Collector's Edition, Special Collector's Edition
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The highlights of the Sunset Boulevard DVD are a standout transfer and three 2002 documentaries. In "Sunset Boulevard: A Look Back" (26 min.), author Ed Sikov, actress Nancy Olson (who played Betty Schaefer), critic Andrew Sarris, and producer A.C. Lyles discuss the perfect cast, the alternate opening, and various anecdotes. "Edith Head: The Paramount Years" (13 min.) and "Franz Waxman and the Music of Sunset Boulevard" (14.5 min.) provide retrospectives on the legendary costume designer and composer. Sikov, the author of On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder, also provides a very informative if rather dry commentary track. Other features include a map spotlighting the Hollywood locations in the film, photo galleries, and two versions of the script for the original morgue opening, one of which is supplemented with silent footage cut from the picture. --David Horiuchi
- Fully restored
- "The Making of Sunset Boulevard" (includes interviews with Nancy Olson, Ed Sikov, film critic Andrew Sarris, Paramount producer A.C. Lyles, and Glenn Close)
- Photo galleries
- Hollywood location map
- Script of the original morgue prologue
- "The Music of Sunset Boulevard" featurette
- "Edith Head: The Paramount Years" (documentary of the famed costume designer)
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Top customer reviews
The movie disc is first rate. The film exposes the darker side of Hollywood. Norma Desmond is a delusional , aging and misguided star who expects to make a comeback. Joe Gillis is a near penniless desperate screenwriter who meets Norma and decides to help her rewrite a mess of a script she wrote about Salome, a role she expects to play. Norma falls for Joe and when he realizes that he has become a kept man who is fooling himself and Norma, it is too late to back out of the situation. Erich von Stroheim is menacing as Norma's butler with a secret and who is also protective of her. And Nancy Olson is excellent as a budding writer who ultimately falls for Joe. The story is well told and wonderfully directed by Billy Wilder. This is an emotional roller coaster which leads to a tragic crashing ending. Very highly recommended.
William Holden, as Joe Gillis, is terrific, but Gloria Swanson, as Norma Desmond, steals the show with a mesmerizing, stylized performance. Erich Von Stroheim also delivers a powerful performance as Max, the faithful manservant with a few surprises of his own. Look for cameos from Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, and Cecil B. DeMille.
Directed by Billy Wilder and co-written by him, this film garnered eleven Academy Award nominations, winning three. It is heralded as one of the cinema's all time great films. I concur.
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