Tuesday, February 16, 2010

director william wyler (1902-1981)

the facts: considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema, Wyler's directorial career spanned 45 years, from silent pictures to the cultural revolution of the 1970s. nominated a record 12 times for an Academy Award as Best Director, he won three and in 1966, was honored with the Irving Thalberg Award, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' ultimate accolade for a producer. So high was his reputation in his lifetime that he was the fourth recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, after Ford, James Cagney and Welles. Along with Ford and Welles, Wyler ranks with the best and most influential American directors, including Griffith, DeMille, Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg.

wow. well, for me wyler represents the man who made three of my all time favorite movies :
'the little foxes'
'the heiress.'
i watch them repeatedly.

Laurence Olivier credited Wyler with teaching him how to act on film. Bette Davis credited him for making her a box office-star after he directed her Oscar-winning performance in Jezebel (1938).

he made three films with bette. three films with audrey too. on the tiny hepburn Wyler said, "She had everything I was looking for: charm, innocence and talent.

photo: courtesy tom sutpen

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