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…
This Billy Wilder scripted and directed classic has been a long standing omission from my film canon. It is always interesting to watch a film like this which has had a huge and long standing reputation as the best film made about Hollywood. The story concerns William Holden’s down on his luck scriptwriter who ends up at Gloria Swanson’s decrepit mansion as the silent era star’s toy boy. In the background is Eric Stronheim’s as her butler/carer. What strikes you first about this film is how well written it is, there is a reason it is still quoted today. Holden is amazing and sells every cynical line, one of the great actors of his era. The film also gets its…
La historia de una vieja gloria de Hollywood buscando nuevamente ser relevante en el show business nunca estuvo mejor contada, Gloria Swanson esta magnifica en su personaje mostrando el abandono, la tristeza y a la locura a la que llega después de haber sido olvidada por su público y hasta por la misma audiencia.
El guión, la dirección y ese final tan impactante hacen que esta película se merezca el puesto que aún tiene en el mundo cinematográfico.
From the introduction of Norma Desmond's character, "Sunset Boulevard" held an eerie tone for the remainder of the movie. The entire time, something felt off. This is a story of a man who is trying to escape the troubles of his life and thinks that he discovers a solution that would take all of it away. This solution slowly turns into a form of prison, which then transforms into a prison of a different sort entirely. Finally, by the end of the movie, we finally understand what type of person he truly is and it all comes together with a bang.
This movie had very clever, fast-paced writing and dialogue. There were also quite a few references to older media…
"Funny how gentle people get with you once you're dead."
There was something of an echo of my inability to discern the Soderbergh cut of Keane from the original yesterday as I watched this - I thought - for the first time. According to a list I started making in 2004 I actually have seen this before, but I either don't remember or it had nothing like the impact on me then as it did today. I'm a huge fan of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical - a BBC radio recording of it in particular which I listened again to very recently - and the main thing that struck me from the very first line was how astonishingly faithful Don…
This was incredible. I watched it a few hours after Nightcrawler, so of course I already had this creepy feeling from that movie. Then I watched this movie showing an older Hollywood star become obsessed over a younger man. And the movie poster with the woman's eyes explain it all.
Yep it was amazing. I loved it. Definitely adding to my watch again list.
Was already with this film after a certain point (was going to be in the 70's at least), but three scenes toward the end elevated it to near-great territory. That is: the final exchange between Betty and Joe, the subsequent confrontation between Joe and Norma, and Norma's final sashay down the staircase towards the cameras, as everyone else in the room stands preternaturally still (almost as in a tableau; indeed, in her mind, it's likely exactly like that). Wilder has always been classified, somewhat pejoratively, as a "writer's director," and this film certainly gives detractors even more fodder. But it also takes away from the visual style that Wilder brings, e.g. the first image of Joe face-down in the…
Filling in some huge gaping holes in my film viewing history. I admit, I don't remember ever watching a Billy Wilder from beginning to end. There are countless classics out there to catch up on and one by one I'm going to indulge myself and see this stuff.
So I didn't really know what to expect. And whatever it was, I was not expecting this kind of film.
Sunset Boulevard is a bizarre film noir with eccentric flourishes. The references and in fact the use of 30s/ 40s Hollywood makes it bewilderingly real in places. I'm no film historian, but clearly the line between performance and commentary crisscrosses in a couple of places.
Fastforwarding to 2015 I can look back and see how this film might have influenced Polanski, Altman, Woody Allen etc.
Still as fresh/thrilling/terrifying as ever