Classic Film Review- Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Boulevard poster

Sunset Boulevard was the last collaboration between director Billy Wilder and Co-Producer Charles Brackett. It is a film noir film starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim,  Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough Jack Webb, with cameos from some of Hollywood’s finest playing themselves: director Cecil B. DeMille, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nilsson.

It tells the story of a failed Hollywood screenwriter, Joe Gillis, who cannot seem to catch a break. While on the run from men trying to repossess his car, he pulls into a mansion he thinks is abandoned.

However, it turns out to be occupied by faded silent film actress Norma Desmond and her butler Max. At first, she invites him in to look at script she wrote called Salome, about the titular character from the Bible.

However, the overly dramatic actress is living in denial that her fame has faded. Though Joe, at first, tries to just work on her script, he is soon pulled into her delusions, first hesitantly, but then of his own free will as he is forced to stay in the strange mansion with its bizarre owner.

William Holden and Gloria Swanson brought this film to life. It is one of the most well acted, well directed, and well film movies to come out of the 1950s. I was entranced as I watched the confusing relationship of the two characters. It is a shame that Wilder and Brackett parted ways after this film. They could have gone on to make incredible movies.

FAVORITE QUOTE: I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Thematic Elements

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  1. I enjoy your posts when they appear on “The Daily Wire” news page. I followed your bio. on the same to your blog, and ended up in your movie review section. Not to rain all over your parade, but the actual quote from Norma Desmond is, ” I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” Best, Courtney

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