Sunset Blvd

Sunset Blvd

DVD - 2002
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LPL_IlkaI Feb 27, 2021

Sunset Boulevard is the perfect film, quite possibly. The masterful visual stylings of director Billy Wilder are on full display here and still holds up against the contemporaries of today. The lavish sets and luxurious costumes only enhance the superb acting skills of its leads. Gloria Swanson takes you on a wild ride in her portrayal of Norma Desmond, a former silent film star, ranging from the vanity of bygone fame and into a slow descent of madness. Her performance is truly unsurpassable! My heart was touched by Joe Gillis' humble existence and the connection he had with script writer, Betty Schaefer. This is a film not to be missed!

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TheGrayMouser
Dec 17, 2020

Would you lose your life over a used car? To save his car from repo men, the narrator makes a quick decision and seals his doom. This isn't a spoiler: we see his ultimate fate in the first moments of the film.

This film noir masterpiece tells so much about Hollywood: the addiction to fame, the many people scratching out a living at the bottom of the food chain as writers, editors, grips, etc., and what the system can do to people. Gloria Swanson is unforgettable as once-great film star Norma Desmond, and William Holden holds his own as starving writer Joe Gillis. After legendary director Billy Wilder's death, Sunset Boulevard was held up as one of his greatest films.

Highly recommended! This is an absolute must-see for any film noir fan.

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booksck
Mar 26, 2020

Twilight Zone did a similar episode about an aging actress that wanted to regain her fame and love from her fans. I'm not sure if the Twilight Zone episode was inspired by this film? Anyway, it's very soap opera, drama, noir type feel when you watch it. It's a captivating film, that has karma written all over it.

⚰️ A great movie, by Billy Wilder, a man so snobbish he wouldn't acknowledge his big brother, William Lee Wilder, because he made B-pictures for Poverty Row studios. It's the only movie I know of that's told in flashback by a character who is visibly dead, also the only movie with a funeral for a chimp. It's interesting to note that the horror comics of the day, like "Tales From the Crypt," frequently had stories that were told by a character who was already dead. That and the grotesque chimp funeral, put this squarely in the category of horror movies for me. If that seems farfetched, look at the expression of sheer horror on William Holden's face as Gloria Swanson leads him upstairs to the bedroom and who knows what hideous unspeakable rites, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
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Gloria Swanson, who stood 4'11", was famously the mistress of JFK's father, the cad, bully, blackguard and bounder Joe Kennedy, who began their relationship by raping her.

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pantzd
Jan 09, 2020

Amazing movie. It covers so many artistic styles that I can see why it is a classic...

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PearlyKayAm1
Aug 23, 2019

This movie is still great and watching all the special features on Disc 2 was well worth the time. With the voice-over narration providing extra insight into the main character's mind, this was a gripping movie that felt much faster than it's 1'50" running time. There were no boring parts in this movie. The only part of the film that I found distracting was the focus on an actress in her 50s being over-the-hill when I'm used to current day amazing actresses in their 60s and 70s and 80s still being so vibrant and popular.

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wabarbee
Jul 26, 2019

Great movie. The most quoted line from this movie and considered the best is "Mr. DeMille I'm ready for my close up". In the context of this movie great line. However, in my opinion, the best line and the one that truly epitomizes one of the core themes of this film is "I am big, it's the pictures that got small."

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007Gatsby
Jun 08, 2019

This movie has, by far, one of the most disturbing endings ever.

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ManMachine
Sep 19, 2016

For Hollywood (in its heyday) - The 1950's certainly began quite ominously with Billy Wilder's straight-faced freak-show known otherwise as "Sunset Boulevard". Without a doubt - This picture is, indeed, an oddity in itself, being a story-of-the-grotesque that is told by, none other than, a corpse.

Yes. Perhaps the most revealing movie that Hollywood ever made about its own decline - "Sunset Boulevard" was, very much, all about the movie industry's rise to great power, its fabricated imagery, as well as its total worship of youth and its own dark past.

And, of course - Irony of ironies - Only director Billy Wilder could imagine Tinseltown as a place where the dead go on speaking - Talking about their lives as if nothing had changed.

(*Be sure to watch movie video-clip*)

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RobSW
Aug 16, 2016

I watched this because I read it was one of David Lynch's favorite movies - and, indeed, a couple of references in Lynch's Mulholland Drive pay homage to characters from this movie, if only in name.
It's also nice to see a good Noir film that doesn't involve gangsters.
I agree with all the positive things that have been said about this film.

Franln Mar 06, 2016

This classic film is often referenced by filmmakers & actors so I had to check it out. Good story, great acting (Gloria Swanson is fantastic), well done & worth seeing. I recommend watching the bonus features to fully appreciate it. "All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." Classic!

