I wonder if, before he died in March, Billy Wilder’s life flashed before his eyes like some Hollywood biopic? If so, did it occur to him that no one life could really contain so much, that perhaps the memory banks of some latter-day Zelig had accidentally shorted with his own?
He was named Billy after Buffalo Bill, on whom his mother had developed a crush. Aged ten, he saw Archduke Franz Josef’s funeral; Otto Von Hapsburg was in the cort?ge. Decades later, Wilder would give the ageing Hapsburg a tour around Paramount studios.
In Vienna during the first world war,…
Register today to continue reading
You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.
You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.
Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.
Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.
Already a subscriber? Log in here