- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
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The quintessential movie about movies. A screenwriter becomes the gigolo to a forgotten silent cinema queen planning a return to movie-making. Swanson won the Golden Globe while Holden, von Stroheim and Olson received Oscar nominations for their performances, von Stroheim particularly outstanding as Swanson's director-tutned-husband-turned-butler. Won three Oscar's for it's score, art direction and for Wilder, Brackett and Marshman, Jr.'s screenplay, the story itself boldly takes a look at the ugly side of Hollywood and is lightly funny and dark. An masterpiece of cinema with Wilder's usual, expert use of dialouge. I give it a 5/5.
Overall-4/5Lead Performers-4/5Supporting Cast-4/5Director-5/5Score-4/5Titles-4/5Screenplay-4/5Cinematography-5/5Importance-3/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-4/5
Sunset Blvd (1950)
The biggest and best movie to look inside the darkness of Hollywood is this movie right here. It is about B movie writer Joe Gillis (William Holden) and how a washed up silent screen star named Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) forces him to write the screenplay for her return. The cast is superb, with Holden giving his best performance and an electrifying one at that; Swanson doing well, however, she sometimes tends to overact a bit; Erich Von Stronheim doing the best of the whole cast yet also setting the tone for the entire film; and Nancy Olson, doing well in her 1st big role. Franz Waxman's score is both exhilarating and haunting. The MVP of this film is director Billy Wilder, who traveled to the depths of Hollywood with a film that could've been dangerous for him. The script has plenty of very quotable lines. The ending scenes are unforgettable. Talk, talk, talk, didn't ruin this one bit.
Oh does she ever shine.
Hollywoods original Cougar
- Richard Warnock
Every fan of SunsetBlvd. never tire of the film.That is the mark of great storytelling.Norma Desmonds delusional climb back to the top of her career and the brewing love affair with her boy toy screen writer are played out on screen by former silent star Gloria Swanson and [new comer at the time]Wm.Holden.The supporting cast and celeb cameos,tie Billy Wilders direction all together.This classic is always ready for its close-up,not to miss.
SILENT HOLLYWOOD TALKS!
- Mikey Lacy
Three of Hollywood's greatest silent inovators TALK and tell us their story via a brilliant fictional script. The lines Von Strohiem toss back and forth are black humor at its very brightest. Swanson's scene at the old Paramount Gates breaks ones heart. DeMille as always is larger than life and we root for him. The "modern day" cast is supurb. Silent film buffs and students of Hollywood history cannot get enough of this picture. I watch it every time it is shown, the DVD is a must have in any collection. One has to ask what Adolph Zukor and Jesse L. Lasky had to have privatly thought about the picture. The entire film boggles the mind while remaining engrossing and vastly entertaining. Gloria as Norma watching herself in the film she made with VonStrohien playing Max is the best inside joke in all moviedom!
Timing Is Everything
- Bruce Reber
If only Joe Gillis had that flat tire a little farther down Sunset Blvd. he might have turned into the driveway of another star (a contemporary popular one), instead of has-been silent screen star Norma Desmond living in her creepy rundown mansion. But then we would not have had the pleasure of seeing Billy Wilder's scathing look at the darker more seedier side of Hollywood and its personalities. Sunset Blvd. is a study in contrasts, with a young struggling screenwriter trying to get his first break and his career off the ground, and an aging delusional former screen queen whose career has been over for more than 20 years, but can't face reality and is trying for her big comeback (or return, as Norma hates the word "comeback"). Even though Joe tells Norma he will edit her lengthy, overly melodramatic script for "Salome" because he needs the money, he is slowly drawn into her creepy world of fantasy and excess in her mausoleum and becomes attracted to her. But at the same time he falls for Betty, who is also aspiring to be a screenwriter. But as fate would have it, Joe's entanglement with Norma prevents him from having the relationship with Betty he really wants. The stage is set for tragedy because Norma finally realizes that Joe can't give her the love she so desperately needs, and he realizes that his attraction to Norma is sick and twisted and based only on necessity and convenience. Joe ends up face down dead in Norma's pool after she shoots him, and she finally does get to make her "return" to film, although not the way she wanted. I've heard about the original ending where Joe's body and several others in the morgue talk about how they met their deaths, but at test screenings the audience thought it was so weird and off the wall that they laughed. I would like to have seen it, but it probably no longer exists, unless it's included on the DVD (which I don't yet have). I watch Sunset Blvd. every time it's on TCM. One of the greatest films ever.
