Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Billy Wilder Gift Set |
The Apartment / The Fortune Cookie / Some Like it Hot / Kiss Me Stupid
Director: Billy Wilder
Genres: Classics, Comedy, Drama
Disc 1: THE APARTMENT COLLECTOR'S EDITION Disc 2: THE FORTUNE COOKIE Disc 3: KISS ME STUPID Disc 4: SOME LIKE IT HOT SPECIAL EDITION
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Only One Loser Among 4 of B Wilder's classics
Barbara L. Pinzka | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 09/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two great, one good and one uneven film make up this collection of famed director Billy Wilder's films, a small allotment of his large total output and not at all representative, but still worth having for the work portrayed.
"Kiss Me, Stupid" is a farce, based loosely on the classic French form requiring misrepresentations, impersonations, and loveable bad guys and schnooks. Peter Sellars was slated to star but had to withdraw because of illness; Ray Walston, a fine player himself, was recruited as replacement at the last minute but he's soon overwhelmed by the movie's pace and weak script. Typically, a moment of pleasure is almost immediately followed by tedium, and some of the tricks played on Dean Martin's character - who is only a shade different from the actual Dean Martin - give him no quarter for any intelligence. Save this for a night of insomnia.
Moving up the scale, watch "The Fortune Cookie" next. Jack Lemmon portrays a tv sports photographer who is injured while shooting from the sidelines of an NFL game. His brother-in-law is a shyster lawyer played by Lemmon's classic foil/partner on film, Walter Matthau. Matthau - who earned a best-supporting Oscar for this film - gets an oversized settlement for Lemmon who then has to remain disabled in public, even though he has suffered no permanent injuries. Unfortunately, the player who hit Lemmon feels guilty and visits frequently, and Lemmon feels guilty about all of the money he now has. Soon he wants to become an honest man; of course Matthau will do anything to stop him. Funny, but mostly cynical-funny, not laugh-out-loud funny. BTW, this was Lemmon and Matthau's first movie together.
Then to the wonderful b/w classic "The Apartment," which today would be classified as a dramedy. Starring Shirley Maclaine as an elevator operator and Jack Lemmon as a low-level accounting functionary in a huge Manhattan corporation, the two have a friendly acquaintanceship whenever their paths cross. Lemmon works for Fred MacMurray, whose character is a vice president of the corp.; Fred enjoys polishing the sleazy dark angles of his role. MacMurray and other executives make use of Lemmon's ideally situated (and well-stocked) apartment for late-afternoon trysts; in fact, Lemmon's job depends on this "favor."
One night Lemmon returns home to find Maclaine a near-victim of suicide in his apt. He summons the friendly doctor from next door and they save her life, and a deeper friendship between the two ensues. But only a friendship; while Lemmon loves Maclaine, she is foolishly and hopelessly in love with MacMurray, and unable to see that he will never leave his wife for her. Lemmon confronts MacMurray about his shabby treatment of Maclaine but folds when he is rewarded with a private secretary and a private office and no work to do. To reveal more is a Spoiler; just consider this a must-see movie. Between its great storytelling about people and love, there are also Wilder's only slightly subdued comments on the role of the heartless corporation in modern society, no doubt empathized by Wilder's co-author, the great I.A.L. Diamond.
My favorite of the four is the priceless, wonderful "Some Like It Hot" - one of the few movies I'd ever call zany. The plot summary is helpful, but what's truly important is a cast that's in top form and giving everthing they have to this incredibly well-written and well-directed production. This b/w film will show you why Marilyn Monroe became a legend; she is at or near her peak in it and every frame of film depicting her oozes sex (Family-Friendly Warning: many of Monroe's clothes are highly transparent). I first saw this 1959 movie in 1973 in an uncomfortable but sold-out college auditorium; the laughter was deservedly deafening. By modern standards of story-telling the movie drags in a few places; a small price to pay. Keep in mind also that most comedies made before 1970 allowed for a few moments of audience laughter in a theatre to die down before the dialogue resumes; on your tv screen, you wonder, "what???"
