy Wilder. The transfer looks pretty good, although I thought I saw a few scenes where certain parts of the picture looked a tad blurry. "The Lost Weekend" won four Oscars: Best Actor for Ray Milland, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director for Billy Wilder. As far as I can see, this movie deserves its accolades. If you haven't seen "The Lost Weekend," you are definitely missing out on a great film loaded with grim atmosphere, great dialogue, eerie background music, and excellent performances. ... Read more


8. One, Two, Three
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B00005JKH5
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5468
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars 2nd Funniest Movie by the Great Billy...
Billy Wilder made the great comedy "Some Like it Hot" in 1959. The following year, he broke Academy records by winning THREE Oscars for "The Apartment" (Writer, Director, Producer); his next film brought James Cagney his (almost) last role, a role that exhausted him (& the audience) so much he said he'd never make another film (1981's RAGTIME brought him out of retirement for a small role). It's almost impossible to imagine that he was having nothing but fun. Truth is, Cagney was having problems remembering lines, Wilder was pushing him (not unlike Monroe) and wringing out of him the most energetic performance I've ever seen. Subtlety, social comment, outrageous events--all staples of a Wilder film--were wrought with the complete insanity taken way over the top. The plot, involving Coca Cola's executive in Berlin in 1961, revolved around family life and corporate BS, and has to be one of the most frantic & enjoyable experiences, not to mention, breathless. Brilliant black & white Panavision photography by Daniel L. Fapp was Oscar nominated, but the rapid-fire, (often improvised) screenplay by Wilder & regular collaborator, I.A.L. Diamond was ignored by the Academy, as well as Cagney's incredible performance. The acting, besides Cagney, is acceptable; Pamela Tiffen & Horst Buchholz only had to look pretty and very affected, in which case their over-acting was appropriate. Arlene Francis seemed to be the "grounded force", keeping things a bit down to earth with droll humor. But the real acting support came from the lovely & wonderful Lilo Pulver and the agile Hanns Lothar. Leon Askin, a character actor so often in unrecognizable roles, is again brilliant here. The scenes at the Grand Hotel Potemkin are hilarious, and seeing Hanns Lothar in drag is something to behold! This film is so very important, on so many levels. Wilder laughed directly in the face of East German officials and methods; it was made because of the building of the Berlin wall; it showed Capitalism as a pleasant alternative to what was going on there; family crises were dealt wit seriously; extra-marital nonsense was treated as just that; Cagney's junior-Megalomania is treated justly; and the bottom line is that love conquers all, and, as Cagney/Wilder says "It's what makes our system work...everybody owes everybody..." A treat for all. If you haven't seen this, TREAT YOURSELF!! There's also a running gag, "Totally unacceptable...full of holes", which I still haven't figured out, and I've seen this film at least 50 times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Put Yer Pants on, Spartacus........
I have always loved this movie for two reasons: James Cagney and James Cagney. A lesser-known Billy Wilder comedy gem, this film moves like greased lightning. An out and out farce, the modern audience may not appreciate some of the Cold War jokes, but the movie is still well-worth anyone's while to see Cagney's brilliant performance and the non-stop machine-gun delivery of one-liners and asides.

The head of Coca Cola in Cold War divided Berlin (but before the Wall), is saddled with the twit daughter (she of the over-active hormones), of one of his Coke Atlanta Office superiors. She becomes involved with an East German communist bohemian/activist, the parents from Atlanta are on the way, and all the fun begins.

The jokes are rapid fire and non-stop. The cast impeccable. I can't imagine anyone other than Cagney doing his role (its that indelible). In its own way a daring little picture, the world was incredibly tense when this movie came out, much like it is today but for different reasons. Berlin was one of the world's "hot spots" and a face-off point with the Soviet Union and a possible spark for Armageddan. Wilder found humor in that tension and the laughs that resulted were relief at the discovery of the human comedy within the Cold War. He put a human face on the communists and found in their foibles the same age-old human weaknesses of greed & lust & envy. In other words, they were the same as us. That meant there was hope.

But the heck with that, its funny as hell. Take the ride.

4-0 out of 5 stars Full of Stereotypes and Spoofs of Stereotypes
This movie is built on the crass stereotyping of national, regional, and personal characteristics: all Germans are heal-clicking former Nazis; Communists on the surface are dedicated ideologists but really crave a life of Western decadence; American southerners (men) are right-wing imbeciles navigating the complexities of life on a few cherished prejudices; young American (southern) women are insatiable nymphomaniacs (is that redundant?); and James Cagney is a one-dimensional actor. Such an underpinning for a movie would not seem, at first glance, to offer much promise. But the one-dimensional acting style of Cagney, which ruined Love Me or Leave Me (the movie with Doris Day based on the life of Ruth Etting), is perfect for this manic-paced farce. For nearly the entire movie, Cagney unleashes a barrage of breathless monologues, simultaneously exhausting and amazing the viewer.

That the movie is a farce does not mean it lacks a serious side. The stereotypes are so rigid, and played so extravagantly, that it is hard to escape the conclusion that the movie is designed to outrage those insulted (especially southerners) and mock anyone who agrees with the stereotypes. Cagney himself is mocked by an MP who does a Cagney imitation in response to one of Cagney's imperious orders. On another level, the movie can be seen as a critique of censorship. In the Soviet Union, all film had to toe the Communist ideological line. If the same standard were applied to US movies by US censors, the result might well be something like One, Two, Three. And indeed, to ideological purists the world is as simple as one, two, three.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not that funny
I was told this is one of the funniest movies of all time, I had a sinking feeling that it wasn't. But hey I gave it a shot. The movie was very well done and moved along at a rapid pace with one liners flying so fast that i probably missed most of them, considering half the time i was trying to figure out what they were referring to. Most of the jokes I could imagine my grandfather laughing at, thinking back I 'm not sure if I laughed once. I did get a kick out of Cagneys wife tho. Id say if your under 40 this movie is not going to cause you to pass out from laughter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Captures the age & entertains
I first saw this movie in a US Army theater in Germany in 1961. It was the first time I'd seen a movie audience applaud at the end of a movie...and for good reason. We were over there, and we knew that this film accurately depicted the times in spite of being a satiric farce. The dialogue is extemely witty, and the pacing is breath-taking. I don't buy a lot of movies, but this was at the top of my list of all-time favorite films. ... Read more


9. Stalag 17
Director: Billy Wilder
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Asin: 6305678790
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1961
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent blend of humor and drama...
Stalag 17 is one of the best war movies ever, and it is probably the second best film ever made about prisoners of war (The Great Escape would be the best). Directed and co-written by the great Billy Wilder, Stalag 17 features an exciting plot, great performances, especially from William Holden, and many humorous moments. All in all - very entertaining!

Essentially, as Cookie, the narrator, explains, the movie is about what happened in a certain barrack in Stalag 17, a German prisioners of war camp. Because of several failed escape attempts and their horrible luck in concealing secrets for the Germans, the inhabitants of the barrack conclude that there must be a traitor in their midst. Their suspicions turn towards the character played by William Holden, who is an extremely cynical loner who spends his time trading with the Germans and running projects to earn money from his fellow prisioners.

In addition to the exciting plot about the traitor, Stalag 17 paints an accurate and often humorous, sometimes serious, portrait of the men in the camp and how they deal with their situation through joking around. Anyhow, Stalag 17 is a classic war movie and is very entertaining - highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST WWII POW FILM for real life drama, now on DVD !!
The Best WWII post-war Classic films dealing with the human factor were; "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949) & "Stalag 17" (1953). These Black & White Classics dealt with the dark & forgotten side of war. The Best years - war battled veterans returning home, Twelve O'Clock - the terror of dying & Stalag - the captured, imprisoned POWs. Hollywood was at their best with these films and we are forever reminded of the sacrifices that the "Greatest Generation" made for us.

Summary: We are introduced to American POW airmen at a WWII German prison camp ("STALAG 17"). It is Christmas 1944 and the narrator Cookie (Gil Stratton) explains the specific situation happening at his Barracks #4. The latest problem is all escaping POW's are being killed so their is suspicion that there is a "Stoolie" amongst them. Sefton (William Holden - Oscar winning performance) is the lead suspect since he is the Barracks hustler and friend to all (including the Germans) for a price. The Security Officer Price (the young Peter Graves - outstanding) seems a little to perfect for Sefton. So the story has many turns but finding the spy is the primary focus.

