Write descriptive essay about Sunset Blvd. movie 1950, write an essay of at least 500 words on Sunset Blvd., 5 paragraph essay on Sunset Blvd., definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Sunset Blvd.
Year:
1950
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Film-Noir
IMDB rating:
8.5
Director:
Billy Wilder
William Holden as Joseph C. 'Joe' Gillis
Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling
Nancy Olson as Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark as Sheldrake
Lloyd Gough as Morino
Jack Webb as Artie Green
Franklyn Farnum as Undertaker - Chimp's Funeral
Larry J. Blake as First Finance Man (as Larry Blake)
Charles Dayton as Second Finance Man
Hedda Hopper as Herself
Buster Keaton as Himself - Bridge Player
Anna Q. Nilsson as Herself - Bridge Player
H.B. Warner as Himself - Bridge Player
Storyline: The story, set in '50s Hollywood, focuses on Norma Desmond, a silent-screen goddess whose pathetic belief in her own indestructibility has turned her into a demented recluse. The crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion where she lives with only her butler, Max who was once her director and husband has become her self-contained world. Norma dreams of a comeback to pictures and she begins a relationship with Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who becomes her lover, that will soon end with murder and total madness.
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Reviews
"...we didnd't need to talk, we had faces!"
Gloria Swanson was the definitive choice for the role of Nora Desmond in this classic story of an excentric aging silent screen star determined to make a come back. William Holden plays the out-of-luck young writer who sees the filthy rich Swanson as his meal ticket. Under the pretence of writing Swanson's come back script, Holden becomes the pretty boy giggolo to the psychotic older lady.

Billy Wilder pulled out all of his tricks for this eye-candy of a movie. Re-makes don't come close to this original gem, and for God's sake stay away from the awful Andrew Lloyd Webber play! There is no substitute for the real McCoy; this original movie is the winner hands down!*****
2004-06-05
Another Billy Wilder classic
Very few past directors have made such great movies that they never aged and still appears fresh and entertaining today. One name that instantly pops out is Alfred Hitchcock, but although he is still considered the master of suspense, his films are now dwarfed by big-budget Hollywood action movies with stellar special effects. In my opinion, Billy Wilder's films have aged the least. In today's tradition of gross-out movies, his classic comedy Some Like It Hot still brings out the laughs and was recently named by the American Film Institute as the funniest American movie of all time. His Oscar-winning movie The Apartment still feels original, and its influence is still seen today-Sam Mendes cited it as an inspiration in making American Beauty. Wilder made many other classics, but arguably, his best film was 1950's Sunset Boulevard.

This movie is about Hollywood; it reflects how the movie business has changed in that period when silent films have given way to talkies. It shows an aging silent film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who, even though rich, still wants the fame and glory she once had. She is now isolated in her mansion, accompanied only by her butler Max (Erich von Stroheim), her house filled with pictures from the past, and she watches her past films in her own theater. She dreams of making a comeback, writing a ridiculous script, and hoping to send it to Cecil B. DeMille and make him direct it.

The movie is seen from the point of view of Joe Gillis (William Holden). His character was well established-a struggling writer in need of fast money because he needs to pay his rent and keep his car. The studio rejects his script; he ends up asking various people for money, and fails. We are not surprised that when Norma asks him to edit her script and requests him to live in her house, he accepts. Later, when Norma admits that she is falling in love with him, he first despises the idea, but eventually ends up with her because he needs the money likes the lifestyle.

The screenplay is very much well written because it develops almost every character. The butler Max plays a deeper role in the story that it may seem, and I will let the viewers find that out for themselves. A woman named Betty Schaefer also plays an important role; she is the younger attractive woman Gillis falls for but cannot pursue because she is engaged and also because Gillis cannot get out of his relationship with Norma.

The movie's score by Franz Waxman impressed me. The music enters at the right moments, and it sets the tone for the entire movie. The casting is somewhat interesting. Swanson was also a silent film star and at one point in the movie, Norma and Gillis watches a movie called Queen Kelly with the young Swanson, and at that time, it seemed like Swanson was playing herself. The butler Max, admits that he was once a promising director: `There were three young directors who showed promise in those days, D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and Max von Mayerling.' This is interesting because Erich von Stroheim was also a director, and more interestingly, he directed Swanson in Queen Kelly. In a scene where Norma invites her silent film friends to play bridge, the parts were played by real silent film stars-Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson and H.B. Warner.

The real backbone of this movie is Gloria Swanson's amazing performance. She makes her character tiptoe the line of insanity, and she convincingly fell through it in the end. I enjoyed the way she overacts sometimes, showing us that Norma still lives in the past, doing pantomime for silent films. When Gillis told her that she used to be big, she immediately answers, `I am big. It's the pictures that got small.' She also impersonates Chaplin's tramp at one point, and it provided one of the biggest laughs of the movie.

A minor drawback in the movie occurs in the beginning, where one important plot development is revealed. I believe that the movie could have been a little better if Wilder used a straight narrative rather than starting close to the end and tell the story in one big flashback. I still give this movie a perfect grade because it still works well even with the minor mistake, and it also deeply entertained me. Sunset Boulevard, like Singin' in the Rain, uses an important event in movie history and develops it not just into a great movie, but one of the greatest movies of all time.

2002-06-21
I had a boss who was a dead ringer for Norma Desmond.
(Spoilers...)

She was as old as the hills, you could see her time has come and gone but you couldn't tell her that. She married a man who was 40 years younger than she was. She was rich. She took 'care' of him. She also lived in a house with her ex. And back in the day, she was very pretty. And one day, she snapped.

I'm talking about my ex-boss. Really.

Now about the movie.

