DIRECTORS (Page 1 of 4)

Dorothy Arzner
Born 1900 - Deceased 1979
Fabled Director of Hepburn's tribute to
Amelia Earhardt in 1933s film "Christopher Strong"

Very rare in any form - 1940 authentically signed letter






Many others including BOGART & SPENCER TRACY's
1st screen appearances in FOX's "UP THE RIVER" 1930


Biography for
John Ford

Pappy, Coach
Mini biography
John Ford came to Hollywood following one of his brothers, an actor. Asked what brought him to Hollywood, he replied "The train". He became one of the most respected directors in the business, in spite of being known fo his westerns, which were not considered "serious" film. He won six Oscars, counting (he always did) the two that he won for his WWII documentary work. He had one wife; a son and daughter; and a grandson, Dan Ford who wrote a biography on his famous grandfather.
'Mary McBryde Smith' (3 July 1920 - 31 August 1973) (his death)
Trade mark

Regardless of where his westerns were set, most of the exteriors were filmed in Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA.

Funerals goers in his movies usually sing the hymn "Shall We Gather at the River."

If a doomed character plays poker, the last hand he plays before going to his death will be the "death hand" (two aces, one of them the ace of spades, and two 8s; so-called because Wild Bill Hickock held this hand when he was murdered). The hand will be shown in close-up.

There was a group of actors, known informally as the John Ford Stock Company (John Wayne, James Stewart, Harry Carey, John Carradine, Henry Fonda, etc.) that turned up regularly in Ford's films. They knew how to work with Ford and with each other, which suited Ford's directing style: "I tell the actors what I want and they give it to me, usually on the first take."

Father of Barbara Ford.

John Wayne called him by the nickname "Coach."

(1973) First recipient of the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

Brother of actor-director Francis Ford

Supporting members of Ford's "Stock Company" include Ward Bond, Ken Curtis (I), Jane Darwell, Francis Ford, Ben Johnson (I), Victor McLaglen, Mae Marsh, Mildred Natwick, John Qualen, Woody Strode, Tom Tyler (I), and Patrick Wayne.

The character "John Dodge" in Ford's movie Wings of Eagles, The (1957) is a spoof of Ford.

Ford often used members of his family (including his two brothers, Frank A. Ford and 'Edward O'Fearna') in his films, but only in subordinate roles. Patrick Ford recalled, "My conversations with him, as his only son -- that I know of -- were always 'Yessir', until one day I said 'no sir', and then I was no longer around. Our family life was pretty much that of a shipmaster and his crew, or a wagonmaster and his people. He gave the orders, and we carried them out."

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, producer. (b. Feb. 1, 1895, Cape Elizabeth, Me., as Sean Aloysius O'Fienne; d. Aug. 31, 1973.) The most honored of all American movie directors, John Ford was lauded by critics for his poetic vision, but he always insisted he was simply "a hard-nosed director" and that filmmaking was just "a job of work" to him. In truth, Ford had a singular vision which he brought to a vast body of work; most of his films (excepting routine studio assignments) are immediately recognizable as his and his alone-a remarkable achievement in a time when most films conformed to a studio's "personality," not a director's. There is continuity in Ford's work, as well, not just in his use of a familiar stock company of actors, or in revisiting favorite locations like Utah's Monument Valley, but in recurring themes and a distinctive point of view. Few filmmakers in the history of the medium have left their mark so indelibly on so many outstanding films; and, to Ford buffs, even his minor films have much to offer.

His brother Francis took "Ford" as a stage name and entered pictures in 1907. Young Jack (as he came to be known) joined Francis and his costar/partner Grace Cunard at Universal in 1914, first working as a prop man, then as an actor in Francis' starring serials The Broken Coin (1915) and The Purple Mask (1916). Although Francis frequently quarreled with Universal executives and eventually left the studio, Jack remained; he directed his first two-reeler, The Tornado in 1917, and his first feature, Straight Shooting later that same year. Many of Ford's early films were Westerns, and most of them starred Harry Carey. His already apparent talent for pictorially striking compositions made Ford a natural for horse operas (with their outdoor action scenes, magnificent vistas, etc.), and he worked with top screen cowboys Hoot Gibson, Buck Jones, and Tom Mix at Universal and Fox.

