“The Best of Us”, Part 1 — 9 Comments

  1. Jim,
    A tribute very fitting such a talented man! (Love the eulogy, very fitting! Thanks for including that fun fact)

    Wyler certainly was deserving of his 3 Oscars. It's always nice to see the Academy getting something right.

    I do hope Woody Allen keeps going since I know after Midnight In Paris, he has a lot of excellent films left in him.

    I didn't know that Wyler was from Alsace. I had the pleasure of visiting the region a few years ago and attending their annual festival. (Took two days in bed to recover from all of the great wine!)

    A worthy start to your two part tribute. I'll be looking forward to Part 2.

  2. A great tribute, Jim, to the master. I like your idea for the Directors' Hall of Fame, and agree with your analysis regarding Willy.Perhaps it will take another 20 years before his greatness is fully appreciated.

  3. Jim, a great start to your series on Wyler. Federico Fellini once said that even the greatest directors have a good run of about ten years, and since hearing that statement I've noticed how generally true it holds (even in the case of Fellini himself, although he did have a late comeback with "Amarcord"). In fact, many directors have an even briefer run of intense creativity. Wyler, as you point out, defied that observation. He produced great films for three decades, working in just about every conceivable popular studio genre but film noir.

    As for Thomson and the late Sarris, they are both incredibly film-literate. But they're both highly opionionated and as always with such people, it's impossible for anyone to agree with all their opinions. I happen to think they both missed the mark with Wyler, dismissing him for pretty doctrinaire reasons, the pitfall of all ideologues.

    Anyway, I look forward to the further installments on Wyler to come in the next few days.

  4. Wonderful tribute. I'll enjoy learning more about Wyler in the coming days. Never a director looming large on my radar (child of the auteurist 70s, that I am), all of this is delightfully enlightening!

  5. Eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series. Many directors may have decried the studio system, but even for mavericks like Wyler, it allowed them to direct a remarkable string of films, in a variety of genres, a system that doesn't exist today.