Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard

DVD - 2002
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Pursued by creditors, Joe swerves into a driveway of a seemingly abandoned Sunset Boulevard mansion. He finds Norma, an ex-screen queen dreaming of a dramatic comeback and her husband/servant living there. She takes a fancy to Joe and, learning that he is a scriptwriter, persuades him to help her with her comeback screenplay. Being broke he accepts. He falls in love with young script reader, but Norma breaks up their romance. Thinking she is mad, he tries to leave, but Norma kills him. scene which she believes is the highlight of her comeback movie.
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Pictures, [2002]
Edition: Special collector's edition Full screen version
Copyright Date: ©1950
ISBN: 9780792172864
0792172868
Branch Call Number: DVD FEATURE SUNSE
Characteristics: optical,mono
1 videodisc (Not rated)(110 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
Notes: Special features: Commentary by edition Sikov, author of "On Sunset Boulevard: the life and times of Billy Wilder" ; the making of Sunset Boulevard ; theatrical trailer ; Hollywood location map ; photo galleries ; morgue prologue ; Edith Head - The Paramount Years featurette ; the music of Sunset Boulevard Featurette
Originally released as a motion picture in 1950

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f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Sep 19, 2016

For Hollywood (in its heyday) - The 1950's certainly began quite ominously with Billy Wilder's straight-faced freak-show known otherwise as "Sunset Boulevard". Without a doubt - This picture is, indeed, an oddity in itself, being a story-of-the-grotesque that is told by, none other than, a corpse.

Yes. Perhaps the most revealing movie that Hollywood ever made about its own decline - "Sunset Boulevard" was, very much, all about the movie industry's rise to great power, its fabricated imagery, as well as its total worship of youth and its own dark past.

And, of course - Irony of ironies - Only director Billy Wilder could imagine Tinseltown as a place where the dead go on speaking - Talking about their lives as if nothing had changed.

(*Be sure to watch movie video-clip*)

r
RobSW
Aug 16, 2016

I watched this because I read it was one of David Lynch's favorite movies - and, indeed, a couple of references in Lynch's Mulholland Drive pay homage to characters from this movie, if only in name.
It's also nice to see a good Noir film that doesn't involve gangsters.
I agree with all the positive things that have been said about this film.

Franln Mar 06, 2016

This classic film is often referenced by filmmakers & actors so I had to check it out. Good story, great acting (Gloria Swanson is fantastic), well done & worth seeing. I recommend watching the bonus features to fully appreciate it. "All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." Classic!

s
sisterscj
Oct 19, 2015

I really enjoyed this classic film with William Holden and Gloria Swanson, who was a silent screen star. There is a clip of her watching herself on film in which she really did star, and this is the film to bring her downfall in movies, and the man who plays her butler in this film, SB, was the producer of that film, as many of the others she starred in!! There is more, but you should watch for yourself, she did an amazing job!

p
PY_Display
Apr 17, 2014

Sunset Boulevard is not a book. But it is available at the library, so I feel it is worthy to add to the list.

Sunset Boulevard is about Joe Gillis, a man who goes to Hollywood trying to make it as a screen-writer. We start out with some people trying to reposess his car. To escape them, he pulls into the driveway of a crumbling mansion to find the equally crumbling Norma Desmond, star of the silent films. She coerces Joe to edit a film she has written, which promises to be her grand return to film. Joe, short on cash and options, stays on.

The story is both darkly comical and deeply tragic. Norma Desmond has cracked in her stardom and then her isolation. Joe struggles underneath the weight of Hollywood indifference. Great movie, classic of the time and well worth watching.

d2013 Mar 11, 2014

Timeless! Loved it!

voisjoe1 Feb 15, 2014

Gloria Swanson plays an aging film star that lost popularity when the silent films ended when talkies began. Erich von Stroheim plays her butler and William Holden plays a two-bit screenwriter trying to make a buck trying to go along with Swanson's dream of making another picture with the great Cecil B. De Mille. A bleak picture about a washed up actress who can’t face that nobody is interested in making a picture with her. The strange thing is that Swanson was a star of several silent pictures and Stroheim was a great director during those times. This film is considered by Sight and Sound critics poll to be the 63rd best picture ever made. A totally macabre picture of a deranged ex-film great, played by Swanson, while not totally out of films, was playing mostly minor pieces for TV, when she got an Oscar nom for this film.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Jan 20, 2014

This black-and-white film is another masterpiece by director Billy Wilder, about a reluctant gigolo and his faded, aging star who dreamt about a comeback that could never happen. A classic.

viguyy Feb 08, 2013

This is hands down the finest film ever made about Hollywood. Gloria Swanson is absolutely brilliant as the great Norma Desmond. "You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big. (Norma) "I AM big. It's the pictures that got small." The writing is just as good as it gets in this noir classic that takes aim at Hollywood itself & really does cut through the illusions of it all with a cleverness & bite rarely scene.

Gloria Swanson is truly remarkable in this film with her dramatic eye bulging, claw-like hands poses & her sharp dramatic voice inflections. Absolutely brilliant acting! Just a fantastic treat to watch every single moment of her on the screen. One of the greatest performance on film, ever!

William Holden's performance is also very good. Who could play opposite Swanson while more than holding his own and that is certainly Holden. His self- sickened character who is badly in need of cash ends up prostituting himself & paying the ultimate price for his choices. Holden really is not given enough credit for how truly marvelous his performance is.

Max...then there is the undying loyalty of Max. Norma Desmond's dedicated butler who is played to perfection by Erich Von Stroheim. Max's charcter would fit right into a 1950's horror film just as easily as he does in this film. He is the creepy over obsessed, over dedicated servant to the great Norma Desmond and Von Stronheim is simply brilliant.

Of course the film is directed & co-written by the very great Billy Wilder who made some of the greatest films ever made. Arguably this may be Wilder's finest effort, a masterful work in every way & for a film lover, pure bliss to watch. Pure bliss!

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

y
yumsushi
Nov 19, 2012

Norma Desmond is portrayed wonderfully all dolled up, dramatic and left behind by Hollywood.

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b
Bronco92
Apr 13, 2017

"All right, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up".

m
Monolith
Sep 17, 2012

Joe Gillis: "Wait a minute! Haven't I seen you before? I know your face." Norma Desmond: "Get out! Or shall I call my servant?" Joe Gillis: "You're Norma Desmond! You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big!" Norma Desmond: "I AM big. It's the PICTURES that got small."

m
Monolith
Sep 17, 2012

Norma Desmond (watching herself in her real silent film, "Queen Kelly" with Joe Gillis, actually directed by (the butler) Erich von Stroheim): "Still wonderful, isn't it? And NO dialogue... We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!!"

m
Monolith
Sep 17, 2012

Joe Gillis (voiceover, of Norma): "...Poor devil. Still waving proudly to a parade which had long since passed her by..."

m
Monolith
Sep 17, 2012

Joe Gillis (to Norma): "...There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five."

m
Monolith
Sep 17, 2012

Norma Desmond (to newsreel camera): "...All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

j
Janice21383
Aug 09, 2011

"We had FACESSSSSS!"

a
ANTHONY RAMIREZ
Nov 20, 2010

"I am big...It's the pictures that got small"

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