Film RadarFilm Radar


advertise with Film Radar

Ace on the Screen: A Weekend Tribute to Billy Wilder


July 22nd - 25th

Ace on the Screen: A Weekend Tribute to Billy Wilder

This is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

"Somebody asked me once, ‘Is it necessary or advantageous for a director to know how to write?’ I said, ‘Not necessarily, but it helps if he knows how to read.’" – Billy Wilder.

Sometimes it seems like Hollywood was invented for Billy Wilder to roast over an open fire. His films – from SUNSET BOULEVARD to STALAG 17 to THE APARTMENT – are equal parts venom and poetry, nihilism and bruised romanticism. Almost as old as the 20th century (he was born in 1906 in what is now Poland), Wilder grew up among gamblers, hustlers and world wars – " I learned many things about human nature, none of them favorable," he said about his childhood. Arriving in Hollywood in 1933 (where he roomed with fellow émigré Peter Lorre), Wilder began banging out scripts for such fast, furious comic gems as NINOTCHKA and BALL OF FIRE with Charles Brackett before turning to directing in the early 1940's. From film noir masterpieces such as DOUBLE INDEMNITY and ACE IN THE HOLE through a string of great farces and romantic comedies – FOREIGN AFFAIR, SABRINA, SOME LIKE IT HOT, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH – filmmaker Wilder had a spectacular career unlike any of his peers.

Join us for a Billy Wilder retrospective weekend, which also includes screenings of AVANTI! and IRMA LA DOUCE.

Thursday, July 22nd @ 7:30 PM

Double Feature: SUNSET BOULEVARD, 1950, Paramount, 110 min. Director Billy Wilder created one of his most enduring masterpieces in this dark, glittering poison pen letter to all things Hollywood, told in flashback by murdered screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden), whose final job is playing paid-companion to egocentric, aging silent film goddess Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson).

STALAG 17, 1953, Paramount, 120 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. William Holden, a sergeant with mercenary instincts, is gradually suspected by fellow WWII POWs of being a traitor. Director Otto Preminger co-stars as the camp's Prussian commandant. With Don Taylor, Robert Strauss, Richard Erdman.

Friday, July 23rd @ 7:30 PM

Double Feature: SOME LIKE IT HOT, 1959, MGM Repertory, 120 min. Cross-dressing musicians Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon take it on the lam from the Chicago mob, while luscious Marilyn Monroe falls for a playboy who’s a playgirl … Director Billy Wilder’s blend of sexual confusion and slapstick gave his three stars arguably the best comic roles of their careers.

AVANTI!, 1972, MGM Repertory, 140 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. Uptight millionaire Jack Lemmon has his eyes opened (and more) when he travels to Italy to collect his late father's corpse – and finds himself falling for the lovely daughter (Juliet Mills) of his dad's Italian mistress.

Saturday, July 24th @ 7:30 PM

Double Feature: THE APARTMENT, 1960, MGM Repertory, 125 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. Jack Lemmon ingratiates himself with his corporate colleagues by lending out his apartment for their extra-marital affairs - but his promotion plans backfire when he falls head-over-heels for boss Fred MacMurray’s new gal-pal (Shirley MacLaine).

IRMA LA DOUCE, 1963, MGM Repertory, 147 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. Overworked (and undersexed) Parisian cop Jack Lemmon holds down a dozen jobs - just so he can keep hooker girlfriend Shirley MacLaine from sleeping with any other men!

Sunday, July 25th @ 7:30 PM

Double Feature: DOUBLE INDEMNITY, 1944, Universal, 107 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. Fred MacMurray plays Walter Neff, the sardonic insurance salesman who is willingly seduced by slinky Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) into planning and executing the murder of her newly insured husband. Edward G. Robinson is Keyes, Neff’s sharp colleague and gruff friend, who smells a rat when Phyllis’ hubby has a fatal train "accident," qualifying the femme fatale for the lucrative double-indemnity payout.

ACE IN THE HOLE, 1951, Paramount, 111 min. Dir. Billy Wilder. Kirk Douglas is withering as the embittered, alcoholic reporter looking for his piece of the pie -- when the story of a man trapped in a cave-in falls into his lap, he exploits it to the hilt.