The Info List - Norma Desmond

Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.) is a 1950 American film noir[1] directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the thoroughfare that runs through Los Angeles
Los Angeles
and Beverly Hills, California. The film stars William Holden
William Holden
as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
as Norma Desmond, a faded silent-film star who draws him into her fantasy world, where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen. Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim
plays Max von Mayerling, her devoted servant, and Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough, and Jack Webb
Jack Webb
play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper
Hedda Hopper
play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent-film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nilsson. Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
was nominated for 11 Academy Awards
Academy Awards
(including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. Deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress
Library of Congress
in 1989, Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number 12 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007, it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production

3.1 Background 3.2 Writing 3.3 Casting 3.4 Cinematography and design

4 Score 5 Original release and responses

5.1 Previews and revision 5.2 Premiere and box-office receipts 5.3 Critical reception

6 Awards and recognition

6.1 Recognition since 1989

7 Aftermath 8 Restoration and home media 9 Musical adaptations

9.1 Stapley and Hughes 9.2 Other failed attempts 9.3 Lloyd Webber and Black & Hampton

10 In popular culture

10.1 Television 10.2 Literature 10.3 Music

11 See also 12 References 13 Bibliography 14 External links

Plot[edit] At a Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
mansion in early 1949, the body of Joe Gillis floats in the swimming pool. In a flashback, Joe relates the events leading to his death. Six months earlier, down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe tries selling Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
producer Sheldrake on a story he submitted. Script reader Betty Schaefer harshly critiques it in Joe's presence, unaware that he is the author. Later, while fleeing from men trying to repossess his car, Joe turns into the driveway of a seemingly deserted mansion. After concealing the car, he hears a woman calling him, apparently mistaking him for someone else. Ushered in by Max, her butler, Joe recognizes the woman as almost-forgotten silent-film star Norma Desmond. Learning he is a writer, she asks his opinion of a script she has written for a film about Salome. She plans to play the title role herself in a comeback attempt. Joe finds her script abysmal, but flatters her into hiring him as a script doctor. Moved into Norma's mansion at her insistence, Joe initially resents, but gradually accepts his dependent situation. He sees that Norma refuses to face the fact that her fame has evaporated and learns the fan letters she still receives are secretly written by Max. Max tells him Norma is subject to depression and has made suicide attempts. Norma lavishes attention on Joe and buys him expensive clothes. At her New Year's Eve party, he discovers he is the only guest and realizes she has fallen in love with him. He tries to let her down gently, but she slaps him and retreats to her room. Joe leaves the mansion and visits his friend Artie Green, who is having his own New Year's Eve party. Joe asks Artie about staying at his place and again meets Betty, who he learns is Artie's girlfriend. Betty believes a scene in one of Joe's scripts has potential, but Joe is uninterested in pursuing it. When Joe phones Max to have him pack his things, Max informs him that Norma has cut her wrists with his razor. Joe returns to Norma. Norma has Max deliver the edited Salome
script to her former director, Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
(played by himself), at Paramount. Afterwards, she begins to receive calls from Paramount executive Gordon Cole, but petulantly refuses to speak to anyone except DeMille. Eventually, she has Max drive Joe and her to Paramount in her 1929 Isotta Fraschini,[2] where she is greeted warmly by the older studio employees. DeMille receives her affectionately and treats her with great respect, but tactfully evades her questions about Salome. Meanwhile, Max learns that Cole merely wants to rent her unusual car for a film. Unaware of this misunderstanding, Norma undergoes rigorous beauty treatments in preparation for her imagined comeback. Joe secretly works nights at Betty's office, collaborating with her on an original screenplay. His moonlighting is soon discovered by Max, who reveals that he was once a respected film director who discovered Norma as a teenaged girl, made her a star, and became her first husband. After she divorced him, he found life without her unbearable and abandoned his career to become her servant. Despite her engagement to Artie, Betty and Joe fall in love. When Norma discovers a manuscript with Joe and Betty's names on it, she telephones Betty and insinuates the sort of man that Joe really is. Overhearing, Joe invites Betty to come see for herself. When she arrives, Joe feigns satisfaction with his life as a kept man, but after Betty tearfully leaves, he packs to return to his old newspaper job. He disregards Norma's threat to kill herself with the gun she shows him. He bluntly informs her that the public has forgotten her, no comeback is forthcoming, and her fan letters are written by Max. As Joe walks away, Norma shoots him three times. He falls into the pool, ending the flashback. Norma's mansion is subsequently filled with policemen and reporters. Now having completely lost touch with reality, she believes the newsreel cameras are there to film Salome. Max pretends to set up a scene for her and calls "Action!" As the cameras roll, Norma dramatically descends her grand staircase. She pauses and makes an impromptu speech about how happy she is to be making a film again, concluding with the famous line, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."[3] Cast[edit]

