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Director Billy Wilder
Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Blu-ray edition | Blu Ray | (10/09/2018)
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Eureka Entertainment to release WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION, Billy Wilder's engrossingly theatrical courtroom drama, on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as a part of The Masters of Cinemas Series from 10 September 2018. Based on the hit play by Agatha Christie, Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution was nominated for six Academy Awards and was reportedly praised by Christie herself as the best adaptation of her work she had seen. When a wealthy widow is found murdered, her married suitor, Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), is accused of the crime. Vole's only hope for acquittal is the testimony of his wife (Marlene Dietrich) but his airtight alibi shatters when she reveals some shocking secrets of her own. Also starring the incredible Charles Laughton in an OscarÂ® nominated role, Witness for the Prosecution left audiences reeling from its surprise twists and shocking climax, and The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present yet another Billy Wilder masterpiece on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES: 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray Uncompressed LPCM mono soundtrack Optional English SDH subtitles New and exclusive feature length audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger Monocle and Cigars: Simon Callow on Charles Laughton in Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution A new video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard Archival footage of Billy Wilder discussing Witness for the Prosecution with director Volker SchlÃ¶ndorff A collector's booklet featuring new essays by film scholar Henry Miller and critic Philip Kemp; a letter from Agatha Christie to Billy Wilder; and rare archival imagery Reversible Sleeve
Witness for the Prosecution | DVD | (11/02/2013)
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Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton star in this brilliantly made courtroom drama (Film Daily) that left audiences reeling from its surprise twists and shocking climax. Directed by Billy Wilder, scripted by Wilder and Harry Kurnitz, and based on Agatha Christie's hit London play, this splendid, six-time Oscar-nominated classic crackles with emotional electricity (The New York Times) and continues to keep movie lovers riveted until the final, mesmerizing frame. When a wealthy widow is found murdered, her married suitor, Leonard Vole (Power), is accused of the crime. Vole's only hope for acquittal is the testimony of his wife (Dietrich)...but his airtight alibi shatters when she reveals some shocking secrets of her own!
Double Indemnity (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (25/06/2012)
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Director Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard) and writer Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep) adapted James M. Cain's hard-boiled novel into this wildly thrilling story of insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), who schemes the perfect murder with the beautiful dame Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck: kill Dietrichson's husband and make off with the insurance money. But, of course, in these plots things never quite go as planned, and Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) is the wily insurance investigator who must sort things out. From the opening scene you know Neff is doomed, as the story is told in flashback; yet, to the film's credit, this doesn't diminish any of the tension of the movie. This early film noir flick is wonderfully campy by today's standards, and the dialogue is snappy ("I thought you were smarter than the rest, Walter. But I was wrong. You're not smarter, just a little taller"), filled with lots of "dame"s and "baby"s. Stanwyck is the ultimate femme fatale, and MacMurray, despite a career largely defined by roles as a softy (notably in the TV series My Three Sons and the movie The Shaggy Dog), is convincingly cast against type as the hapless, love-struck sap. --Jenny Brown
Some Like It Hot | Blu Ray | (23/07/2012)
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Maybe "nobody's perfect," as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. They vie for the attention of the lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), a much-disappointed songbird who warbles "I'm Through with Love" but remains vulnerable to yet another unreliable saxophone player. (When Curtis courts her without his dress, he adopts the voice of Cary Grant--a spot-on impersonation.) The script by director Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond is beautifully measured; everything works, like a flawless clock. Aspiring screenwriters would be well advised to throw away the how-to books and simply study this film. The bulk of the slapstick is handled by an unhinged Lemmon and the razor-sharp Joe E. Brown, who plays a horny retiree smitten by Jerry's feminine charms. For all the gags, the film is also wonderfully romantic, as Wilder indulges in just the right amounts of moonlight and the lilting melody of "Park Avenue Fantasy." Some Like It Hot is so delightfully fizzy, it's hard to believe the shooting of the film was a headache, with an unhappy Monroe on her worst behaviour. The results, however, are sublime. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com
Sunset Boulevard | Blu Ray | (04/02/2013)
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Intense, enthralling, and unforgettable, Sunset Boulevard stars Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent-movie star, and William Holden as Joe Gillis, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter whom she enlists to help her make her triumphant return to the screen. Directed and co-written by acclaimed filmmaker Billy Wilder, this mesmerising Hollywood classic won three Academy Awards.
