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Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Boulevard (1950)


William Holden
Gloria Swanson
Erich von Stroheim
Nancy Olson

Directed by Billy Wilder

One thing major stands out in this thriller when you sit through the movie Sunset Boulevard and that is Gloria Swanson as she plays the character Norma Desmond. She plays this character so well with so much intense and passion that you are just left lost in pity of her person and the idea of a human who has gone over the bend. The character Norma Desmond so suites Gloria in the way she portrays it that I have to wonder if part of her personal life went into it. Gloria was in reality a silent-film era star before the time of the talkies. In her life she moved with the times and was not stuck in the past like Norma, the character she plays.

The movie plot starts with us getting a look into the life of Joe Gills (William Holden) as he gives us a flashback into what had led him to the point which we find him at the beginning of the film.
Joe was down on his luck as a screenwriter, he has not gotten a job in a long while and his finances were down in the dust. He was owing on his rent and on his car and they were coming to reclaim his car. He tries to raise three hundred dollars in an effort to keep his car, but all his attempts failed.
While fleeing from the repossession men, he gets a flat and drives into an old abandoned mansion. He hides his car there then he hears a voice, the voice of a woman (Norma) who calls him to come upstairs, he went. He was let into the house by a man named Max (Erich von Stroheim) and soon understood that he was mistook to be a coffin maker.

He meets Norma and soon gets the idea that she was living in her own fantasy world. Norma used to be a leading actress in the silent-film era, there she made all her fortune and now lives a reclusive life as the talkies began. A life where she has carved out a time for herself and has refused to age beyond the time when she was still popular. In her world she is still a film star, getting thousands of letters every week from fans asking her to make a comeback.
She was truly rich, and her riches along with Max’s love for her was what Max used to fund her fantasy world. She also learns that Joe was a screenwriter and ask him to read her screenplay, she was going to use that screenplay to make a comeback. Joe reads it and sees an opportunity to make money and tells her the screenplay (which was a waste of paper) needs a re-write. He gets her to hire him as a ghost writer.
He is forced to move into the mansion with her and she develops feelings for him, she starts to care for him take care of him all in the hope that they are writing a movie together.
It was when reality hit, that this movie takes a turn and only by you seeing it can you fully appreciate the turn it takes.
The movie's appeal is it's energy. The movie has this scary ghoulish feeling like there is something dark and amiss about what was happening and as you watch you will get to see it. The movie has a good score and it has two popular movie lines, which had been remixed much. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." and "I am big, it's the pictures that got small!"

Sunset Boulevard received Golden Globe awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Motion Picture Actress (Swanson), Best Motion Picture Director and Best Motion Picture Score. Sunset Boulevard also received 11 Academy Award nominations and won three, which include Best Screenplay and Best Musical Score.


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