The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
"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…
Film #9 in the February 2016 Scavenger Hunt!
Task #9 - A film noir
When I first saw this film, I was blown away by how good it was. Not just the performances, the writing, the cinematography, the score, all that good stuff, but the way that it openly mocked and criticized the Hollywood studio system, and the way it worked like an assembly line, with all the same incidents and scandals happening again and again, and the way some of these washed-up actors can really lose their mind. I don't think you could get away with a film like this nowadays, because all of the studio heads have become such tight-assed pussies that they would never allow any…
Un poco de rodeos e historia de hollywood amorosa que si soportan el melodrama pero la sentí floja, sin embargo hay partes simplemente cautivantes, y otras donde te dan un pequeño descanso para apreciar la historia que muestra un gran trabajo de dirección, una obra maestra.
A sublime and witty Hollywood satire from director Billy Wilder.
Gloria Swanson delivers a manic, excellent performance. William Holden is the perfect straight man and narrator. Erich von Stronheim's Max is absolutely heartbreaking yet at times very despicable. Billy Wilder's excellent fable of a fading silent star is one of the best movies about movies to ever be made (outside of Federico Fellini). It's been said before and it will be said again, they don't quite make movies like they used to.
I could write a lot more about how great this film is, but I'll leave you to watch it yourself. A lot of it is in the experience.
I thoroughly enjoy stories told through unreliable narrators. Although this film's protagonist and narrator seems reliable, it is rather shocking when the film opens up on his death. From there the film careens on a course headed for the inevitable tragedy yet somehow entices the viewer into hoping things end differently. The film explores a longing for the days of youth gone by, fleeting fame and the struggling artist. I think the story holds extra significance to those working in the industry.
What can I say about 'Sunset Boulevard' that hasn't been already said?
Not much, really, since this movie was made 65 years ago. Everything that I can say has already been said.
But hey, this movie was made in 1950. As I said, that's 65 years ago. The world has changed a lot since 1950, and movies, being a cultural representation of the time they were made in, tend to age.
Well, this one didn't.
It is not common to find a movie that resists the test of time. Sure thing, if you transpose the events to nowadays, there would be a couple of things out of place (there's no silent film stars anymore), but the vast majority of the…
I recently read Greg Sestero's The Disaster Artist which uses a quote from Sunset Boulevard at the beginning of each chapter. Sunset Boulevard had been a film I had known about and put off for years, but after reading this book I decided I had to view the film. And what a film it is.
I often enjoy getting behind the scenes, I've done short films and worked on productions/theatre events, and often I find the setting up and the behind the scenes to be more interesting. As is said by Betty Schaefer: "What's wrong with being on the other side of the cameras? It's really more fun". It really is, usually. This film from 65 years ago captures the…
a fantastic noir-y hollywood story. because of my lack of film history knowledge, i don’t really feel qualified to comment on movies like this other than to say i loved it and i thought it was really well shot and well paced. every time i felt like the tone shifted to be overly critical of women in hollywood or some old v new hollywood bs, the nuanced writing made up for it. I thought it might devolve into a preachy diatribe about the failings of celebrity at any minute but the events and narration felt true to the characters.
Recently I was contemplating making a list of my favorite scenes in film, but I decided that instead of just…
More Info to come