Sunset Boulevard

D: Billy Wilder
Paramount (Charles Brackett)
US 1950
110 mins


W: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett & D. M. Marshman, Jr.
DP: John Seitz
Ed: Doane Harrison & Arthur Schmidt
Mus: Franz Waxman 
PD: Hans Dreier & John Meehan
Cos: Edith Head

William Holden (Joe Gillis), Gloria Swanson (Norma Desmond), Erich Von Stroheim (Max Von Mayerling), Fred Clark (Sheldrake), Nancy Olson (Betty Schaefer), Lloyd Gough (Morino), Jack Webb (Artie Green), Cecil B. DeMille (himself)

Any true film buff would list this amongst their favourite movies of all time and any filmmaker worth their salt would cite this as one of their biggest influences. This incisive melodrama is the very definition of the Hollywood "Golden Age", structured with one of the best screenplays ever written as well as iconic performances and one of the most famous closing lines in the history of cinema.
William Holden plays luckless movie screenwriter Joe Gillis, who seeks refuge in a luxuriant mansion owned by former screen starlet Norma Desmond, whose refusal to see her stardom fade culminates in blackmail and subsequent murder.
Billy Wilder's style utilises gloomy photography, atmospheric production design and the excellent performances to tell the dark side of Hollywood. Its influence is still felt today, especially since the film became a hugely successful stage play which is still watched in its millions worldwide.

Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard
Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard