95 Great Directors: William Wyler

“Stills belong in the lobby, not on the screen.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Best Years of Our Lives plus the rest of his work.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Dodsworth.

What Did I Watch: How to Steal a Million.

Where Does He Fit: How to Steal a Million is not exactly well suited for Wyler’s sensibilities, which were at their best when he was a bit gloomier rather than this delightfully expensive looking theft farce that was mostly an excuse to watch Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole at peak beauty make out. Hard to begrudge anyone that pleasure even with Wyler throwing incredibly stupid sound effects in at times to make the point clear. However, the film ends so strongly and fascinatingly that I might be persuaded to really fall for it, as something deeply unsettling creeps in and makes all the dynamics retroactively acidic. Remake this and add on another hour for the consequences.

how-to-steal_a_million

Most Valuable Asset: Command of actors and unfussy framing.
Most Excited For: The Heiress.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes. Underrated as fuck.

Coming Up Next: Sadist Michael Haneke.

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