Sunset Blvd. (1950)
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- Sunset Boulevard
- 110 min.
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Probably my favorite noir film. So many of the scenes are so classically dark and spooky it almost makes you shiver. It almost didn't get made because it attacked the culture of Hollywood and its stars. It's amazing that many of the themes of ego and self-worth are just as relevant in the movie industry today as they were when it was made. Gloria Swanson gives a chilling performance that is downright scary and William Holden with Erich von Stroheim rounding out a stellar cast.
Another amazing side story of this movie was just how closely the movie script matched the actors and the real life situations they had been through. Holden plays a struggling writer and in reality was at his wits end as a career actor. Swanson was a faded star at that point and had effectively left her movie career behind with many of her mannerisms and extreme behavior matching her character. Even DeMille who plays himself had directed Swanson numerous times at Paramount and even referred to Norma Desmond in the movie as "young fella" which was the same nickname he always called Swanson. In my years of watching cinema I've never come across a movie that mirrored the life behind the actors so completely, no doubt it is a factor in the wild success and quality of the movie.
I wasn't expecting the film to be this good, pleasant surprise! Almost seemed modern at times with its frank references to murder and suicide.
For a movie from the 50's it's immensely creepy in a subtle way. Not many modern movies can emulate this style.
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In 33 official lists
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This movie ranks #1 in IMDb's Film-Noir Top 50
This movie ranks #9 in IMDb's 1950s Top 50
This movie ranks #9 in Golden Globe Award - Best Motion Picture
This movie ranks #16 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #16 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
This movie ranks #19 in National Board of Review Award - Best Film
This movie ranks #19 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #29 in Taschen's 100 All-Time Favorite Movies
This movie ranks #33 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #40 in FilmTotaal Forum's Top 100
This movie ranks #57 in Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century
This movie ranks #60 in IMDb's Top 250
This movie ranks #63 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #65 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #71 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #73 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #73 in TSPDT's 100 Essential Noir Films
This movie ranks #77 in Rotten Tomatoes's Top 100 Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #79 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
This movie ranks #110 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #115 in Harvard's Suggested Film Viewing: Narrative Films
This movie ranks #127 in Reddit Top 250
This movie ranks #178 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #180 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #186 in iCheckMovies's Most Favorited
This movie ranks #200 in FOK!'s Film Top 250
This movie ranks #212 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #226 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #312 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #420 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #569 in Cahiers du Cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists
This movie ranks #847 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #862 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die