- Laura J
They just dont make 'em like this anymore. Great storyline and cast. Enjoyed seeing the old time silent stars in a cameo appearence. The only thing was the movie makes you think Norma is like 80 years old but she is only 50, not old at all by todays standards, but I guess in the '50's it was. I really enjoyed it, the whole cast was great.
Fuzzy end of the lollipop.
- Oliver Cutshaw
This movie more than any other, with perhaps the exception of A Star is Born, shows the ebb and flow of Hollywood fame. It is an almost clinical examination of the egotism of stardom, especially faded stardom. Gloria Swanson is fantastic. The cast excellent, the direction and script brilliant. Some complain that the film is a bit too dark, but I think it is dark and disturbing because it is a depiction of the growing madness of Norma. Absolutely fantastic closing scene.
As good as it gets.
This is one of those rare movies that you can see over and over again and never tire of. It has so many perfect elements in it that you can't count them. Also they are elements that are so subtle that you cannot explain them. This is what makes the Golden age of the movies so creative.Above all, if Gloria Swanson never made another movie in her life she couldn't have been more supurb. WHAT A PERFORMANCE!!!!!
A BIG PICTURE
- WALTER G WILSON
THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY MOVIE.GLORIA SWANSON AND WILLIAM HOLDEN ARE SO GOOD IN ITIT HAS GREAT LINES AND A INTERESTING STORY LINE THAT NEVER GROWS OLD.IN MY OPINION ERICH VON STROHEIM CARRIES THE WHOLE MOVIE. IT IS A MUCH SEE FOR MOVIE LOVERS.
This movie is just brilliant. There's no other way to describe it. I saw it on TCM just a couple weeks back and I was amazed. This is one of the greatest films I've ever seen. Gloria Swanson's character is an example of just how brilliant everything in this movie is. She is wonderful. William Holden and Gloria Swanson both recieved well-deserved Oscar nominations for their roles. A classic for many, many years to come.
- Donna Reed
- Marcos Augusto
The best Hollywood movie ever made about Hollywood!
I AM READY FOR MY CLOSE UP
THIS HAS TO BE MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIE.IF I COULD BE A GUEST PROGRAMMER ON TCM THIS WOULD BE THE FIRST ONE I WOULD PICK. GLORIA SWANSON IS IN HER FINEST HOUR. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE LEGENDARY DIRECTOR ERIC VON STROHEIM AS HER BULTER AND EX HUSBAND MAX. IT HAS GREAT LINES AND WILLIAM HOLDEN HAS A HEY DAY.BILLY WILDER SHOULD GO DOWN IN HISTORY FOR THIS FILM.
What a Flick!
Wow! Every time this film airs, I'm on it! What a phenomenal movie. The direction, storyline, actors, everything, just comes together to make a truly exciting and classic film. Sheer perfection! I wish Nancy Olson made more films. What a wholesome looking, beautiful girl. Great Film!
- Fan of the Classics
Everything from Wilder's script and direction to the actors is absolutely perfect. If you haven't seen this one, it is a MUST.
- Joyce Thomas
I have often written for suggest a movie :Sunset Blvd. hoping that TCM would air it and since you have I see the trem endous reaction fans have toward this tremendous motion picture. Gloria Swanson is a genious in her performance and her supporting cast accentuates her performance in every way with their extroidinary performances. I cannot believe that she did not win the academy award.
The Greatest Film of All Time
Superb on all counts and boasting the best performance on film: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond.William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, co-star with Jack Webb, Lloyd Gough, Fred Clark, Cecil B. de Mille, Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nillson, H.B. Warner, Yvette Vickers, and Julia Faye.