Sunset Blvd.

Sunset Blvd

I am big. It's the pictures that got small.

The Hollywood film noir to end them all, Sunset Blvd. tells the tale of a star gone by and the lengths people will go to get along (in this case, again) in Hollywood. It is a haunting tale, and one nonetheless enjoyable to watch, largely thanks to the excellent direction by Billy Wilder.

The narration seemed superfluous at first, but as the film rolls along it becomes essential to the way the film explores itself. The melodrama is thick and ripe, but ironically never appears that melodramatic; maybe because of the film noir setting. William Holden does an excellent job as the atypical film noir protagonist, but it is Gloria Swanson who steals the show as faded ex-silent picture star Norma Desmond. Every scene with her is a scene-stealer; apt, considering the character she plays. The final climactic scene is absolutely haunting, and she plays it perfectly.

This is a film that will leave you breathless both in body and mind, and I cannot recommend it enough. Delve into the seedier side of a Hollywood long past, and you’ll be impressed by what you’ll find.

Arbitrary Rating: 9/10

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