This DVD is Black & White, Full Screen / Standard Format (before WideScreen). Excellent quality picture.

This the Best POW film dealing with the true "Black Comedy" of war. Note: Black Comedy / Dark Comedy was the nervous humor which came out in the most dismal time and the horrors of war.

This is a CLASSIC FILM to watch again & again. Shall we never forget !!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Caught this once again during the Memorial Day orgy of
World War II flicks. It is special & because of William Holton stands above the rest. I loved Steve McQueen & James Garner in The Great Escape & The Bridge over the River Kwai, also starring Holton, is epic. This movie is on a much smaller scale & is the best of the POW genre. Holton plays the disreputable Sgt. Sefton, a prisoner throughly despised & suspected of being the traitor in the POW camp responsible for escapees being caught & shot. How he singlehandedly reveals the Nazi in their midst is the movie's climax. Shot in glorious black & white adds to its grittiness realistic feel. I get caught up in it every time. It's on cable often, rent it or buy it cheap, here. Classic cinema from the 50's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining story set over sixty years ago, in Germany


Studio: Paramount Studio
Video Release Date: August 21, 2001

Cast:
William Holden ... Sgt. J.J. Sefton
Don Taylor ... Lt. James Skylar Dunbar
Otto Preminger ... Col. von Scherbach
Robert Strauss ... Stanislas 'Animal' Kasava
Harvey Lembeck ... Harry 'Sugar Lips' Shapiro
Richard Erdman ... Hoffy (chief, barracks #4)
Peter Graves ... Price (security)
Neville Brand ... Duke
Sig Ruman ... Sgt. Johann Sebastian Schulz
Michael Moore ... Manfredi
Peter Baldwin ... Johnson
Robinson Stone ... Joey (ocarina player)
Robert Shawley ... Blondie Peterson
William Pierson ... Marko the Mailman (At Ease)
Gil Stratton ... Clarence Harvey 'Cookie' Cook (Narrator)
Jay Lawrence ... Bagradian (cohort of Dunbar)
Erwin Kalser ... Geneva man
Edmund Trzcinski ... Triz' Trzcinski ('I believe it!')
James Dabney Jr. ... Bit part
Carl Forcht ... German lieutenant
Ralph Gaston ... Bit part
Jerry Gerber ... Bit part
Ross Gould ... Von Scherbach's orderly
Russell Grower ... Bit part
Ross Bagdasarian ... Singing soldier
Peter Leeds ... Barracks #1 POW getting distillery
Wesley Ling ... POW
Harald Maresch ... German lieutenant
Bill McLean ... POW
John Mitchum ... POW
Robin Morse ... POW
William Mulcahy ... Bit part
Rodric Beckham ... Bit part
Richard P. Beedle ... POW
Joe Ploski ... German guard-volleyball player
Harry Reardon ... POW
Paul Salata ... Prisoner with beard
James R. Scott ... Bit part
Bill Sheehan ... POW
A. Gerald Singer ... Steve (the crutch)
Warren Sortomme ... POW
Herbert Street ... Bit part
Anthony M. Taylor ... Bit part
Bob Templeton ... Prisoner with beard
John Veitch ... POW
Alex Wells ... Prisoner with beard
Max Willenz ... German lieutenant (von Scherbach's aide)
Mike Bush ... Dancer
Don Cameron ... Bit part
Jarvis Caston ... POW
Tommy Cook ... POW
Alla Gursky ... Russian woman prisoner
Svetlana McLe ... Woman POW
Mara Sondakoff ... Russian woman prisoner
Audrey Strauss ... Woman POW
Lyda Vashkulat ... Woman POW
Janice Carroll ... Russian woman prisoner
Yvette Eaton ... Russian woman prisoner

A story set in a German prison camp in WWII. There is a snitch in the barracks: the lowest of the low, who is costing American prisoners their lives, as well as giving away escape plans, short wave radios, and espionage activities. Holden (Sgt. Sefton) is suspected because he is trading with the Germans (and everyone else in sight) to get what comforts are available. But the real traitor is another: a German posing as an American.

This is a fine film. Not, perhaps, on a par with The Great Escape, but it is nevertheless entertaining and worthy of viewing. Not to be confused with the television series of the same name. The actors are all different. I thought Robert Strauss ("Animal") did a great job of providing laughs.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance

and other books

5-0 out of 5 stars William Holden is the world's most underappreciated actor
I know he won an Oscar for his performance in this role, but has any great Hollywood star been shunted to the background of history as much as William Holden? The list of films in which the man made his character memorable runs the gamut from Sunset Boulevard to Picnic to The Wild Bunch to Network. And while I don't think it's his overall best role, Stalag 17 will be remembered not just as a great film but the one that got Holden his due.

As the opening voiceover says (and I'm paraphrasing), there have been a lot of war movies about submarines, flying leathernecks, tank commandos, etc. but none about the P.O.W. camps. Leave it to the late great Billy Wilder to rectify that. Certainly there's no glory of war here, or at least not the kind we're accustomed to. Wilder creates an insular world of desperate and downtrodden men thrown together in confinement and heaps on the stark reality of war's "other side".

Holden is the barracks' con man/horse trader and, thanks to the already poor relationship with his fellows, the immediate suspect when they determine someone on the inside is spying on them for the Germans. It's a testament to how well the film has held up over the years that even after seeing it long ago (and thus knowing who the spy is) that I was still riveted in anticipation of how he would be found out.

The Germans are a combination of menace and comedy, the former exemplified by Otto Preminger as the camp commander and the latter by the great character actor Sig Rumann as Sgt. Schulz. This film was the inspiration for Hogan's Heroes, but it's best to separate them in your mind if you can and appreciate the complexities of the situations and the characters. ... Read more


10. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
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Asin: B00005JKHF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10944
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Wilder is a wonderful director, after all . . .
Why a mess like IRMA LA DOUCE makes a profit and a lovely film like this sinks without a trace is a mystery bigger than anything on display in this "lost" case of Sherlock Holmes, which involves the Truth About The Loch Ness Monster, some very sinister monks, and a lovely woman (Genvieve Page) who drags Holmes into the middle of it all (Well, she does show up on his doorstep stark naked in the middle of night. What's a gentleman, even one who's a bit of a misogynist, supposed to do?). Robert Stephens brings wit, melancholy, and anger to the role, keeping all of these elements of Holmes' personality at play simultaneously, and he is matched splendidly by Colin Blakely's Dr. Watson, who's smarter than Nigel Bruce's Watson and more fun than Conan Doyle's. Page is poised, charming, and ambiguous as the heroine, just the sort of girl to hold Holme's interest. There's also a wonderful supporting performance by Christopher Lee as Holmes' brother Mycroft, a sputtering mixture of affection and aggravation for his impetuous younger brother. And all of this is played against the backround of a splendid score by Miklos Rosza, adapted from his Second Violin Concerto (even if you don't like the movie, try and get a recording of the music). Just when movies like KISS ME, STUPID and THE FORTUNE COOKIE make you wonder if Wilder ever knew what he was doing, along comes a film like this, which reminds you that yes, he knew EXACTLY what he was doing--some of the time, at any rate . . .

3-0 out of 5 stars Something's Been Lost Over the Years...
Let me preface this with the introduction to the "Deleted Scenes" extra on the disc because it describes the film as Wilder had intended:

"The original screenplay as described by Billy Wilder was a symphony in four movements. Following a modern day prologue (represented here in still photos and script pages) the intent was to illustrate four stories that Dr. Watson optednot to have published in the 'Strand Magazine'.

"Wilder wanted to explain Holmes' distrust of women, his drug addiction, his relationship with Dr. Watson; and, at the same time reveal Holmes' human side. The completed version would run approximately three hours, including an intermission. Upon its release in 1970, Wilder's symphony was presented with only two of its four movements."

Two biographies I've read confirm that Wilder cried openly when he saw the final product.

This Deleted Scenes section is most intriguing as it meticulously reconstructs as much as possible the four "movements" of Wilder's "symphony" which are titled: "Original Prologue" (including an appearance by 'Dr. Watson' circa 1970), "The Curious Case of the Upside Down Room", "The Adventure of the Dumbfounded Detective/Holmes Recounts an Affair of the Past" and finally "The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners". As mentioned above, still photos and script pages were used - and a lot of actual filmed footage which is presented with subtitles because the soundtrack could not be located. Taking all of this into consideration, I'm not all that sure that the three-hour version would have worked; and the final cut released by the studio is something of a disappointment.

