- 1987 Sundance Film Festival
This portrait of William Wyler, the wonderfully versatile director, is a virtual cornucopia of amusing and insightful interviews with Hollywood’s top stars of of the 1940’s and’50’s. John Huston, Lawrence Olivier, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Greer Garson, Terence Stamp, Gregory Peck and Lillian Hellman extol Wyler’s virtues as a director. Charlton Heston, who won an Oscar for his starring performance in Ben Hur, describes Wyler’s insistence that he act “better,” but confesses that the veteran director was unable to be more specific than that! That flaw noted, Wyler is remembered for his unfailing ability to extract superb performances, albeit after a great number of takes. One remembers the number 48, another 65, finally 71 takes seems to be the highest. With candor and wit, Wyler himself recall the making of such classics as Jezebel, Wuthering Heights, The Best Years of Our Lives and Funny Girl.