Hedy Lamarr visits Billy Wilder and Marlene Dietrich on set, A Foreign Affair

Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were.
- The Apartment (screenplay by Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond)
On the set of The Apartment (1960)


Artists Authors Thinkers Directorsm, Paul Hornschemeier

Billy Wilder wins three Oscars for The Apartment at the 33rd Academy Awards, 1961.



How would Lubitsch do it? 

[sign hung in Billy Wilder’s office.]

Shirley MacLaine with director Billy Wilder on the set of The Apartment, 1960.

“I love to shoot elegantly and I pride myself that it’s not whacked together by a dilettante. But I despise doing fancy schmancy shots. I cannot stand it. If anybody in the middle of a picture suddenly grabs his partner’s knee and says, ‘Oooooh, look at that setup!’ then the picture is dead to me because he knows that there was a setup. He knows there was a camera, he knows there were people on the dolly pushing backward, forward. I try to involve the audience and make them part of what is happening on that two-dimensional screen. The key is just make it effective, but don’t make it obvious. Make it clear to them, but don’t spell it out like the audience are just a bunch of idiots. Just aim it slightly above their station and they’re going to get it.”

Billy Wilder
June 22, 1906 — March 27, 2002