The Daily Mirror

Los Angeles history

« Previous Post | The Daily Mirror Home | Next Post »

Second Takes -- Billy Wilder

April 4, 2009 | 10:00 am

Dec. 5, 1939: "Ninotchka" opens tomorrow!


And no, not a word about the screenwriters in this anonymous review, which appeared in The Times on Dec. 7, 1939.

1978_0101_lubitsch_01 1978_0101_lubitsch_02

"I still remember the day of the funeral," Billy Wilder said of Ernst Lubitsch. "After the ceremony William Wyler and I walked silently to our car. Finally, I said, just to say something to break the silence, 'No more Lubitsch.' To which Wyler replied, 'Worse than that -- No more Lubitsch filmes.' How right we were. For 20 years since then we were all trying to find the secret of the 'Lubitsch touch.' Nothing doing. Oh if we were lucky we sometimes managed a few feet of film here and there in our work that momentarily sparkled like Lubitsch. Like Lubitsch, not real Lubitsch. His art is lost. That most elegant of screen magicians took his secret with him."