William Holden
William Holden
as Joe Gillis Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
as Norma Desmond Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim
as Max von Mayerling Nancy Olson
Nancy Olson
as Betty Schaefer Fred Clark
Fred Clark
as Sheldrake Lloyd Gough as Morino Jack Webb
Jack Webb
as Artie Green Franklyn Farnum
Franklyn Farnum
as Undertaker Larry J. Blake as Finance man #1 Charles Dayton as Finance man #2 Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
as himself Hedda Hopper
Hedda Hopper
as herself Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
as himself (bridge player) Anna Q. Nilsson
Anna Q. Nilsson
as herself (bridge player) H. B. Warner
H. B. Warner
as himself (bridge player) Ray Evans (pianist at Artie's party) Jay Livingston
Jay Livingston
(pianist at Artie's party) Henry Wilcoxon
Henry Wilcoxon
as actor on DeMille's 'Samson and Delilah' set (uncredited)

Production[edit] Background[edit]

An actual stenciled boulevard name was used as the opening title, as seen in this still image from the film.

The street known as Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
has been associated with Hollywood film production since 1911, when the town's first film studio opened there. The film workers lived modestly in the growing neighborhood, but during the 1920s, profits and salaries rose to unprecedented levels. With the advent of the star system, luxurious homes noted for their often incongruous grandeur were built in the area. As a young man living in Berlin
in the 1920s, Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
was interested in American culture, with much of his interest fueled by the country's films. In the late 1940s, many of the grand Hollywood houses remained, and Wilder, then a Los Angeles
Los Angeles
resident, found them to be a part of his everyday world. Many former stars from the silent era still lived in them, although most were no longer involved in the film business. Wilder wondered how they spent their time now that "the parade had passed them by" and began imagining the story of a star who had lost her celebrity and box-office appeal.[4] The character of Norma Desmond mirrors aspects of the twilight years of several real-life faded silent-film stars, such as the reclusive existence of Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
and the mental disorders of Mae Murray
Mae Murray
and Clara Bow. It is usually regarded as a fictional composite inspired by several different people, not just a thinly disguised portrait of one in particular. Nevertheless, some commentators have tried to identify specific models. One asserts that Norma Talmadge
Norma Talmadge
is "the obvious if unacknowledged source of Norma Desmond, the grotesque, predatory silent movie queen" of the film.[5] The most common analysis of the character's name is that it is a combination of the names of silent film actress Mabel Normand
Mabel Normand
and director William Desmond Taylor, a close friend of Normand's who was murdered in 1922 in a never-solved case sensationalized by the press.[6] Writing[edit]

Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
and Billy Wilder

Wilder and Brackett began working on a script in 1948, but the result did not completely satisfy them. In August 1948, D.M. Marshman Jr., formerly a writer for Life, was hired to help develop the storyline after Wilder and Brackett were impressed by a critique he provided of their film The Emperor Waltz
The Emperor Waltz
(1948). In an effort to keep the full details of the story from Paramount Pictures and avoid the restrictive censorship of the Breen Code, they submitted the script a few pages at a time. The Breen Office insisted certain lines be rewritten, such as Gillis's "I'm up that creek and I need a job," which became "I'm over a barrel. I need a job." Paramount executives thought Wilder was adapting a story called A Can of Beans (which did not exist) and allowed him relative freedom to proceed as he saw fit. Only the first third of the script was written when filming began in early May 1949, and Wilder was unsure how the film would end.[6] The script contains many references to Hollywood and screenwriters, with Joe Gillis making most of the cynical comments. He sums up his film-writing career with the remark: "The last one I wrote was about Okies in the dust bowl. You'd never know, because when it reached the screen, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat." In another exchange, Betty comments to Gillis: "I'd always heard that you had some talent." He replies: "That was last year. This year I'm trying to make a living."[3]

