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William WylerThe Life and Films of Hollywood's Most Celebrated Director$
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Gabriel Miller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813142098

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813142098.001.0001

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Final Projects

Final Projects

The Collector (1965), How to Steal a Million (1966), Funny Girl (1968), The Liberation of L. B. Jones (1970)

(p.367) 16 Final Projects
William Wyler

Gabriel Miller

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter deals with Wyler's final three films. It opens by recounting Wyler's involvement with The Sound of Music, which he was scheduled direct — and he did cast Julie Andrews — but later asked to be let out of. Instead, he directed a much smaller film, The Collector, in England. The chapter offers a visual analysis of Wyler's claustrophobic mise-en-scène for this project as well his difficulties in drawing an effective performance from Samantha Eggar, who was making her film debut. His involvement with the film Patton is also discussed, although he had to shelve that film due to casting difficulties. Wyler's next project — his first musical — Funny Girl, is analyzed, as well as his relationship with its star, Barbra Streisand, in her film debut. The chapter concludes with a consideration of Wyler's final film, The Liberation of L.B. Jones, which remains among the most uncompromising films about race ever to be released by a Hollywood studio.

Keywords:   The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews, The Collector, Samantha Eggar, Patton, Funny Girl, Barbra Streisand, The Liberation of L.B. Jones

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