Top Films of Billy Wilder by LMdC

"Although known for their caustic wit, Wilder’s films fluctuate between two polarities—the utterly romantic and the utterly cynical. The best of his work—Avanti (1972), The Apartment (1960), Sunset Boulevard (1949)—blends the two. At the extremes, however, we have the romantic The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1969) and the cynical Ace in the Hole (1951) and Kiss Me Stupid (1964). But all of Wilder’s films share the director’s idea that the very existence of his characters is at stake." - Ken Dancyger, The Director's Idea: The Path to Great Directing

1. Sunset Blvd.
2. Double Indemnity
3. The Apartment
4. Some Like It Hot
5. Ace in the Hole
6. One, Two, Three
7. The Seven Year Itch
8. The Lost Weekend
9. The Fortune Cookie 
10. Stalag 17
11. Irma La Douce
12. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Still need to see: Five Graves to Cairo, The Major and the Minor, A Foreign Affair, Sabrina, Witness for the Prosecution, Kiss Me, Stupid, Love in the Afternoon, The Spirit of St. Louis, Avanti!, The Front Page, Fedora, The Emperor Waltz, The World's Greatest Lover, Buddy Budd.


  1. If not THE Favorite, certainly one of the favorites of mine. Of what you haven't seen, I can certainly recommend Ace in the Hole, The Lost Weekend, Sabrina and Seven Year Itch. Witness for Prosecution, One, Two, Three and Love in the Afternoon won't hurt much either.

    1. Thanks for the recommandations SDG. Ace in the Hole and The Lost Weekend are on my priorities for a while now.

  2. I've never met a Billy Wilder film I didn't like. He was cynical, he was funny, he was smart, he was ahead of his time.

    The best part is that Wilder was the screenwriter behind a lot of other great films that he didn't direct. Ninotchka and Ball of Fire are both really good and he wrote those. He's the screenwriter's director.

    1. He was a great screenwriter! Ninotchka is one of my favs Lubitsch and I was happily surprised to discover that it was Wilder who wrote it!

  3. Of the ones you've missed I've seen The Lost Weekend, Ace in the Hole, The Major and the Minor, Sabrina, Witness for the Prosecution, and The Seven Year Itch.

    I highly recommend Ace in the Hole. It would make my top 5 of Billy Wilder films, and that's saying something. The Lost Weekend is also a very good movie.


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