🎦 Sunset Blvd. full movie HD download (Billy Wilder) - Drama, Film-Noir. 🎬
Sunset Blvd.
Drama, Film-Noir
IMDB rating:
Billy Wilder
William Holden as Joseph C. 'Joe' Gillis
Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling
Nancy Olson as Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark as Sheldrake
Lloyd Gough as Morino
Jack Webb as Artie Green
Franklyn Farnum as Undertaker - Chimp's Funeral
Larry J. Blake as First Finance Man (as Larry Blake)
Charles Dayton as Second Finance Man
Hedda Hopper as Herself
Buster Keaton as Himself - Bridge Player
Anna Q. Nilsson as Herself - Bridge Player
H.B. Warner as Himself - Bridge Player
Storyline: The story, set in '50s Hollywood, focuses on Norma Desmond, a silent-screen goddess whose pathetic belief in her own indestructibility has turned her into a demented recluse. The crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion where she lives with only her butler, Max who was once her director and husband has become her self-contained world. Norma dreams of a comeback to pictures and she begins a relationship with Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who becomes her lover, that will soon end with murder and total madness.
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Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.
It is among the best and most tragic exit lines in film. And it also leads directly to the best conclusion (I feel) in movies in terms of proper cinematography: the clouding of the focus as Norma Desmond descends the staircase into her madness. Rarely does a film end so satisfactorily and perfectly.

SUNSET BLVD. was not the first film to look at the uncertainties of cinematic success and fame. A STAR IS BORN had done so in the in 1937. It showed how as a star is nurtured by the system to great fame, another prominent star descends into oblivion and death. So why (if the story theme was not new) was SUNSET BLVD. such a tremendous hit and classic from it's first appearance in 1950? It boiled down to this: the personal poison of the great fame of the silent screen star Norma was not mirrored precisely in the fall of say Norman Main (although their two first names bear an uncanny resemblance). Norman had always had a drinking problem which he never controlled. Norma was not into that - she was always into a healthy physical lifestyle (except for smoking), but the effect of her publicity and the fan mail pushed her egomania to great heights. It made her so egocentric that she can only think of the people around her in her immediate cycle as the greatest representatives of all those millions of unseen fans - the wonderful people out there in the dark. They are there for her adoration only. Norman Main, in comparison, did find a measure of happiness in Vicki Lester, whom he discovered and helped to find her true potential. He was more selfless, to the point (as it turned out) of self-destruction. Not really like Norma Desmond. To her people are there to serve Gods and Goddesses called stars.

One might also notice that Joe Gillis is not Vicki Lester. Joe and Vicki were both ambitious, but Joe really wasn't as interested in Norma (aside from giving him room, board, and a temporary job), as Vicki was in Norman. There was a mutual attraction there (Norman was not incredibly older than Vicki, as opposed to Norma's older age compared to Joe's). Joe also had his girlfriend/collaborator Betty Schaeffer. Vicki had no other lover on the outside - it was only Norman. That is why, when he commits suicide, Vicki goes into seclusion.

There is a triangular figure in SUNSET BLVD. for Norma, in her butler Max Von Mayerling. He had been her first director and husband, and he is also (in his over-devotion to her) feeding her ego by writing hundreds of fan letters to her to keep her emotionally happy. It is a sign of her insanity that she never notices that the letters are written by the same hand.

Wilder had used Eric Von Stroheim in FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO as Rommel, so he knew what it was like working with him. Supposedly when Von Stroheim was being directed by Billy Wilder he wanted to throw in various tics and sexual habits for Max (like his carefully washing Norma's underclothes) which Wilder managed to push aside. Von Stroheim's performance (one of his greatest) was not harmed by these cuts, although one wonders what his performance would have seemed like if they had been retained. But by reducing the neurotic behavior of Max (to just his pathetic need to be near Norma to support her) it keeps us concentrating on Norma's psychosis - where it should be.

