Billy Wilder's Œuvre Total, Part 1

            Every time Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are standing at the train station — in drag — and Curtis says, “I’m Josephine” to which Lemmon spurts, “I’m Daphne!” I laugh out loud.  And let me say that again, if I may.  However many times I’ve seen the movie, I don’t smile inside, or smirk, or even giggle, I laugh out loud.           ...

Billy Wilder's Œuvre Total, Part 3

Every writer, I think, has a natural triptych to their writing, whether they know it or not;  never mind whether they admit it or not.  And — never mind finding it or not - looking for Billy Wilder’s is one of the things that makes him endure.  Look at this, from his childhood.  When asked if he got his sense of humor from trying to make his mother laugh: She was a very tough laugh.  My father was a rather easy laugh.  My father had kind of everyday humor.  He, for...

Billy Wilder's Œuvre Total, Part 7

I’m writing this immediately following THE LAST TIME WE WERE TOGETHER.  I don’t just mean before I even enjoy JASON’S NEXT PART, I mean the same day;  my last Part straight into this one, even before going to see Double Indemnity and Body Heat.  Why?  Over the last couple get-togethers, I’d been trying to work in something I mentioned all the way back in Part 1.  I wrote, “Every time Shirley MacLaine hands the carnation to Jack Lemmon as he’s on his way up...