Billy Wilder John Gillett - Essay

John Gillett

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The technical problems of The Spirit of St. Louis are] managed with all the professionalism and flair that Hollywood can muster for such occasions.

The presentation of the story itself, by Wilder and his co-scriptwriter Wendell Mayes, is less happily organised, however. Lindbergh is not only the central figure throughout, but during the latter half the narrative is, of necessity, restricted to one man, a plane and the limitless ocean below. Such a situation might provide a director of [Robert] Bresson's sensibilities with the opportunity for an analysis of the flyer's sense of isolation, his particular tensions. Rejecting the obvious austerities of such an approach, Wilder has adopted a...

(The entire section is 468 words.)