Formalizing his screen billing to John Ford in 1923 (an allusion to the Elizabethan playwright of the same name), the director scored with his handling of the John Gilbert vehicle Cameo Kirby (1923), but really shot to the top rank with The Iron Horse (1924), an epic Western detailing the building of the transcontinental railroad, filmed on location under arduous conditions. Another large-scale Western, Three Bad Men (1926), used the Oklahoma land rush as its backdrop; its somewhat lesser reputation stems mainly from the fact that was out of circulation for many years. Its story and characterizations presaged Ford's 1948 production of 3 Godfathers Ford's late silents-especially Four Sons (1928)-were influenced by the Germanic style of filmmaking then prevalent in Hollywood, but he soon abandoned that highly impressionistic (and to many, highly pretentious) approach to moviemaking. The early talkie days saw Ford, like many other directors, groping for a command of the new storytelling techniques imposed by the addition of sound. He reunited with George O'Brien, the burly, brash young star of Iron Horse and Three Bad Men for Salute (1929) and The Seas Beneath (1931); both films were moderately successful, and Ford maintained his position as one of the top Hollywood directors.

The 1930s found Ford further developing a distinctive style, which he honed both on commercial, work-for-hire movies and on modest, more personal productions. Critics lauded The Informer (1935), a highly stylized story of betrayal during the Irish Revolution for which Ford won a Best Director Oscar; in retrospect, though, it may be that Ford's best work of the period is found in less pretentious efforts including his Will Rogers vehicles (1933's Dr. Bull 1934's Judge Priest 1935's Steamboat 'Round the Bend) and The Whole Town's Talking. By this time he was already one of Hollywood's most colorful and irascible filmmakers. Although publicity shots often showed him clad in tweed jacket, colorful ascot, and neatly creased fedora, he was more comfortable in untied sneakers, a khaki shirt, and a baseball cap. Often when he was nervous, or in deep concentration, Ford would chew on a corner of his handkerchief and let it hang from his mouth. He was contemptuous of authority, and could be vicious in his sarcasm to those he found pretentious, but he was also intensely loyal to his "stock company," and in turn inspired loyalty from cast and crew.

The single most important year of Ford's career was undoubtedly 1939, which saw the release of Drums Along the Mohawk (a stirring drama of colonial America starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert), Young Mr. Lincoln (an inspiring biopic with Fonda as the beloved president), and Stagecoach the latter a milestone not only because it made a star of John Wayne (who'd been an extra for Ford in 1928's Mother Macree, Hangman's House and Four Sons, but because it revitalized a genre long since abandoned to the producers of low-budget, Saturday-matinee "horse operas." Stagecoach which netted Ford another Oscar nomination, sparked interest in big-budget, "adult" Westerns-to which the director would return throughout the remainder of his career. He won back-to-back Oscars for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and How Green Was My Valley (1941), both of which centered on tight-knit families surviving in the face of adversity. Vastly different from his previous films, they showed a more mature talent at work behind the camera. World War 2 intervened and Ford, serving in the Field Photographic Branch of the OSS, turned out several documentaries; two of them, The Battle of Midway (1942) and December 7th (1943), were awarded Oscars. After the war, Ford returned to Hollywood and demonstrated that he hadn't forgotten how to make compelling entertainments: They Were Expendable (1945) vividly chronicled the exploits of PT-boat crews in the South Pacific, and My Darling Clementine (1946), an elegiac Western with some of the director's most memorable images, starring Henry Fonda as a considerably whitewashed Wyatt Earp.

In the late 1940s Ford and producer Merian C. Cooper formed Argosy Productions, a partnership that produced some of his best (and most personal) pictures. Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and Rio Grande (1950) comprised Ford's unofficial Cavalry trilogy; John Wayne starred in all three, supported by many Ford regulars including George O'Brien, Victor McLaglen, and Ward Bond. Wagon Master (1950) repackaged elements from My Darling Clementine and was more notable for its western characters and atmosphere than for its story or action. The Quiet Man (1952), which starred Wayne as an American of Irish ancestry who settles on the Emerald Isle, gave Ford ample opportunities to trumpet his own Irish heritage; this stirring, beautiful film (much of it shot on location) won him an unprecedented fourth Oscar.

His other 1950s films vary in quality, although many film fans and critics single out The Searchers (1956), starring Wayne as a single-minded zealot who spends years pursuing the Indians who killed his relatives and kidnapped their young daughter, as the definitive Ford film. Still contentious, Ford was replaced as director of Mister Roberts (1955) by Mervyn LeRoy, reportedly because he quarreled with star Henry Fonda (who'd played the role on Broadway). To many, Ford's later films-including The Last Hurrah (1958), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964)-seemed increasingly sentimental and derivative of earlier, better films. His final feature film, 7 Women (1966), was an odd and unsuccessful throwback to the 1930s both in story and in technique. Although the aging and ill Ford delivered a curmudgeonly "performance" in Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 documentary, Directed by John Ford it is obvious even in his last years that the director's crusty exterior concealed a sentimental heart. Ford was the first recipient of the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.


