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Stalag 17: the screenplay

Stalag 17: the screenplay
Your Price: $35.95 CDN
Author: Billy Wilder
Introduction by: Jeffrey Meyers
Publisher: University of California Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 152
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 0520218574
ISBN-13: 9780520218574

About the Book:

A facsimile edition of the screenplay of Billy Wilder's film set in an Austrian prisoner of war camp. With a new introduction by biographer Jeffrey Meyers.

Stalag 17 (1953), the riveting drama of a German prisoner-of-war camp, was adapted from the Broadway play directed by José Ferrer in 1951. Billy Wilder developed the play and made the film version more interesting in every way. Edwin Blum, a veteran screenwriter and friend of Wilder's, collaborated on the screenplay but found working with Wilder an agonizing experience.

Wilder's mordant humour and misanthropy percolate throughout this bitter story of egoism, class conflict, and betrayal. As in a well-constructed murder mystery, the incriminating evidence points to the wrong man. Jeffrey Meyers's introduction enriches the reading of Stalag 17 by including comparisons with the Broadway production and the reasons for Wilder's changes.

About the Author:

Billy Wilder (1906 – 2002) was born near Cracow in Polish Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His first career was journalism, but he soon moved into the German film industry as a scriptwriter. When Hitler came to power, Wilder fled to Paris and came to Hollywood in 1934. His fifty-year career there — as both director and cowriter — was one of astonishing versatility and genius, encompassing films about war, murder, alcoholism, Hollywood, sensational journalism, prison camps, criminal trials, love stories, and romance as comedy. Billy Wilder was nominated for twenty-one Academy Awards and won six Oscars.

Jeffrey Meyers, a renowned biographer, has written many books and articles on modern American, English, and European literature. He lives in Berkeley.