his forty-five-year career, William Wyler (1902--1981) pushed the
boundaries of filmmaking with his gripping storylines and innovative
depth-of-field cinematography. With a body of work that includes such
memorable classics as Jezebel (1938), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Ben-Hur
(1959), and Funny Girl (1968), Wyler is the most nominated director in
the history of the Academy Awards and bears the distinction of having
won an Oscar for Best Director on three occasions. Both Bette Davis and
Lillian Hellman considered him America's finest director, and Sir
Laurence Olivier said he learned more about film acting from Wyler than
from anyone else.
Gabriel Miller explores the career of one of
Hollywood's most unique and influential directors, examining the
evolution of his cinematic style.
Wyler's films feature nuanced shots and multifaceted narratives that
reflect his preoccupation with realism and story construction. The
director's later works were deeply influenced by his time in the army
air force during World War II, and the disconnect between the idealized
version of the postwar experience and reality became a central theme of
Wyler's masterpiece, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).
The Life and Films of Hollywood's Most Celebrated Director
by Gabriel Miller
University Press of Kentucky, 2013
The Movie, Read the Book