Norma is the driving force to the end, pulling the wires that manipulate Max, Joe, Betty, even (out of a sense of pity) Cecil B. DeMille and his production staff (example: the light man "Hogeye"). Even with the "waxwork" friends who crop up for cards, Norma seems to be in control (they all congregate to see her - the richest among them). Even with people who are supposedly independent (the funeral home people who cater to her burying her pet monkey; the salesman on commission who urges Joe to buy the vicuña coat) she manages to keep this control. She is the central sun/"Star" in this galaxy - and cannot brook any deviation. The rejection of the ungrateful Joe can only be appeased physically by his death, and emotionally by her mind clouding that failure and it's aftermath from her memory. From the start of the film, with all her egocentricity at work, only a psychic slap in the face was missing to complete the tragedy. Then she was finally ready for that close-up.
The Wild Roller-coaster of Fame
In many ways Sunset Boulevard is like the reverse side of the coin of A Star Is Born. In that film we have young Vicki Lester going through all the travails and heartache before achieving her goal of movie stardom.

Sunset Boulevard is the reverse. A Star Is Born has its tragic figure in Norman Maine who commits suicide rather than face being a has been. In Sunset Boulevard we have the character of Norma Desmond who has not taken that route. She lacks for nothing in the material world, she wisely saved and invested her money. But the acclaim of the audience is a drug she craves. She's been at the top on the celebrity roller-coaster and now is at the bottom.

Into her life comes Joe Gillis quite accidentally. Fleeing from some repo men looking to take his car, Gillis drives into the garage of what he thinks is a deserted mansion. It looks pretty run down from the outside. Gillis compares it to the house of Miss Faversham from Great Expectations, little knowing how right he was.

Billy Wilder was a casting genius though in some ways he fell into the cast he had. Gloria Swanson was not his first choice, he approached both Mary Pickford and Pola Negri for the Desmond role first. Gloria Swanson who actually had made the transition to sound well, but had gone on to stage and radio since her success in Music in the Air, drew from the experiences of many of her colleagues. At the time she was cast in Sunset Boulevard she had a radio show out of New York.

Bill Holden was sheer serendipity. Originally Montgomery Clift was to do the part, but at the last minute he said no, feeling that this was to similar a part to the one he played in The Heiress. Wilder then went through the list of contract leading men at Paramount.

Wilder saw something in Holden, God bless him. Holden had done a whole series of what he termed 'smiling Jim' roles. He was considered an amiable and non-threatening leading man. Although he had done well in a role as a psychotic killer in The Dark Past, Sunset Boulevard brought him his first real acclaim as an actor. An Academy Award nomination came with the acclaim.

Nancy Olson and Erich Von Stroheim were nominated in the Best Supporting Player categories as was Swanson for Best Actress. Von Stroheim was another inspired choice. His is a strange part indeed. He was Desmond's first director in silent films and left his career behind to take care of her. He was also her first husband.

Sunset Boulevard for it's time and with the Code firmly in place was a brutal look at the sexual needs of a middle-aged woman. Before Holden knows it, he's giving up his life as an aspiring screenwriter to be a kept gigolo. He doesn't like it, but can't leave it. When he does, it results in tragedy.

Nancy Olson plays a reader at Paramount studios where Holden is trying to sell a script. She and Holden had good chemistry and after this they did four more films together.

Casting Cecil B. DeMille as himself was of necessity for who could play the great DeMille, but DeMille. DeMille in fact was a former actor and playwright at the turn of the last century. In his autobiography DeMille lets us in on a private joke. He in fact did direct many of Gloria Swanson's early silent films and a pet name he had for her was 'young fella.' Note that when Norma Desmond comes to the Paramount lot to see him, he greets her with that same expression. Note that DeMille got a plug for his own film Samson and Delilah which was in production at the same time. It is the set of that film where Swanson and DeMille meet.

You will never forget the finely etched characters of Sunset Boulevard. You can see it many times as I've done, but if you see it only once you will have it burned in your memory. Especially that last scene before the newsreel cameras where Swanson loses whatever sanity she has left. She descends down the stairs of her mansion and descends into the comfort of insanity.

I've often wondered should a sequel have been done covering the trial of Norma Desmond. I'm sure Billy Wilder wanted to move on to other projects. Still that would have been a film to see.
One of my all time favorite film noir
This movie opened my eyes to the genius of Billy Wilder compelling me to dig all his other movies. I watched his other movies one after the other and I was never disappointed. He really made some great movies on great themes without ever losing his focus on the entertainment value of the movie. 'Stalag 17', 'double indemnity', 'the apartment' all are such great movies.