The fusion of writer-director Billy Wilder's biting humor and the classic elements of film noir make for a strange kind of comedy, as well as a strange kind of film noir. There are no belly laughs here, but there are certainly strangled giggles: at the pet chimp's midnight funeral, at Joe's discomfited acquiescence to the role of gigolo; at Norma's Mack Sennett-style "entertainments" for her uneasy lover; and at the ritualized solemnity of Norma's "waxworks" card parties, which feature such former luminaries as Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
as Norma's has-been cronies.[7]

Several of Desmond's lines, such as, "All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," and "I am big, it's the pictures that got small!" are often quoted. Much of the film's wit is delivered through Norma Desmond's deadpan comments, which are often followed by sarcastic retorts from Gillis. Desmond appears to not hear some of these comments, as she is absorbed by her own thoughts and in denial, so some of Gillis's lines are heard only by the audience, with Wilder blurring the line between the events and Gillis's narration. Gillis's response to Desmond's cry that "the pictures got small" is a muttered reply, "I knew something was wrong with them". Wilder often varies the structure, with Desmond taking Gillis's comments seriously and replying in kind. For example, when the two discuss the overwrought script on which Desmond has been working, Gillis observes, "They'll love it in Pomona."[8] "They'll love it everyplace," replies Desmond firmly.[3] Film writer Richard Corliss
Richard Corliss
describes Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
as "the definitive Hollywood horror movie", noting that almost everything in the script is "ghoulish". He remarks that the story is narrated by a dead man whom Norma Desmond first mistakes for an undertaker, while most of the film takes place "in an old, dark house that only opens its doors to the living dead". He compares von Stroheim's character Max with the concealed Erik, the eponymous central character in The Phantom of the Opera, and Norma Desmond with Dracula, noting that, as she seduces Joe Gillis, the camera tactfully withdraws with "the traditional directorial attitude taken towards Dracula's jugular seductions". He writes that the narrative contains an excess of "cheap sarcasm", but ultimately congratulates the writers for attributing this dialogue to Joe Gillis, who was in any case presented as little more than a hack writer.[9] Wilder preferred to leave analysis of his screenplays and films to others. When asked if Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
was a black comedy, he replied: "No, just a picture".[10] The film refers to real films such as Gone with the Wind and real people such as D. W. Griffith, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert, Tyrone Power, Alan Ladd, Adolphe Menjou, Bebe Daniels, Betty Hutton, and Barbara Stanwyck, among others, along with the Black Dahlia murder case. Norma Desmond declares admiration for Greta Garbo.[3] Casting[edit]

Wilder considered many actors for the lead roles, but chose Swanson and Holden.

