American Masters: Season 2, Episode 2

Directed by William Wyler (1 May 1986)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography, History
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A tribute to director William Wyler consisting of interviews and excerpts from his many classic films.


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Title: Directed by William Wyler (01 May 1986)

Directed by William Wyler (01 May 1986) on IMDb 8.8/10

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Episode credited cast:
A. Scott Berg ...
Himself (narrator / interviewer)
Lillian Hellman ...
Margaret Tallichet ...
Herself (as Talli Wyler)


A documentary on the film director William Wyler (1902-1981), this feature was conceived by his daughter, Catherine, as a loving tribute to him. Utilizing a wealth of film clips, many in black and white, the movie features interviews with Bette Davis, Samantha Eggar, Greer Garson, Lillian Hellman, Audrey Hepburn, Charleton Heston, John Huston, Laurence Olivier, Gregory Peck, Ralph Richardson, Terence Stamp, Barbra Streisand, Billy Wilder, Talli (the former Margaret Tallichet) Wyler, and the director himself. Some of the best of the Hollywood commentary comes from Wyler himself, interviewed only a few days before he died in 1981. Written by alfiehitchie

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Release Date:

1 May 1986 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Wyler died just three days after being interviewed for this documentary. See more »


Billy Wilder: I'm no pushover. I laugh at Hamlet.
See more »


Features Roman Holiday (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

Finally, one of Hollywood's greatest directors gets a tribute.
8 November 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This documentary about the career of director/producer William Wyler, appropriately, begins with the music from one of his best films, "The Big Country". It consists of footage, many interviews with stars and footage taken of Wyler only days before his death.

The reason I loved seeing this film is that for a long time I have felt that Wyler was probably the greatest American director. Although John Ford won more Oscars and Hitchcock (yes, he was British--but his best films were made in America) today gets all the recognition, Wyler was somehow able to consistently make great films. He didn't have a particular style...other than GREAT. Here, his contemporaries such as Billy Wilder, John Huston, Bette Davis, Greer Garson and Wyler's wife are all interviewed and give insights into his personality and style.

I enjoyed this film a lot but it did have one problem. Because Wyler made so many great films, the movie went too fast and one hour was simply too little. Excellent otherwise.

By the way, of all the reminiscences in the documentary, probably the most boring and pointless was the one involving Ralph Richardson walking about his beard. A lovely actor and a lovely film...but a really dull thing to include in the documentary!

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