Joseph L. Mankiewicz

8" x 10" Approx Signed w/ humorous sentiment

Fabled productor, director, and writer.
Brother of Herman "Citizen Kane" screenwriter
Won many Oscars including rare double Oscar for writing and
directing "All About Eve" but directing Liz and
Richard Burton in "Cleopatara" seems to have shorten his career.
This photo is dated 1931 the year he deserted the Brocklyn Eagle for
WC Fields & Co-wrote"Million Dollar Legs"

Biography for
Joseph L. Mankiewicz

5' 10"
Mini biography
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on February 11, 1909, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz first worked for the movies as a translator of intertitles, employed by Paramount in Berlin, the UFA's American distributor at the time (1928). He became a dialoguist, then a screenwriter on numerous Paramount productions in Hollywood, most of them Jack Oakie vehicles. Still in his twenties, he produced first-class MGM films, including Philadelphia Story, The (1940). Having left the Metro after a dipute with its boss Louis B.Mayer over Judy Garland, he then worked for Darryl F.Zanuck at the Fox, producing Keys of the Kingdom, The (1944) when Ernst Lubitsch's illness first brought him on the director's chair for Dragonwyck (1946). From that day on, Mankiewicz directed 20 films in a 26 year period, succesfully attempted every kind of movie, from Shakespeare adaptation to western, from urban sociological drama to musical, from epic film with thousands of extras to two character picture. Letter to Three Wives, A (1949) and All About Eve (1950) brought him a wide recognition along with for each two academy awards as a writer and a director, seven years after his elder brother Herman won for Citizen Kane (1941). More intimate films like Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The (1947), Barefoot Contessa, The (1954) , his only original screenplay, and Honey Pot, The (1967) are major artistic achievements as well, showing Mankiewicz as a witty dialoguist, a master in the use of flash-back and a talented actors' director (he favoured English ones and had in Rex Harrison a kind of alter-ego on the screen).
Elizabeth Young (I) (? - ?)
Rose Stradner (? - 27 September 1958) (her death)
'Rosemary Matthews' (1962 - ?)

Father of producer Christopher Mankiewicz

Brother of writer Herman J. Mankiewicz
Personal quotes

"I think it can be said fairly that I've been in on the beginning, rise, peak, collapse, and end of the talking picture."

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Writer, producer, director. (b. Feb. 11, 1909, WilkesBarre, Pa.; d. Feb. 5, 1993.) One of America's wittiest and most urbane filmmakers, Mankiewicz managed to please both critics and audiences with a wide variety of films, marked by an extraordinary degree of intelligence and sophistication. After working in Berlin, first as a reporter and then as a titles translator of German silent films intended for American distribution, he followed his older brother Herman to Hollywood in the late 1920s. He wrote (or cowrote) many top films, ranging from wacky comedies such as Million Dollar Legs (1932) and Diplomaniacs (1933) to tear-jerking melodramas such as Skippy (1931), and from the big-budget gloss of Manhattan Melodrama to the gritty realism of Our Daily Bread (both 1934). In 1936, he began producing as well with the powerful lynch mob drama Fury which was followed over the next decade by such superior films as The Shopworn Angel (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Woman of the Year (1942), and Keys of the Kingdom (1944).

Mankiewicz finally ascended to the director's chair in 1946 with the period melodrama Dragonwyck and scored another hit the following year with The Ghost and Mrs. Muir He pulled a still unequaled double hat trick by winning writing and directing Oscars in 1949 for the superb A Letter to Three Wives and then again the very next year for All About Eve the bitchy backstage comedy-drama starring Bette Davis, still his most famous and revered film. Other noteworthy pictures include the racial drama No Way Out (1950, Sidney Poitier's first film), an offbeat and cerebral romance, People Will Talk (1951), the espionage tale 5 Fingers (1952, which netted him an Oscar nomination), a moody adaptation of Julius Caesar (1953), a mordant look at filmmaking, The Barefoot Contessa (1954), the smash musical comedy Guys and Dolls (1955), Tennessee Williams' Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), the gargantuan Cleopatra (1963, which he took over in mid-production), a modern-day "Volpone" called The Honey Pot (1967), a cynical comic Western, EB> (1970), and a bravura filming of the hit mystery play Sleuth (1972, for which he earned his final Oscar nomination). Even his lesser films are marked by literate dialogue and fine performances; his best films are as good as any ever made. His son, Tom Mankiewicz, is himself a writer/director whose films include the 1987 Dragnet



Click to enlarge

Alfred Hitchcock
Hunter's Books receipt signed Ink
Hitchcock hobby was memorizing railroad schedules.
Matted with Original 1945 Ad for Spellbound

Please note: Scan shows Moire Patter NOT in original.
Hitchcock Autograph plus Vintage Mag ad