The opening scene nicely introduces a somewhat different interpretation of the main characters, with Holmes complaining that Watson is always exaggerating his exploits and putting words into his mouth; and diluting his "seven-percent solution" of morphine to five. Then they're off to the final performance of Petrova in The Russian Ballet, after which Rogozgin (Clive Revill), Petrova's manager advises that she's retiring.

"She's been dancing since she was three-years-old...now she is thirty-eight."

"I must say, she doesn't look thirty-eight!"

"That's because she is forty-nine."

(And that, unfortunately, is one of a mere handful of jokes in the screenplay.)

Petrova also wants to have a "beautiful and brilliant child"; she has the beauty, and Holmes has the brains. But something's afoot! This extended 20-minute scene is meant to confirm Holmes' homosexuality and deny that the heterosexual Watson has been his secret lover. The problem is that it doesn't have anything to do with the basic plot, which doesn't kick in for a full thirty minutes. It may have "balanced" Wilder's symphony concept, but out of that context it's totally extraneous.

And by comparison to Arthur Conan Doyle's plots, this one is pretty skimpy. It was probably intended as a simple framework to hold your interest while the deleted scenes were to enlighten you about the "private life" elements. This also makes the title of the film misleading. I won't go into the details of the plot or bring up any spoilers for those who want to see it, except to say that it is shamefully simplistic.

The acting is topnotch all around and Robert Stevens makes an excellent Holmes, though Colin Blakeley's Watson is sometimes too blustery and exasperated; at times you almost expect to hear that "blowing-off-steam-whistle" sound affect associated with Lou Costello and Oliver Hardy. Christopher Lee as Holmes' brother, Mycroft, steals the few scenes he's in.

He also provides and interesting extra titled "Christopher Lee: Mr. Holmes, Mr. Wilder" in which he recalls a few behind-the-scenes tales of working with Wilder (whom he greatly admires), and brief overview of the Holmes legend, some of which was seen on the "The Hound of the Baskervilles" DVD released last year. This is followed by a 30-minute interview Ernest Walker, the film's editor who provides some interesting information on meeting and working with Wilder. There's also the usual Photo Gallery and Trailer.

The best part of the film is the beautifully poignant score by Miklos Rozsa, which I wish had been offered as an isolated track. The cinematography is by Christopher Challis ("Sink the Bismarck!", "Two for the Road", "Arabesque", "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines") - but it's hard to judge his contribution because of the poor quality of the transfer. It looks washed out with dull colors; and several transition scenes (probably reel ends) take on a fogged-up appearance, though not one suggesting a London "shroud". In fact, the film itself isn't much better that the found footage used for the reconstructed scenes. This is surprising coming from MGM whose "Women in Love" DVD is spectacularly lush. For that matter, so are the transfers in their Midnite Movie series. It may have been the original "Private Life..." film stock; but most of the Midnight Movies are cheap exploitation and horror films and I find it hard to believe that, say, Roger Corman, had better film than Wilder.

I must be in the minority because on imdb, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" has a rating of 7.3 rating (with over 500 votes; and hereAmazon 22 reviews averages a 4 ½ out of 5.

Perhaps I should have bought Wilder's "Kiss Me, Stupid" instead.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wilder's Sherlock Mystery...
Wilder spices up the personality of Sherlock Holmes as the master detective enters another remarkable journey into the world of mystery and crime. It all begins with a beautiful lady who appears out of nowhere at Holmes' front door, and it seems as if she suffers from amnesia and a lost husband. However, these mysteries are old news for a genius such as Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson. Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is an interesting film, but the overall picture lacks the usual spice that Wilder used to combine into his creations.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Grand Film and DVD but We Still Want the Missing Parts
First the good news: Billy Wilder's wonderfully comic--and tragic--examination of the romantic life of "the world's greatest consulting detective," Sherlock Holmes, is reproduced beautifully in this terrific and long overdue DVD. Indeed, "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" has never looked better or more complete on the small screen, as it is presented here in a digitally remastered widescreen format that preserves the integrity of director and co-writer Wilder's original vision. As fans of the film know, Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond fill in the blanks regarding the sexual orientation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous literary creation (a hot topic among intellectuals in the late 1960s) with both a sparkling wit and grand sense of respect for the subject matter. In the film, Holmes embarks on his most scandalous case, which includes the search for a missing engineer, the discovery of secrets of state, and his burgeoning love for a mysterious woman who might not be who she claims. With his lisp and penchant for sarcasm, Robert Stephens' Holmes is less the classical hero than in previous screen versions, going so far as to chide Watson (played wonderfully by Colin Blakely) for embellishing both his habits and physical stature in his "Strand Magazine" articles, yet Stephens' Holmes retains the keen mind, loyal affability, and vulnerable spirit we have come to admire. The supporting cast, which includes Christopher Lee as Mycroft Holmes, is excellent, but it is the production, including Miklos Rosza's hauntingly luscious score, that helps propel the film to greatness. Now, the bad news: As most fans know, Wilder wanted this film to be more than three hours long and contain several other adventures that would complete this heretofore unknown set of cases whose "delicate and sometimes scandalous nature" made them unsuitable for print. Unfortunately, the studio forced him to cut much of that footage, only some of which is included here (and without sound; in other cases, stills of filmed scenes are intercut with pages of the script and recorded dialogue). The result is that those of us who have waited for years to see the film as the brilliant Wilder had intended it have to make due with the bits and pieces included here. What a shame that, once again, marketing interfered with the artistic process.

5-0 out of 5 stars So much was LOST!
This film is a cult classic and well deserving of that status. It's one of my favourite films and for YEARS we were promised the excised footage would be replaced and we could finally see this marvellous film in the form Billy Wilder meant it to be. Well, I am sure like all fans of the film, we waited with hope that NOW they would include all these scenes. And while the film transfer is great and I was sad to see there is NO footage to speak of to be added. There are snippets of film of other adventures, stills flashed over a poor soundtrack, but according to MGM there is no extra scenes, they have been lost.

WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!

The film is still a must for Billy Wilder, Robert Stephens, Chris Lee or Sherlock Holmes Fans. But just do not expect all the lost footage to be restored.

It is a very very funny look at Holmes, a more human look perhaps. This is a mirthful look at the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, lovingly portrayed with a twinkle in his eye by the late great Sir Robert Stephens. The adventures are fun (the ones we see) but mainly centre around a woman's missing husband. Toss in several hundred canaries, the Loch Ness Monster, missing midgets - the Tumbling Pickaloes to be precise - the mysterious red runner, Queen Victoria, some Trappist monks, an ageing ballerina that does not 'look 39' - that is because she is 49!! -who wants Holmes to father her child and an amnesiac damsel in distress that temps Holmes, all done with the best British wit and droll sense of humour...and you have a mix that cannot miss.

Incisive writing and direction, this fill pay homage to Holmes and Watson, with tongue firmly planted in cheek...

Even so, the currently version is a true gem, and so overlooked,
all we have left of Billy Wilder genius vision. ... Read more


11. Love in the Afternoon
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $19.98
our price: $15.98
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Asin: B00005RRK0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3270
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Fairy-tale Paris doesn't get more enchanting than Billy Wilder's Lovein the Afternoon, an ode to picnics on the grass and champagne at the Ritz.Audrey Hepburn (who had already made Sabrina with Wilder) is at her bestas the inexperienced cellist with a fascination for millionaire American playboyGary Cooper. Maurice Chevalier (who else?) is Hepburn's father, a privatedetective with ample evidence of Cooper's crowded history of l'amour.Alongside the sheen of the romance is Wilder's unerring sense of craftsmanship;watch how inanimate objects such as a liquor tray, a white carnation, or thelittle dog in the suite next door are developed into sublime running gags. Theage difference between the two leads has often been questioned, but perhaps thisis what gives the gossamer material the whiff of welcome melancholy. The finalthree minutes leave no doubt that Wilder hatched the best endings in Hollywoodhistory. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (43)

3-0 out of 5 stars Cute but superficial romance
"Love in the Afternoon" is a cute but superficial romance. I realize that some elements of the film are intended as a satire on French cinema of the time, but Wilder went too far in a few instances, in my opinion.

