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on October 20, 2017
This is a classic movie that you will see referenced in other movies as well as the hysterical scenes that Carol Burnett did on her show in the 70's. OK I'm showing my age. Brilliantly sad story of desperation, greed, lust & madness. Every time I watch it I hope things will turn out better, but alas you know right from the beginning how things will end. Well written, acted & filmed truly one of the best films ever made about Hollywood. For that matter one of the best movies ever made. William Holden is not only hunky but he is the perfect in this part as the sweet desperate man who seems doomed & unable to fight it. Gloria Swanson was so daring to make this film & played it right on the edge, a little more & it would've seemed campy, a little less & it would've seemed dull.
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on May 9, 2014
Cannot bestow enough accolades on this film. Billy Wilder outdoes himself. William Holden is perfectly cast. The card players, including Buster Keaton, are the real thing--old silent movie stars playing themselves. Gloria Swanson couldn't have been a better choice because she had been a renowned silent actor as well as Joseph Kennedy's mistress in real life. However, in the film's story, taking place in 1950, she a nut case who is obsessed by her past glory. Von Sternberg's role as a servant is also amazing because, for the film, he appears to have put aside his enormous ego; he was also after all an accomplished silent-movie director in real life. What a cast? After Holden dies in the first frames of the movie, he then serves as the narrator throughout. Holden's narration outdoes Kevin Spacey's in Netflix's "House of Card." Neither is a new theatrical touch because Shakespeare employed it first.
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on March 5, 2014
This film is almost a piece of art. I know a lot of people will not watch black and white films (MAKE AN EXCEPTION!!) but colorizing them absolutely ruins the effect.
Thank goodness that has not been done to this film.
As soon as the film behins, it grips you. And even though you know what happens at the very end, you can't take your eyes away.
Gloria Swanson, who was the greatest silent film star, almost plays a version of herself. She really had to put her ego aside to do it.
Then their are the other characters that play themselves including the great producer and the characters briefly seen at her card party.
William Holden is in a big fix. A movie writer who is broke and is forced to become her "boy toy."
Don't miss the best part at the end when Norma Desmond cracks up and you hear that famous line, "I AM READY FOR MY CLOSE UP, MR. DEMILLE."
The cinematography itself is pure art.
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on July 31, 2015
This is a movie that really holds up well over time. The story and acting are so good you think that something like this really might have happened once in Hollywood. Also, I was surprised at how funny some of the quips are in this movie. I hadn't seen it in such a long time I thought it was going to be pretty dramatic throughout but there is some sharp dialogue that while at times is cutting, it also cuts some of the tension. Bravo!
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on June 7, 2017
This is a fascinating story with superior actors. The dvd quality was EXCELLENT.If you like film, black and white and film history you would probably enjoy this movie.Gloria Swanson is terrifyingly beautiful has she progresses toward madness. Bill Holden is understated and pitch perfect in his complicated role.....and sexy.
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In Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) a superb cast, story and cinematography combine to make a film noir classic. This was one of the first selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, and is #16 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 best American movies.

It's the story of a young man who falls under the control of an aging former silent-era starlet. When she realizes that Joe Gillis (Holden) is a screenwriter, Norma Desmond (Swanson) asks him to polish the script for her imagined "comeback" movie. Along the way, he becomes financially dependent on the older lady, who quickly falls in love with him. On New Year's Eve Gillis rejects Desmond's advances, eventually gets involved with another woman and tragedy ensues.

Erich von Stroheim is excellent as Miss Desmond's butler. The supporting cast also includes Cecil B. DeMille (as himself); he directed Miss Swanson in several silent features, starting with 1919's "Don't Change Your Husband." Gossip columnist Hedda Hopper portrays herself, as well. Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson have bridge-playing cameos.

Also directed by Billy Wilder, DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edw. G. Robinson, is another superlative example of the film noir genre. (VHS edition)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(8.7) Sunset Boulevard (1950) - William Holden/Gloria Swanson/Erich von Stroheim/Nancy Olson/Fred Clark/Jack Webb/Cecil B. DeMille/Hedda Hopper/Buster Keaton/H. B. Warner/Anna Q. Nilsson/Ray Evans/Jay Livingston/Henry Wilcoxon
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In Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) a superb cast, story and cinematography combine to make a film noir classic. This was one of the first selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, and is #16 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 best American movies.

It's the story of a young man who falls under the control of an aging former silent-era starlet. When she realizes that Joe Gillis (Holden) is a screenwriter, Norma Desmond (Swanson) asks him to polish the script for her imagined "comeback" movie. Along the way, he becomes financially dependent on the older lady, who quickly falls in love with him. On New Year's Eve Gillis rejects Desmond's advances, eventually gets involved with another woman and tragedy ensues.

Erich von Stroheim is excellent as Miss Desmond's butler. The supporting cast also includes Cecil B. DeMille (as himself); he directed Miss Swanson in several silent features, starting with 1919's "Don't Change Your Husband." Gossip columnist Hedda Hopper portrays herself, as well. Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson have bridge-playing cameos.

Also directed by Billy Wilder, DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edw. G. Robinson, is another superlative example of the film noir genre. (VHS edition)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(8.7) Sunset Boulevard (1950) - William Holden/Gloria Swanson/Erich von Stroheim/Nancy Olson/Fred Clark/Jack Webb/Cecil B. DeMille/Hedda Hopper/Buster Keaton/H. B. Warner/Anna Q. Nilsson/Ray Evans/Jay Livingston/Henry Wilcoxon
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on March 20, 2017
Sunset Boulevard is the best of pre-1960 Hollywood. The back story is as good or better than the story itself and the story is great. My advice is watch the commentary version.
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on March 11, 2017
I already knew how great this movie is.It was a gift and as such, it did deliver.One of the best films ever.
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on May 11, 2014
I saw this movie a very long time ago & loved it. Great cast & great background information on the making of this movie..
This movie is timeless. It's a slam at Hollywood & what gets done to actors once they are used up & spit out.
Gloria Swanson is fantastic, blending beauty, creepiness, & madness all into one. Holden is marvelous as a down on his luck writer who becomes a "kept man".
Carol Burnett did hilarious skits about Sunset Boulevard.
Damn, they just don't make movies like they used to.
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