Sunset Boulevard (1950) Movie  » Movies  »
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  • I love this classic old black and white movie and watch it every time it comes on TV
  • There is loads of interesting trivia connected with this movie

    • by jeanne71

      all reviews
      I love this classic old black and white movie and watch it every time it comes on TV. Directed by Billy Wilder (who also directed the fabulous Some Like it Hot amongst others), it tells the story of fictional silent movie star, Norma Desmond - played very melodramatically by the real old movie star, Gloria Swanson from the perspective of the young man who accidentally crosses her path, Joe Gillis (William Holden).

      Norma Desmond is now 50 years old but was once a beautiful starlet of silent flicks, but she cannot accept that her career is over and no-one wants her in the movies anymore, not since talkies came in. She lives in a fantasy world, surrounded by her own photographs and gets her jollies from watching herself on the screen in her

      mansion and reliving the past. She believes the audiences still want her as her butler has been writing fan letters to her for years, hoping she does not notice the postmark and realize the letters are fakes penned by him. The butler must keep up the fantasy for her as she is so on the edge that all sharp objects have been removed from the mansion. When Joe turns up at her mansion by chance and realizes this lady is willing to pay for his script writing services in respect of her big comeback movie, he needs money so he reluctantly goes along with it, also keeping up her fantasy as the butler does. Cecil B. DeMille plays himself, a director who worked with the young Norma and who also keeps up ...

      • the fantasy for her. I find it moving how this obviously crazy woman has engendered such empathy in the people around her. Even Joe comes eventually to genuinely care about this woman. Despite the empathy of people, it is obvious that Norma will not ever be making that comeback and it shows how harsh Hollywood can be on those who have got used to the limelight and are now cast aside as unwanted.

        It has a great noir feel as Joe is providing the voiceover from the beginning, which starts with police cars zooming to Norma’s mansion and a man’s dead body face down in the swimming pool. Joe is telling the story in flashback. It is a great watch and keeps me entranced throughout. The flick is also of interest

        as the silent movie star Buster Keaton, Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, H.B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilssen (one of the first movie stars whose first film was in 1911) have cameos; Cecil B. DeMille directed Swanson in real life and even the butler, played by silent movie star and director Erich von Stroheim directed Swanson.

        Also, for David Lynch fans like me, I would mention that he clearly loves this film. He apparently used some of the grand wooden interior of Norma’s mansion for the lush apartment in Mulholland Drive, he used the name ‘Gordon Cole’ (one of the characters in Sunset Boulevard) in Twin Peaks and produced a perfect copy of the old film clip Norma plays for Joe, in his film Inland Empire. There is loads of interesting trivia connected with this movie.

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