Saturday, July 7, 2007

My Favorite Movies: SUNSET BOULEVARD

Director: Billy Wilder
Year: 1950

One of the most bizaare and cynical films ever to come out of Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard remains one of the best movies about the business of making movies. A struggling writer stumbles upon the decrepit mansion of a faded star. From there unfolds a stinging satire of delusion, ambition, and broken dreams. Double Indemnity was hot, and I haven't seen The Apartment, but I'm not sure if Billy Wilder ever did a better film than this. Gloria Swanson delivered one of the most memorable performances of all-time as Norma Desmond, the quintessential has-been. The film got nominated for 11 Oscars, but maybe because it hit too close to home, it won only three, one for its dark and carefully observed screenplay.

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1 comment:

Otep said...

"The Apartment" was great! The scale of "Sunset Boulevard" attempts to be more majestic, but what makes "The Apartment" better for me is how it turns a simple proposition into an insightful commentary on human nature.

Also, Jack Lemmon can make any movie passable.

Though, if I hadn't heard the Lloyd Webber musical before I watched the source movie, maybe I would have had a better opinion of "Sunset Boulevard."