Two 1940s classics by Billy Wilder, one of the most acclaimed filmmakers of the studio era, are coming to DVD for the first time ever from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE). Released as part of the TCM Vault Collection, the two-disc Directed by Billy Wilder set includes the wartime espionage thriller Five Graves to Cairo (1943), starring Franchot Tone, Erich von Stroheim, Anne Baxter and Akim Tamiroff, and the delightfully cynical comedy A Foreign Affair (1948), with Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich and John Lund.
Directed by Billy Wilder will be available exclusively through TCM’s online store at http://shop.tcm.com, beginning Oct. 15. On-screen bonus materials include publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos, posters, lobby cards, pressbooks and more.
The 1940s marked an important transition in Billy Wilder's career, one that saw him emerge as one of Hollywood's most talented writer-directors. In between making Five Graves to Cairo and A Foreign Affair, Wilder won Oscars® for writing and directing the 1945 Best Picture winner, The Lost Weekend. The two films in TCM and Universal's Directed by Billy Wilder DVD set are reflective of Wilder’s astringent wit, piercing intelligence and attraction to controversial subject matter that yielded some of his finest work during this decade.
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
In Five Graves to Cairo, Franchot Tone stars as a British corporal who goes undercover in a Cairo hotel to infiltrate the inner circle of Field Marshal Rommel (Erich von Stroheim) and expose his plans to the Allies. Anne Baxter and Akim Tamiroff run the hotel in this exciting film that showcases Wilder and co-screenwriter Charles Brackett's skill at balancing drama, action and humor. Five Graves to Cairo earned Oscar® nominations for its art direction-interior decoration (Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegté and Bertram C. Granger); cinematography (John F. Seitz) and film editing (Doane Harrison).
A Foreign Affair (1948)
Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair stars Jean Arthur as a prim Congresswoman who gets caught up in the decadence and black market world of post-war Berlin. Marlene Dietrich, who plays Arthur's rival for the affections of an Army captain (John Lund), shines with performances of the songs "Ruins of Berlin" and "Black Market." The screenplay by Wilder, Charles Brackett and Richard L. Breen earned an Oscar® nomination, as did Charles Lang's outstanding cinematography.
Hi-res artwork is available at http://news.turner.com/directed-by-billy-wilder/.
TCM and Universal Studios Home Entertainment began collaborating on DVD releases of classic films in 2009. Collections have spotlighted such stars as Marlene Dietrich, Joel McCrea, Audie Murphy, Cary Grant, Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck and Deanna Durbin. TCM and Universal have also released a set of memorable Douglas Sirk films; a collection of pre-Code classics from the era before Hollywood began rigid self-censorship; a set of rarely seen films from the 1930s; and the 1941 and 1961 film versions of Fannie Hurst's Back Street.
About Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios. Universal Studios (http://www.universalstudios.com) is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 85 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, hosted by Robert Osborne and Drew Barrymore, and the month-long 31 Days of Oscar® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its website, http://www.tcm.com. TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.