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Comments 1 - 15 of 42

DisneyStitch's avatar

DisneyStitch

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.
9 years 3 months ago
ThePublicEnemy's avatar

ThePublicEnemy

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.
12 years 7 months ago
creole's avatar

creole

For a movie from the 50's it's immensely creepy in a subtle way. Not many modern movies can emulate this style.
11 years 2 months ago
nicolino's avatar

nicolino

amazing acting, I really liked this metatheatrical and self-referring noir.
11 years 5 months ago
idjutt's avatar

idjutt

I must admit that apart from Hitchkock and Welles I have been avoiding classical Hollywood for the longest, but after watching three of Billy Wilder's movies there's no denial it was also a place for true cinema, not only mindless blockbusters. This is my favorite so far of Wilder's oeuvre, but I will sure check out the rest.
11 years 6 months ago
DynatiaCydonia's avatar

DynatiaCydonia

Didn't really expect something from this movie, I was just curious to know why it was so high rated... now I know.
13 years 11 months ago
krisflushednemo's avatar

krisflushednemo

Gloria Swanson fucking OWNED this movie.
12 years 10 months ago
tcfaria's avatar

tcfaria

Amazing!
11 years 2 months ago
vmunda's avatar

vmunda

I am overwhelmed.
11 years 4 months ago
arminko47's avatar

arminko47

Great performance by Gloria Swanson.
11 years 9 months ago
Let The Flames Begin's avatar

Let The Flames Begin

Saw the musical first, it totally blew me away. After that, I saw the movie and it is equally great, but in a different way. It is so haunting.
12 years 5 months ago
Public Enemy's avatar

Public Enemy

Not everyone likes the same thing!!??? Shocking!
14 years ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

What is perhaps most surprising about Sunset Boulevard - not just a Billy Wilder classic, but point blank a cinema classic - is how much of real Hollywood is in it. Gloria Swanson was, like Nora Desmond, a silent film star at Paramount (and one of their hottest tickets). She didn't go mad (though she was "aged" out of the business when talkies took over and hadn't been in a feature in more than 15 years). but others like her did have well-reported struggled with mental health (like Clara Bow). C.B. DeMille appears in person as himself. We see producers, scriptwriters, readers, technicians. And it seems like Wilder is making a couple of indictments. One is the very idea of sending actresses (never seemed to happen to the chaps) out to pasture after they hit 35. Nora (and Swanson!) is only 50 years old and treated like a hag ("I thought she died"), and yet, Swanson here proves she can do it all - tragedy, comedy, horror, subtlety as well as theatricality. But Nora is also used to undermine nostalgia for the silent era. She's one of those people who say "they don't make them like that anymore" with a measure of bitterness, and Sunset Boulevard is filled with the words she so hates, with narration on top of witty dialogue. Wilder is a talky writer-director and he affirms himself. Or does he? He still celebrates the silent era here, and his hero is a hack writer who gets killed for his trouble (in a kind of reverse of Video Kill the Radio Star). And so the film has that push and pull between the visual and the writer's mediums - the film maker's internal struggle. And of course, it's well made, has some great classic lines AND visuals. It certainly wasn't my first viewing.
1 month 2 weeks ago
nick-samuel's avatar

nick-samuel

Did anyone else seem to think that the Artists aped a lot it's aesthetics from this? Billy Wilder is THE man.
10 years 3 months ago
KaramAkerfeldt's avatar

KaramAkerfeldt

How can something be so perfect?
11 years 4 months ago

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