Click to enlarge

Cary Grant & Joan Fontaine A.A.'41
 8x10 signed by both
Hitchcock's 4th American production
David O. Selznick discovered Hitchcock and
brought him to US.
Grant has signed "To Ziggy",
my nickname in 1940s.
A.A. nominated 1941 - Best Picture


Click to enlarge
Original 8 x 10 Photo on the set of "Frenzy
(text is on the back)

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Above is 221 page script of "Topaz"

On the are two of nine pages of the
original shooting script of "Topaz"

Click to enlarge

Biography for
Alfred Hitchcock

Hitch, The Master of Suspense
Mini biography
Alfred Hitchcock was the son of East End greengrocer William Hitchcock and his wife Emma. Raised as a strict Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College, a school run by Jesuits, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing. His first job outside of the family business was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. His interest in movies began at around this time, frequently visiting the cinema and reading US trade journals.

In 1920 Hitch learned that Lasky were to open a studio in London and managed to secure a job as a title designer. He designed the titles for all the movies made at the studio for the next two years. In 1923 he got his first chance at directing when the director of Always Tell Your Wife (1923) fell ill and Hitch completed the movie. Impressed by his work, studio chiefs gave him his first directing assignment on Number 13 (1922), however, before it could be finished, the studio closed its British operation. Hitch was then hired by Michael Balcon to work as an assistant director for the company later to be known as Gainsborough Pictures. In reality Hitch did more than this - working as a writer, title designer and art director. After several films for the company, Hitch was given the chance to direct a British/German co-production called Pleasure Garden, The (1925). Hitchcock's career as a director finally began. Hitchcock went on to become the most widely known and influential director in the history of world cinema with a significant body of work produced over 50 years.
Alma Reville (2 December 1926 - 29 April 1980) (his death)
Trade mark

Has a cameo in most of his films.

Likes to insert shots of a woman's hairstyle, frequently close-ups. [hair]

Bathrooms are often a plot device; often a hiding place or a place where lovemaking is prepared for. Hitchcock also frequently uses the letters ``BM'', which stand for ``Bowel Movement''. [bathroom]

Often used the "wrong man" or "mistaken identity" theme in his movies.

He preferred blondes: The most famous actresses in his filmography were Anny Ondra, Madeleine Carroll, Joan Fontaine, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh and Tippi Hedren.

According to many people who knew Hitchcock, he couldn't stand to even look at his wife, Alma, while she was pregnent.

Once dressed up in drag for a party he threw. Footage of this was in his office, but his office was cleaned out after his death, and it is not known if the footage still exists.

According to Alfred himself, he was required to stand at the foot of his mothers bed, and tell her what happend to him each day. This explains Anthony Perkins in Psycho standing at the foot of his mothers bed.

Born only one day before his wife, Alma

Hitch's suggestion for his tombstone inscription was "This is what we do to bad little boys." (It finally read "I'm in on a plot.")

Was a close friend of Albert R. Broccoli, well known as the producer of the James Bond - 007 franchise
. Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959) was the influence for the helicopter scene in From Russia with Love (1963)

He appears on a 32 cent U.S. postage stamp, in the legends of Hollywood series, that debuted 8/3/98 in Los Angeles, CA.

In his childhood days, Alfred Hitchcock was sent by his father with a letter to the local police station. The officer read the letter and, without further ado, locked young Alfred up for ten minutes. Then he let him go, explaining that this is what happenes to people who do bad things. Hitchcock was frightened of the police from that day on.

On April 29, 1974, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York sponsored a gala homage to Alfred Hitchcock and his contributions to the cinema. Three hours of film excerpts were shown that night. François Truffaut who had published a book of interviews with Hitchcock a few years earlier, was there that night to present "two brilliant sequences: the clash of the symbols in the second version of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', and the plane attack on Cary Grant in 'North by Northwest.'" After the gala, Truffaut reflected again on what made Hitchcock unique and concluded: "It was impossible not to see that the love scenes were filmed like murder scenes, and the murder scenes like love scenes...It occurred to me that in Hitchcock's make love and to die are one and the same."

Hitchcock never won a best director Oscar in competition, although he was awarded the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Oscars.

Alma and Hitch had one daughter, Patricia Hitchcock, who appeared in several of his movies: Stage Fright (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951) and Psycho (1960)

Hitchcock made a cameo appearance in all of his movies from Lodger, The (1926) onwards

In the New Year's Honors list of 1980, he was named a Knight Commander of the British Empire

Between 1977 and his death, Hitch worked with a succession of writers on a film to be known as "The Short Night". The majority of the writing being done by David Freeman (I) who published the final screenplay after Hitchcock's death.

(1979) American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

Hitchcock made his appearances in the beginning of the films, because he knew viewers were watching for him and he didn't want to deviate their attention away from the story's plot.

