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Volume 5

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A Foreign Affair

Billy Wilder's American Films

Gerd Gem√ľnden

206 pages, 36 illus., chronology, filmography, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-418-0 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (April 2008)

ISBN  978-1-84545-419-7 $39.95/£28.00 Pb Published (April 2008)

eISBN 978-0-85745-066-1 eBook


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“…provides a hugely readable, insightful examination of Billy Wilder’s American films as the product of transnational cultural exchange.”  ·  Monatshefte

"Gemünden’s vital decoding of Wilder’s translation of himself into the American vernacular offers stimulating new material and perspectives that will no doubt shape Wilder scholarship to come."  ·  Austrian Studies Newsletter

"Billy Wilder is hard to trump, because everything one writes about him is only half as entertaining as his great sense of humor. Gerd Gemünden, however, achieves a small miracle: his A Foreign Affair is a highly readable yet serious critical study that reveals Wilder, the alleged cynic, as the moralist he really was."  ·  Volker Schlöndorff

With six Academy Awards, four entries on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 greatest American movies, and more titles on the National Historic Register of classic films deemed worthy of preservation than any other director, Billy Wilder counts as one of the most accomplished filmmakers ever to work in Hollywood. Yet how American is Billy Wilder, the Jewish émigré from Central Europe? This book underscores this complex issue, unpacking underlying contradictions where previous commentators routinely smoothed them out. Wilder emerges as an artist with roots in sensationalist journalism and the world of entertainment as well as with an awareness of literary culture and the avant-garde, features that lead to productive and often highly original confrontations between high and low.

Gerd Gemünden is Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in the Humanities and Professor of German Studies, Film Studies, and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Framed Visions: Popular Culture, Americanization and the Contemporary German and Austrian Imagination (1998) and editor of volumes on Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Douglas Sirk, as well as an anthology of critical writings on Marlene Dietrich.

Subject: Film Studies
Area: North America Germany

LC: PN1998.3.W56 G47

BL: YC.2009.a.8650

BISAC: PER004030 PERFORMING ARTS/Film & Video/History & Criticism; HIS014000 HISTORY/Europe/Germany

BIC: APF Films, cinema




Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction

Chapter 1. An Accented Cinema
Chapter 2. The Insurance Man Always Rings Twice: Double Indemnity (1944)
Chapter 3. In the Ruins of Berlins: A Foreign Affair (1948)
Chapter 4. Ghosting Hollywood: Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Fedora (1978)
Chapter 5. All Dressed Up and Running Wild: Some Like It Hot (1959)
Chapter 6. Being a Mensch in the Administered World: The Apartment (1960)
Chapter 7. In the Closet of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

Chronology
Filmography
Bibliography
Index

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