The Private Life of Billy Wilder

Billy WilderOn this day back in 1903, John Dillinger was born. What I’ve always found so interesting about him is how he and Baby Face Nelson hooked up. Compared to Nelson, Dillinger seems almost aristocratic. Or at least not a total psychopath. Anyway, Dillinger had just turned 31 when he was killed. That seems amazing, but maybe it shouldn’t. Nelson was only 25 when he was killed. All those gangsters were so precocious!

Producer Joseph Papp was born in 1921. Fashion designer Bill Blass was born in 1922. And Freddie Prinze was born in 1954. I was going to put up a clip from Chico and the Man, but they were all awful. Here is Prinze doing some respectable stand-up:

Pa Walton, Ralph Waite is 85 today. Dianne Feinstein is 80. Why didn’t she retire this year? Kris Kristofferson is 77. I don’t really get most of his music. Except for this one:

Fucktard Brit Hume is 70. Todd Rundgren is 65, so I guess he’ll retire now. I think of him primarily for his production of Bat Out of Hell, which really is an excellent album. Three notable women all turn 64 today: Meryl Streep, Lindsay Wagner, and Elizabeth Warren. The other Graham Greene is 61. He starred in one of my very favorite movies Medicine River. The funny thing about that film is that almost no one has seen it, but those who have love it. And that’s why sellers on Amazon can get away with selling a VHS copy for $40. If you get a chance, don’t miss it.

Cyndi Lauper is 60. Bruce Campbell is 55. Environmentalist Erin Brockovich is 53. Basketball player Clyde Drexler is 51. Author Dan Brown is 49. And the boxing director Uwe Boll is 48.

The day, however, belongs to one of my favorite directors, Billy Wilder who was born on this day in 1906. He directed a number of my favorite films: Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and (perhaps surprisingly, since no one else cared for it) The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which sadly is about an hour too short and it isn’t clear whether it will ever be properly restored. I think this trailer is horrible, but it gives an okay idea of the film:

Happy birthday Billy Wilder!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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