Saturday, March 28, 2009

William Wyler won the Academy Award for Best Direction Thrice | Filmography


William Wyler (July 1, 1902July 27, 1981) has the distinction of having won the Academy Award for Best Direction on three occasions. The awards were for his direction of: Ben Hur, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Mrs. Miniver. He is tied with Frank Capra and behind John Ford, who won four Oscars in this category. There are twelve other directors who have won two Academy Awards for Best Director.

Wyler's films garnered more awards for participating artists and actors than any other director in the history of Hollywood. Besides winning three times, he received twelve Oscar nominations for Best Director, while dozens of his collaborators and actors (such as Audrey Hepburn, Olivia de Havilland) won Oscars or were nominated. In 1965, Wyler won the Irving Thalberg Award for career achievement. Eleven years later, he received the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. In addition to his Best Picture and Best Director Oscar wins, ten of Wyler's films earned Best Picture nominations.

Wyler's style is (among auteurist critics) notoriously difficult to perceive. He did not build a stable of players like Capra, Sturges or Ford. He directed varied types of films without any trademark shots or themes, but in his choice of lighting, blocking and camera distance, and in the serious liberal tone of his work, a continuity of worldview is detectable.

William Wyler filmography »

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