Hitchcock's bridling under the heavy hand of producer David O. Selznick was exemplified by the final scene of _Rebecca (1940)_. Selznick wanted his director to show smoke coming out of the burning house's chimney forming the letter 'R." Hitch thought the touch lacked any subtlety; instead, he showed flames licking at a pillow embroidered with the letter 'R.'

Hitchcock first visited Hollywood in 1940, but was turned down by virtually all major motion picture studios because they thought he could not make a "Hollywood" picture. He was finally offered a seven-year directing contract by producer David O. Selznick. His first project was supposed to be a film about the Titanic, but Selznick scrapped the project because he "couldn't find a boat to sink." Selznick assigned Hitch to direct _Rebecca (1940)_ instead.

The famous Hitchcock profile sketch, most often associated with "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955), was actually from a Christmas card Hitchcock designed himself while still living in England.

When finishing a cup of tea while on the set, he would often non-discriminatingly toss the cup and saucer over his shoulder, letting it fall (or break) wherever it may.

Hitchcock was director William Girdler's idol. Girdler made Day of the Animals (1977) borrowing elements from Hitchcock's Birds, The (1962).

Asked writers Thomas Boileau and Pierre Narcejac to write a novel for him after Henri-Georges Clouzot had been faster in buying the rights for 'Celle qui n'était plus' which became Diaboliques, Les (1955). The novel they wrote, _From Among the Dead_, was shot as Vertigo (1958).
Personal quotes

"There is a dreadful story that I hate actors. Imagine anyone hating Jimmy Stewart... or Jack Warner. I can't imagine how such a rumor began. Of course it may possibly be because I was once quoted as saying that actors are cattle. My actor friends know I would never be capable of such a thoughtless, rude and unfeeling remark, that I would never call them cattle... What I probably said was that actors should be treated like cattle."

On his cameos: "One of the earliest of these was in The Lodger (1926), the story of Jack the Ripper. My appearance called for me to walk up the stairs of the rooming house. Since my walk-ons in subsequent pictures would be equally strenuous - boarding buses, playing chess, etc. - I asked for a stunt man. Casting, with an unusual lack of perception, hired this fat man!"

"He was the easiest of directors to work with." - Teresa Wright, whom Hitch worked with on Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

"Television has brought murder back into the home - where it belongs"

"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder"

"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."

"To me Psycho was a big comedy. Had to be."

"Even my failures make money and become classics a year after I make them."

"Always make the audience suffer as much as possible"

"I didn't say actors are cattle. What I said was, actors should be treated like cattle."

"When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, 'It's in the script.' If he says, 'But what's my motivation?, ' I say, 'Your salary.'"

"Drama is life with the dull bits left out."

"Actors are cattle."

[His entire acceptance speech for the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award] Thank you.

[When accepting the American Film Institute Life Achievement award] I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville.

"[Hitchcock] said, 'I don't want you going back to sink-to-sink movies. You do movies where you wash the dishes looking drab in an apron. The audience wants to see their leading ladies dressed up.' He saw me as others didn't." - Eva Marie Saint

"Contrary to what a lot of people say, he did have respect for actors. He would always say to me,
made him more famous "I'm sure you can get it, old girl.'" - Janet Leigh

(About Dario Argento and his film Deep Red) "This young Italian guy is starting to worry me."

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, producer. (b. Aug. 13, 1899, Leytonstone, England; d. Apr. 28, 1980.) Perhaps only one other filmmaker-Walt Disney-lived to see his name become synonymous with a certain type of screen entertainment: In Hitchcock's case, it was stylish, sophisticated suspense, laced with humor and romance. Moreover, his bald pate, pearshaped body, and lugubrious drawl made him as recognizable as any star he ever directed. Educated by Jesuits, the young Hitchcock developed a flair for things mechanical, and first went to work for a telegraph company. He later took up art, applying his talents to print advertisements. Hitchcock broke into the British film industry in 1920 as a title-card illustrator, working his way up to art director, assistant director, editor, writer, and finally director. His first hit was the thrillerThe Lodger (1926), by which time many of his now-familiar cinematic trademarks were already apparent, including his ritual cameo appearance. He mastered the new medium of talking pictures with seeming effortlessness in Blackmail (1929) and proved that the presence of sound was no reason not to continue to tell stories with visual panache. (Speaking of things visual, 1930's all-star talkie revue Elstree Calling gave Hitchcock his only opportunity to direct a pie-throwing scene-with Anna May Wong, of all people.) He reached the top of his game with such outstanding films asThe Man Who Knew Too Much (1934),The 39 Steps (1935),Sabotage (1936), andThe Lady Vanishes (1938), all of which placed ordinary people- with whom audiences could readily identify-in life-or-death situations, often being chased by the authorities as well as the villains.

