Masters of Cinema: Billy Wilder
taking situation comedy to the edge of the absurd in "Some Like it Hot"
(1959). But he also made pessimistic melodramas such as "Sunset Boulevard"
(1950), in which Gloria Swanson gives a moving performance as a fallen
star, and a few fine examples of film noir, such as "Double Indemnity"
(1944) et "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957). Wilder worked with the
greatest stars and his filmography is studded with classic scenes,
including Marilyn Monroe playing the banjo in "Some Like it Hot" or holding
her billowing skirt over the subway outlet in "Seven Year Itch" (1955),
Jack Lemmon draining spaghetti with a tennis racket in "The Apartment"
(1960) and Shirley MacLaine as a Parisian streetwalker in "Irma la Douce"
(1963). His humour is often incisive and his vision of the world somewhat
cynical, but all his characters experience a moment of truth and, for this
reason, Billy Wilder is primarily a great moralist.