When I attended film school in the 1970's, they placed a large emphasis on European directors (Fellini, Bergman, Godard, Renoir, Lean, etc), some Japanese directors (Kurosawa), and very few American directors. It wasn't until I started to attend revival movie theaters in the late 70's when I lived in Los Angeles that I began to read about and discover William Wyler. He was still alive at the time and they had several retro's of his work in local theaters. Billy Wilder spoke at one of them. You can't appreciate a film unless you see 35mm film projected on a screen with an audience. The New York film critics raved about Wilder, Preston Sturges, Scorsese, and Hitch (pointing more toward the English side of his work, right around the same time Spoto published his first work). They mentioned Welles, too. They said very little about John Ford and downplayed his work as mostly "westerns." But when I started to speak with actors about Wyler, I got an entirely different response. They spoke of a man obsessed with realism; hence the reason for numerous takes. If an actor didn't convince Willie it was real, he made them do it again. He said, "I'll know it when I feel it." No wonder actors wanted him to make their movies. His films placed more actors in AA nominations than any director in film history. The more I read about Wyler, the more I found his life and his film work fascinating. Like most directors, he had his list of "bad" or unsuccessful films due to one aspect or another. Overall, he produced an incredible body of work I've found quite wonderful to review as my film library has many Wyler films in its pantheon.