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Conversations with Billy Wilder Hardcover – December 6, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (December 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571201628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571201624
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,953,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Cameron Crowe does a great job of getting Billy Wilder to "open up," for certain. There was many interesting anecdotes and facts I previously did not know, so this book is the page-turner everyone proclaims it to be. Crowe does a good job at kibbitzing an answer out of the somewhat stubborn Wilder. However -- since Crowe consciously based the format of this book on the Hitchcock/Truffaut interviews of 1966 -- it is lacking in certain areas.

Firstly, many of the photographs are horribly transferred stills from the movies, which were taken from video, not film. The pixelization is sometimes so horrible as to wipe out almost half of the information. As there are many more photos done by this makeshift method (most of the others are publicity stills or of Wilder, Hollywood movie stars, etc, not from the actual movies), it would seem to me that the publisher (not some dinky independent, but Alfred A. Knopf, major player over here) could have gone the extra mile and made some high-quality stills from the studios' answer prints. Since they didn't, however, this volume appears "rushed to market."

Second, Crowe's organization is horrible: Unlike Hitch/Truffaut, it sort of meanders from movie to movie and then back again. It's organized chronologically (by interview session, not movie), and often goes back over movies already discussed, because Crowe forgot some question or another. Also, Crowe doesn't go much into the bit players and character actors at all. I mean, HOW COULD HE GO AN ENTIRE VOLUME ON BILLY WILDER WITHOUT EVER MENTIONING SIG RUMAN (who was to Wilder as Leo G. Carroll was to Hitch) or Cliff Osmond?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was as good as brand new. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
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