TAGGED WITH THE APARTMENT

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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.           ...
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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...
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Oeuvre Total Part 4: The World Aflame

“Nobody’s perfect.”It’s one of the great European last lines, and it hangs on one of the great American movies. But it’s not the end of the picture.As Michael Holland nimbly illustrated in Part 3 last week, that last line transports Some Like It Hot. Seconds ago, in the same shot, Joe E Brown’s smitten Osgood was finally on the getaway with the object of his affection when he got slapped with the news that Jack Lemmon wasn’t Daphne but Jerry in drag.And after all Osgood and ...
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Billy Wilder's Œuvre Total, Part 5

           One of the wonderful things about the written conversation is each party gets to do it alone.  They can get their thoughts down on paper in as organized (and hopefully as entertaining) a fashion as possible.  Well, one of the horrible things about the written conversation is each party has to do it alone.  It isn’t really a conversation at all;  at least not a fluid one.  (Christ, you’re thinking, now where’s he going with this?...
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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...