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Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder: A Personal Biography [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Charlotte Chandler
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Gebundene Ausgabe, 22. Oktober 2002 --  
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22. Oktober 2002
"'Nobody's perfect' is the line that most sums up my work," Billy Wilder told writer Charlotte Chandler. "There is no comedy, no drama about perfect people."Film is the Cinderella Art of the 20th century, and Billy Wilder was one of its most legendary figures. When he died recently, Wilder left behind an incredible celluloid legacy. "Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, Double Indemnity, The Apartment, Lost Weekend, Sabrina," and other Wilder films have become a part of our shared experience and collective memory.In "Nobody's Perfect," Billy Wilder speaks for himself, in what is as close to an autobiography as there ever will be. Charlotte Chandler, author of earlier authorized biographies of Groucho Marx and Federico Fellini, met Wilder in the mid-1970s and began a friendship that continued until his death. Over the course of more than twenty years, she interviewed not only Wilder, but many of the actors and other creative people who worked with him. The result is this remarkable book, a very personal look at one of Hollywood's true creative geniuses.In a life as dramatic as his films, Wilder survived World War I and escaped the Holocaust, though his mother and grandmother both died at Auschwitz. When he arrived in Hollywood, he found himself a writer without a language, a man without a country.Wilder's great gift as a screenwriter soon became apparent, as did his easy rapport with actors. As a writer-director, he worked with such stars as Greta Garbo, William Holden, Tony Curtis, Barbara Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Gloria Swanson, Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, James Cagney, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and Marilyn Monroe -- most of whom were interviewedfor this book.He gave Garbo her laugh, Swanson her comeback, Holden his stardom, Lemmon a career, Matthau an Oscar, and contributed greatly to Marilyn Monroe's immortality.Actors from Wilder's films talk enthusiastically about Wilder. Danielle Darrieux, the star of the first picture he directed, remembers him from 1933. Ginger Rogers tells how "The Major and the Minor" paralleled her own life. Jack Lemmon reveals how wearing a dress affected him as a man. Tony Curtis talks about what it was like to work with Billy Wilder -- and under Marilyn Monroe.Chandler's conversations with Wilder and the others began when he was still a working director and continued through the time he was retired but didn't know it. A man of the 20th century, Billy Wilder lived into the 21st century, alone from his time, a legend forever.This revealing and vastly entertaining book is a wonderful, timely tribute to this great writer-director, a legacy of Wilder's wit, insight, and remarkable wisdom.

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 368 Seiten
  • Verlag: Simon & Schuster (22. Oktober 2002)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0743217098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743217095
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,4 x 16,2 x 2,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 786.315 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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A portrait of controversial Hollywood legend Billy Wilder introduces readers to the man behind the camera that shot "Some Like It Hot" and "Sunset Boulevard," among other classic American films.

