By Sam Wasson
With one of many longest and such a lot debatable careers in Hollywood historical past, Blake Edwards is a phoenix of motion picture administrators, choked with hubris, ambition, and raving comedian chutzpah. His rambunctious filmography continues to be a creative strength on par with Hollywood's maximum comedian administrators: Lubitsch, Sturges, Wilder. Like Wilder, Edwards's propensity for hilarity is double-helixed with soreness, and in movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, or even The purple Panther, we will be able to listen him off-screen, giggling at nighttime. And but, regardless of these huge, immense successes, he used to be at one time thought of a Hollywood villain. After his marriage to Julie Andrews, Edwards's Darling Lili approximately sunk the either one of them and taken Paramount Studios to its knees. nearly in a single day, Blake turned an pariah, which satirically fortified his experience of satire, as he concurrently fought the Hollywood tide and rode it. making use of prepared visible research, meticulous learn, and troves of interviews and creation documents, Sam Wasson offers the 1st whole account of 1 of the maddest figures Hollywood has ever recognized.
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Additional resources for A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards
The film offers several key, though rudimentary, glimpses into the auteur-to-be. Chiefamong them is an interest in the true nature ofidenity, a fascination that will nourish Edwards' comic and dramatic technique for the next forty years of filmmaking. The identity question is introduced early in the film when unemployed songwriters jerry Den nis (Frankie Lai ne) and Marty Adams (Keefe Brasselle) discover a sheet of mystery lyrics slipped under their studio door. At first, Jerry and Marty refer to the unknown author as "he," though, as the audience knows, it is actually their new neighbor, Nancy Willows (Constance Towers), a she.
Throughout the Quine apprenticeship, Blake used his leverage as screenwriter, as well as his association with Dick Powell, to get him direct· ing work on the TV anthology series Four Star Playhouse. As one of the show's producers, it was Powell's idea to use each of one of four starsDavid Niven, Ida Lupino, Charles Boyer, and himself-in weekly episodes. The conti nual rotation of stars (and genres) produced a great variety of programs, ranging from Westerns to mysteries to comedies, as well as the spin-oilS The Dick Powell Show and Zane Grey Theater, and offered Blake Edwards his first forays into writing-di recting.
The specifics of Edwardian style will be discussed in detail throughout the book, but for the purposes of this introd uction it should be stated that when mastered, the elements of Edwards' cinema- angle, cutti ng, lighting, composition, etc. - weave story and comedy into a strand so constant, the en hancement of one is identical to the enhancement of the other. The four other aggressively alliterative chapters of this book- "Blake Builds," "Blake Burns," "Blake Breaks," "Blake Bows" - represent, for the most part, experimental phases in Edwards' career, transitions from one x to the next.
A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards by Sam Wasson