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sisterscj
Oct 19, 2015

I really enjoyed this classic film with William Holden and Gloria Swanson, who was a silent screen star. There is a clip of her watching herself on film in which she really did star, and this is the film to bring her downfall in movies, and the man who plays her butler in this film, SB, was the producer of that film, as many of the others she starred in!! There is more, but you should watch for yourself, she did an amazing job!

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PY_Display
Apr 17, 2014

Sunset Boulevard is not a book. But it is available at the library, so I feel it is worthy to add to the list.

Sunset Boulevard is about Joe Gillis, a man who goes to Hollywood trying to make it as a screen-writer. We start out with some people trying to reposess his car. To escape them, he pulls into the driveway of a crumbling mansion to find the equally crumbling Norma Desmond, star of the silent films. She coerces Joe to edit a film she has written, which promises to be her grand return to film. Joe, short on cash and options, stays on.

The story is both darkly comical and deeply tragic. Norma Desmond has cracked in her stardom and then her isolation. Joe struggles underneath the weight of Hollywood indifference. Great movie, classic of the time and well worth watching.

d2013 Mar 11, 2014

Timeless! Loved it!

voisjoe1 Feb 15, 2014

Gloria Swanson plays an aging film star that lost popularity when the silent films ended when talkies began. Erich von Stroheim plays her butler and William Holden plays a two-bit screenwriter trying to make a buck trying to go along with Swanson's dream of making another picture with the great Cecil B. De Mille. A bleak picture about a washed up actress who can’t face that nobody is interested in making a picture with her. The strange thing is that Swanson was a star of several silent pictures and Stroheim was a great director during those times. This film is considered by Sight and Sound critics poll to be the 63rd best picture ever made. A totally macabre picture of a deranged ex-film great, played by Swanson, while not totally out of films, was playing mostly minor pieces for TV, when she got an Oscar nom for this film.

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Ron@Ottawa
Jan 20, 2014

This black-and-white film is another masterpiece by director Billy Wilder, about a reluctant gigolo and his faded, aging star who dreamt about a comeback that could never happen. A classic.

viguyy Feb 08, 2013

This is hands down the finest film ever made about Hollywood. Gloria Swanson is absolutely brilliant as the great Norma Desmond. "You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big. (Norma) "I AM big. It's the pictures that got small." The writing is just as good as it gets in this noir classic that takes aim at Hollywood itself & really does cut through the illusions of it all with a cleverness & bite rarely scene.

Gloria Swanson is truly remarkable in this film with her dramatic eye bulging, claw-like hands poses & her sharp dramatic voice inflections. Absolutely brilliant acting! Just a fantastic treat to watch every single moment of her on the screen. One of the greatest performance on film, ever!

William Holden's performance is also very good. Who could play opposite Swanson while more than holding his own and that is certainly Holden. His self- sickened character who is badly in need of cash ends up prostituting himself & paying the ultimate price for his choices. Holden really is not given enough credit for how truly marvelous his performance is.

Max...then there is the undying loyalty of Max. Norma Desmond's dedicated butler who is played to perfection by Erich Von Stroheim. Max's charcter would fit right into a 1950's horror film just as easily as he does in this film. He is the creepy over obsessed, over dedicated servant to the great Norma Desmond and Von Stronheim is simply brilliant.

Of course the film is directed & co-written by the very great Billy Wilder who made some of the greatest films ever made. Arguably this may be Wilder's finest effort, a masterful work in every way & for a film lover, pure bliss to watch. Pure bliss!

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

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yumsushi
Nov 19, 2012

Norma Desmond is portrayed wonderfully all dolled up, dramatic and left behind by Hollywood.

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Monolith
Sep 17, 2012

The monumental classic co-written/directed by the extraordinary Billy Wilder. A bold, vitriolic look at the seamy underbelly of the Hollywood meat-grinder. Swanson is staggering as the reclusive diva... "yesterday's glamour queen". Neurotically glaring, without blinking, wide-eyed -- an image I won't soon forget. Stone-faced Erich von Stroheim as the creepy Igor-ish gothic pipe organ playing butler (with a secret). Holden as her (breathing) pet monkey. Just phenomenal. Exquisite cinema. FIVE STARS.

IMCHRE8TV Dec 28, 2011

I have heard many references to this film over the years and took the time to sit down and see what it was all about. Lights. Camera. Action. Old Hollywood fading out ... All right, Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my closeup."

Check it out.

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GingerKaren
Sep 04, 2009

Entrenched in her own magnificence the aging film star Norma Desmond is happliy surprised when a stranger decides to help her write the script to her return to the silver screen. Love the lines that became famous - "I am big, it's the pictures that got small!" among others.


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