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New on Video: ‘Kiss Me, Stupid’

Kiss Me, Stupid

Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond

Directed by Billy Wilder

USA, 1964

How good was Billy Wilder? So good that this film, Kiss Me, Stupid—largely entertaining, frequently witty, beautifully shot, and with at least two noteworthy performances—probably wouldn’t figure in most lists of his top 10 movies. Yet it is a good Billy Wilder film, if not a great one.

Starting in Las Vegas, we are introduced to Dino, a womanizer, a drunk, an accomplished singer, and a clever jokester. Dean Martin, in a bit of curiously inspired and rather daring casting, plays the rapscallion; not surprisingly, he does so very well. On his way to Los Angeles, he stops in Climax, Nevada (with all the sexual innuendo built into this film, the town’s name almost seems the least obvious). There he encounters Orville (Ray Walston), a nebbish piano teacher and amateur songwriter who
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Gregory Peck from ‘Duel in the Sun’ to ‘How the West Was Won’: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 15 (photo: Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’) See previous post: “Gregory Peck Movies: Memorable Miscasting Tonight on Turner Classic Movies.” 3:00 Am Days Of Glory (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Gregory Peck, Lowell Gilmore, Maria Palmer. Bw-86 mins. 4:30 Am Pork Chop Hill (1959). Director: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn. Bw-98 mins. Letterbox Format. 6:15 Am The Valley Of Decision (1945). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp. Bw-119 mins. 8:15 Am Spellbound (1945). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Bill Goodwin, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray, John Emery, Donald Curtis, Art Baker, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey, Jean Acker, Irving Bacon, Jacqueline deWit, Edward Fielding, Matt Moore, Addison Richards, Erskine Sanford, Constance Purdy. Bw-111 mins. 10:15 Am Designing Woman (1957). Director: Vincente Minnelli.
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Carson Interviews, Wilder Movies Tonight

Billy Wilder movies, Johnny Carson interviews tonight on TCM Billy Wilder is Turner Classic Movies’ Director of the Evening tonight, July 8, 2013. But before Wilder Evening begins, TCM will be presenting a series of brief interviews from The Tonight Show, back in the old Johnny Carson days — or rather, nights. The Carson interviewees this evening are Doris Day, Charlton Heston, Tony Curtis, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin. (See also: Doris Day today.) (Photo: Billy Wilder.) As for Billy Wilder, TCM will be showing the following: Some Like It Hot (1959), The Fortune Cookie (1966), The Spirit of St. Louis (1958), and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Of course, all of those have been shown before and are widely available. Some Like It Hot vs. The Major and the Minor: Subversive and subversiver Some Like It Hot is perhaps Billy Wilder’s best-known film. This broad comedy featuring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
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