Episode 144: Billy Wilder’s “The Spirit of St. Louis”
A discussion of Billy Wilder’s 1957 film “The Spirit of St. Louis.”
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In 1957, Billy Wilder took on the historical biopic of an American hero. “The Spirit of St. Louis” followed aviator Charles Lindberg as he made his solo flight from New York to Paris across the Atlantic Ocean. But with a bloated budget, a hum-drum lead with Jimmy Stewart, and an overall underwhelming cinematic experience, “The Spirit of St. Louis” received a lukewarm response from general audiences across the country.
Despite its dull subject matter, why is “The Spirit of St. Louis” one of Billy Wilder’s most visually dynamic film? Why did general audience not take to legendary actor Jimmy Stewart in the main role as Charles Lindberg? And why was the budget of “The Spirit of St. Louis” bloated and expanded to meet the demands of production?
Billy Wilder’s “The Spirit of St. Louis” is the subject of episode 144 of the AuteurCast…