All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. 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.
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 have to admit that I "enjoyed" Sunset Boulevard at a 3-star level. I wasn't wildly entertained or invested but I admired what I was watching. The additional star is a respect thing. This was clearly advanced in both its techniques and its themes and I have to tip my cap, as those themes and techniques are still relevant 66 years later. wasn't blown away but I am very glad I finally got around to seeing this.
Wauw! Hollywood criticism, great storytelling and extraordinary acting. I'm in love with this film and everything it does, except revealing the end at the beginning. I know why it does it, but I think I would have been a little more thrilled at times, have it been spared until the end of the film.
Despite, this movie had my eyed fix at the screen from beginning to end, and it is by far the best noir I've seen, and a top 3 of the 50's. So close to being perfect.
I finally found some time to watch a movie for the first time in a couple weeks and picked this. I watched it the first time last year but I was compelled to watch again, and it was weirdly comforting to watch. Some things I loved: Norma Desmond (obviously), discussions on the creative process and art v commerce, breaking of the fourth wall (strolls through set pieces), that fucking mansion, Joe Gillis' jaded, dry wit...
Art is fleeting. The pace we change how we communicate with each other through media is fast -- speaking of, all the send-ups to the silent film era are perfect, and the snappy, natural writing also makes equal arguments for talkies.
Worth mentioning in 1951…
One of the best voice overs of all time.
“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!”
Having just recently seen Hail, Caesar! I thought I would check out a movie about 1950s Hollywood from the actual time period in Sunset Boulevard. A highly talked about film, considered one of the greatest of all-time, and director Bill Wilder’s best movie. When it comes to Billy Wilder, I enjoyed Some Like It Hot, although I don’t consider it to be the best comedy ever. However, I fell deeply in love with The Apartment when I saw it earlier this year and that film really showed me the prowess in Wilder’s directing and writing. So…
Anyone interested in film, watching them or making them, NEEDS to watch this film. I have no idea why it's taken me so long. What an influence you can see this film has been.
Gloria Swanson, wow!!
Remains on of the all time greats
Sunset Boulevard Movie Review - I rarely ever do full on reviews on Letterboxd, but I have to for this one because OH MY GOD THIS MOVIE IS PERFECT. Everything, from the directing to the writing to the acting to the dark themes to the cinematography to the score to the story telling... EVERYTHING IS SO PERFECT!!! First off, Gloria Swanson gives a bravura performance as Norma Desmond!!! She plays so many various roles throughout the movie, going from evil to likeable to psychotic, yet she keeps it true to the character. You simply could not have found a better person for the role. William Holden is also phenomenal as Joe Gillis. His character ark must've been near impossible to…
my favs atm...