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…
Sunset Boulevard is a brilliantly made film on the pressures and struggles of Hollywood, fame and the film industry carried by a deeply realistic story, fantastic performances and excellent direction. It's amazing how the themes and messages of this film still manage to be remarkably relevant today as well.
Hadn't seen this since I was 16 or so. It remains one of the most agonizing portraits of an unattainable past of glory that has ever been committed to celluloid. The last third never ceases to amaze/haunt me.
I always like to spend part of a bank holiday watching a previously unseen classic. I had a few options in mind today but I don't think I could have chosen a better one.
A perfect movie.
A timeless, essential film noir classic. Required viewing.
I've tried to read Great Expectations twice. I've failed both times. Watching this felt like trying to read it for the third time.
"This next category is a bit of a downer. It’s for writing. We all know writers get too much credit in Hollywood, when actors mention them. I don’t mean to keep going on about actors, but they’re the most important ones, OK? It’s not the words you say, it’s how good you look when you’re saying them." Ricky Gervais
Endlessly fascinating film about the needs of the human ego, loneliness, pride.
The way that Wilder and Seitz tell you what to look at and how to look at it is incredible and unavoidable. The beauty of the lighting works perfectly with the camera movement to give this a grandiose sense of emotion as the primary mode of storytelling. A very surreal feeling of dread is present throughout the film and does a good deal to create the tone of the piece in the way it applies to the changing lighting schemes on each character's face. 8.1/10.
A little too on the nose. Good, but not great.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!