All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
"I'm ready for my close-up!"
A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.
"I am big! It's the pictures that got small!"
Masterfully snappy dialogue like only Billy Wilder and the golden age of 40's and 50's film-noir can deliver. A comeback performance from Gloria Swanson to redefine the very notion of a comeback (I still can't get over how expressive her face is). Incisive commentary on the process of filmmaking which extends to the real lives of its cast and crew (Gloria Swanson returning to film as Norma Desmond returning to film; Erich von Stroheim, the director of Gloria Swanson's early films, as Max von Mayerling, the director of Norma Desmond's early films). Prescient awareness of the critical lack of genuinely new stories two decades before anyone would use the term "postmodern" to describe literature. A truly one of a kind film.
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
What a difference several years makes after having last seen a film!
As a younger still growing lover of film, when I first watched this, I merely watched it from a superficial standpoint. I enjoyed the "behind the scenes" aspect of the film, as well as the deteriorating mental state of Swanson's Norma Desmond.
But many years later, I am able to understand who Max was played by and why it was significant, as well as the many cameos (Shit, Buster Keaton!) and references.
Then there's Wilder's direction, which comes to employ silent film technique more and more as the film goes on and Norma Desmond's mental state begins to collapse, which serves as a contrast to how much more grounded William Holden's subplot is.
This is why revisiting films is important.
Noir-November Challenge! Movie #18
The first time I became aware of the character Norma Desmond was from comedic skits on the Carol Burnett Show! See link below to reminisce right along with me..
If I hadn't joined David Toppers Noir-November movie challenge I may never had the opportunity to see one of the greatest Billy Wilder films out there! It is everything I could have ever hoped for from Film Noir film and so much more! Seriously it's all that and a bag of chips!
Gloria Swanson didn't simply bring a character alive on the big screen, she literally transformed into this bigger than life persona that is Norma Desmond! It was an extraordinary privilege to witness Gloria Swanson…
A film noir drenched in notes of black comedy and shadowy-toned film-industry satire, Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard" is a glorious piece of cinema. Rich with ironies and robust with dramatic texture, the film is a sharp, sad, riveting, and fully alive work that pleases with its narrative, themes, cast, writing and directing.
Taking place in Hollywood of long ago, "Sunset Boulevard" tells the story of an out-of-luck writer who becomes entangled with an aging silent-cinema queen looking to return to the fame of her past. Taking the writer into her care, the stage is set for a tale ripe with romance, unrequited love, misguided passions, and violence. The narrative is deliciously compelling.
Wilder's film reveals the eccentricities of the Hollywood…
No one ever leaves a star. That's what makes one a star.
I've seen many films with the same premise as Sunset Boulevard: an aging film star down on his or her luck tries to come to terms with the loss of their youth and fame. And yet, I believe that there has never been a more biting, contemptuous, yet loving portrayal of one such star with leftover delusions of grandeur.
Norma Desmond is a silent movie star who hasn't acted in a film for twenty years. One day Joe Gillis, a writer down on his luck, arrives at her doorstep and allows himself to be drawn into the web that Norma weaves around him. Nothing bodes well for either…
Once in a while you come across a performance in a film that not only dominates that film, but overwhelms it to the point where you wonder if they had done an edit of the finished product that only included said performance if the film would actually have been better.
Sunset Boulevard could easily have been such a picture. The magnitude of the performance of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond can be measured in the fact that in so many ways this is not only an incredible film, but also a daring and unusual film for its time. Yet her performance as the faded Hollywood icon, left desperately clinging on to her glory days coupled with forlorn hopes for a…
This is without doubt a classic noir film about Hollywood, Gloria Swanson plays a forgotten actress who has fallen into obscurity and wants to resurrect her career. William Holden portrays a failed screenwriter and agrees to write the script for her big comeback.
Sunset Boulevard was probably Billy Wilder's biggest film I hadn't seen until now, I thought it was near perfection with an super script as I expected. I loved the clever narration by Holden, however I did feel Swanson went a big over the top with her performance. Putting that aside, it was still an amazing film that I would love to add to my collection.
Finally caught up with this undeniable classic.
"You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big."
"I AM big. It's the PICTURES that got small."
Sharp, witty dialogue and extremely well crafted characters elevate Sunset Boulevard to the position of "timeless classic".
Also, remember that one quote about the difference between silent-film performances and talkie performances? "We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!" Well Gloria Swanson pretty much embodies that quote. Seriously, I can't get her wide-eyed glares out of my head, and its been 2 goddamn days.
Sunset Boulevard has only growth in relevance since its release over sixty years ago. The ageing Norma Desmond longs for the glory years of cinema in the 1920s where she was a star and movies were silent. Yet in the 1980s people yearned for the glory years of cinema in the 1950s, and now in the 2000s people yearn for the glory years of cinema in the 1980s. It's an endless cycle of rose tinted nostalgia that Sunset Boulevard so brilliantly captures.
For a film with such a wonderfully witty script there is a surprising amount of moments that make the audience's skin crawl, this is perhaps the best example of a dark comedy. One minute you're chuckling over one…
One of my go-to films to correct my silly friends who shit talk old black and white films. Truly an example of cinematic excellence, regardless of day and age.
"I'M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP!"
During the entire 110 minute runtime of Sunset Boulevard. I could not realize that this is my first Billy Wilder film. This is a cinematic acheivement of any kind focusing on what true Hollywood is like. Brilliant ending, brillant score, Phenomal direction by Billy Wilder.
If you have not seen this film defently do yourselves a favor and check it out.
La he ido a ver al cine... :_____)
I loved this the first time around but I got so much more out of it now!
I've been doing a semi-regular Wilder marathon lately and it gives me great pleasure to confirm that the critics didn't fool you: Sunset Boulevard really is top-tier Billy Wilder. Duh, but one always wonders with canon films like this, whether greater titles linger in the author's work but that have been ignored because of the "CLASSIC" stamp that follows their most well known films.
The big leap Wilder makes here, that makes Sunset Boulevard stand out from the rest of his consistently great output, is his control of the camera. Sure, it has always been there, be it in The Major and the…
I was disappointed by this film. While it was fun to see the Los Angeles landscape and hear the movie business lingo again, the film itself just didn't resonate with me. The characters were witty and interesting, but I simply didn't care about them. It's like the writers spent so much time creating an interesting story (the protagonist/narrator is shown dead at the beginning) with clever dialog that they forgot about making the characters relatable. Like Citizen Kane, the analysis of the characters' descent into madness is interesting, but cold.
In summary, the aloof sense of analysis combined with the seemingly unrelated and predictable "plot twists" makes Sunset Boulevard a thought-provoking yet unengaging film.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men