Irma La Douce | DVD | (26/11/2001)
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Irma La Douce reunited The Apartment team of Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine with director Billy Wilder in an adaptation of the stage musical of the same name which had been a hit in Paris, London and New York. The screen transfer by Wilder and his colleague--writer IAL Diamond--however, omits the show's songs, relegating them to a background score refashioned by Andre Previn with some additional themes of his own. Background here is a complimentary term, for whatever qualms one might entertain as to this move, the two sets of themes are skilfully woven together by Previn and emerge as a witty and lyrical aural delight in their own right which is given due prominence on the soundtrack. Wilder is no rush to tell prostitute Irma's story: her affair with Lemmon being the pivot of the tale as he takes on the disguise of an English Lord. Lemmon and MacLaine beautifully play their mutual attraction under Wilder's deft direction with the slapstick never allowed to get out of hand. Many will recognise Wilder's touch in his handling of the scene where Lemmon as a policeman is carted off in a van full of voracious prostitutes from the bunks-in-the-train sequence in Some Like It Hot. The handsome production, designed by Alexander Tranner--with the occasional view of the Seine thrown in for good measure--and the Panavision photography by Joseph La Shelle are further assets. On the DVD: The DVD contains a longer than usual theatrical trailer, half shot as a cartoon with characters closely resembling those Pink Panther figures who emerged at the same time from the Mirisch Brothers, a pair prominent in sustaining the unique success of United Artists, whose name was deleted, in favour of the MGM logo, in the early 1960s. It's too bad that the music on this DVD transfer sometimes strikes a coarse note particularly over the extended opening credits. --Adrian Edwards
The Apartment Limited Edition | Blu Ray | (18/12/2017)
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Romance at its most anti-romantic--that is the Billy Wilder stamp of genius, and this Best Picture Academy Award winner from 1960 is no exception. Set in a decidedly unsavoury world of corporate climbing and philandering, the great filmmaker's trenchant, witty satire-melodrama takes the office politics of a corporation and plays them out in the apartment of lonely clerk CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon). By lending out his digs to the higher-ups for nightly extramarital flings with their secretaries, Baxter has managed to ascend the business ladder faster than even he imagined. The story turns even uglier, though, when Baxter's crush on the building's melancholy elevator operator (Shirley MacLaine) runs up against her long-standing affair with the big boss (a superbly smarmy Fred MacMurray). The situation comes to a head when she tries to commit suicide in Baxter's apartment. Not the happiest or cleanest of scenarios, and one that earned the famously caustic and cynically humoured Wilder his share of outraged responses, but looking at it now, it is a funny, startlingly clear-eyed vision of urban emptiness and is unfailingly understanding of the crazy decisions our hearts sometimes make. Lemmon and MacLaine are ideally matched and while everyone cites Wilder's Some Like It Hot closing line "Nobody's perfect" as his best, MacLaine's no-nonsense final words--"Shut up and deal"--are every bit as memorable. Wilder won three Oscars for The Apartment, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay (cowritten with long-time collaborator I A L Diamond). --Robert Abele
Some Like It Hot | DVD | (23/07/2012)
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When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) (Masters of Cinema) Blu-ray | Blu Ray | (22/01/2018)
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Considered by many Holmesians to be the best Sherlock Holmes movie ever made, Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is both an affectionate parody, and a brilliant, melancholy celebration of Arthur Conan Doyle's infamous detective. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Stephens) and Dr. Watson (Colin Blakely), are tasked with locating the missing husband of a mysterious woman fished out of the River Thames. The course of their investigation leads them to Scotland and encounters with a group of monks, some dwarfs and even the Loch Ness Monster. Can Holmes and Watson crack the case? Co-written by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond (one of eleven screenplays they wrote together) and starring the late great Christopher Lee as Sherlock's brother Mycroft, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is one of the most underrated films in Billy Wilder's filmography, and The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film for Blu-ray for the first time in the UK. Blu-Ray Special Features: Glorious 1080p presentation Uncompressed PCM soundtrack (on the Blu-ray) Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing A new video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard The Missing Cases (50 mins): A presentation of the films deleted sequences, using script excerpts, production stills and surviving film footage. Includes the film's Original Prologue, The Curious Case of the Upside Down Room, The Adventure of the Dumbfounded Detective and The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners Deleted Epilogue Scene (audio only) Christopher Lee: Mr. Holmes, Mr. Wilder - an archival interview with Christopher Lee about his experience working with Billy Wilder | Interview with editor Ernest Walter Original theatrical trailer PLUS: A collectors booklet featuring a new essay by Philip Kemp; the words of Billy Wilder; and rare archival imagery
