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DonRocks

"Sunset Blvd." (1950) - Director Billy Wilder's Black-Comedy Melodrama Starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden

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1 hour ago, The Hersch said:

That it derives in large part from Sunset Boulevard, with which it shares the terrain of High Camp, should be obvious, but that in no way diminishes it as a work of film art. Baby Jane is a great film; Sunset Boulevard is not, despite its larger reputation.

I'm glad you mentioned this. Rotten Tomatoes led me to Sunset Boulevard, and I was thinking of watching it - would it be a complete waste of time?

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11 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I'm glad you mentioned this. Rotten Tomatoes led me to Sunset Boulevard, and I was thinking of watching it - would it be a complete waste of time?

No, not at all. I don't think it's a great film, but it's very good and remarkably entertaining. Many consider it great.

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4 minutes ago, The Hersch said:

No, not at all. I don't think it's a great film, but it's very good and remarkably entertaining. Many consider it great.

One review called the two films "companion pieces."

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I love this movie. I laughed out loud, while at the same time, I was moved by its tale of love and devotion.  It is campy fun. It is the ultimate movie about movie-making. "Sunset Blvd." is a must-see for anyone who loves old Hollywood films.

My only knowledge of this film before seeing this was a spoof I saw of it, on the Carol Burnett show. Because of that spoof, I thought "Sunset Boulevard" was a serious, over-the-top, drama. Over the top? Yes? Serious? No! I think this film falls into the category of today's black comedies. 

About 48 minutes into the film, there is a reference to Judas Priest. To a person of my age, that is a rock band and not a filtered-down way to take the Lord's name in vain. Betty is a refreshing young 1950's heroine, and I have to say, Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond looks pretty darn good for a "washed-up old woman" of 50! William Holden is excellent in the role of Joe Gillis, as is Erich von Stroheim as Norma's faithful servant, Max.  

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9 hours ago, DIShGo said:

I love this movie. I laughed out loud, while at the same time, I was moved by its tale of love and devotion.  It is campy fun. It is the ultimate movie about movie-making. "Sunset Blvd." is a must-see for anyone who loves old Hollywood films.

My only knowledge of this film before seeing this was a spoof I saw of it, on the Carol Burnett show. Because of that spoof, I thought "Sunset Boulevard" was a serious, over-the-top, drama. Over the top? Yes? Serious? No! I think this film falls into the category of today's black comedies. 

About 48 minutes into the film, there is a reference to Judas Priest. To a person of my age, that is a rock band and not a filtered-down way to take the Lord's name in vain. Betty is a refreshing young 1950's heroine, and I have to say, Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond looks pretty darn good for a "washed-up old woman" of 50! William Holden is excellent in the role of Joe Gillis, as is Erich von Stroheim as Norma's faithful servant, Max.  

I *really* wasn't in the mood for another old film, but I'm so glad I watched this. I don't think I'll ever be entirely satisfied that I know exactly what "film noir" is, but I am entirely certain that the term is overused, and I'm pretty sure that this shouldn't fall into that category - for example, there's *so* much character development here, and really not all that much of a story line. Black Comedy? For sure, and I hadn't even thought about that. And melodrama, almost to the point of being a farce (but not quite) - it's so desperately serious that it can't possibly take itself that seriously, and yet, it somehow avoids looking campy - it's a very well-done film that almost defies classification with a single term, the only exception being the obscure, short-lived, sub-genre: psycho-biddy, of which this is a prototype.

The person who says "Judas H. Priest" is none other than a young Jack Webb (of Dragnet fame), definitely before cigarettes lowered his voice to that classic rasp.

Screenshot 2017-05-07 at 8.16.22 AM.png

There are some important cameos in here, too:

Cecil B. DeMille as himself:

Screenshot 2017-05-07 at 7.50.14 AM.png

Hedda Hopper as herself:

Screenshot 2017-05-07 at 7.50.46 AM.png

And three other silent-movie stars around the bridge table: Anna Q. Nilsson, H.B. Warner, and none other than Buster Keaton:

Screenshot 2017-05-07 at 7.49.01 AM.png

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