NOBODY’S PERFECT

Fans of Hollywood’s Golden Age movies will recognize the above title as one of the classic last lines in film history, said by Joe E. Brown to Jack Lemmon at the end of Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959). Today being Wilder’s birthday (June 22, 1906), and me being in the middle of a biography of Wilder by the same title, I thought I’d offer my own brief tribute to one of the great directors of all time, to be followed at a later date by a review of the book when I’ve finished reading it. Seeing as how I’ve owned the book for over a year and am not yet halfway through it, don’t expect the follow-up anytime soon. I may be retired, but I still can never seem to find time to catch up on my reading. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

Even the greatest directors made some films that weren’t so hot, and Wilder made a few such, but few directors and screenwriters have made more movies that bear repeated viewings (which is my standard for greatness) than Billy Wilder. Here is my Top Ten list of favorite Wilder films:

THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942), starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson
THE LOST WEEKEND (1945), starring Ray Milland
SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim
STALAG 17 (1953), starring William Holden

SABRINA (1954), starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden
WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957), starring Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton and Tyrone Power
SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
THE APARTMENT (1960), starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray
ONE, TWO, THREE (1961), starring James Cagney

When Wilder died March 27, 2002, he took his wit to his grave. His headstone reads:

    BILLY WILDER

     I’M A WRITER
         BUT THEN
NOBODY’S PERFECT

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10 comments on “NOBODY’S PERFECT

  1. mistermuse you may not believe me but I have watched every single one of the movies on your favorite Billy Wider list. Not only that but I am guilty of watching them more than once. I finally had to stop since my husband had enough of “my hobby.” But some day when I am old and gray, and find myself sitting next to someone dressed as an elf, I will have the old folk’s nursing home television on The Dish, and watch Wilder’s movies as much as I wish!
    This based not only on a fantasy. But after my December knee replacement surgery in 2008, we had “Santa” and his reindeer helpers plus a funny looking elf present a lovely Christmas show. The newly stitched up patients as well as the residents enjoyed it immensely. 🙂

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    • Today is also my youngest daughter’s birthday. She is an Angel of Mercy and that is her vocation. (No, she did not become a Nun but at times I wish I had joined the convent when I was a young girl.)
      Best wishes to you, my darling, Michelle, who cares for her patients with compassion, and efficiency. Love you, Mama Michaeline XOXO

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  2. mistermuse says:

    Happy Birthday to your daughter, and continued happy Billy Wilder watching to you, Michaeline.

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    • Thank you so very much, mister muse. I am so glad we can communicate with each other. I am not complaining bu I have not yet made a lady friend here in St. Pete’s. Oh yes, the hair salon stylist and the waitresses at the various eateries we visit know me as well as my new Nurse Practioner. I think I may…and don’t let this upset you, my dear friend…become a member of the nearby Reform Judaic Temple. One great thing about places of worship is if they have a good following of nice women, I can usually find a friend or two. Maybe one that likes Billy Wilder films and playing Scrabble and of course, going out to eat. What retiree in Florida cooks at home any more? Oh, yes, my dear husband, Dave.
      Toodles, mistermuse, looking forward to your next posting. 🙂

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  3. arekhill1 says:

    I salute you, Sr. Muse, for still trying to catch up on your reading, no matter how far behind you are. I long ago abandoned any hope of it. Now I have to scramble just to keep up with my writing.

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  4. mistermuse says:

    When it comes to reading, I feel like the perfect example of the Lewis Carroll quote, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” And yet I keep adding more books to my Father’s Day, Birthday and Christmas wish lists.

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  5. Don Frankel says:

    A lot of great movies here and this one is certainly not the best but the last 15 minutes or so of One, Two, Three are just hysterical. Cagney at his best. “Schlemmer you’re back in the SS. Smaller Salary!”

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  6. mistermuse says:

    You’re right, Don. Cagney’s talent certainly wasn’t limited to being the classic tough guy of Hollywood’s Golden Age, He was also great at comedy, such as in ONE, TWO, THREE and MISTER ROBERTS, and at dancing, as in Cagney’s own personal favorite performance in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.

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