Audrey Hepburn is beautiful, as always, in her excellent performance as a young music student who falls madly in love with American playboy Gary Cooper, a visitor in her native Paris. Both actors are elegantly funny and exchange witty banter, but a few elements of the relationship were quite disturbing and just TOO unrealistic. First, Cooper looks every bit of his 56 years, while Hepburn appears to be a college freshman. Second, why doesn't Cooper immediately realize that virginal Hepburn isn't the flighty young woman she claims to be? His ignorance is astounding. Third, the ending is just too over-the-top. This film was cute, especially watching Hepburn recount her many, many (fictional) affairs to a perplexed Cooper, but if you really want to see a good Hepburn romance, get "Roman Holiday" or "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Those two films top this one any day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilder's Parisian souffle
With two of Hollywood's most glamorous stars, and (despite the silly plot) a sharp and witty script, this film is an evergreen, and one I never tire of watching.
Audrey Hepburn is enchanting as the spunky "Thin Girl", a cello student who falls in love with a millionaire playboy bachelor, played with grace and charm (and quite a bit of humor) by Gary Cooper. Hepburn was 28 at the time, and looked younger, Cooper was 56, and looked perhaps older, but despite the age difference, their chemistry together sparkles and sizzles.

The romantic cat and mouse game played by Hepburn to intrigue and win Cooper's heart is all very innocent and sweet, and I always shed a few tears at the magical ending.
Maurice Chevalier as Hepburn's father, a private detective specializing in matters of love and deception is fabulous, and gets most of the funny lines, and John McGiver, as one of Chevalier's jealous husband clients, is also very amusing.

The b & w cinematography by William Mellor is exceptional, and how the camera loves Audrey, looking exquisite in an array of beautiful gowns. There is also a quartet called "The Gypsies", who serenade the lovers throughout the film with some terrific czardas, and the melodic song "Fascination".
Light, frothy, and thoroughly enjoyable, this is one of Billy Wilder's most delightful films, and it's a treasure for Hepburn and Cooper fans.
Total running time is 130 minutes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cute but superficial romance
Audrey Hepburn delivers a wonderful performance as a naive young music student who falls hopelessly in love with a much older playboy American tourist. Both Hepburn and Cooper are funny, and their witty banter is wonderful. I know this is a comedy, and partly a satire, but I was disturbed by several aspects of this film. First, the age differences between the two characters is a bit disturbing. Cooper looks every bit of his 56 years, while Hepburn looks like a college freshman. Second, couldn't the worldly Cooper tell that virginal Hepburn wasn't the flighty woman she claimed to be? Third, I was also disturbed by the "happily ever after" ending. Maybe my tastes are a little superior to this film (I much more prefer the ending to "Roman Holiday," a much better romantic comedy), but I simply could not swallow the final scene. Other than that, this film is a cute romantic comedy, especially the scenes where Hepburn describes her many (fictional) love affairs. Worth a viewing, but this one isn't being added to my DVD collection, even though I am an avid Audrey fan.

1-0 out of 5 stars A tragedy disguised as a love story
This movie helps us to understand why the divorce rate is so high amongst this generation. The story line is written to depict a great love founded on lies and deceit. Cooper plays a skirt chasing, immoral, philanderer, who has absolutely no depth of character and nothing positive to offer, other than financial security. Hepburn portrays an idiot child who can't see what a loser she pursues. The differences in their ages could suggest that Cooper is a child molester. I found this movie disturbing and annoying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cooper too old? Ask Ted Kennedy
or Michael Dougless or Bob Packwood ... Read more


12. Irma La Douce
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.46
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Asin: B00005LOLC
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6460
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Funny!
A great story and script make this a wonderful movie to see. Jack Lemmon falls in love with Irma, a streetwalker played by Shirley MacLaine. To keep her off the streets, he begins to work four to five jobs at night to pose as a wealthy English lord. Of course things don't quite work out as he would like. Very funny movie by Billy Wilder, the same director as "Some Like It Hot".

A must see.

Darin

5-0 out of 5 stars irma la douce
Is there another movie this great? My 90 year old grandfather and I are in total agreement about this hilariously wonderful film! Jack Lemmon and Shirley Mcclaine at their young and sweet best. It tops my all time favorite list.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Faeri Tale for the grown ups
This movie has a slow start (understandably being made in 1962) but then before you know it, it transforms in to a sweet faerie tale for the grown ups. From this aspect, it was indeed a very creative idea even though the movie has its own slow moments and not so knitly tied up sequences.
Shirley MacLaine's performance is certainly memorable!

5-0 out of 5 stars Comic masterpiece (part 2)
"Irma la Douce" was Billy Wilder's biggest hit at the box-office. With its absurdly funny situations and its snappy dialogues it is perhaps the most anarchistic screenplay he and I.A.L Diamond have ever written. The stars were at the height of their artistic powers. Marguerite Monnot's tuneful score didn't hurt, either. And this is just the package. Audiences are always grateful when allowed to peep through key-holes and "Irma la Douce" was the first major Hollywood-production ever to deal with the subject of prostitution. Of course, there have been many women with a past, shady ladies, innocent girls gone astray or clever girls in search of a sugar-daddy. But never before has a leading actress been shown while haggling over the price or describing the strange predilections of her clients.

Wilder originally wanted Charles Laughton for the role of Moustache. Those who have seen him in "Witness for the prosecution" know what he could have done to this film and his co-stars. Wilder's initial choice for Irma was, as everybody knows Marilyn Monroe. Her memories fresh from "Some like it hot", she threw the role away. She would have been wonderful in the role. MacLaine however, is excellent in her own right. Her ultra-cool delivery of her lines make her a provocative foil for Lemmon.

Watching Lemmon's performance, many critics were reminded of the great comedians of the golden age. No wonder. One must be tied up to resist this lovestruck hero. The scene where he enters Irma's room for the very first time, sweetly hesitant, ill at ease, because he knows that in a few minutes he is going to make love to her - this scene alone would secure this film its place among the great romantic comedies.

Why then has this film been refused its place as a true classic? The problem with Irma is, that the story ends 20 minutes before the film does. We had our thrills, we had our laughs, and now the story forces Wilder to send after an ending that will satisfy the "little bourgeois" in us. It feels as if the film-presenter announces: Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed this film and now, as an extra, Mr. Lemmon will perform some acrobatics...he married during shooting, be indulgent.

Make your choice: enjoy "Irma" completely, including its anticlimactic ending, or miss one of the funniest films of all time. Spicy enough to send you from one fit of laughter to the next, innocent enough not to offend your maiden aunt or harm your (elder) children. This film captures the delightful atmosphere of Paris and bubbles and sparkles like champagne. If "Irma la Douce" can't cheer you up, no film can.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comic masterpiece (part 1)
She's a music student with an interrupted career, the victim of U.S.Airforce, the daughter of a missionary. Sometimes her sister needs a blood transfusion. This is what Irma la Douce (Shirley MacLaine) tells her clients in order to send up the price. She occupies the best spot on her street - near "Les Halles" where it literally smells of fish - and her admirers prefer her charms to those of Amazon Annie, Mimi the Mau Mau and Lolita. She commutes betweent the "Hotel Casanova" (her office) and the bistro "Chez Moustache" (Lou Jacobi) where Hippolyte, her "Mac" is losing her money at the gambling-table.

Nestor Patou (Jack Lemmon), a young cop has saved a little boy from drowning. As a reward he is transferred to Irma's district. He struts along, self-contented, unsuspecting, and buys himself an apple. The fruit-seller looks perplexed at the money in his hand: In this part of the city, as a custom, policemen are not those who pay, but those who get paid...While Nestor saunters about the street, wishing the ladies a good morning, eating his apple, something is beginning to dawn on him. He seeks information from Moustache: What is it, with all those couples who enter this Hotel?

Sadly, Moustache's make-love-not-war-message is lost on Nestor's little-bourgeois mind. He puffs himself up ("fragrant vice...must be stamped out") and decides to make a raid. But first, would Moustache kindly tell him the phone-number of the police-station? In his industry he fails to notice that he is bribed behind his back...The transport of the ladies to the police-station is heavy work - they spray perfume in his eyes and taunt him badly - but crowned by success: "16 females and one poodle. I'll do better next time". But his expected promotion does not take place, because - I bet you guess this one - the Chief of police was among the customers...