Hitchcock succumbed to the lure of Hollywood in 1939; his first film there, the romantic thrillerRebecca (1940), won the Best Picture Oscar and cemented his standing. He continued to masterly manipulate audiences' emotions in such classics asForeign Correspondent (1940),Suspicion (1941),Shadow of a Doubt (1943, reportedly his personal favorite among his films),Lifeboat (1944),Spellbound (1945), andNotorious (1946). During this period, as he immersed himself in the slickness of Hollywood filmmaking, he continued to draw from a seemingly inexhaustible cinematic bag of tricks, using his mechanical and electrical knowledge to create memorable little effects and images (such as the illuminated glass of milk carried upstairs by Cary Grant inSuspicion His first color movie,Rope (1948), was an experiment-not altogether successful-in shooting an entire film in one seemingly continuous shot.

In the 1950s Hitchcock set himself new challenges and created a gallery of unique and memorable films, including the psychological cat-and-mouse thriller Strangers on a Train (1951), the 3-D opus Dial M for Murder (1954), the visually challenging Rear Window (1954), the elegant and witty To Catch a Thief (1955), the incomparably droll black comedy The Trouble With Harry (1955), the remake of his own The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956, with its bravura climax in London's Albert Hall), and the low-key, documentarystyle The Wrong Man (1957). In 1955 he agreed to host (and occasionally direct) a weekly TV anthology series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," a diversion that lasted a full ten years. His droll commentary (written by James Allardice) and distinctive greeting ("Good eeeevening")s than ever. The TV years also saw him directing four of his greatest films in a row: the incredibly complex and adult thriller Vertigo (1958), the witty and exciting North by Northwest (1959, with its audacious set-pieces in a desolate cornfield and atop Mount Rushmore), the starkly frightening, very black Psycho (1960, which he made quickly and inexpensively with his TV crew), and that masterpiece of manipulation and control, The Birds (1963). Hitchcock brought out the best in his stars (including James Stewart, Cary Grant, and the ultimate "Hitchcock blonde," Grace Kelly) and inspired composer Bernard Herrmann to do some of his finest work on his films.

Hitchcock's work past this point became uneven. Marnie (1964) was ahead of its time. Torn Curtain (1966) had star power but little else. Topaz (1969) told an intriguing tale, but the lack of recognizable stars made audiences feel aloof. Frenzy (1972) saw the director back in form-in peak form, to be precise, pulling some new visual tricks out of his bottomless bag, and playing violence against humor as only he could. (Hitchcock always hosted his own coming attractions trailers; for the British-made film, his first in more than 30 years, he appeared on-screen floating in the Thames River!) Family Plot (1976) tipped the scales too far toward comedy, and was only a middling success. Hitchcock continued to develop properties for future production, but failing health curtailed those plans. In 1979 he received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award; he died the following year.

Astoundingly, the man considered by many the finest director who ever lived never won an Oscar, though he did receive the Irving Thalberg Award in 1967, and a long-running mystery magazine bears his name. His influence on a younger generation of filmmakers is impossible to overstate; virtually every thriller that comes along is described as "Hitchcockian," though few manage to live up to that description. As if that weren't enough, the director almost literally returned from the grave in 1985, when NBC revived "Alfred Hitchcock Presents": the episodes were new, but Hitch (now colorized) was still introducing them!


Billy Wilder

He won 3 Oscars
Were they for "Sunset Blvd." , "Some Like It Hot"
  "Ninotcka", or "Five Graves to Cairo" ?

Biography for
Billy Wilder

Mini biography
Originally planning to become a lawyer, 'Billy Wilder' abandoned this in favour of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Hitler came to power in 1933. Wilder immediately realised his Jewish ancestry would cause problems, so he emigrated to Paris, then the States. Despite knowing no English when he arrived in Hollywood, Wilder was a fast learner, and thanks to contacts such as Peter Lorre (with whom he shared an apartment) he was able to break into American films. His partnership with Charles Brackett started in 1938 and was responsible for the scripts of some classic Hollywood comedies, including 'Ninotchka' and 'Ball of Fire'. The partnership expanded into a producer-director one in 1942 with Brackett producing, which turned such classics as 'Double Indemnity', 'Five Graves to Cairo', 'The Lost Weekend' (Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Screenplay) and 'Sunset Boulevard' (Oscars for Best Screenplay), after which the partnership dissolved. Wilder's subsequent self- produced films would become more caustic and cynical, notably 'Ace in the Hole', though he also produced such sublime comedies as 'Some Like It Hot, and 'The Apartment' (which won him Best Picture and Director Oscars). He retired in 1981.

'Audrey Young' (30 June 1949 - present)
'Judith Coppicus' (22 December 1936 - 1946) (divorced)

Father of the twins Victoria and Vincent (born 1939), their mother was Judith. Vincent died
shortly after birth.

