Sunset Boulevard 1950 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(450) IMDb 8.6/10
Available in HD
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Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, an ageing silent film queen, and William Holden as the struggling writer who is held in thrall by her madness, created two of the screen's most memorable characters in Sunset Boulevard. Winner of three Academy Awards, director Billy Wilder's orchestration of the bizarre tale is a true cinematic classic.

Starring:
William Holden, Gloria Swanson
Runtime:
1 hour 51 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Sunset Boulevard

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Billy Wilder
Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson
Supporting actors Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough, Jack Webb, Franklyn Farnum, Larry J. Blake, Charles Dayton, Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson, H.B. Warner, Ray Evans, Jay Livingston, Fred Aldrich, Joel Allen, Gertrude Astor
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

This movie is truly one of the most definitive Hollywood films ever made.
Zack H.
It is also a great film noir, working as a mystery as well as a satire and a scathing attack on Hollywood.
The Dread Pirate Pastor Muppets
Everything about this movie is perfect and it just gets better and better at every viewing.
Anthony McGill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

194 of 211 people found the following review helpful By J. Ott VINE VOICE on October 19, 2003
Format: DVD
As a film critic says in one of the interviews on this splendid special edition, Billy Wilder not only had the craft, style and elegance we associate with classic Hollywood, he also had a biting wit that appeals to the sensibilities of today. This film has aged much better than it's central villian, the demented starlet portrayed to perfection by real-life demented starlet Gloria Swanson. William Holden's (literally) dead-pan narration as a two-bit screenwriter of B-movies is as sad and funny as it ever was.
The documentary on the disc does a good job of demonstrating just how unique the tone of this story is, how it perfectly navigates between funny and sad. Not everyone in Hollywood saw the funny side when it was released, and it lost to ALL ABOUT EVE at that year's Oscars. So what? With this disc, SUNSET BOULEVARD is finally getting it's due.
Besides the documentary, you can read two screenplay drafts of an excised opening sequence, explore 1950's Hollywood with an interactive map and watch the film with audio commentary by a critic and historian. All these features are secondary, of course, to the movie. It looks gorgeous. The black and white picture is rich and crisp, the sound is re-mastered and the story is as compelling as ever. The special features only do what all good special features should do on a DVD. They add to the richness of the film. You may already know that Eric von Stroheim (who plays a character who directed Gloria Swanson's character in silent films) directed Gloria Swanson in silent films. But did you know that the drugstore where all the screenwriter's hang out in the movie is the drug store where F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack in 1940? One of the reasons I love this movie is because it is so rich with Hollywood history.
I can't recommend this disc highly enough. Kudos to Columbia for doing right by a classic, a real film lover's film. I love this movie and I love this disc! 5/5 stars.
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99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Aguilar on March 16, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I first saw this film about a month ago expecting to see a campy, vampy classic the likes of which I hadn't seen since Mommie Dearest. Boy was I suprised! This film is not campy at all, it's a finely crafted work of art that fully engaged me in it's story of desperation. I was suprised by the richness and depth of characters all around, but espicailly by Norma Desmond. As over the top and outragous as Gloria Swanson is I never once didn't believe her. To achieve this level of believability and honesty from this character takes great craft. The story is dark and twisted with some new depth of character being revealed at the most suprising moments. Cinematography and lighting are astounding. I will never be able to forget the one close up shot of Norma on the movie set back lit by the sets lights. My breath was taken away and it was only one of many times.
Sunset Boulevard is a film that will stay with me forever and one that's become a classic for one really good reason: It's a flawless production.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Ibochild on December 3, 2002
Format: DVD
Billy Wilder is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers and SUNSET BOULEVARD is one of my all-time favorite films. As soon as I discovered it would be on DVD, I jumped at the opportunity and am so glad I did.
The image quality on this DVD is first-rate. The DVD case indicates that the film is presented in "full screen" format, which is somewhat misleading. It gives the false impression that the film has been "formatted" to fit a standard television. While the image does fit the screen without black bars on the top and bottom, the original aspect ratio of the film has been preserved. That is because it is not a "wide screen" film. Like most films of the period it was shot in standard 1.33:1 (or 4:3), which is the same aspect ratio as a standard television set, so cinema purists need not be alarmed. In other words, there is no annoying "pan and scan" of the image or parts of the frame cropped off to fill the television screen.
For those unfamiliar with the film, it is a scathing portrait of Hollywood and how it discards people when it is decided that they are no longer "useful." The casting of the film is inspired. It was if the parts were written for them. Gloria Swanson was indeed a faded silent film star, who had all but disappeared from the movies (although she was still active in the entertainment business). William Holden, while not a down-and-out screenwriter as depicted in the film, was a once promising young actor whose career was stagnating. Erich von Stroheim did in fact work in Hollywood as a director. Put this in the "art imitates life category": an excerpt of QUEEN KELLY, von Stroheim's ill-fated film starring Gloria Swanson appears in one scene. The cast also includes filmmaker Cecil B.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By John Sunyak on April 22, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is for the November 2008 Centennial release. This issue is a mixed bag. The picture is sharp, but the contrast is quite a bit darker. In some scenes the effect is very good and in quite a few other scenes, I found it a bit too dark. The November 2002 release was done with the services of Lowry Digital, the same service that did the recent James Bond restoration work with excellent results. Comparing the two, The 2002 release done by Lowry Digital was very good and didn't really need any improvement since there was very little if anything to improve. Rather than re-shuffling the same product over and over, it has been quite some time since Paramount has done anything new with their classic catalog. Paramount has not released new product from their classic catalog in years. For those of you who have the 2002 release, there is no need to buy the Centennial, so keep the current copy that you have.
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