Sunset Boulevard

Discussion in 'Movies' started by LarryB, May 9, 2007.

  1. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

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    They truly don't make 'em like this anymore.

    Down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe Gillis (played by William Holden) accidentally meets former silent-film star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Norma can't accept that she is no longer the idol of millions, nor that she is a 50 year old woman, not a gorgeous 20 year old. Norma wants Joe to love her and be her companion, while Joe is seduced by Norma's wealth. Unfortunately, Joe pays a high price for the material gifts - - his freedom.

    Supporting cast members Erich von Stroheim and Nancy Olson are both superb, as are the two leads.

    A must-see film.

    Larry
     
  2. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    Is this the one with "I'm ready for my closeup"? I've not seen it.
     
  3. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

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    Yup. It is a great film, and Gloria Swanson puts in an amaaaaazing performance.
     
  4. Pete Apruzzese

    Pete Apruzzese Active Member

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    A literate, witty script with a host of great performances really make Sunset Boulevard a classic picture. Someone remarked at the last screening we had of it that Swanson was almost playing a vampire-like character. Can't say I disagree with that interpretation.
     
  5. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

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    That is a very perceptive comment.
     
  6. Chris Smith

    Chris Smith Well-Known Member

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    One of the first movies I saw that made me realize that good movies were made before I was born and weren't The Wizard of Oz. I remember watching it for the first time in a film club in 7th grade and being enthralled. Haven't seen it in a while and probably should fix that.
     
  7. Pete Apruzzese

    Pete Apruzzese Active Member

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    I wish I had said it :)
     
  8. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Active Member Top Poster

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    Sunset Blvd. is indeed like a horror movie at times.

    And that's Jack "Just the facts, ma'am" Webb as Artie.

    Buster Keaton makes a cameo.

    Did anyone see the musical? I saw it on Broadway with Glenn Close as Norma Desmond. It was an amazing production, and even though Close tended to belt out the songs, she played psycho *so* well...

    Word has it that a movie musical is in the works, with Close as Desmond.

    - Steve
     
  9. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    All you little people out there in the dark MUST see this classic film. :)

    You know, that would be a good thread topic. Most of us here call ourselves film lovers, yet many probably have never seen some of Hollywood's classics that shaped the medium's aesthetic and formed the foundations of today's industry. I used to teach classes in film history both pre-WWII and post-WWII, and could probably generate a list of several hundred films deserving of such recognition. AFI's top 100 is sadly lacking, IMO.

    Wanna do this?
     
  10. Allen

    Allen Active Member

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    Yeah, this is one of those classic films that makes you say "they don't make them like that anymore". (This and Double Indemnity - which also made me say the same thing)

    Check out the alternate beginning that's on the extras on the DVD - made it seem too cheesy/funny, I guess, so it was taken out, IIRC - it's been quite awhile since I watched it.
     
  11. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

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    David:

    Make it so. please!!

    Apple-so-lutely.

    Larry
     
  12. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Active Member Top Poster

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    Ditto! Yes, please!

    - Steve
     
  13. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

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    Maybe we could hqave a "film club" in which we all watch a particular movie, then discuss it in depth. I nominate David and Mike Kelly to co-chair this, if they're agreeable to it.

    Comments??
     
  14. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

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    OK, give me a day to compile a meaningful list, and I'll post a new thread. Hopefully it will grow as others add in their ideas of must-see classics. This will be fun!
     
  15. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    yeah baby....thanks.

    I enjoy going back over great films
    of the past.....
     
  16. Mike Kelly

    Mike Kelly Active Member

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    I like what I'm reading here. There really seems to be interest in expanding our film knowledge and experience. Didn't know that you taught, David. Really looking forward to your thoughts. And Carl, you're our resident advisor on current foreign language films. Peter and Walter are also well-schooled in film history. This could be fun.

    Getting back to Sunset Boulevard. I don't know of a more laceratingly cynical look at the film industry as this film. It is full of self-loathing and grotesque decadence. Seeing Erich von Strohein playing a former famous film director broken by the system and reduced to butlering, when von Stroheim, himself the director of the classic silent film Greed, is brought out of mothballs along with Buster Keaton and others for this picture. It's a masterstroke by Wilder. A truly horrific and brilliant performance by Gloria Swanson.
     
  17. Arthur

    Arthur New Member

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    I hadn't thought of this film for a long time.
    The first time I saw it ( or at least a small part ) I was a kid and sleeping over at a buddy's house. Late at night, in the dark, we turned on the TV and saw the last little bit. When Gloria Swanson announced that she was ready for her close-up and the camera slowly zoomed to her head shot we both let our a scream and slid under the covers. It felt that we didn't move for ages. I suppose we were like most little boys - we just loved being scared.
    Years later I saw the movie in a theater during a classic film festival. The projectionist knew what he was doing and the print was mint. Wow! What a treat to see such a classic that way with a full audience. I still had a shiver when the close-up came on.
    Thanks for reminding me of a true cinema marvel.
    Arthur
     
  18. mark j

    mark j New Member

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    Being a classic movie lover I am ashamed that I have never seen this one. I need to get myself over to DVDPlanet and pick it up.
     

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