2 items from 2015
(Billy Wilder, 1953; Eureka!, DVD/Blu-ray)
After the dissolution of his lengthy collaboration with producer Charles Brackett at Paramount Studios following one of their greatest successes with Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder became his own producer on what many regard as his finest film, that masterly piece of cynical Americana Ace in the Hole. It proved, however, to be a thundering box-office failure, and he was in urgent need of a popular success to restore his fortunes. He chose to film Stalag 17, a comedy-thriller by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, then on its way to completing a triumphant run of 472 performances on Broadway.
Set in a German prisoner-of-war camp for air force sergeants (where the authors had themselves been interned), the play combines a deadly serious plot about a search for a German spy planted among the Americans with a knockabout tale of hungry, frustrated men digging escape tunnels, fighting among themselves, »
- Philip French
Detective Frank Drebin's outside his Los Angeles police precinct, squeezing off shots into the receding backside of his own car.
How this came to happen almost defies description. Having driven his Ford Crown Victoria into a couple of bins outside the building, Drebin stumbles out, seemingly oblivious to the airbags going off inside. One airbag knocks the car into drive and off the vehicle goes, almost running Drebin over as it rumbles downhill.
As an orchestrated bit of comedy cinema, it's the knockabout equivalent of the famous scene in The Untouchables, where Brian De Palma expertly wrings every drop of suspense from a pram thudding down a flight of stairs at a train station.
On the spur of the moment, Drebin comes to the conclusion that there's a criminal »
2 items from 2015
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