Watched Billy Wilder's 1950 Film "Sunset Boulevard"

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

Sunset Boulevard is number 16 on the AFI 100.  Named after the street in Los Angeles, this film noir classic is co-written and directed by Billy Wilder and co-written and produced by Charles Brackett.

It’s about a struggling screenwriter named Joe Gillis (played by
William Holden) and a forgotten silent film star named Norma Desmond (played by Gloria Swanson).

The story begins with the murder and a man face down in a Hollywood swimming pool.  The plot is laid out by the narrator, who is also the screenwriter protagonist, Joe.

Gloria Swanson is outstanding in this movie.  Her performance flat out impressed me.  Norma’s delusion is played out perfectly.  She is a little crazy but in a very believable way.  It was so great!


As the couple’s relationship unfolds, the disfunction becomes increasingly apparent.

The film also features some great supporting characters, Nancy Olson as Betty and Erich von Stroheim as Max, not to mention cameos from Cecill B. DeMille and Buster Keaton.

This was a very enjoyable movie.  It definitely showed a darker side of Hollywood, and like Singin’ In The Rain, it highlighted the move from silent film to talking films.  Some people became casualties to this transition, while some were still able to thrive.  The score is also outstanding in this as well.  I would recommend it alone for Gloria Swanson’s performance.

Related Items:
Sunset Boulevard on DVD
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