As I think of "The Apartment" and "Some Like It Hot," I am recalling a much younger person, born in the early '70s, I knew who flatly refused to see black-and-white movies, which he told me were "too hard to understand." I am strongly opposed to colorization. If you think you don't like b/w, give it a try in a good-quality theatre that is using a top-quality print. Directors like Wilder, Frank Capra, David Lean, Erich Stroheim, John Ford and many others knew how to use shades of light and dark as well as any color. (Maybe the kids born into the Sesame Street media revolution will have to be fed just innumerable rapid cuts and about every camera trick invented. In the first 10 minutes.)"
Must Have For *Wilder* Or ***Jack Lemmon*** Fans!
Alex Honda | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up the BILLY WILDER FILM COLLECTION DVD SET because it was on sale here at Amazon. I basically wanted the DVD of "Some Like It Hot" and noticed that it was part of this collection, and with the sale price, this set was only a few dollars more than buying just the one DVD.
And I was curious about the picture "The Fortune Cookie" which Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon first team up, but I like Odd Couple - The Centennial Collection (2pc) better.
Anyway, this set collects the four Wilder movies "Some Like It Hot," "The Apartment," "Kiss Me, Stupid," and "The Fortune Cookie" and offers them on four DVDs housed in slim plastic cases. The films are in black and white and range in date from 1959-1966
Even though I enjoyed watching the other films, "Some Like It Hot" was the stand out in this collection. And unless it goes on sale again, I would wait on buying this set unless you are a huge fan of director Billy Wilder or Jack Lemmon.
The extras on these DVDs:
SOME LIKE IT HOT
Documentary--"Nostalgic Look Back"--31:11-minutes
Film critic/historian Leonard Maltin interviews Tony Curtis about the film.
Featurette--"Memories From The Sweet Sues"--12:03-minutes
Interviews with the actresses who played in the all-girl band in the movie. Marian Collier "Olga," Laurie Mitchell "Mary Lou," Sandra Warner "Emily" (who was actually the body in all of the publicity photos for Monroe which they show in this featurette) and Joan Nicholas "Betty," all talk about the making of the film and working with Lemmon, Curtis and Marilyn Monroe. Photos from behind the scenes etc.
"Virtual Hall Of Memories"
These show clips of each of the actors from the film within a picture frame. You choose each by pressing "next" on your remote control. Shows clips from the film and behind the scenes photos of the actors getting in drag etc. There's a picture frame for Monroe, Curtis, Lemmon, and Wilder plus a "behind-the-scenes" one.
PressBook Gallery showing poster etc.
Trailers for SLIH and other Wilder films.
Documentary--"Inside The Apartment"--29:29-minutes
Interview with Shirley Maclaine and Chris Lemmon (Jack Lemmon's son) about the movie and shows clips and still photos etc.
Featurette--"Magic Time: The Art Of Jack Lemmon"-12:45-minutes
Chris Lemmon talks about his father's career.
Audio Commentary--From film historian Bruce Block.
KISS ME STUPID
Trailer and Teaser Trailer
THE FORTUNE COOKIE
My advice is to buy this set when it's on sale. But if you're looking for Billy Wilder movies and this set isn't on sale Some Like It Hot and Sunset Boulevard - The Centennial Collection are great and much stronger films, imo.
If you're looking for Jack Lemmon films get Odd Couple - The Centennial Collection (2pc) and The Out-of-Towners which are two of my favorites."
A great place to start for Billy Wilder
Martin T. Wegner | Racine, WI USA | 10/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, you can definitely make a list of the four top Billy Wilder movies and it would not match what is in this set. But that list would include the two Wilder masterpieces ("Some Like It Hot" and "The Apartment") and "The Fortune Cookie" is very very underrated. So to have those three in one set is nothing to quibble over. And the fourth film, "Kiss Me Stupid", is still both entertaining and an interesting step on Wilder's progression towards "Avanti!". So if you own now Wilder you should start with this boxed set.
My only issue with this set is that the version of "Some Like It Hot" is not subtitled. But given the excellence of the movies themselves this did not detract from my rating or my enjoyment."