This same evening, after a day of futile efforts of finding another job, Nestor winds up again at "Chez Moustache". His belongings are in his suitcase. It's raining. At this late hour, things are usually pretty lively, but the rain keeps the customers away and Hippolyte has no luck with his card-game - and takes it out on Irma. Nestor hurries to her help - one of the most hilarious fight-scenes in film history - and wins. Irma's knowing smile reveals it, but it's not until the next morning that Nestor realizes that a new job fell right into his lap. While he still abandons himself to the recollection of the pleasures of last night Irma orders him to try on Hippolyte's suits and slings field-glasses (for the horse-race) around his neck. She promises that she will work harder for him than for any of his predecessors...

Every profession has its own status-symbols. Irma's trade requires a posh "Mac". She decorates him with expensive tie-pins in order to impress the other girls. She is also extremely jealous: Heaven help the girl who dares to make a pass on him. Traces of lipstick on his face present us with the most hilarious boxing-match between ladies since Marlene Dietrich fought it out in "Destry rides again".

Nestor too is jealous: of Irma's clients. He loves her dearly and wants her for himself. But Irma is a real pro who considers her trade as vocation and there is always this problem with money...After much brooding Nestor develops an ingenious plan: Irma needs a long-term patron: Lord X (himself + false beard + fake accent) will pay Irma 500 francs, twice a week for the exclusive title to her favor. Problem solved. Is it?

Suddenly Nestor discovers that those 500 francs, twice a week have to come from somewhere, have to be earned...Now he learns the rough way how hard it is to lead an easy life: Drug Irma's poodle with champagne, steal out of her arms to the market where the pork-butcher is waiting for him. He is pinched by lobsters, garbage has to be disposed off, too. A slightly untidy gentleman steals himself into Irma's bed again, always hoping she won't wake up...Irma's life underwent a drastic change too: Her relationship with Lord X is strictly platonic and Nestor is always tired. Slowly she shifts her affection from Nestor to the Lord. Mad with jealousy, Nestor decides to get rid of his alter ego. The truth is lost on Irma, but she certainly understands a crime of passion... ... Read more


13. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court/The Emperor Waltz - Double Feature
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: B00007J5VS
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6432
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Right up Bing's alley.
These two films feature Bing at his "Average American" best. Though handsome enough, Bing was no Cary Grant. With ears sticking out and rug a-top head, he oozed a certain comfortable "normal-ness" which at the same time was never mediocrity. For no one did it like Bing. Made it look so easy, that is.

In Mark Twain's tale we have the Average American of the early 20th century-- a time when automobiles and other inventions were replacing the old ways of a yonder time and place. So how would this hard-working fellow from Connecticut fare in the Arthurian age? Quite well, judging from Bing's adventure. He uses every trick up his sleeve to win over the very charming old king, the beautiful Rhonda Fleming, and William Bendix as a loveable oaf of a knight. This is all tongue-in-cheek fun, complete with wonderful songs, "When Is Sometime?" "If You Stub Your Toe on the Moon" and a favorite of mine, "We're Busy Doing Nothing" ( . . . "working the whole day through/Trying to find lots of things not to do/We're busy doing nothing/Isn't it just a crime?/We'd like to be unhappy/But we never do have the time.")

Can you believe the director who gave us "Double Indemnity," "Sunset Boulevard" and "The Apartment" also gave us the fun Crosby musical "The Emperor Waltz"? Billy Wilder obviously put a lot of joy and love into this picture, which has a certain Austrian-German sweetness to it. The cinematography is gorgeous, the songs are lovely, and lovely too is the great Joan Fontaine. Bing must really pull off the "Average American" thing here-- again at the start of the 20th century, as a travelling salesman (of phonograph machines!). He must be a regular guy, a charmer, a cold businessman (on the surface anyway), and have a warm child-like spirit too-- all at the same time. And there's just about the cutest dog you'll ever see in a movie-- and a nice moral that rings very true.

So these are two colorful musical feasts, lots of fun with humorous performances from all concerned, and two good stories to boot. But the success of these pictures rests in the hands of Bing Crosby, who is very much at home in settings which showcase his cozy virtuosity.

3-0 out of 5 stars With all it has going for it...
...you'd think this would be a winner -- Bing Crosby at the height of his film popularity, Billy Wilder as director, and the lush scenery of Canada's Japser National Park. However, despite the truly beautiful restoration by Universal, this is a yawn...and I'm a bit of a Crosby fan. Here, Bing plays a phonograph salesman trying to sell his wares to Austrian royalty. He falls in love with Joan Fontaine, a countess, while his dog falls in love with her dog, who is supposed to mate with the Emperor's dog. The scenery is just beautiful. The script is ho hum. I sat thinking how could this be Billy Wilder??? Well, I guess the concept is rather anti-class system, so perhaps that's what attracted Wilder. Aside from that, it's fluff...albeit pleasant fluff.

On the other hand, "A Connecticutt Yankee In King Arthur's Court" is much nicer. A nice turn on the old story, with a hoot of a supporting performance by William Bendix ("Life Of Riley"). Crosby is in fine voice and this film has a bit of a heart to it. A nice diversion with Crosby in his cinematic heydey. ... Read more


14. Some Like It Hot
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.95
our price: $11.96
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Asin: B00005A06N
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2267
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (176)

3-0 out of 5 stars COLD RECEPTION FOR A HOT WILDER CLASSIC
MGM continues to insult the intelligence of the DVD consumer with this 'special edition' of one of Billy Wilder's all time great romantic comedies. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are witnesses to the Valentine's Day Massacre. To stay alive the boys shave their legs, dress in drag and join an all-girl's band fronted by sulty singing sensation, Sugar Cane (Marilyn Monroe). Featuring Monroe's inimitable renditions of "Running Wild" and "I Wanna Be Loved By You" this is a keeper in every respect.
Unfortunately MGM Home Entertainment has done a terrible job of remastering the print. Though the black and white picture exhibits exceptional contrast and clarity, the obtrusive inclusion of edge enhancement, artifacting, aliasing, fine detail shimmering and digital grit make for a really unattractive visual presentation. The sound has been remixed to 5.1, but the dated fidelity shines through. Still, the audio is presented at an acceptable listening level and without much distortion or echo.
Extras included a trip down memory lane with Tony Curtis that is overly long and really dragged down by Curtis' flamboyant hamming it up for the cameras. Oh well, I can't imagine too many people are asking him to shave his legs these days. Bottom line: If you absolutely must have the film I guess you could waste your money on this version. My hope is that someone at MGM will want to revisit this classic at a later date and with a more reputable transfer. Here's to hoping. Besides - nobody's perfect!

5-0 out of 5 stars Still A Gem
"Some Like It Hot" is one of those great classics that has as much comedy in it as well as it does romance. It is the story of two musicians, Joe and Terry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), who intenvertidly stumble upon a mob squad hit (The St. Valentine's Day Massacre) and must flee from Chicago to Florida in hopes of getting away from the mobsters. Realizing that two female musicians are needed, Joe and Terry decide to dress in drag, board a bus filled with female musicians, and head to Florida. Of course, one of the leading ladies on board the bus, is the sexy Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), who has guy problems and represents the rebel.

The film has such balance between the comic exploits of Curtis and Lemmon looking out for their backs and trying to pull off this whole female identity without getting caught, and the romantic parts, which involve Curtis' character trying to woo Sugar Kane. While Curtis is trying to make the moves on Sugar Kane, Lemmon's character is trying to escape the advances of a multi-millionare who continally attempts to make the moves on him/her.

There is plenty of double-meaning humor, slapstick humor and fun romance in this movie. It has a little of everything, and it is understandable why most still refer to this movie as a gem.

4-0 out of 5 stars Transvestites, yipes!
This one shows up on Turner Classics every once in a while, but I hadn't focused till the other night. There's something creepy about dressing like a woman. Some burly men may have no qualms, but I find transvestites, ahh, uncomfortable. I know. It's me and there's nothing wrong with that. In Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are cross-dressing to escape some killers. They're not very attractive as women, which allowed me to enjoy the sex identity farce. Farce in America means screwball comedy. If Monroe crawled into my Pullman berth to sleep, hmm -- Lemmon pops one no doubt, and I'm not sure it was in the script if you know what I mean. Then he's swarmed by bunches of scantily clad ladies and the fun escalates. Monroe wears two dresses that give an interesting illusion. What a bod.

