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Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder was born in on June 22, 1906 in a small town which, at that time, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He began a career in journalism, initially in Vienna before moving to Berlin in 1925. In 1929, he entered the film industry as a screenwriter, contributing to various German films until Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933 prompted him to leave the country, aware that his Jewish heritage would cause problems. He first moved to Paris and later to the United States, arriving in Hollywood in 1934.

Although not initially proficient in English, Wilder continued to work as a screenwriter, establishing connections with the support of fellow emigree Peter Lorre, which facilitated his entry into American cinema.

He began collaborating with Charles Brackett which led to the creation of classic comedies like Ninotchka (1939) and Ball of Fire (1941). In 1942, their partnership expanded into producing and directing, resulting in acclaimed films such as The Lost Weekend (1945), and Sunset Boulevard (1950). Brackett wasn't involved with Double Indemnity (1944) as he refused to work on a film that he felt dealt with disreputable characters. 

When working independently, Wilder's films often took on a more caustic and cynical tone, exemplified by Ace in the Hole (1951). Nevertheless, he also produced comedic gems like Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960), the latter earning him Best Picture and Director Oscars. Billy Wilder retired in 1981 and passed away on March 27, 2002.

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