That Certain Age (1938)
Billy Wilder is uncredited as writer on this film. Together with Charles Brackett, he was hired to do some finishing touches on the script. It’s a harmless enough film, nothing to write home about, really. Easy to watch with nice performances.
Nominated for Best Sound-Recording and Best Music-Original Song for “My Own” in 1939.
This has the Billy Wider wit and cleverness all over it, and great performances all around. It has some pacing problems, and some parts drags a bit, but overall the film is swell.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Greta Garbo), Best Writing-Original Story and Best Writing-Screenplay in 1940.
Rhythm on the River (1940)
I don’t know if it is the fact that I have no expectations going in, but I really enjoyed this film. Charming characters, catchy songs, just smooth sailing all the way.
Nominated for Best Music-Original Song for “Only Forever” in 1941.
Arise, My Love (1940)
A charming war picture (sounds contradicting, I know). Many films from this era has trouble balancing the drama of war time with romance and humour, but I think it managed well. What makes this better than the standard 40’s romance however, are interesting characters with relationships that feels organic.
Winner of Best Writing-Original Story in 1941. Nominated for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Art Direction (Black-and-White) and Best Music-Score.
Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
This could just as well have been made today (although it would have been the most grusome horror movie ever). A powerful and smart film about the struggles of immigration. Of course made in the melodramatic 40’s, but it works none the less.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Olivia de Havilland), Best Writing-Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration (Black-and-White) and Best Music-Scoring of a Dramatic Picture in 1942.
Ball of Fire (1941)
This was such a joy to watch. So clever and funny with great performances and a really strong third act. Instantly one of my favorite films. And if it hadn’t been for The Oscars Projects I wouldn’t have known it existed. So, thank you, me!
Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Barbara Stanwyck), Best Writing-Original Story, Best Sound-Recording and Best Music-Scoring of a Dramatic Picture in 1942.
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
Another uncredited work by Billy Wilder. The premise didn’t really engage me, but the performances, great christmas mood and surprisingly good special effects made the film more interesting. I know it probably is nitpicking and I shouldn’t give it any thought, but the rules of being an angel and what they can do is all over the place. Charming angel, though.
Winner of Best Sound-Recording in 1948. Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Music-Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
It may be overlong, but I enjoyed every minute of it, especially because of the performances by Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando. The scope and grandness of the film makes it engaging, from the 70mm shot cinematography to the epic music, sets and costumes. Love this kind of movies even though you have to mentally prepare for a film that lasts a whole evening. Looking forward to when I get into the big scale 70mm comedies of the era.
Nominated for Best Picture, Best Cinematography (Color), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Color), Best Film Editing, Best Effects-Special Effects, Best Music-Original Song for “Love Song from Mutiny on the Bounty (Follow Me)” and Best Music-Score-Substantially Original in 1963.