Sunset Boulevard | DVD | (07/04/2003)
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More than half a century after its release in 1950, Sunset Boulevard is still the most pungently unflattering portrait of Hollywood ever committed to celluloid. Billy Wilder, unequalled at combining a literate, sulphurous script with taut direction, hits his target relentlessly. The humour--and the film is rich in this, Wilder's most abundant commodity--is black indeed. Sunset Boulevard is viciously and endlessly clever. William Holden's opportunistic scriptwriter Joe Gillis, whose sellout proves fatal, is from the top drawer of film noir. Gloria Swanson's monstrously deluded Norma Desmond, the benchmark for washed-up divas, transcends parody. And her literal descent down the staircase to madness is one of the all-time great silver-screen moments. Sunset Boulevard isn't without pathos, most notably in Erich von Stroheim's protective butler who wants only to shield his mistress from the stark truths that are massing against her. But its view of human beings at work in a ruthlessly cannibalistic industry is bleak indeed. Nobody, not even Nancy Olson's sparkily ambitious writer Betty Schaefer, is untainted. And neither are we, "those wonderful people out there in the dark". Norma might be ready for her close-up, but it's really Hollywood that's in the frame. No wonder Wilder incurred the charge of treachery from his peers. It's cinematic perfection. On the DVD: Sunset Boulevard lends itself effortlessly to a collector's edition of this quality. The film itself is presented in full-frame aspect ratio from an excellent print and the quality of the mono soundtrack is faultless: the silver screen comes to life in your living room. The extras are superb, including a commentary from film historian Ed Sikov and a making-of documentary which includes the memories of Nancy Olson. Interactive features such as the Hollywood location map add to the fun. --Piers Ford
Ace In The Hole (Masters of Cinema) (DUAL FORMAT Edition) | Blu Ray | (05/05/2014)
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Since re-emerging in the 2000s Billy Wilder's superb Ace in the Hole so ahead of its time in the 1950s with its acidic and unflinching examination of journalistic ethics and human morality has taken its place alongside Double Indemnity Sunset Boulevard or Some Like It Hot as among the director's greatest works. In one of the most powerhouse performances in American screen-acting the great Kirk Douglas stars as Chuck Tatum a newspaper reporter who stumbles upon a potentially career-making story in Albuquerque New Mexico (nearly sixty years later the setting for Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad). When Tatum begins to influence the story's outcome a descent beings that finds more than one man caught between a rock and a hard place. An electric narrative that stands as one of Wilder's tautest and most (melo)dramatic plots (penned with Lesser Samuels and Walter Newman) Ace in the Hole plays today as a prescient examination of the modern media landscape and the public appetite for the disastrous news-story that leads to toxic wish-fulfilment. - I can handle big news and little news. And if there's no news I'll go out and bite a dog. - The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present our third major Billy Wilder release with this stunning Blu-ray edition of Ace in the Hole. Special Features: Gorgeous 1080p transfer of the film More on-disc extras to be announced closer to release! 40-page booklet with a new essay vintage interview material rare archival imagery and more!
Marilyn Monroe: The Marilyn Collection - 17 Fabulous Films | DVD | (18/02/2013)
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Titles Comprise: All About Eve As Young As You Feel Bus Stop Don't Bother to Knock Gentlemen Prefer Blondes How to Marry a Millionaire Let's Make it Legal Let's Make Love Love Nest The Misfits Monkey Business Niagara River of No Return The Seven Year Itch Some Like it Hot There's No Business Like Show Business We're Not Married
Breakfast At Tiffany's/Funny Face/Sabrina | DVD | (06/10/2008)
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Titles Comprise: Breakfast At Tiffany's: Holly is a deliciously eccentric New York City playgirl determined to marry a Brazilian millionaire. George Peppard plays her nextdoor neighbour a writer who is 'sponsored' by wealthy Patricia Neal. Guessing who's the right man for Holly is easy. Seeing just how that romance blossoms is one of the enduring delights of this classic set to Henry Mancini's Oscar-winning score and the Oscar-winning Mancini/Johnny Mercer song 'Moon River'. Funny Face: In the role of bookstore clerk transformed into a modeling sensation Hepburn showcases singing and dancing skills she had honed on the London stage performing ""How Long Has This Been Going On? "" a ""Basal Metabolism"" dance in a cool-cat bistro and more. Astaire as the fashion photographer who discovers her conjures up his inimitable magic for sequences that include his ""Let's Kiss And Make Up"" matador diversion a heavenly dance with Hepburn to ""He Loves And She Loves"" and again with Hepburn the title-tune enchantment ""I Love Your Funny Face."" Now and forever so do we. Sabrina: Humphrey Bogart William Holden and Audrey Hepburn star in a Cinderella story directed by renowned filmmaker Billy Wilder. Bogie and Holden are the mega-rich Larrabee brothers of Long Island. Bogie's all work Holden's all playboy. But when Sabrina daughter of the family's chauffeur returns from Paris all grown up and glamorous the stage is set for some family fireworks as the brothers fall under the spell of Hepburn's delightful charms.