Met Audrey Wilder at Paramount Studios on set for Lost Weekend, The (1945), as his divorce from Judith was in progress and he had a liaison with the actress Doris Dowling.

He used "Billie" as his firstname until his emigration in 1933.

(1986) American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

Estranged brother of producer W. Lee Wilder.

Long famous for the modern-art collection he put together over his lifetime (he sold only a portion of it in 1989 for $32.6 million)

(1991) Awarded Austria's Golden Order, First Class for Meritorious Services.

Dated Hedy Lamarr before his second marriage in 1949.

An inveterate clotheshorse, at age 83 he still owned over 60 cashmere sweaters.

Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe begged Wilder to appear in _Jerry Maguire (1996)_ but he turned them down flat.

Wilder wanted to direct Schindler's List (1993), but Steven Spielberg prefered doing it himself. Wilder has been quoted saying it would have become his most personal film.

Had a long-standing partnership with screenwriter I.A.L.Diamond, with whom he won an Oscar for The Apartment.
Personal quotes

"I have discussed this with my doctor and my psychiatrist and they tell me I'm too old and too rich to go through this again." - after directing Marilyn Monroe for the second time in Some Like it Hot (1959)

Some pictures play wonderfully to a room of eight people. I don't go for that. I go for the masses. I go for the end effect.

"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist."

"My English is a mixture between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archbishop Tutu."

"A bad play folds and is forgotten, but in pictures we don't bury our dead. When you think it's out of your system, your daughter sees it on television and says, My father is an idiot."

Louis B. Mayer (After screening Wilder's Sunset Blvd): How dare this young man bite the hand that feeds him? Wilder: Mr. Mayer. I am Mr. Wilder, and go f--k yourself.

"I'd like to spend the rest of my life doing nothing but Billy Wilder films." - Jack Lemmon

"The Wilder message is don't bore - don't bore people."

"I just made pictures I would've liked to see."

Wilder (Having seen Dr. Freud's therapy couch): It was a very tiny little thing. All his theories were based on the analysis of very short people!
Where are they now
At 93, completed collaborative interview book with director Cameron Crowe, "Conversations with Wilder, " 1999, Knopf.

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Writer, director, producer. (b. June 22, 1906, Vienna, as Samuel Wilder.) Few native-born writer-directors have studied the American psyche as perceptively-or used the language as brilliantly-as Viennese émigré Billy Wilder. He started out as a reporter in Vienna and moved to Berlin to pursue that profession, but early on he was attracted to cinema and collaborated on the script of the 1929 movie People on Sunday (working with such colleagues as Robert Siodmak, Edgar Ulmer, and Fred Zinnemann). He then made his living as a screenwriter and worked on a number of German films (including the 1931 success Emil and the Detectives before Hitler's rise to power sent him packing. He decamped briefly in Paris, where he codirected one film, Mauvaise Graine (1933), then made his way to Hollywood (by way of Mexico).

It took time for Wilder to learn the English language (he never lost his accent), and longer still to land a steady job in the studios. In 1937 he sold a story to Paramount, which got his foot in the door, and the next year he found himself writing for his idol, Ernst Lubitsch. He was paired with
the urbane Charles Brackett on the script of Lubitsch's Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938); when they proved to be a compatible team, Paramount kept them together and gave them a steady stream of assignments, ranging from the mundane (1939's Henry Aldrich adaptation What a Life to the sublime (1939's Midnight1940's Arise, My Love1941's Hold Back the Dawn They also collaborated on Ninotchka (1939) for Lubitsch and Ball of Fire (1941, a sly parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for Howard Hawks and producer Samuel Goldwyn; both scripts were nominated for Oscars.

Their screenplays were consistently witty and sophisticated, but Wilder bemoaned the way they were handled by their directors, especially Mitchell Leisen. Fellow screenwriter Preston Sturges, who felt the same way, had persuaded Paramount to let him try directing his own scripts, with great success, so Wilder lobbied to do the same, and the studio agreed. The clever comedy The Major and the Minor (1942) was an auspicious debut, and the witty wartime drama Five Graves to Cairo (1943) a firstrate followup. Wilder teamed with Raymond Chandler on the film noir classic Double Indemnity (1944), earning writing and directing Oscar nominations, then he and Brackett (who became the team's producer) made a groundbreaking study of alcoholism, The Lost Weekend (1945), which won two Oscars for Wilder for Best Screenplay and Director, and two more for Best Picture and Best Actor (Ray Milland). Never a visual stylist, Wilder nevertheless created some indelible images in this film (particularly in the delerium tremens sequence), and broke with Hollywood tradition by shooting Milland on the New York streets with a hidden camera, for cinéma verité realism.

