Billy Wilder Collection: Volume 2

22/01/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 22/01/2007
  |  577 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Box set containing five classic films from acclaimed writer/director Billy Wilder. In 'The Apartment' (1960), Jack Lemmon plays C.C Baxter, an ambitious insurance clerk who hopes to win a promotion by letting his superiors use his apartment as a secret love nest. The plan seems simple enough, but things go awry when Baxter's immediate boss (Fred MacMurray) wants to use the apartment for a rendevouz with Fran Kubelik (Shirley Maclaine), an elevator operator whom the young clerk already holds a candle for. In 'The Seven Year Itch' (1955), happily-married Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is left in New York City while his wife and child go on summer vacation. His lively imaginings of what a summer of freedom has in store seem to have some validity when a beautiful and sensuous young girl (Marilyn Monroe) moves into the sublet upstairs. In 'Witness for the Prosecution' (1957), Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) is an ailing barrister who has been told that he should accept fewer legal cases for the sake of his health. However, he cannot resist defending Leonard Stephen Vole (Tyrone Power), a man accused of murder whose only alibi is provided by his devoted wife, Christine (Marlene Dietrich). The police are convinced of Vole's guilt as he stands to benefit financially from the murder, but Robarts believes that he can prove the man's innocence in court. In 'The Fortune Cookie' (1966), Lemmon plays Harry Hinkle, a news cameraman who is knocked over while covering a football game and subsequently rushed to hospital. Walter Matthau plays Whiplash Willie, Hinkle's brother-in-law, an unscrupulous lawyer who knows an opportunity when he sees one and tries to persuade Hinkle to fake injury and sue for a million dollars. Hinkle agrees, but will he be able to keep up the pretence? Finally, in 'The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes' (1970), Sherlock Holmes' pursuit of a missing husband provides the pretext to explore sides of the sleuth's character which have remained hitherto unexplored in filmed versions of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Robert Stephens plays Holmes as a troubled man, addicted to cocaine and unsure about his sexuality.