Billy Wilder John Simon - Essay

John Simon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Billy Wilder's films are belt-and-suspender films: they combine the jaunty, sportif appearance of the belt-wearer with the comfortable, homespun look of the suspender-wearer. I wish I could report that the results are foolproof and unimpeachable. Actually, they fall between two wears….

[It] is time to realize that though Wilder has made some extremely skillful, effective, and, in part, even penetrating films, he has never done anything first-rate. One reason for this is, probably, insufficient artistic imagination; another, certainly, is excessive caution. (p. 23)

Wilder's formula is films that are vulgar enough to appeal to the typical movie audiences, yet spiked with just...

(The entire section is 794 words.)