Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunset Blvd.

A jaded Hollywood hack screenwriter (William Holden), on the run from repo men looking to repossess his car, has a blow out and pulls into a garage of a seemingly deserted mansion on the titular roadway. There he is greeted by a stout and morose butler (film director Erich von Stroheim) and informed that he is in the presence of greatness--that is in the presence of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson, also a former silent star), a forgotten, aging, and delusional star of the silent screen. Now, seeing an opportunity, she keeps the writer as a financial prisoner and play toy as she plots her return to the screen. Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd is a darkly cynical insider's indictment of Hollywood replete with incredible cinematography, a brilliantly snappy script, and two amazing, polar opposite lead performances.