The life of Billy Wilder, who could have killed Hitler


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The life of Billy Wilder, who could have killed Hitler

It was he who tore up Marilyn Monroe's skirt, removed "Only Girls in Jazz" and came up with noir. Director Billy Wilder regretted only one thing - that he did not kill Hitler: in his youth he had such an opportunity.

By the end of his life - and his life was long and lasted 95 years - Billy Wilder, director and winner of six Oscars, regretted not killing Hitler. In 1930, Wilder worked as a reporter in Berlin and once met the future Fuhrer at the cinema. "I was sitting in the box of the UFA-Palace cinema, and Hitler was sitting in the next box. I could have shot him, but I didn't have two things - courage and a pistol, "he recalled.

The life of Billy Wilder, who could have killed Hitler

The future director was born in 1918 in the town of Sukha-Beskidzka in Galicia in the family of a Jew Max Wilder - the manager of the hotel chain. The boy's real name was Samuel Wilder: he would change his name later on the advice of colleagues when he found himself in Los Angeles in the early 30's. It was Samuel's father who predicted the future of a lawyer and sent him to the University of Vienna. However, he soon fled from there to Berlin, because he wanted the lights of a bright life, and Berlin in the 20s was a city of temptations, nightclubs, noir and the birth of the film industry. There, Wilder began working as a reporter and writing screenplays for silent films.

The life of Billy Wilder, who could have killed Hitler

He recalled his acquaintance with the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud: “I came to interview him, but I did not have time to open my mouth. Only he could show him a business card. He asks, “Herr Wilder? From the newspaper Die Stunde? "I say so." And he says: "The door is there!" ». Freud simply hated reporters - in addition, the newspaper in which Wilder worked, was a tabloid format: a lot of photos and gossip, little analytical text.

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In the 30s, Wilder, fleeing the Nazis, moved to France. From there he was able to get to the United States, his parents remained in Europe and died in concentration camps. In America, Samuel barely knew English, lived starving, but continued to dream of a great movie. Soon life brought him to the screenwriter Charles Brackett, who not only persuaded Wilder to change his name and surname, but also teased him in English, teaching at the same time the laws of the "American" film genre. They began writing scripts for romantic comedies together, and Hollywood studios began to buy them. The US economy was depressed, and light cinema was in demand, with at least six films written by Brackett-Wilder from 1938 to 1941, including Ninochka, starring silent film star Greta Garbo.

In '42, Wilder himself took the director's chair

In '42, Wilder himself took the director's chair - to, as he later said, "stop suffering when he sees other directors shredding his scripts." He started with light cinema - the comedy "Major and Baby" in 1942, for example, won the award of the National Council of Film Critics - but very quickly switched to sharp satire and began to shoot what he called a "Hollywood ploy". His 1944 painting "Double Insurance" is called a model of classic noir. According to the plot, the fatal beauty convinces her lover, an insurance agent, to kill her husband. Wilder was helped to write the script by the master of the "cool detective" and chronic alcoholic Raymond Chandler. Together, they showed the dark side of a prosperous life: intrigue, murder, lost dreams and alcoholism.

Sunset Boulevard

Wilder developed the same theme in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, which won three Oscars. This tape about the forgotten stars of Hollywood angered censorship. Until the early 60s, the US Film Association was governed by the Hayes Code, a set of rules that barred nudity, sex, and drugs from appearing in films. Wilder, as if in mockery, violated the entire code completely. In response to the attacks of the censors, he replied that the viewer who goes to his films can not be wrong: "Each of them individually can be a complete idiot. But a thousand idiots gathered together in the dark - this is a genius critic.

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Each of them can be a complete idiot

And yet the main pictures, thanks to which Billy Wilder entered the history of cinema, are comedies. In 1957, he filmed "Itching of the seventh year." It is in this picture that Marilyn Monroe stands above the ventilation hatch, the air from which rips off her skirt. This scene was invented by Wilder himself, who later said that "it was given to him damn dearly": "Thousands of fans watched the shooting on the street. As a result, we had to move the filming to the pavilion: every time Marilyn's skirt went up, it became too noisy outside. "

Thousands of fans watched the shooting on the street

In 1959, the tape "Some like hotter" was released: in the Soviet rental - "Only girls in jazz." This adventurous story about musicians hiding from gangsters disguised in women's dresses is still considered by some critics to be the best comedy of all time - although the filming was far from friendly.

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Wilder constantly swore at Monroe. The question was: "How to make her feel good?" "So that there is no wall, so as not to fight against this wall. She played perfectly when she remembered the text. She could play a three-page dialogue perfectly, and then stop at the phrase, "It's me, Dushka," he recalled. He was also annoyed that Marilyn was always late for filming: “But I was patient and waiting for her. Half a dozen times he was ready to go crazy. But I told myself many times that I was not her husband. "

Billy Wilder has made more than 20 films during his career

Billy Wilder has made more than 20 films during his career. His paintings played those who are now called "Hollywood icons": Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, Jack Lemmon and Shirley McLain. Since Hepburn, the director was friendly until her death from cancer in 1993. He said that her death was a severe blow to him, and singled out Audrey as an actress who "in ordinary life looks like an ordinary girl." But her partner in the film "Sabrina" Humphrey Bogart Wilder called "crazy asshole." "But I still sympathized with him. After all, he was an anti-Semite who married a Jew, ”the director said with his characteristic humor. Bogart was married to Jewish actress Lauren Beckall.

Wilder was a faithful man

Due to the fact that Wilder's films starred as beauties, many believed that he was having an affair with them. However, Wilder was a faithful husband: in the late 40's he married actress Audrey Young and lived with her until his death in 2002. Young recalled that Wilder was always in a hurry - even the wedding, he barely had time to squeeze in time between shootings. "This madman decided to go get married in Nevada, because there the procedure can be completed faster. I was in jeans and a sweater and asked for ten minutes to change. But Billy said, "You'll go where you stand, or we'll never get married at all!" On the way, he bought me a wedding ring for $ 17.

After 1981, Wilder stopped making movies altogether

After 1981, Wilder stopped making movies altogether. He lived a secluded life in his mansion in Los Angeles and even rarely gave interviews. This Hollywood classic wanted to return to the director's chair only once. In the 90s, Wilder came up with the idea of ​​making a film about Oscar Schindler, a German industrialist who saved Jews during the war. But he was overtaken: it turned out that Steven Spielberg had already bought the rights to film this story. "The picture is good," Wilder said after visiting the premiere. And after a pause he added: "Although I would have shot better."

Source  Translation into Ukrainian

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