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Charlotte Chandler is the author of three previous books, HELLO, I MUST BE GOING, GROUCHO AND HIS FRIENDS, THE ULTIMATE SEDUCTION, and I, FELINI. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Von *Eli*
Größtenteils erzählt Wilder selbst über sein Leben und seine Filme aber auch viele Stars und Legenden des alten Hollywood kommen zu Wort. Es ist interessant und amüsant die Erinnerungen und Erlebnisse von Shirley MacLaine, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau und vielen anderen, mit diesem brillanten Regisseur und Lebenskünstler zu lesen. Es verschafft Einblicke in eine längst vergangene Zeit, sowohl die des "Filme machens" als auch die des alten Europas (Wien - Berlin) und Amerikas.
1906 in ärmlichen Verhältnissen in Polen geboren, gestorben 2002 als Hollywood-Legende. Man muss kein Billy Wilder Fan sein um dieses Buch zu mögen. Seine Filme laufen noch heute regelmäßig im Fernsehen und bestimmt kennt jeder den Klassiker "Some like it hot" (um hier nur einen zu nennen). Hier erfährt man welche Schauspieler sich Wilder ursprünglich in seinen Filmen vorgestellt hat und warum es oft zu einer anderen Wahl kam. Warum Marilyn Monroe ihm das Leben schwer gemacht hat, er es aber nie bereut hat mit ihr zu drehen.
Charlotte Chandler ist mit Nobody's Perfect eine großartige Künstler-Biographie gelungen. Sie hat Wilder persönlich gekannt und dieses Buch ist die beste Gelegenheit für den Leser ihn etwas kennen lernen zu dürfen.
Mit vielen Fotos und guter Einteilung seiner Lebensabschnitte.
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9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Alan W. Petrucelli - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
There is no one wilder in Hollywood than Billy - Billy Wilder, that is.  And the new bio of him, "Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder: A Personal Biography," is as close to the "perfect" non-critical, fun history of a man and his movies. Written by Charlotte Chandler (whose previous works include "I, Fellini" and "Hello, I Must Be Going: Groucho and His Friends"), the tome is based on interviews she conducted with Wilder and his friends over a period of years. The result is a wonderful kaleidoscope of movies, politicians, actors, geniuses and louses. From Sigmund Freud to Louis B. Mayer, from Richard Strauss to Joan Fontaine, from Prince Yussupov to Walter Matthau --- Wilder knew them all. He is the man who put Marilyn Monroe over a subway grate, Jack Lemmon in a dress and Gloria Swanson in the most famous close-up of them all. The great beacon shining through the entire book is, of course, the wit and humor of the man.  Wilder is certainly one of the great comic directors of all time, and his legacy is astounding. By structuring the book around the subject's work in a strictly chronological manner, Chandler creates a picture of Wilder that is at once true and wildly engrossing. The early stories about journalism in pre-war Berlin are as fascinating as the later tales of success in glittering Hollywood. That the last 20 years of his life, arguably the most creative time in an artist's life, were spent without a single film project is the underlying tragedy of this book, and Chandler doesn't exactly dwell on it, but the painful reality is certainly there. We like to think of him as this way: Billy Wilder, Somebody's Perfect. (Submitted by staff member Stephen J. Finn)
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4.0 von 5 Sternen An Enjoyable Look at a Supreme Opportunist 28. April 2003
Von James Paris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
My love of films came to fruition during a brief period when the "auteur theory" held sway in the 1960s and 1970s. Auteurist critic Andrew Sarris classified Billy Wilder in his "Less Than Meets the Eye Category," primarily because he was "too cynical for the more serious demands of middle-class tragedy (DOUBLE INDEMNITY) and social allegory (ACE IN THE HOLE). A director who can crack jokes about suicide attempts ... and thoughtlessly brutalize charming actresses like Jean Arthur (FOREIGN AFFAIR) and Audrey Hepburn (SABRINA) is hardly likely to make a coherent film on the human condition."
It was only as a result of seeing Wilder's films that I discovered what Sarris was really saying was that the director was both too versatile and too successful -- and it didn't help that his approach to directing films was as a writer rather than as a visual artist.
Reading Charlotte Chandler's oral history of Wilder's career, I was impressed with Billy Wilder's ability to be able to create iconic native masterpieces of film noir (DOUBLE INDEMNITY) and Hollywood Gothic (SUNSET BOULEVARD) without the benefit of growing up in the United States. While his later comedies (such as SOME LIKE IT HOT) owe much to his collaboration with Lubitsch, Hawks, and Mitchell Leisen, Wilder developed his own style of comedy and retained his ability to make good films well into his eighties.
In the chapter on SUNSET BOULEVARD, actress Nancy Olson makes an astute comment: "Billy said, 'Every character in SUNSET BOULEVARD is an opportunist.' It seemed to me that what he is saying is that this picture is not only about opportunism, but about ... the consequences of it."
A little light bulb went on in my mind. Wilder's films are all, in their own way, about opportunism. Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson take advantage of each other for their own nefarious ends in DOUBLE INDEMNITY. In picture after picture, I see a pattern of characters using one another with interesting results, with the ultimate example being Kirk Douglas in ACE IN THE HOLE.
Chandler's interviews are mostly interesting, though the intrusion of plot summaries in the middle of each chapter is intrusive: These should have been relegated to the Filmography in the back of the book. I was disturbed that Chandler did not see fit to add any of her own observations about Wilder except insofar as to provide a segue for the many quotes. Still, it is both a useful and entertaining book and a valuable addition to the literature about this fascinating filmmaker.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Engaging story of one of the great figures of 20th century 6. Oktober 2004
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf
Nobody's Perfect: Billy Wilder by biographer Charlotte Chandler is the personal and engaging story of one of the great figures of 20th century movie-making -- the legendary Billy Wilder (1906-2002). The great director perhaps best known for classics such as "Some Like It Hot", "The Apartment", "Sunset Boulevard", and many more, Billy Wilder narrates much of "Nobody's Perfect" in his own words, rendering it as close to an autobiography as any story of his life can be. A filmography complements this witty, insightful, life story of a creative visionary.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Charlotte Chandler is very, very imperfect 20. September 2004
Von Mark Ramsey - Veröffentlicht auf
I read Cameron Crowe's book a couple years ago, and it is head-and-shoulders above this. What Charlotte essentially does in this "personal" biography is string together a long series of celebrity interviews into one barely coherent narrative.

One gets the distinct impression it was far more important for Charlotte to "get to know" these interview subjects than it was for her to write this book. What makes me think that? Perhaps it's the photos of Charlotte and several of her interviewees sprinkled throughout this book.

On the whole, "personal" seems to be shorthand for "lazy."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Highly Entertaining 19. Dezember 2002
Von sally barry - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Billy Wilder made some of the greatest American movies such as Some Like It Hot, Sabrina, and Sunset Boulevard. He was also in charge of filming the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in the 1940's. This interesting and informative book covers his life and career, and behind-the-scenes stories of each major movie he made are in here, too. Whoever said "they don't make movies like that any more" wasn't kidding! I highly recommend this book.
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