1986 Billy Wilder Tribute

Billy Wilder was awarded the 14th Annual AFI Life Achievement Award on March 6, 1986.

Billy Wilder.

Gloria Swanson remembered the experience of working with Billy Wilder on SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) as one of the high points of her life.

The 1959 comedy, SOME LIKE IT HOT is widely regarded as the funniest comedy ever made. The film had the unlikely premise of two musicians, witnesses to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, who must disguise themselves as women to join an all-girl band. Above, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe.

In 1960, Billy Wilder presented the film that many consider his most brilliant blending of comedy and drama, cynicism and romance, THE APARTMENT. Jack Lemmon starred as the aspiring young executive who loans out his apartment key to various company superiors for their extramarital affairs, in exchange for promises of corporate promotion.

Billy Wilder working with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon on the set of SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959).

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray in DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944). DOUBLE INDEMNITY provided Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray with two of the best roles of their careers. Both stars were initally reluctant to portray the murderers and had to be coerced into accepting the assignment.

James Cagney, Pamela Tiffin, and Horst Buchholz starred in Wilder's ONE, TWO, THREE. For this 1961 comedy, Billy Wilder sought to recreate the fast pace and manic energy of 1930s screwball comedies. James Cagney starred as the fast-talking Coca-Cola executive C.R. MacNamara, whose dream of selling Coke to the Communists in East Berlin is threatened by the arrival of the boss' daughter.

In 1944, Billy Wilder teamed with Raymond Chandler (seen above) to adapt James M. Cain's DOUBLE INDEMNITY for the screen.