Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis needs money so he can pay off his debts. While trying to outrun the creditors one day he gets a flat tire and turns into the driveway where there is a big decadent mansion. What he soon finds out is that the place belongs to the aging, former silent film star Norma Desmond. Norma and Joe make an arrangement; he can stay there until he can get his car fixed and in the meantime he can help her edit her screenplay. Norma believes that she will make her comeback with the screenplay but little does she know that she is from a forgotten era and the world has passed her by. Joe becomes the gigolo as well as her lover, and she buys him a lot of fancy trinkets and new clothes if he can help her make a deal with Paramount to make her next movie. But when Joe falls in love with the young aspirant writer Betty Schaefer, whom he is also writing a screenplay with, Norma becomes jealous and goes completely insane and eventually her madness leads to a tragic end. Swanson is fantastic as the eccentric film star, and Holden is equally great as the young screenwriter. Starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olsen, Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton 10/10

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