According to Brackett, Wilder and he never considered anyone except Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
for the role of Norma Desmond. Wilder, however, had a different recollection. He recalled first wanting Mae West
Mae West
and Marlon Brando for the leads, but never approached either with an offer. He contacted Pola Negri
Pola Negri
by telephone, but had a difficult time understanding her heavy Polish accent. They also asked Norma Shearer if she would portray Norma Desmond, but she rejected the role due to both her retirement and distaste for it. They were considering Fred MacMurray to play opposite her as Joe. The filmmakers approached Greta Garbo, but she expressed no interest. Wilder and Brackett then visited Mary Pickford, but before even discussing the plot with her, Wilder realized she would consider a role involving an affair with a man half her age an insult, so they departed. They had considered pairing Montgomery Clift
Montgomery Clift
with her.[11] According to Wilder, he asked George Cukor
George Cukor
for advice, and he suggested Swanson, one of the most feted actresses of the silent-screen era, known for her beauty, talent, and extravagant lifestyle. At the peak of her career in 1925, she was said to have received 10,000 fan letters in a single week, and from 1920 until the early 1930s, she lived on Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
in an elaborate Italianate palace. In many ways, she resembled the Norma Desmond character, and like her, had been unable to make a smooth transition into talking pictures. The similarities ended there. Swanson accepted the end of her film career, and in the early 1930s moved to New York City, where she worked in radio, and from the mid-1940s, in television and on the New York stage. Though Swanson was not seeking a comeback, she was intrigued when Wilder discussed the role with her.[4] Swanson was chagrined at the notion of submitting to a screen test, saying she had "made 20 films for Paramount. Why do they want me to audition?" Her reaction was echoed in the screenplay when Norma Desmond declares, "Without me there wouldn't be any Paramount." In her memoir, Swanson recalled asking Cukor if it was unreasonable to refuse the screen test. He replied that since Norma Desmond was the role for which she would be remembered, "If they ask you to do ten screen tests, do ten screen tests, or I will personally shoot you." His enthusiasm convinced Swanson to participate,[12] and she signed a contract for $50,000.[13] In a 1975 interview, Wilder recalled Swanson's reaction with the observation, "There was a lot of Norma in her, you know."[14] Wilder harks back to Swanson's silent film career when Norma shows Joe the film Queen Kelly, an earlier Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
film directed by Erich Von Stroheim. Queen Kelly
Queen Kelly
wasn’t released in the United States for over 50 years[15] after Swanson walked off the set[12]. Montgomery Clift
Montgomery Clift
was signed to play Joe Gillis for $5,000 per week for a guaranteed 12 weeks, but just before the start of filming, he withdrew from the project, claiming his role of a young man involved with an older woman was too close to the one he had played in The Heiress, in which he felt he had been unconvincing. An infuriated Wilder responded, "If he's any kind of actor, he could be convincing making love to any woman."[16] Clift himself having an affair with a much older woman (the singer Libby Holman) was suggested as his real reason for withdrawing from the film.[17][18] Forced to consider the available Paramount stars, Wilder and Brackett focused on William Holden, who had made an impressive debut a decade earlier in Golden Boy (1939). Following an appearance in Our Town (1940), he served in the military in World War II, and his return to the screen afterward had been moderately successful. He was enthusiastic about the script and eager to accept the role. He did not know that his salary was $39,000 less than that offered to Clift.[19] Erich von Stroheim, a leading film director of the 1920s who had directed Swanson, was signed to play Max, Norma's faithful servant, protector, and former husband. For the role of Betty Schaefer, Wilder wanted a newcomer who could project a wholesome and ordinary image to contrast with Swanson's flamboyant and obsessive Desmond. He chose Nancy Olson, who had recently been considered for the role of Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille's Samson and Delilah.[6] DeMille, often credited as the person most responsible for making Swanson a star, plays himself, and was filmed on the set of Samson and Delilah
at Paramount Studios. He calls Norma "young fella" as he had called Swanson. Norma's friends who come to play bridge with her, described in the script as "the waxworks", were Swanson's contemporaries Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson, and H. B. Warner, who like DeMille, played themselves. Hedda Hopper
Hedda Hopper