5-0 out of 5 stars No pastry, no butter and no sugar


Director: Billy Wilder
Format: Black & White
Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios
Video Release Date: May 1, 2001

Cast:

Marilyn Monroe ... Sugar Kane Kowalczyk
Tony Curtis ... Joe (Josephine)/Junior
Jack Lemmon ... Jerry (Daphne)
George Raft ... Spats Colombo
Pat O'Brien ... Mulligan
Joe E. Brown ... Osgood Fielding III
Nehemiah Persoff ... Little Bonaparte
Joan Shawlee ... Sweet Sue
Billy Gray ... Sig Poliakoff
George E. Stone ... Toothpick Charlie
Dave Barry ... Beinstock
Mike Mazurki ... Spats' Henchman
Harry Wilson ... Spats' Henchman
Beverly Wills ... Dolores
Barbara Drew ... Nellie
Edward G. Robinson Jr. ... Johnny Paradise
Paul Frees ... Funeral Director/Josephine
Joe Gray ... Mobster at banquet
Harold 'Tommy' Hart ... Second Official
Ted Hook
John Indrisano ... Waiter
Tom Kennedy ... Bouncer
Fred Sherman ... Drunk
Tito Vuolo ... Mozzarella
Al Breneman ... Bellhop
Pat Comiskey ... Spats' henchman
Penny McGuiggan ... Band Member
Laurie Mitchell ... Mary Lou, Trumpet Player
Helen Perry ... Rosella
Sandra Warner ... Emily, Band Member
Grace Lee Whitney ... Band Member
Marian Collier ... Olga, Clarinet Player
Joan Fields ... Band Member
Mary Foley ... Band Member

The cops bust a "funeral" with a casket full of booze--and nothing else. Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis) and Jerry/Daphne (Jack Lemmon), desperate for work as a bass fiddle player and saxophonist, take a spot as members of an all-girl band, in drag, for a Florida tour, and to get away from gangsters who know that they witnessed a gang war murder by Spats Colombo's (George Raft) gang. There they meet Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) who has a drinking problem.

The pair are attracting the notice not only of the mob, but also of suitors, including millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown) and others, and Joe/Josephine falls for Sugar. This is a wacky movie which provides a lot of laughs, and brings out hidden a talent for comedy from Curtis. Billy Wilder did a great job.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

5-0 out of 5 stars Hot Comedy, Hot Action, Hot Actress, Hot Jazz, Hot Movie
too Hot to be true, Marilyn Monroe,Tony Curtis,Jack Lemmon star in one of the greatest and funniest comedy classics of all time. The 1959 farse about the two musicians Joe and Jerry, who disquise themselves as women under the names Josephine and Daphne to land jobs as the sax and bow fidle in an all girls jazz band.Where they meet gorgeous songbird Sugar Kane. Also where Daphne meets womanizer Osgood Fielding III.When Daphne is stuck with that "dirty old man" Joe(Curtis) borrows a cup of that sugar(Monroe)as the millionare of Sugar's dreams "Shell Oil Junior". If Your looking for a classic comedy this is a good one. It's AFI's number 1 laugh, or if you want more marilyn, you love her in this one and if your looking for more Curtis and Lemmon they're hysterical in this one. See this classic comedy and you'll get "the sweet end of the lolly pop". As Osgood said at the end "nobody's perfect" well thats true ,but Some like it Hot may be a perfect comedy and as Sugar sang "I'm through with love, well she's not through for long ,but We are not through with this movie, because we love this film so much and we all want to "borrow a cup of that sugar" every time we watch it, "ZOWIE" "Yeah real hot" ... Read more


15. Double Indemnity
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305077517
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 4669
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Description

An insurance claims manager gets a familiar feeling of foul play while investigating the death of a man whose wife just had him sign a double-indemnity policy through her insurance agent and lover. ... Read more

Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars "I never knew that murder could smell like honeysuckle."
Double Indemnity is a superb story about an insurance salesman who gets involved with a woman married to a husband she doesn't care for. The murder of her husband is planned perfectly and brilliantly, but it all comes crashing down. The cause was due to themselves (Plot details).

Although it received a total of six Oscar nominations (With no wins), none of the nominations went to Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff ("Insurance salesman, age 35"). Neff is very successful at what he does (He's been at it for eleven years). He visits the home of Mr. Dietrichson to renew automobile insurance but soon finds himself falling in love with his wife Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), who convinces Walter to have Mr. Dietrichson sign an accident insurance without his knowing it so he can be killed. But it's the Double Indemnity clause that gets them really involved, since they will get double the pay.

Stanwyck provided, for me, a superb performance as the cold, calculating Mrs. Dietrichson, who used Neff so she could get rid of her husband and collect up some money. Meanwhile, Walter finds himself getting involved with her step-daughter Lola. He discovers from Lola that her ex-boyfriend has been seeing Phyllis, suggesting perhaps that Phyllis has plans for him.

One of the most memorable performances in the movie is Edward G. Robinson's Barton Keyes, the claims manager, a brilliant fellow who is by hunches when a claim doesn't seem right. He's the one who figures out that the Dietrichson claim doesn't seem right, but can't quite figure out who assisted. In fact, most of the safeguards put into the plot by Neff were done so to prevent Keyes getting any major suspicions. "I did it for the money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman". These words said by Neff form a sense of irony. The murder fell apart not because of the authorities, who were too dumb to figure it all out, but because of themselves. Murder's never perfect.

5-0 out of 5 stars A film noir masterpiece...
Double Indemnity is a film noir masterpiece - chilling, dark, and very suspenseful. It features a great script with many memorable lines (for instance - "But I was wrong. You're not smarter, you're just a little taller."), an interesting plot with many good twists, and fantastic performances from two classic stars (especially Stanwyck, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the evil wife).

Basically, Double Indemnity is about a less-than-brilliant insurance salesman, Walter Neff(Fred MacMurray), who falls for a beautiful married woman (Barbara Stanwyck) who wants to use him to get rid of her husband for the insurance money (hence the title, Double Indemnity). Although he resists her at first, Neff soon falls for the scheming woman and decides to help her plan the perfect murder. The movie itself starts after the murder has been completed with Neff leaving a message for his boss confessing what occurred and then goes back in time to the beginning of the scheme.

Double Indemnity is a great film - the idea behind it, interesting in itself, was brilliantly executed by the legendary director Billy Wilder. Consequently, Indemnity is a true film noir classic and must-see!

5-0 out of 5 stars STANWYCK AND MACMURRAY WERE OSCAR ROBBED
Yes, they deserved the 1944 Academy Award. Both of them. They were robbed. Perhaps its because they played murderers and MacMurray was caught in Stanwyck's spider web. The movie was released during the prime war years (1944) and Hollywood chose to go the sentimental route with "GOING MY WAY". But Ingrid Bergman's performance in "Gaslight" in no way comes close to touching Stanwyck's bravura in "Double Indemnity". It was a close race between them but Bergman won out (inexplicably because her performance in Gaslight is overwrought and over the top). Stanwyck's evil restraint with one look that could burn a house down. And that wig!! That awful unflattering wig on her! Maybe that's why she didn't win?????

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the Best Noir Film of the Era
Starting with an amazing cast and a great plot, this film lives up to anyone's expectations. Life insurance agent falls into the clutches of a woman looking to collect a double indemnity on her husband's death benefits because he died accidentally. One problem - her husband is not dead yet. By ensnaring the insurance agent into a plot to kill the woman's husband and making it look like an accident, everything is in place. I don't want to give much more away, but, even if you are not a film noir fan, you will find this to be a tightly written, wonderfully acted drama. This classic is well worth owning.

1-0 out of 5 stars GREAT FILM - TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE DVD TRANSFER
Do not purchase this DVD release. Its transfer to DVD is truly horrendous.

Wait for some other distributor to release it.

Wonderful film. Totally botched DVD release.

