A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
"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.
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…
Performances : 8.4/10
Story : 9.4/10
Production : 8.1
Overall : 8.63/10
Wow. I bought this on blu-ray even though I had only seen it once before and I didn't remember being overly impressed. Maybe I slept through parts of it because I don't know what I was thinking. Sunset Boulevard tells an amazing story of fame and it's effects while also beating living shit out of Hollywood with a bat. It's the definition of art imitating life, with Noma Desmond played by former silent era star Gloria Swanson. Herself not having had more than one role in almost twenty years before this film was made. Her butler/former director Max Von Mayerling (awesome name) played by Eric von Stroheim (even…
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…
I've always loved films about an actor's downfall. I also love this movie because of its unreliable narrator.
"I'm ready for my close up"
I got chills. Again.
The art direction is great. The photography is great. The acting is great. The script is great. I have no criticisms of this movie.
observations: - whenever I hear some lame-o nerd whine about cgi and comic books, I'll hear only "I'm still big. It's the pictures that got small."- only 35 years had passed between the first feature and this movie. Only 21 years since the end of silent movies. Sunset Boulevard is as temporally far from silent movies as we are from Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump. - In my memory (I last saw this eight years ago), Swanson was an ancient grotesque. She's really only fifty and not in bad shape. The lighting, make-up, and especially the…
I really like this movie, despite some of the acting not really aging well with time. However, it's still an engaging story from start to finish.
I had seen this before, and wasn't impressed the first time. I don't think I was paying enough attention or something.
It's magnificent, with one of the best scripts I've ever seen. Gloria Swanson's performance is one of the greatest in film history - it's simultaneously funny and horrifying. William Holden is great. I'm also particularly fond of CB Demille's scene. The pity and understanding on his part is hard to watch.
So good, and so deserving of all the accolades.
I understand why this is a classic. Engaging and unnerving from start to finish, this thriller examines the dark underbelly of Hollywood's celebrity culture of idolizing one moment and discarding the next. The film felt just as timely now, as I am sure it was then.
I wrote a film school essay on Billy Wilder and I got kind of a lackluster mark. That has no bearing on how I feel about this movie but, hey, it was worth mentioning.
need me a freak like that
Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode.
A list of films I haven't seen........
I should be ashamed of myself.
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…