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Billy the Kidder

Billy Wilder is tired of TIME's puns

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Billy Wilder and Kim Novak


As a reader of your Cinema section, I find myself increasingly nauseated by the 21-pun salute which greets each new picture (except, of course, the ones from Italy). In the May 26 Cinema review of John O’Hara’s Ten North Frederick, your critic finds it necessary to hedgehop from Pennsylvania, where the picture plays, to Japan, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the picture. By way of samurai and Bushido, he ultimately arrives at that peak of comicality, “O’Hara-kiri.” Obviously, we in Hollywood are no match for such devastating wit. Why doesn’t he take on somebody his own size? Bennett Cerf, for instance. I suggest a sunrise duel in the old offices of College Humor — with puns at 20 paces. And may the best man wince.

Billy Wilder, HOLLYWOOD