Most of the movie is narrated in first person and you see what the protagonist sees, a technique which has been used in so many movies after this. The narration is flawless and drama so intense that I watched the whole movie without batting an eyelid. The characters are real with shades of grey that you empathize and dislike at the same time. The whole thing is dark and a film noir in true sense.

One of my all time favorites and I cannot over-recommend this movie to anyone.
"Madam is the greatest star of all."
Sunset Blvd. could be looked at as a thesis on what fame does to certain people. For Norma Desmond, fame created a fantasy world that forever trapped her. Living alone in that giant house on Sunset, save for her servant Max, Norma whiles away the hours planning her magnificent return. Her fame kept alive by fan letters, and her hope of return kindled by Joe Gillis. For Norma, there is no other life than standing before cameras and acting out lives of characters that are larger than life. Of course, no one knows who Norma Desmond is. Gloria Swanson gives a magnificent performance. She runs from melancholy, to unbridled joy, to complete mental breakdown. William Holden is the ultimate cynic. He plays Norma like a fiddle but gets ensnared in her web of decaying glory. In the end, Joe pays the price for enduring Norma's insanity. As she descends that staircase in the final scene, you can see that she is completely lost in her own world. A world where no one grows old, where she is forever young, and where she is the greatest star of them all. After all, stars never age.
Right up there with Citizen Kane
Brilliant film that is easily Wilder's best. A true classic that deserves to be ranked alongside Citizen Kane. And comparing the 2 films in terms of acting, atmosphere, dialog, conflict, symbolism, and theme (to say nothing of depth): Sunset Boulevard surpasses Kane. The ending is unforgettable and ironic:Max gets to direct, Norma makes a "comeback" before the cameras, and Joe has a story, his own. Like Kane, Sunset Boulevard begins with the end. The first shot is of the gutter with the film's title printed on the curb,and the first shot of Joe floating lifelessly in Norma's pool shows us he has sunk even lower: the film proceeds to show us how he got there.

Sunset Boulevard is about the march of time:what time and technology does to people and what happens to those who don't or can't keep in step. And like Norma, the new Hollywood seems to be leaving Joe behind. The 2 cars in Norma's garage represent an unspoken bond between Joe and Norma; except for those cars the outside world has little use for these two. The finance company wants to repossess Joe's car and Paramount wants to use Norma's for a film.

The acting is unsurpassable;the dialog and narration memorable, and the atmosphere in that decaying mansion is palpable. One of those films, like Kane, that improves with repeated viewings. Endlessly brilliant. The film hasn't aged a bit, and Swanson and VonStroheim lend it an authenticity that would be impossible for any subsequent version to equal. Essential viewing.

The Paramount released DVD looks great and has worthwhile extras.
THE film that speaks Old Hollywood!
The film industry obviously did not know what had hit it when Billy Wilder's masterpiece was released in 1950. Fifty years later, such mastery in craftmanship still shows by still being fresh and alive, evident from the first of the unforgettable reels when William Holden's character, an unknown writer, is lying face down and dead in the pool of an extremely possessive star of the silent screen.

Although not my favourite of Billy Wilder's works, ("Witness for the Prosecution" is my own special favourite), this was not actually the first time he had stirred Hollywood. "The Lost Weekend", a film more scarce in its circulation but just as brilliant, had five years before almost lost a release because the type of slap-in-the-face reality was something audiences were unused to. And it eventually went on to be the best picture of 1945. However, by casting light on an industry still even seen today as the perfection of life, the Paramount studios caused an uproar from coast to coast.

One of the more interesting contenders at the Oscars "Sunset" had that year was "All About Eve". The Bette Davis/Anne Baxter film did eventually take the coveted prize best picture prize, but it is obvious that "Eve" too runs along pretty similar lines, but instead of shattering the myth about the golden days of the silver screen which went for the throat, the 20th Century Fox executives gave it a gentler shape by provocatively going after the theatre.

