JL: Gloria Swanson, in a legendary
performance, plays faded silent-screen star Norma Desmond, a deluded
diva who provides lavish funeral services for her pet monkey and keeps
her ex-husband (Erich von Stroheim) around as her butler and
chauffeur. Down-and-out screenwriter Joe Gillis (William
is her kept man, engaged in writing a "comeback" film for Norma that he
knows is a stinker. Morbidly grotesque and darkly comic,
Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD is the greatest film ever made about the
sordid side of Hollywood. It's a dense masterpiece that
new layer of weirdness and perversion with each viewing, and it's more
fun than a film like that should ever be.
JB: One of the best movies about movies, Billy Wilder's nearly uncategorizable SUNSET BOULEVARD is part comedy, part love story, part film noir thriller and part creepy old house horror movie, with a touch of psycho killer thrown in just for laughs. Gloria Swanson is pure perfection as a former screen idol who still imagines she is big star ("It's the pictures that got small"), playing her part with the kind of dramatic overkill only a real silent film actress could manage without lapsing into unintentional self-parody. She is matched by William Holden who plays the part of the down and out screenwriter with the jaded coolness of a Bogey private eye. Best know for its ironic ending ("I'm ready for my closeup") and its unique narrator - a corpse - SUNSET BOULEVARD is a must-see for any student of film history.
ADD ANOTHER QUOTE AND MAKE IT A GALLON
"And I promise you I'll never desert you again because after Salome, we'll make another picture and another picture. You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!"