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With: Billy Wilder
Written by: Volker Schlöndorff
Directed by: Volker Schlöndorff, Gisela Grischow
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 71
Date: 06/22/2006

Billy Wilder Speaks (2006)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

His Ace in the Hole

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Acclaimed German director Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum, The Legend of Rita) filmed these interviews with Billy Wilder back in 1991 under the condition that the footage not be used during Wilder's lifetime. As always, Wilder provides some crotchety insights on Hollywood mentality and movie lore, but I can't help thinking that this filmmaker has already been all-too well documented. If Wilder had been a misunderstood outsider, perhaps Schlöndorff's film would have been more valuable, but Wilder was in the spotlight his entire career, winning two Oscars fifteen years apart and turning out hit movie after hit movie. Nevertheless, Wilder's many fans will not be disappointed. Billy Wilder Speaks comes laden with clips as well as Schlöndorff's spoken narration. The 71-minute film originally aired on TV, and Kino's DVD now provides a bonus extra 70 minutes. Best of all is a huge gallery of trailers for most of Wilder's major films.

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