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…
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…
I still prefer Double Indemnity, but this noir gem is brilliant.
"I am big! It's the pictures that got small."
Billy Wilder's indictment of celebrity Sunset Blvd. is a classic of Hollywood's golden age. Featuring brilliant cinematography, incredible performances, and numerous memorable moments. Pure classic.
I don't covet much in this life; I wouldn't say I'm an envious man, however there are a quiet number of things I occasionally yearn for. A Star Trek themed home cinema? Maybe. The full subscription to Sky Movies? Definitely. When I left my parental home nearly six years ago I left behind a plethora of excellent film programming, ready to watch at a moment's notice. Where else could one watch Billy Wilder's superb, classic noir/ghost story Sunset Boulevard at nine in the morning on a Monday? Turns out this is a film that's amazing at any time of the day, and also reminds me of another thing I do covet, despite Britain not really having the appropriate weather for it; a swimming pool.
this is pure cinema - what a movie - with William Holden who i like since i saw 'the towering inferno' - but the light in this picture, the dark, weird atmosphere and the scenario is great. The fact that Holden's caracter tells the story is remarkable! this is cinema at his best and i like the in-house atmosphere in this picture. Most of the suspense plays in one or two rooms and it all is so simple that it is legendary! yeah , must seen movie!
A down-on-his-luck screenwriter becomes the kept man of a deranged silent film star planning her return to the screen as Salome. The greatest film ever made, and I finally got to see it on the big screen tonight. The script is bitter, wickedly funny, and as cynical as a script can get with Joe Gillis being the best of all film noir narrators. William Holden fuels Gillis with self-loathing and caustic, witty charm to make him a crazy sort of anti-hero. Gloria Swanson is perfection as Norma Desmond taking every chance she can to strike a pose for a shot that imaginary cameras are shooting. She's brilliant in every frame (she also does a killer Chaplin). The cinematography is stupendous,…
What just happened. Oh my god. She's just the fiercest.
Listen, I recognize the ways Sunset Boulevard impacted the performances of Hollywood's leading women, the novelistic layering of the story that makes it quite compelling, the iconic lines. I think the script is workable.
It's the way it plays that I find totally cruel to a woman who has the gall to grow old and delusional. Too much of the film is framed unsympathetically toward her, too much is given to the "plight" of Gillis, too much is made of how good Max must be to love her, and too much is played by her as a total villain minx of silent film.
All of the meanness of the movie pulled me out of whatever critique it made of the star system and how we care for our elderly because it seemed to want me to laugh at how ridiculous she was just as often.
One of those classics that's been on my 'need to watch' list for a mighty long time. The premise never really appealed to me but I typically like Billy Wilder fare. And it's good; in fact it's amazing! But it's not my kind of film - it's a 5 star as far as cinematic appreciation and originality is concerned but my enjoyment of it was more around a 3 so hence the final score of 4.
This is a tale warning of the pitfalls of opportunism with the main characters all quite bitter and easy to sympathize with but hard to like. For much of the film I felt like I was watching a surreal dreamlike episode of the twilight…