also played herself, reporting on Norma Desmond's downfall in the film's final scenes.[6] Cinematography and design[edit] The film's dark, shadowy black-and-white, film noir cinematography was the work of John F. Seitz. Wilder had worked with him on several projects before, and trusted his judgment, allowing him to make his own decisions. Seitz recalled asking Wilder what he required for the pet chimpanzee's funeral scene. Wilder replied, "you know, just your standard monkey funeral shot." For some interior shots, Seitz sprinkled dust in front of the camera before filming to suggest "mustiness," a trick he had also used for Double Indemnity (1944). [20] The film had the option to be shot on colour, however it was shot on black and white to be more reflective of the noir genre. (The term noir is French for dark.)[21] Wilder was adamant that the corpse of Joe Gillis be seen from the bottom of the pool, but creating the effect was difficult. The camera was placed inside a specially constructed box and lowered under water, but the result disappointed Wilder, who insisted on further experiments. The shot was finally achieved by placing a mirror on the bottom of the pool and filming Holden's reflection from above with the distorted image of the policemen standing around the pool and forming a backdrop.[6] Film historian Tom Stempel writes, "In both Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard, Seitz does something that has always impressed me. Both are films noir, and he finesses the fact that both are set in the sunniest of locales, Los Angeles... he brings together the light and the dark in the same film without any seams showing... he brings together the realistic lighting of Joe Gillis out in the real world with the gothic look of Norma Desmond's mansion. Again with no seams showing."[6] Edith Head
Edith Head
designed the costumes. Wilder, Head, and Swanson agreed that Norma Desmond would have kept somewhat up-to-date with fashion trends, so Head designed costumes closely resembling the Dior look of the mid-1940s. Embellishments were added to personalize them and reflect Norma Desmond's taste. [22] Swanson recalled in her biography that the costumes were only "a trifle outdated, a trifle exotic."[12] Head later described her assignment as "the most challenging of my career," and explained her approach with the comment, "Because Norma Desmond was an actress who had become lost in her own imagination, I tried to make her look like she was always impersonating someone." Head later said she relied on Swanson's expertise because "she was creating a past that she knew and I didn't."[6] Head also designed the costumes for William Holden
William Holden
and the minor characters, but for authenticity, Wilder instructed Von Stroheim and Nancy Olson
Nancy Olson
to wear their own clothing. The overstated decadence of Norma Desmond's home was created by set designer Hans Dreier, whose career extended back to the silent era. He had also been commissioned to complete the interior design for the homes of movie stars, including the house of Mae West. William Haines, an interior designer and former actor, later refuted criticism of Dreier's set design with the observation, "Bebe Daniels, Norma Shearer, and Pola Negri
Pola Negri
all had homes with ugly interiors like that."[6] The bed in the shape of a boat in which Norma Desmond slept was actually owned by the dancer Gaby Deslys, who died in 1920. It had originally been bought by the Universal prop department at auction after Deslys's death. The bed appeared in The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney. Wilder also made use of authentic locales. Joe Gillis's apartment is in the Alto Nido, a real apartment block in central Hollywood that was often populated by struggling writers. The scenes of Gillis and Betty Schaefer on Paramount's back lot were filmed on the actual back lot, and the interior of Schwab's Drug Store
Schwab's Drug Store
was carefully recreated for several scenes. The exterior scenes of the Desmond house were filmed at a house on Wilshire Boulevard
Wilshire Boulevard
built during the 1920s by the millionaire William O. Jenkins. Jenkins and his family lived in it for just one year, then left it abandoned for more than a decade, which earned it the nickname, The Phantom.[23] By 1949, it was owned by the former wife of J. Paul Getty. The house was later featured in Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause
Rebel Without a Cause
(1955). It was demolished by the Gettys in the early 1960s to allow construction of an office building .[24][25] During filming, considerable publicity was given to health-conscious Gloria Swanson's youthful appearance, which made her look the same age as Holden. Wilder insisted that the age difference between the characters be delineated, and instructed makeup supervisor Wally Westmore to make Swanson look older. Swanson argued that a woman of Norma Desmond's age, with her considerable wealth and devotion to self, would not necessarily look old, and suggested Holden be made up to appear younger. Wilder agreed, and Westmore was assigned this task, which allowed Swanson to portray Norma Desmond as more glamorous a figure than Wilder had originally imagined.[6] Score[edit] Main article: Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(film score) The musical score was the final element added to Sunset Boulevard. [26] The film was scored by Franz Waxman. His theme for Norma Desmond was based on tango music, inspired by her having danced the tango with Rudolph Valentino. This style was contrasted with Joe Gillis's bebop theme. Waxman also used distorted arrangements of popular film-music styles from the 1920s and 1930s to suggest Norma Desmond's state of mind. The film's score was recorded for compact disc by the Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joel McNeely and released in 2002.[27] Original release and responses[edit] Previews and revision[edit] Wilder and Brackett, nervous about a major screening in Hollywood, held a preview in Evanston, Illinois, in late 1949. The original edit opened with a scene inside a morgue, with the assembled corpses discussing how they came to be there. The story began with the corpse of Joe Gillis recounting his murder to the others. The audience reacted with laughter and seemed unsure whether to view the rest of the film as drama or comedy. After a similar reaction during its second screening in Poughkeepsie, New York, and a third in Great Neck, the morgue opening was replaced by a shorter poolside opening,[28] using footage filmed on January 5, 1950.[29] In Hollywood, Paramount arranged a private screening for the various studio heads and specially invited guests. After viewing the film, Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