Wait for it... ... Read more


16. Avanti!
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005JLJK
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8188
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking for love in all the right places...
Accidently caught this late night movie while channel surfing in a hotel room on a freezing London night far from home and nursing a cold.I was enchanted as I'd never heard of it.Jack Lemmon as Wendell Armbruster and Juliet Mills as Pamela Pigott give convincing portrayals of a millionaire american and a working class englishwoman come to Italy to retrieve the bodies of his father and her mother,who unknown to their families had been lovers for years and had died tragically together in a car accident.Jack Lemmon displays his acumen for comedy without even trying and miss Mills gives an understated performance.But kudos must go to the person who cast Clive Reville in the part of Carlucci the indispensible hotel manager.When he blurts out 'idiota' to an incompetent underling in absolute frustration its an absolute delight.It was a while before I realized he wasnt neapolitan.What a pity his talents have not been more recognized.I would also commend the melodic theme music arranged by Mr Rustichelli.The ending was not a complete surprise but fitting all the same. Please rent this one out all you romance lovers,you will not be disappointed, ...as for my cold,lo and behold the next morning it was gone!,funny that...

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Wilder's brilliant switch from laughs to enchantment!
Fans of the legendary director (Wilder) or star (Lemmon) will be surprised by an unexpected departure from their usual big-laughs comedy to an enchanting love story. Fans of the masters will be pleasantly surprised by this delightful romantic comedy, which captivates the viewer from the very start. Mezmerizing backdrop music plays as though secretly staged by Cupid standing by to assure that lovebirds will find one another.

Lemmon plays the son of a mega-wealthy American business man who had to drop everything to fly to Italy in order to claim the father's remains after a car accident. En route to his late father's "final stop", Lemmon runs in to a persistant young woman, who turns out to be the daughter of the woman with whom the father had had a lengthy affair, and who was found lovingly slung around his neck as they both died in said accident.

The situation seems rather awkward at first, but eventually Lemmon and the young woman begin following into the exact same steps their departed parents had done years earlier. The picture is completed by a brilliant supporting cast of hotel personnel and colorful locals. The performance of the multi-talented and ever-present-minded hotel manager was Oscar worthy.

Listening to the testimony of all people asked, Lemmon learns that his late father and his "friend" were viewed as Royalty, nothing less than figures from a fairy tale. The concluding scenes are the final touches to a most enchanting romantic comedy, one that has few rivals in its category. Billy Wilder has done it again. What he missed in big laughs, he made up in many magic moments and gentle pressures to your tear glands. One of the very best out there!*****

4-0 out of 5 stars Leisurely Romantic Comedy
This one was not thoughfully picked , but caught my eye in one of those channel surfing routines.. where just after few seconds , didn't think of any other channels or anything else..

The English translation of Italian word 'Avanti!' is 'Go Ahead' and is usually used in response to 'Permesso?' asked by any of the hotel staff while knocking at the door of your room.

Released in 1972, this is Billy Wilder's yet another light comic offering where an American businessman Wendell Armbruster(Jack Lemmon) comes to Italy to pick his father's dead body. Once there he comes to know about the long kept secret of his father of having a relationship with some woman. This woman's daughter Pamela Piggott (Juliet Mills) a delightful Brit also comes to Italy to pick her mother's dead body. Wendell, a hyperactive & uptight fellow and Pamela, a loving & carefree person happen to share the same hotel and share the same reason for their Italy visit. After not-so many instances, both of them find themselves in their parent's shoes. As if their assets of love have been passed on to their offspring. At the end, the bodies of the dead are not taken back to their respective country, but buried where their love once bloomed!

Amidst all the tough & good times there is one character that is distinctly noticeable is of Carlo Carlucci(Clive Revill) an efficient,clever and very helpful hotel manager. He is shown to be know-it-all and handle-it-all kinda guy.

One gets a sneak peek at the Italian culture of long lunch hours, mafia ruling,a general laid back attitude of people,etc..Although the movie could have done without the nude scenes and the vineyard brothers & their unreasonable demands from Wendell.

The true meaning of 'Avanti' is revealed when Piggot says it in response to Wendell's asking 'Permesso?' to kiss her. This truly is a magical moment!! The lilting music, the wit of the characters played and the locales add to the magic of this enchanting experience.

I'm glad that a film picked by chance turned out to be such a pleasure and it belongs to my favourite genre of movies!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Closest You'll Get to Seeing Kristen Dunst's Breasts
Kevin Kline admitted that his inspiration to become an actor had to do with his infactuation over Hayley Mills and figured the only way he'd ever meet her was to become a movie star. Well I had no idea that her sister would make me feel the same way. Unfortunately, this movie was made before I was even born so I'm sure she's far from looking the way she looked back then. Fortunately, there's the spitting image of her in today's 'it' girl Kirsten Dunst. Anyway, the movie itself is good. Just about anything with Jack Lemmon as a chief role is always good. I recommend this to anyone who likes romantic comedies.

5-0 out of 5 stars AVANTI
If your depressed, need a holiday, think that everything is against you, then you need to see Avanti! This is a true Jack Lemon comedy and Billy Wilder at his directorial best. As you watch the film you will be taken to the real Italy where lunch is more important than making money, where making love is to be savored and marriage is what you do at the end of the day.
I write this not as film review but as a strong recommendation to your soul - buy Avanti on DVD becasue if you get on VHS, your and your family wear it out! As they say in the film, "you bet your sweet buttouti!" ... Read more


17. Kiss Me, Stupid
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
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Asin: B000092Q4F
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19444
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18. The Fortune Cookie
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000056HEF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11764
Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Pairing.
This film was the very first screen pairing of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Along with 'The Odd Couple', I would say this is the best.

It was directed by Billy Wilder, who by this time had already made some memorable movies with Jack Lemmon. 'Some Like It Hot' and 'The Apartment' to name just two of them.

The basic story is:
Jack Lemmon is this cameraman who gets injured while he is filming an American football game. Walter Matthau plays his brother-in-law, who happens to be a lawyer. Matthau tries to convince Lemmon to make out that his injury is worse than it really is, since Matthau decides they should sue the insurance company and make a load of money out of it. Lemmon goes along with it, while the football player, 'Boom Boom' Jackson (played by Ron Rich), who was the person who partly injured Lemmon in the first place, becomes his friend and helps look after him. Lemmon's ex-wife comes back and decides to take over Jacksons job of looking after him. Is she there for the money, or because she really cares? 'Boom Boom' kinda loses it from there and gets into trouble as his career fades. So, watch it to see how it all turns out.

Overall, I think this movie is brilliant, although I do have one problem with it. That is with Judi West who played Lemmons ex-wife. I believe (May be wrong) that this was her screen-debut. I really think she is the only person in the movie who lets it down slightly due to her acting.

A quick mention about the DVD. The print used here is very good. However, it lacks any decent extras.
I recommend this movie very highly. Especially if you are a fan of Jack Lemmon.

PLEASE NOTE: I am the owner of the UK Region 2 release of this DVD from the same company, so the discs, besides the region coding, should be the same.

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful CYNICAL comedy
Jack Lemmon is a TV camerman. During a pro-football telecast, he is hit along the sidelines by an out-of-bounds player and immediately taken to the hospital with possible injuries. Enter his crooked lawyer brother-in-law, Willy Gingrich (Walter Mathau). This lawyer convinces Lemmon to fake a back injury in order to collect BIG bucks from the insurance company. The movie title refers to a message in a fortune cookie (You can fool all the people some of the time......).

Although not at the level of "Some Like It Hot", this is one of Billy Wilder's best comedies. His view of humanity is certainly cynical and bleak, but not nihilistic. The best performance is by Mathau who plays Willy to the hilt. He's wonderful and deserved his Oscar. The music by Andre Previn is also very good and very sly. You won't be disappointed. Bring on the DVD!

5-0 out of 5 stars Whoa Nelly!
Andre Previn's music sets the scene for Billy Wilder's black-and-white world. From slinky jazz to raucous Central European classical, Previn captures the cynical and the sentimental in the sly director's unmistakable touch.

Jack Lemmon captures it too. All-American with a nervous twitch-- I mean, twist-- Lemmon is a good guy, a normal guy, with a mad streak. In this case, he wants his wife back-- wants her bad.

Walter Matthau-- "Whiplash Willie"-- exploits his brother-in-law's unrequited love by bringing a lawsuit (for one-million dollars) against the Cleveland Browns, CBS, and Municipal Stadium. If you know the rest, I need not repeat; if you don't-- that is, if you haven't seen the movie--I won't give it away.

But you might want to know a few things.

Hapless Harry Hinkle (Lemmon) is a camera-man for CBS, at a Browns game, and punt-returner Boom Boom Jackson (Ron Rich) runs into him. Fans of football (though college instead of pro) will be happy to recognize a younger version of the great-- the legendary-- Keith Jackson (of ABC).

