Sunset Blvd. (1950)

BILLY WILDER

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.  USA, 1950Paramount Pictures.  Screenplay by , Billy Wilder, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1950Golden Globe Awards 1950.  

William Holden and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Both were nominated for leading Oscars for their performances.

The mother of all backstage Hollywood movies that just never seems to age. One of the peaks of Billy Wilder’s abundantly successful career is this fantastic film about a struggling screenwriter () who takes refuge in the decaying home of a has-been silent movie queen (, in a career-reviving performance). He thinks he has hit easy street after she takes him in, but he soon realizes that this woman expects him to put out freely while helping her get ready for her giant comeback, a script about Salome that she has written herself. A cameo by Cecil B. DeMille helps lend weight to this great story, plus fantastic camerawork by John Seitz really allows the viewer to personally experience Swanson’s fall into the darkness of insanity. Marvelous.

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