The Billy Wilder DVD Collection

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Product Description
Sunset Boulevard Stalag 17
Two worthy Academy Award® nominees from 1950’s Sunset Boulevard – actor William Holden and director Billy Wilder – reteamed three years later for the gripping World War II drama, Stalag 17. The result was another Best Director nomination for Wilder (his fourth), and the elusive Best Actor Oscar® for Holden. Holden portrays the jaded, scheming Sergeant J.J. Sefton, a prisoner at the notorious German prison camp, who… More >>

The Billy Wilder DVD Collection

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  1. I found this same box set at Wal-Mart for $5 on the cheap movie rack. I would take a look there first before buying it here.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. I also found it at Wal-Mart today for $5. I was totally amazed that it was that cheap! It took me all of a half a second to put it in my cart! lol. I already have Sunset Boulevard in my collection, but who cares? I don’t mind having two copies of a true classic.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. The movies chosen to present this trio of Wilder films are all excellent in their own genre. Not only are Sunset Blvd., Stalag 17, and Sabrina “true classics”,but the extra bonus features

    take you inside the set and inside the mind of Billy Wilder. The well spoken narrative on all three films is not only intelligent but enlightening as well. You can really benefit by watching all three films “as they are”, but then again

    WITH the narrative because it is then that you learn how Wilder worked and got the best performances out of his splendid cast of actors. The astonishing performance of the 50ish Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. is truly

    amazing in itself. Of the three THAT one’s my personal favorite.

    William Holden fans will be delighted to know that he is in all three movies!! Was there any sweeter girl than Audrey Hepburn (Sabrina)? She wins your heart as does the character in that movie played by Humphrey Bogart whose subtle turn is quite noteworthy.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Billy Wilder died earlier this year at 95 years old, and it was still too soon. A shame that Hollywood left him after “Buddy Buddy,” to spend the last twenty years of his life pining for a movie production that never came his way.

    These three movies represent Wilder in his heydey at Paramount Pictures, and also his three best with William Holden, who was just at home playing it straight or wisecracking. Sure, I’d like to see “The Apartment,” and “Some Like It Hot” on this collection, but those were released by United Artists, so those would be released by MGM, not Paramount anyhow.

    These three movies really hold their own, even — or rather, especially — today. “Sunset Boulevard” is one of the darkest of black comedies, and a really disturbing portrait of Hollywood has-been Norma Desmond and Holden as her kept man screenwriter, who’s been hired to bring her out of mothballs. Chilling last line: “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. deMille.”

    “Stalag 17” is a nice mix of serious war movie interspersed with slapstick humour. Though Holden is great, his supporting cast almost steal the show, especially Sig Ruman as Sergeant Schultz, the camp guard, Otto Preminger as Commandant von Scherbach and Harvey Lembeck and Robert Strauss as the camp cutups, Harry Shapiro and “The Animal.”

    “Sabrina” is a beautiful portrait of a young Audrey Hepburn, so vivacious and full of wondrous energy. Though she’s a bit self-aware in her role, her charm still just carries you away. Holden is in a supporting role here, but Humphrey Bogart comes off as a bit stiff. Really, though, it’s Audrey’s movie from beginning to end, and the romantic-comedy script by Ernest Lehman and Samuel Taylor has wit and panache.

    However, his greatest movie from this era — “Ace In the Hole,” with Kirk Douglas — is not included. It wouldn’t be until this past summer that this classic would be released in ANY video format, this time on DVD, by Criterion Collection, not Paramount. Definitely worth checking out to complete your 1950s Wilder/Paramount collection.

    I own all three movies separately, but this set is worth laying down your Benjamins in one fell swoop.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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