One of the really cool aspects of working at Luna is we are asked to create digital surrogates of fabulous primary source materials that very few people ever get to see, much less handle. One such current project is digitization of feature film scripts from the Billy Wilder collection, including the writer/director’s personal desk set of his scripts. We are very excited to be helping out with this project. It makes us feel like we’re somehow associated with the films, themselves, even if it’s in a very small way. Here are some fun facts about some of the titles found in the collection:
Double Indemnity (1944) – Seventy years after the release of this film, locations used in the production can still be found in and around Los Angeles. I photographed one that is particularly interesting. It’s the train station, and it’s less than two miles from Luna’s offices.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) – Wilder used the character name, Sheldrake, in this film, and again, in the 1960 film, The Apartment (see below), and again in his script for Kiss Me, Stupid (1964). Shelducks are an Old World genus of waterfowl. They are rare visitors to North America.
The Seven Year Itch (1955) – Seward Johnson’s 26-foot-tall “Forever Marilyn” statue, based on a scene from this movie, was installed just across the Chicago River from the August 2011 Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting. It was quite an attraction, as you can see from my photograph of the event.
Some Like It Hot (1959) – For the film, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon received training in how to impersonate women from a former aerialist and female impersonator, turned movie consultant, named Barbette. Barbette had years before inspired the work of Dada and Surrealist photographer, Man Ray:
The Apartment (1960) – After the release of this film, Fred MacMurray, whose character, Jeff Sheldrake, was not the most sympathetic in the movie, was attacked, in person, verbally by a member of the public, who accused him of making a “dirty filthy movie”, and then physically by that same person, when she hit him with her purse. I wonder…will Leonardo DiCaprio elicit a similar response after The Wolf of Wall Street?