Monday, August 29, 2016
RIP, Wonderful Wilder
Yes, all those things. Those stunning blue eyes, that crazy hair. And the on-screen persona that veered between tender sweetness and barely contained hysteria that I found so irresistible.
According to his nephew's statement, Wilder didn't suffer the worst kind of Alzheimer's, but still he chose to keep his illness private, not wanting to deny his fans the memory of him at his best.
I loved The Silver Streak, and the not-so-well-known The Frisco Kid (with a very young Harrison Ford). One of my favourite films of all time is Young Frankenstein. It's beautifully filmed in black and white, wonderfully funny, with Wilder often playing his role quite straight, while the rest of the cast belongs on the vaudeville stage. What a contrast - thanks Mel Brooks!
I only saw The Producers a few years ago, well after discovering Young Frankenstein. One rather sexy afternoon, I watched it in bed with the man who introduced me to the film. Laughter is the best aphrodisiac. And Zero Mostel and Wilder were just... perfect.
There will have to be a tribute evening this coming Labour Day Weekend. I've got some delicious brisket from Montreal, a gift from some good friends. I think we'll steam that up and toast the wonderful Mr. Wilder.