I saw this on the wonderful Los Angeles based "Z" channel in the 1980's. This film was too much!!! It was fantastic. The music, the theme, the actors: Gloria Swanson and William Holden. It told a story and the story kept me going. Everybody kicked butt in this film...everybody -- (including a young "Joe Friday"!)

This is what DRAMA is in a film. This is what a DIVA QUEEN is in film. This is a look inside Hollywood no one wants to admit.

RUN!!! Don't walk and get this film. Buy it, don't rent it, because you'll want to own it and watch it again and again.

Drama!!! A Masterpiece!!

2003-07-13
Classic Film Noir of epic proportions...
Joe Gillis(William Holden)is a Hollywood writer who gets himself caught up revising a script for the comeback of a silent film star named Norma Desmond(Gloria Swanson), who is obsessed with her past and suicidal.

Forget the chemistry in Casablanca, this movie has the best on screen chemistry of all time! I have always enjoyed film noir, but never really respected it as much as I would have for other movie genres, but Sunset Blvd. changed my mind. I could not find a single thing wrong with this movie. The acting, writing, and plot were all wonderful. The writing, of course, was the snazzy film noir type dialog that can be easily noticeable. The movie included famous lines such as: "I'm still big, it's the picture that got smaller" and "Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up" The movie was still scary, even now, 55 years later! Overall, this is one of the greatest movies of all time and the best movie of the 50s.

I highly recommend this movie.
2005-08-29
Cruel and Unusual
Sunset Blvd is certainly one of the best movies I've seen, and I enjoyed it immensely. The mother of all Anti-Hollywood movies is still the best.

It is unusually abstract for a 1950s movie (even for a modern movie) and any arthouse lover would enjoy this it.

But what I did not like about it is that it is a very cruel movie. But I guess it's part of the movie's theme: Hollywood is cruel and don't have anything to do with it.

It works on the same concept of the Coen Brother's "Barton Fink" that says warns you that "if you want to win in Hollywood you'll have to be willing to loose your soul."

Scary though.

But still I can't wait for the DVD of Sunset Blvd.
2002-08-21
Greatness Boulevard.
Generally considered as Wilder's peak,it lives up to its reputation.Fifty years later,it remains the best movie about movie world,not only hollywoodian .One hundred times plagiarized,never surpassed. First of all,there 's the Swanson/Von Stroheim couple.He directed her in the famous "Queen Kelly"(another must of the silent movies).Von Stroheim was too ahead of his time,his movies scared the censors ,so he was not allowed to pursue a career that would have been stunning in the talkies.Here he became (supreme downfall),Swanson's butler ,while we see one of his former colleagues,Cecil B. De Mille,playing his own role,still directing.Von Stroheim's character is called "Max von Mayerling" ,probably one of Wilder's private jokes: Stroheim once said he was the son of a lady in waiting of Austrian Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) whose son Rudolph committed suicide in Mayerling!And Wilder was Austrian too. Swanson is impressive too.The comeback myth is the dream of every actor whose star is slowly but inexorably fading.that she continues viewing her old -and real!- triumphs like "Queen Kelly,that she's writing an extravaganza shows that her comeback desire has reached the point of no return and that her only place in this world is the asylum.What Swanson did not achieve in the movie,she did it for real:she really could come back(as Lilian Gish),her performance,particularly in the last scene ,has stood the test of time. Wilder as a scriptwriter outdoes himself here;lines like "I'm still big;it's the pictures that got small" could be pronounced today ! 25 years later,he would try to update "sunset blvd" with "Fedora":the latter suffered by comparison,but it's a very worthwhile work that every fan of this great director should see.
2001-08-07
Sunset Blvd: An intense and scary film
'Sunset Blvd.' criticizes the mass media society. It is not just about Hollywood.

"Sunset Blvd." is classic Billy Wilder work. He builds a story with a voice over, which creates an intense and exciting mood.

Sunset Blvd. has many qualities. This is a tragic story about a fallen star and the inability to be a "normal" and "ordinary" human after have been some kind of attraction. This is a movie that after more than 50 years still has great power. And I think it will remain. Just the fact that "Sunset Blvd." really includes Paramount Pictures, Cecil B. DeMille, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim makes it so real and in the same time beyond reality. And who produced this picture? Paramount Pictures! Is it an impossible thing to happen today? When Norma and Joe watches a movie you can see what it is: Queen Kelly - one of the last silent movies, directed by von Stroheim and casted by Gloria Swanson ...

Billy Wilder shows that the end isn't the only important thing in a movie. It is most of all the way to the end. "Sunset Blvd." is like a journey, and there is not only the characters in 'Sunset Blvd.' who has a development - it is most of all also a development for us, the audience, if we understand it. And I think we should.

Rating: 10 of 10.
2003-06-19
SEE THIS MOVIE ON THE BIG SCREEN!!!
I've seen this film over and over on tv and video. Last week I got to see it on the big screen. WOW! GO, Drive miles and miles, walk if necessary, steal a car, whatever - any chance you have to see this film as intended TAKE IT! I've always loved this film and thought it was brilliant - NOW I know it's truly a masterpiece! Gloria Swanson's performance is unbelievable - just how DID Judy Holiday win that oscar?!?!?

2000-09-07
Nothing Less Than Brilliant
Gloria Swanson and William Holden are supreme in this hard look into the dark side of Hollywoodland. Gloria Swanson as the insane Norma Desmond, a mad silent movie star languishing in her old mansion surrounded by reminders of her glory days, and William Holden as a bitingly cynical screenwriter playing gigolo to Swanson while carrying on an affair with nice reader Nancy Olson is great. The other scene-stealer is Erich von Stroheim, who plays Swanson's fromer husband and director, and now her butler.
2002-01-09
See Also
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