Having served the U.S. Army in Berlin during the immediate aftermath of World War 2, Wilder depicted the postwar city in an unexpectedly comic context in A Foreign Affair (1948, Oscar-nominated for Best Screenplay), and turned out a silly piece of froth for Bing Crosby, The Emperor Waltz (also 1948). He then collaborated for the last time with Brackett (and D. M. Marshman, Jr.) on the sardonic Hollywood fable Sunset Blvd (1950), a brilliant black comedy about an aging, self-deluded silent film star and the desperate young writer who becomes her kept man. MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer reportedly took Wilder to task for dramatizing the dark side of Tinseltown, but others hailed it for the masterpiece it was. It won him a Best Screenplay Oscar (with Brackett and D. M. Marshman, Jr.) and a Best Director nomination. His first solo film, Ace in the Hole (1951, retitled The Big Carnival was the cynical story of a reporter coldbloodedly capitalizing on a tragedy. Audiences didn't warm to it, but it earned him a Best Screenplay nomination.

Wilder shrugged off that failure, and followed it with a handful of hugely successful stage adaptations: the bristling P.O.W. drama Stalag 17 (1953, for which Wilder was Oscar-nominated), the charming romantic comedy Sabrina (1954), which was Oscar-nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Director, and the sexy comic fable The Seven Year Itch (1955, considerably "cleaned up" from its Broadway original), which marked his first encounter with Marilyn Monroe. He set himself a pair of challenges, and succeeded, dramatizing the claustrophobic flight of Charles Lindbergh in The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) and adapting a prototypical Agatha Christie courtoom whodunit, Witness for the Prosecution (also 1957, earning an Oscar nomination as Best Director). He also found a new collaborator, I.A.L. Diamond; their first joint effort was a delightful Lubitschinspired May-December romance, Love in the Afternoon (also 1957).

Wilder and Diamond then produced a pair of masterworks, the farcical gem Some Like It Hot (1959, Oscar nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay), with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag joining Marilyn Monroe in an all-girl orchestra; and the brilliant comedy-drama The Apartment (1960), which won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It was here that Wilder found his perfect Everyman in Jack Lemmon. Wilder returned to Berlin one more time for the brilliantly fast-paced comedy One, Two, Three (1961), with James Cagney, then reteamed Apartmentstars Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine for an adaptation of the stage hit Irma la Douce (1963).

Not since Ace in the Hole had Wilder allowed his cynicism to dominate a movie as it did his next, Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), the story of a would-be songwriter who's so desperate to succeed that he will offer up his wife as inducement to win over a popular singer. Wilder was pilloried in the press, and offended his colleagues in Hollywood, who were outraged by this "smarmy" film; he remarked in an interview that he'd have to make a popular movie soon in order to get back on the "godfathers and pallbearers" list. He did just that with The Fortune Cookie (1966), an "acceptably" sardonic comedy that made a star of Walter Matthau, who won an Oscar playing Jack Lemmon's unscrupulous lawyer Whiplash Willie. (The screenplay was also nominated for an Oscar.)

The 1970s were to prove a difficult decade for Wilder. The British-made The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) was shorn of one entire episode before its release to tepid reviews. Critics and audiences were also indifferent to Avanti! (1972), a highly underrated romantic comedy with Jack Lemmon. Wilder and Diamond then aimed for the commercial bull's-eye with a colorful remake of The Front Page (1974) starring Lemmon and Matthau. The script stuck to the HechtMacArthur original for the most part, but there were many identifiable WilderDiamondisms as well-including an American Graffiti-inspired epilogue. Still, Wilder found it increasingly difficult to get projects off the ground in the "new" Hollywood, and it was four years before Fedora (1978) was released. An adaptation of Thomas Tryon's story of a reclusive Garbo-esque star, the project was marked (or marred) by excessive compromise-Wilder had hoped to persuade a genuine screen legend to star, but had to settle for young European actress Marthe Keller instead. He did cast William Holden in the lead, however, causing more than one observer to think of Fedora as an unofficial sequel to Sunset Blvd. Alas, it wasn't a fraction as good. He and Diamond gave it one more try, adapting the French comedy A Pain in the A- as a Lemmon-Matthau vehicle, Buddy Buddy (1981). It was not well received, to say the least, and the unkinder critics said Wilder was simply out of touch.

Wilder retired, tending to his famed art collection, gathering a roomful of awards and citations (including the Academy's Thalberg Award, lifetime honors from the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America, and the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award "all that's left is the Heisman Trophy," he quipped at one point), and working on his autobiography. He has remained a witty observer of the Hollywood scene, and if that industry lost patience with him in his final productive years, it has never ceased to admire the great films he made during his twenty-five-year heyday.

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