Haunting music and even the black and white cinematography made me feel I was in for a special ride as the opening credits rolled. William Holden was in one of his best roles. This movie unfortunately made Gloria Swanson be better remembered by us as the tragic aging movie queen of the silent era, who was one of the many actors and actresses who phased out as the sound picture experiments became a sensation. Featured also are Erich von Stroheim as the first husband turned servant and Nancy Olsen as the young girl writing collaborator. All four received Academy Award nominations, though none won. Cecil B. De Mille, one of the great directors of the silent era puts in an appearance on the featured Paramount lot as himself.

The screen play, as in all great Billy Wilder movies, is gripping and fiercely brilliant. Just some of the emotions captured on film, and some of the darker imagery has made it one of the best films of the 1950s, and one of the best movies in Hollywood history. "Singin' In the Rain" may have made it better known to us with the use of colour, dance and song, but it did not even go anywhere near "Sunset" despite the bitter sweet sensation the musical gem leaves.

Deservedly so, this cinematic genius is first rate.

Rating: 10/10
Nothing Less Than Brilliant
Gloria Swanson and William Holden are supreme in this hard look into the dark side of Hollywoodland. Gloria Swanson as the insane Norma Desmond, a mad silent movie star languishing in her old mansion surrounded by reminders of her glory days, and William Holden as a bitingly cynical screenwriter playing gigolo to Swanson while carrying on an affair with nice reader Nancy Olson is great. The other scene-stealer is Erich von Stroheim, who plays Swanson's fromer husband and director, and now her butler.
The end of one film era in a film about the end of another film era
With Sunset Boulevard film noir hit it's crescendo. The genre would linger on, but only as an echo of it's former self, like wind blowing through an old pipe organ. This story of a down on his luck Hollywood screenwriter and his peril fraught associations with a fading silent film star plotting her return to the big screen has all the things a noir fan loves; dark mysterious places, a near constant sense of looming danger, rapid and smart dialog and great narration by William Holden. But the film is about more than that. It is about the rough and perilous life that goes with any work in a business as tumultuous as Hollywood, and the unpredictable nature of celebrity. This is Hollywood shining a spotlight on itself and when the cameras aren't rolling, and the makeup isn't on, it can be a very ugly place indeed.
Classic character drama.
Sunset Boulevard is a real classic I first learned about from parodies on The Carol Burnett Show in the 1970s. I didn't see the film until some 20 years later, when I found it fascinating. William Holden (Rachel And The Sranger, The Earthling) plays Joe Gillis, a bankrupt B-movie writer who drives his car into the garage of an apparently abandoned mansion on Sunset Boulevard to dodge the repo men. But the dilapidated place is occupied by two fascinating but weird characters, former silent screen star Norma Desmond (Goria Swanson) and her butler, balding, German-accented Max (Erich von Stroheim). Norma hires Joe to ghost-write a screenplay for her come-back, but he soon finds he's as much a kept-man as a writer, enabling more than one of the has-been starlet's delusions. The characters of both Norma and Max are fascinating enough to keep the movie going, and their relationship turns out to be more than it seems. The cast includes a very young Jack Webb, actually speaking like a human being, and appearances by Buster Keaton, Hedda Hopper, and Cecil B. DeMille as themselves. Carol Burnett made great fun of the role with Harvey Korman in the Max role 2 decades later, but the movie (directed and co-written by Billy Wilder) remains a grand drama, character study, and serious comment on the Hollywood star system.
Pretty much one of greatest movies ever!
I just saw Sunset Blvd. for the first time as it was aired on finish channel two. I was amazed! Totally brilliant! Billy Wilder is a superb director and William Holden a terrific actor. And the plot. Very good indeed. As a whole the movie is a perfect combination. Actors, screenplay, music and all key elements are all very close to the best I've ever seen on film. I can on only wonder about the imagination of Billy Wilder. Of course I have give credit to the other writer Charles Brackett as well. And Gloria Swanson plays the neurotic and psychotic has-been movie star with so much authenticity that it is quite scary. What more can I say? Probably quite a lot, but I'll just end by saying that Sunset Blvd. is in my opinion one of the greatest movies ever.
📹 Sunset Blvd. full movie HD download 1950 - William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough, Jack Webb, Franklyn Farnum, Larry J. Blake, Charles Dayton, Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson, H.B. Warner, Ray Evans - USA. 📀