Sunset Blvd.

Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder, 1950)

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim

A sad story. Not only because the male lead is shot and the female lead goes mad, but also because of the actors' backgrounds. Stroheim is playing Norma Desmond's chauffeur/guardian. In real life, he was not only married to Swanson, but was also a very significant director in the silent film days. The writers give him a line which attests to this: 'There were three young directors who showed promise in those days: D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, and Max Von Mayerling.' Mayerling is the name of Stroheim's character. He is talking about himself: I mean the actor is, as well as the character. Holden's character suggests that it must be humiliating to be cast in his present role. Indeed it must have.

But don't hang around on this page. Read Robert Ebert's piece. It's very good.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 11 April, 2017 | Now: 11 April, 2017