Directed by William Wyler

Directed by William Wyler

11 Episodes

One of Hollywood’s preeminent craftsmen, William Wyler brought a rigorous technical perfectionism and penetrating emotional insight to some of the richest, most complex human dramas of the studio era. Infamous among actors and crew for his exacting standards—which typically entailed doing countless retakes until he was satisfied with a scene—Wyler’s meticulous methods paid off in masterpieces like DODSWORTH, THE LITTLE FOXES, and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, powerful, character-driven works grounded in a vivid psychological realism. Working with frequent collaborators like Bette Davis, whom he directed in some of her greatest performances, and cinematographer Gregg Toland, with whom he developed his deep-focus visual style, Wyler was a consummate master of the medium who pushed everyone in his orbit to rarely surpassed heights of excellence.

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Directed by William Wyler
  • David Wyler on William Wyler

    Episode 1

    William Wyler's son discusses his father's extraordinary career.

  • Dodsworth

    Episode 2

    Directed by William Wyler • 1936 • United States
    Starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Mary Astor

    This masterful adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’s classic novel about the breakdown of a marriage represents one of the finest hours for both director William Wyler and star Walter Huston. Huston bri...

  • These Three

    Episode 3

    Directed by William Wyler • 1936 • United States
    Starring Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea

    Performed to perfection by a top-flight cast, the first of William Wyler’s two adaptations of Lillian Hellman’s controversial stage play THE CHILDREN’S HOUR sidesteps the story’s then-explosive le...

  • Dead End

    Episode 4

    Directed by William Wyler • 1937 • United States
    Starring Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart

    William Wyler’s striking adaptation of the hit Broadway play by Sidney Kingsley is a vivid panorama of life on the streets of New York’s Lower East Side. Humphrey Bogart plays Baby Face Martin, ...

  • Jezebel
    Episode 5


    Episode 5

    Directed by William Wyler • 1938 • United States
    Starring Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent

    While movie fans were abuzz over who might play Scarlett O’Hara in the upcoming GONE WITH THE WIND, Bette Davis got another southern-belle role—and gave a fiery performance that won the Academy Award...

  • Wuthering Heights

    Episode 6

    Directed by William Wyler • 1939 • United States
    Starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, David Niven

    Often cited as the definitive screen version of Emily Brontë’s classic novel, William Wyler’s moodily poetic adaptation casts Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon as the immortal lovers Heathcliff ...

  • The Letter

    Episode 7

    Directed by William Wyler • 1940 • United States
    Starring Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson

    Six years after exploding to stardom in OF HUMAN BONDAGE, Bette Davis equaled that excitement with another W. Somerset Maugham role as an adulteress using her sexual wiles to escape a murder...

  • The Westerner

    Episode 8

    Directed by William Wyler • 1940 • United States
    Starring Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport

    The stunning cinematography of Gregg Toland and memorable performances from Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan make William Wyler’s comic western a unique delight. Cooper plays the tight-lipped dri...

  • The Little Foxes

    Episode 9

    Directed by William Wyler • 1941 • United States
    Starring Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright

    Lillian Hellman’s venomous stage play gets a sterling adaptation courtesy of William Wyler and Bette Davis. She’s at her icy, commanding best as the scheming matriarch of an old-money southern ...

  • Mrs. Miniver

    Episode 10

    Directed by William Wyler • 1942 • United States
    Starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright

    Lauded by Winston Churchill, this World War II drama eloquently captures the hopes of England and America at a time when defeat by Nazi Germany seemed imminent. Greer Garson delivers an Academy ...

  • The Best Years of Our Lives

    Episode 11

    Directed by William Wyler • 1946 • United States
    Starring Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews

    William Wyler’s multi-Oscar-winning masterpiece is an era-defining portrait postwar America. Sprawling yet intimate, the film traces the experiences of three GIs—played by Fredric March, Dana Andrews...