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Second Takes -- Billy Wilder

April 2, 2009 | 10:00 am


At left, our 1939 review of "Midnight," with Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert, which carried Billy Wilder's first writing credit in The Times.

We can quickly cover his earlier work in Hollywood:

Oct. 12, 1934: "One Exciting  Adventure" is the second half of a double bill at the Pantages with "Love Time." The Times' critic finds "Adventure" hard to follow.

Dec. 23, 1934: "Music in the Air" gets a two-paragraph rave in a roundup of current films.

Apparently we didn't even review "Under Pressure" or "The Lottery Lover."

Feb. 5, 1937: Edwin Schallert's review of "Champagne Waltz" finds "a thin, formula plot," but praises several scenes. Performances at the Paramount Theater featured Rube Wolf

March 23, 1938: Schallert calls "Bluebeard's Eighth Wife," written by Wilder and Charles Brackett, "a pretty, pink romantic cream puff."

Sept. 29, 1938: Schallert says, "Fourth picture in a row of the top-notch variety stars Deanna Durbin and in Hollywood that might almost be nominated a cinema miracle.  'That Certain Age,'  different from any of its predecessors, defeats attempts at comparison and simultaneously registers as yet another triumph for the little singing lady."