Billy Wilder John Russell Taylor - Essay

John Russell Taylor

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Why Meet Whiplash Willie? What's wrong with The Fortune Cookie [the film's U.S. title] for a title? At least it has the virtue of sounding like a comedy, which Billy Wilder's new film is, rather than a B-Western, which it emphatically isn't. The new title does not even have the advantage over the original in mere intelligibility: before going to the cinema I knew what a fortune cookie was, but I needed the film to explain to me all about whiplash lawyers and their way of life….

But then Wilder is never all that easy. With the gleeful vulgarity of Stalag 17 or Kiss Me Stupid we all know where we are, even if it is somewhere that the more delicate of us may not choose to...

(The entire section is 467 words.)