So, with his big sad eyes, Hinkle wants his wife back. There's something sentimental in here about love, about how much we need it. But brother-in-law Willie is all cynicism-- delicious, laugh-out-loud cynicism.

There are a few uncomfortable moments-- for me anyway-- regarding the treatment of Ron Rich's character. He does a lot of smiling, cooking, cleaning, encouraging, making up of beds, and (not to spoil the plot), drinking, punching, and so forth.

But the punch-line-- yes, the punch-line-- of the movie rests on a very progressive, an enlightened, handling of race matters, and really, it would be unfair to say Boom Boom Jackson is a stereotype of an African-American athlete. Two of the equipment guys say he's the last guy they'd expect to get in a fight after having too many drinks.

It seems Billy Wilder never wants us to get too comfortable as we're watching his pictures. Beware of thinking too deeply about these things, but this movie-- one of his very best-- has an edge to it that makes you say "pure genius." Jack Lemmon in his wheelchair whirring about the room to "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To"-- you feel like crying even as you're laughing. Well, I do at any rate.

4-0 out of 5 stars Walter Mathau's Oscar-Winner
This Billy Wilder creation is the first film in which Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were teamed. Matthau as a less than ethical lawyer is in constant persuit of justice and settlements for his brother-in-law (Lemmon) who got hurt on the job. Matthau won Best Actor Oscar. The Matthau/Lemmon chemistry was so smashing that the two teamed up six more times....

4-0 out of 5 stars Four stars for content, but........
"The Fortune Cookie" has long been one of my favorite Billy Wilder movies, and I was pleased to see it's release on DVD, especially in the original widescreen format. While the movie and performances are great (especially Walter Matthau in his Oscar-winning turn), and the script by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond hits the target, I was very disappointed in the lackluster transfer to disc that this unqualified classic received. Sure, the letterboxing is great, but halfway through the film, the sound quality takes a turn for the worse - less audible, and almost scratchy at times. Plus, the only "extra" is the original trailer, and there is no additional booklet. Surely a genius like Wilder deserves better preservation than this! ... Read more


19. The Front Page
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $12.98
our price: $9.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007QJ1Y8
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3575
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht's classic newspaper comedy--about a conniving editor who talks his star reporter out of getting married long enough to cover a big story--has survived lesser adaptations than this one. (Ever see Switching Channels?) But few have been more disappointing. Billy Wilder teamed Walter Matthau (as the unscrupulous editor) and Jack Lemmon (as the fast-talking reporter), who try to get the scoop on everyone else in the story of a convicted killer who escapes on his way to the electric chair. But Matthau and Lemmon, as good as they are, succumb to the temptation to do shtick--and Carol Burnett shows up in a florid, unfunny performance as a hooker. An attempt to bottle the same lightning that struck with The Sting--but Wilder, Lemmon, and Matthau just can't do it. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment!
In my opinion the best of the Lemmon/Matthau movies. It's everything a screwball-comedy should be: fast, funny, cynical. The cast is perfect and Wilder's direction brilliant. I liked "His Girl Friday" but "The Front Page" is even better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great comedy hit by Matthau and Lemmon


They were great in the 'seventies, weren't they?Lemmon and Matthau were a great team with the Grumpy Old Men, and in this one, too.They are good entertainment for an evening full of laughs.

This is a 1920s comedy, directed by Billy Wilder, about the ruthless editor of a Chicago newspaper (Matthau) whose immediate problem is covering a hanging.His number one reporter (Lemmon) is about to quit on him and get married, leaving newspaper life forever.The plot is complicated by a blundering sheriff (Vincent Gardenia) and a venal mayor who try to hide the fact that the convict who is scheduled to be executed the next day has been pardoned by the governor who has gone fishing, but who is not REALLY fishing--he's with a girl friend and is incommunicado, a fact which they are trying to cover up for political reasons,

This is a thoroughly enjoyable fil, with a great cast, including Carol Burnette.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books

4-0 out of 5 stars Lemmon and Mathau are comic gold!!
"The Front Page" is a must-see for any fans of Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau! I bought the movie before I ever even saw it and I loved it! These two are as funny as ever in this comedy about two reporters who are on top of the hottest story in town. This is a great film to watch, although Carol Burnett's character was a down side to it, but you hardly even notice it with the rest of the fine cast. The DVD offers an overall good presentation of the film in standard (unfortunately not widescreen)format. Bottom line- it's worth buying, even if you've never seen it! Especially with the great price!

5-0 out of 5 stars Jack Lemmon and Walther Matthau At Best
A very funny movie, if you like to laugh buy this one it is one of the best comedies you'll ever see.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Sad Waste of Talent
Expect no sparkle from stars or script in this remake of the witty comedy classic, which has been repeatedly filmed with varying degrees of success since 1931.There is no chemistry between the male leads, and Burnette isunspeakably bad in her cameo appearance.Recommendation: see instead"His Girl Friday," starring Rosalind Russel and Cary Grant; it iseasily the finest screen version of the famous stage play. ... Read more


20. The Front Page
Director: Billy Wilder
list price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305137234
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15163
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht's classic newspaper comedy--about a conniving editor who talks his star reporter out of getting married long enough to cover a big story--has survived lesser adaptations than this one. (Ever see Switching Channels?) But few have been more disappointing. Billy Wilder teamed Walter Matthau (as the unscrupulous editor) and Jack Lemmon (as the fast-talking reporter), who try to get the scoop on everyone else in the story of a convicted killer who escapes on his way to the electric chair. But Matthau and Lemmon, as good as they are, succumb to the temptation to do shtick--and Carol Burnett shows up in a florid, unfunny performance as a hooker. An attempt to bottle the same lightning that struck with The Sting--but Wilder, Lemmon, and Matthau just can't do it. --Marshall Fine ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great comedy hit by Matthau and Lemmon


They were great in the 'seventies, weren't they? Lemmon and Matthau were a great team with the Grumpy Old Men, and in this one, too. They are good entertainment for an evening full of laughs.

This is a 1920s comedy, directed by Billy Wilder, about the ruthless editor of a Chicago newspaper (Matthau) whose immediate problem is covering a hanging. His number one reporter (Lemmon) is about to quit on him and get married, leaving newspaper life forever. The plot is complicated by a blundering sheriff (Vincent Gardenia) and a venal mayor who try to hide the fact that the convict who is scheduled to be executed the next day has been pardoned by the governor who has gone fishing, but who is not REALLY fishing--he's with a girl friend and is incommunicado, a fact which they are trying to cover up for political reasons,

This is a thoroughly enjoyable fil, with a great cast, including Carol Burnette.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books

4-0 out of 5 stars Lemmon and Mathau are comic gold!!
"The Front Page" is a must-see for any fans of Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau! I bought the movie before I ever even saw it and I loved it! These two are as funny as ever in this comedy about two reporters who are on top of the hottest story in town. This is a great film to watch, although Carol Burnett's character was a down side to it, but you hardly even notice it with the rest of the fine cast. The DVD offers an overall good presentation of the film in standard (unfortunately not widescreen)format. Bottom line- it's worth buying, even if you've never seen it! Especially with the great price!

5-0 out of 5 stars Jack Lemmon and Walther Matthau At Best
A very funny movie, if you like to laugh buy this one it is one of the best comedies you'll ever see.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Sad Waste of Talent
Expect no sparkle from stars or script in this remake of the witty comedy classic, which has been repeatedly filmed with varying degrees of success since 1931. There is no chemistry between the male leads, and Burnette is unspeakably bad in her cameo appearance. Recommendation: see instead "His Girl Friday," starring Rosalind Russel and Cary Grant; it is easily the finest screen version of the famous stage play.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly hilarious, worth watching over and over again
In terms of depicting life in a newspaper office and the part-sleazy, part-unscrupulous and (maybe) part-honorable behavior of journalists, this film is as good as you will ever get. Tetchy, growling, circulation-obsessed Walter Matthau is exactly what most newspaper editors think they should be like, while Jack Lemmon, keen to get married but ultimately more interested in a good scoop, represents everything that non-journalist women have never been able to understand about journalist men. There are moments when the movie descends into farce - as in the scenes involving the Viennese psychiatrist - and it is true that Carol Burnett's hooker is the one character part that doesn't quite work. But the script is sizzling, and the one-liners rarely falter. One of Billy Wilder's best. ... Read more


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