(It was pretty much a given I was going to lead with this pic, wasn’t it? Predictability!)
Edwards has been compared favorably to other outstanding comedy auteurs such as Leo McCarey, Preston Sturges and Frank Tashlin. His slapstick visual style combined the best elements of silent comedy and a post-Freudian storyline, with an undercurrent of pain. “I would not be able to get through life had I not been able to view its painfulness in a comedic way,” he once told a reporter. “So when I put life up there on the screen, quite often it resembles things that happen to me or at least comic metaphors for those things.”
While the quality of his 50 or so films as writer, director and producer, was irregular, critical champions found good even in his most indifferent projects such as the then financially disastrous musical “Darling Lili” starring his wife Julie Andrews. They also point to early films such as “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Experiment in Terror,” as demonstrating an often overlooked versatility.
Julie Andrews was by his side at his passing which is probably the best way anyone can go out: Loved and nursed by freaking Mary Poppins herself.
Rest in Peace.