Forever Marilyn Four Film Collection | DVD | (23/07/2012)
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Marilyn Monroe forever stands alone as Hollywood's quintessential icon of sex appeal and timeless allure. Her breathy voice, voluptuous figure and wide-ranging talents catapulted her to superstardom, where she remains as legendary today as ever. Immortalized here in this must-own collection are four of her best and most popular films, showcase Marilyn's flawless beauty and captivating performances as they're meant to be seen. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes:Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell co-star as showgirls who set a course for love and laughter on board a luxury liner sailing to France.How To Marry A Millionaire:Marilyn, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall play three Manhattan models who concoct a wild scheme to meet the men of their dreams.The Seven Year Itch:Marilyn plays a seductive starlet who tests the wedding vows of a married man when she moves into the apartment above him.Some Like It Hot:Marilyn is the lead singer of an all-girl band joined by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, who are posing as women to hide from the mob.
The Audrey Hepburn Collection | Blu Ray | (10/09/2013)
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Titles Comprise: Breakfast at Tiffany's Funny Face Sabrina
Audrey Hepburn Collection | DVD | (07/10/2013)
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Box-set collection of five of Audrey Hepburn's most famous films. <b>Roman Holiday</b> (1953) In her Hollywood debut, Hepburn won an Academy Award as Princess Anne, the bored royal who absconds from her duties and meets up with Gregory Peck's American ex-pat journalist. <b>Sabrina Fair</b> (1954) Billy Wilder directs her as the shy daughter of a wealthy family's chauffeur, who returns from two years in Paris as a sophisticated young woman. <b>Funny Face</b> (1957) The musical romanti...
Double Indemnity | DVD | (12/02/2007)
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From the Moment they met it was Murder! Unsuspecting Mr. Dietrichson becomes increasingly accident prone after his icily calculating wife encourages him to sign a double indemnity policy proposed by a smooth-talking insurance agent. Against a backdrop of distinctly California settings the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect on the insurance. Perfect until a claims manager gets a familiar feeling of foul play and pursues the matter relentlessly . Tension soars as the would-be lovers find themselves plotting against each other.
Some Like It Hot - Special Edition | DVD | (26/11/2001)
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Maybe "nobody's perfect", as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. They vie for the attention of the lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), a much-disappointed songbird who warbles "I'm Through with Love" but remains vulnerable to yet another unreliable saxophone player. (When Curtis courts her without his dress, he adopts the voice of Cary Grant--a spot-on impersonation.) The script by director Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is beautifully measured; everything works, like a flawless clock. Aspiring screenwriters would be well advised to throw away the how-to books and simply study this film. The bulk of the slapstick is handled by an unhinged Lemmon and the razor-sharp Joe E. Brown, who plays a horny retiree smitten by Jerry's feminine charms. For all the gags, the film is also wonderfully romantic, as Wilder indulges in just the right amounts of moonlight and the lilting melody of "Park Avenue Fantasy". Some Like It Hot is so delightfully fizzy, it's hard to believe the shooting of the film was a headache, with an unhappy Monroe on her worst behaviour. The results, however, are sublime. --Robert Horton
Five Graves To Cairo | DVD | (10/11/2014)
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The sole survivor of a British tank crew (Franchot Tone) arrives in a desolate town and is given refuge by hotel owner (Akim Tamiroff) and French chambermaid (Anne Baxter) as they prepare to receive General Erwin Rommel (Erich Von Stroheim). Posing as a hotel waiter Bramble attempts to infiltrate Rommel&rsquo;s inner circle...
Stalag 17 (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (27/07/2015)
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William Holden and Don Taylor star in this classic Second World War drama directed by Billy Wilder. After two American prisoners are killed trying to escape from the notorious German camp Stalag 17, the blame for their betrayal falls upon the cynical, self-serving Sergeant Sefton (Holden), whose dealings with the enemy isolate him from his fellow inmates. But does Sefton's disinterest in team bonding and group morale necessarily mean he is the traitor in their midst?