Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich Von Stroheim.
time: 110 mins.
of three Oscars, Sunset Boulevard really should have also
scooped the "Best Picture" honour in 1950, but was
narrowly pipped by All About Eve.
matter, Sunset Boulevard remains one of the greatest exposes
of the seamy underside of Hollywood ever made, still true
to life about a world in which fame becomes the only goal
- for which people will do anything.
Swanson - in real life a star of the silent screen - portrays
the tormented Norma Desmond, a forgotten silent movie star
dreaming of a comeback in her decaying Sunset Boulevard mansion.
Her faithful butler and one-time husband Max writes fake fan
mail to keep the illusion alive.
this world of delusion comes struggling young screenwriter
Joe Gillis (William Holden), who is trying to stay one step
ahead of his creditors. Norma hires him to clean up the awful
script she's been writing for her return to fame (she "hates"
the word "comeback) and it isn't long before he becomes
her kept lover, too.
when attractive young screenwriter Betty Schaefer sees potential
in one of Joe's discarded scripts, he has the chance to rescue
his career . . . and his heart.
directed by the great Billy Wilder (Double
Indemnity), who also co-wrote the biting script, Sunset
Boulevard features many real-life Hollywood characters including
Buster Keaton and H.B. Warner and the great director Cecil
B. DeMille in a delicious cameo. Hence the great line from
the increasingly demented Norma as she prepares for the movie
that will never be made . . . "All right, Mr. DeMille,
I'm ready for my close-up."
superb making-of documentary is among the many extras on the
2008, two-disc special edition of the movie, which features
outstanding remastered picture and sound.