Sunday, 13 June 2010

Jerome Silberman

I am a huge fan of Gene Wilder an under appreciated comedic actor who has been in some superb funny films. For me he is one of the funniest men in movies.Wilder's first screen role was as a timid Undertaker in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and he would often play slightly neurotic everyman characters throughout his career.

The Producers (1968), Young Frankenstein (1974) and Blazing Saddles (1974) made under the directorship of Mel Brooks,are perhaps his greatest movies.These three films alone cement his position as one of the funniest movie actors ever.

He teamed up successfully with Richard Pryor in Silver Streak (1976) and Stir Crazy (1980) but the team misfired with See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). The World's Greatest Lover (1977) and The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975) were two films that Wilder had a chance to control as he both wrote and directed them and are oddities with some great moments.

As for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Wilder is the definitive version of the  character. Wilder also steals the show in Woody Allen's multi part Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), in which he plays a sheep loving Doctor.

Towards the tail end of his movie career he directed and wrote Haunted Honeymoon (1986) and The Woman in Red (1984) were made alongside his partner Gilda Radner and have their moments.

He is an accomplished writer in both Novel and autobiographical form producing a memoir in 2005, Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, and the novels My French Whore (2007), The Woman Who Wouldn't (2008), and What Is This Thing Called Love (2010). . He overcame cancer in 2000 and continues to live a quite life away from the bright lights.

Wilder is 77 next month and for me his movies are what I turn to when I want to laugh and be cheered up, aside from anything he is just one hell of a funny guy.

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