New Directions


in Some Like It Wilder

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125701
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135403 | DOI:
New Directions

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In December 1941, Paramount purchased the screen rights to both the short story and the stage play for The Major and the Minor. In the years ahead, Billy Wilder would become known for his ability to revamp old narrative formulas for the screen. The two sources of The Major and the Minor are but the first of many forgotten stories that Wilder revitalized for film. The plot of The Major and the Minor goes into overdrive when Susan accepts Philip's invitation to spend the weekend visiting the exclusive Wallace Military Academy for Boys in High Creek, Indiana, where he is on the faculty. This film is a startlingly assured film, with none of the cheap tricks or showiness of a tyro director desperate for a studio calling card. The chapter also discusses the Five Graves to Cairo (1943). It was hailed as an ingeniously plotted melodrama with uniformly fine performances, a beautiful, dark gem among World War II films. It still holds up as a top-notch espionage thriller with nary a sag.

Keywords: Billy Wilder; The Major and the Minor; Five Graves to Cairo; Paramount; World War II; melodrama

Chapter.  8735 words. 

Subjects: Film

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