knelt to kiss the hem of Gloria Swanson's skirt. Swanson later remembered looking for Mary Pickford, only to be told, "She can't show herself, Gloria. She's too overcome. We all are." Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
berated Wilder before the crowd of celebrities, saying, "You have disgraced the industry that made and fed you! You should be tarred and feathered and run out of Hollywood!" Upon hearing of Mayer's slight, Wilder strode up to the mogul and retorted with a vulgarity that one biographer said was allegedly because Mayer, who was Jewish, suggested that Wilder, who was also Jewish, would be better off being sent back to Germany, an extraordinary sentiment so soon after the war and the Holocaust, in which Wilder's family perished.[30][31] The few other criticisms were not so venomous. According to one often-told but recently discredited anecdote,[32] actress Mae Murray, a contemporary of Swanson, was offended by the film and commented, "None of us floozies was that nuts."[33] The same quote, with the word "zonked" in place of "nuts," has also been attributed to actress-comedian Marion Davies.[citation needed] Premiere and box-office receipts[edit] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
had its official world premiere at Radio
City Music Hall on August 10, 1950.[34] After a seven-week run, Variety magazine reported the film had grossed "around $1,020,000", making it one of that theater's most successful pictures. Variety also noted that, while it was "breaking records in major cities, it is doing below average in ... the sticks." To promote the film, Gloria Swanson traveled by train throughout the United States, visiting 33 cities in a few months. The publicity helped attract people to the cinemas, but in many provincial areas it was considered less than a hit.[6] The film earned an estimated $2,350,000 at the U.S. box office in 1950.[35] Critical reception[edit] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
attracted a range of positive reviews from critics. Time described it as a story of "Hollywood at its worst told by Hollywood at its best",[36] while Boxoffice Review wrote "the picture will keep spectators spellbound."[37] James Agee, writing for Sight and Sound, praised the film and said Wilder and Brackett were "beautifully equipped to do the cold, exact, adroit, sardonic job they have done." Good Housekeeping
Good Housekeeping
described Swanson as a "great lady [who] spans another decade with her magic,"[6] while Look praised her "brilliant and haunting performance."[36] Some critics accurately foresaw the film's lasting appeal. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that future generations would "set themselves the task of analyzing the durability and greatness" of the film, while Commonweal said that in the future "the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
will be glad to have in its archives a print of Sunset Boulevard."[6] The rare negative comments included those from The New Yorker, which described the film as "a pretentious slice of Roquefort", containing only "the germ of a good idea".[6] Thomas M. Pryor wrote for The New York Times that the plot device of using the dead Joe Gillis as narrator was "completely unworthy of Brackett and Wilder, but happily it does not interfere with the success of Sunset Boulevard".[38] In 1999, Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
praised the acting of Holden and von Stroheim and has described Swanson's as "one of the all time greatest performances." He says Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
"remains the best drama ever made about the movies because it sees through the illusions."[39] Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael
described the film as "almost too clever, but at its best in its cleverness",[40] and also wrote that it was common to "hear Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
called the world's greatest director."[41] When Wilder died in 2002, obituaries singled out Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
for comment, describing it as one of his most significant works, along with Double Indemnity (1944) and Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot
(1959).[42] The modern review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
reported that 98% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 60 reviews with an average rating of 9.3/10, the site's consensus says, "Arguably the greatest movie about Hollywood, Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard is a tremendously entertaining combination of noir, black comedy, and character study."[43] Awards and recognition[edit] At the 23rd Academy Awards, Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
received 11 Academy Award nominations and won three.[44]

Award Result Nominee

Best Motion Picture Nominated Paramount (Charles Brackett, Producer)

Best Director Nominated Billy Wilder

Best Actor Nominated William Holden

Best Actress Nominated Gloria Swanson

Best Supporting Actor Nominated Erich von Stroheim

Best Supporting Actress Nominated Nancy Olson

Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Won Charles Brackett, D. M. Marshman, Jr., Billy Wilder

Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Black-and-White) Won Hans Dreier, John Meehan, Samuel M. Comer, Ray Moyer

Best Cinematography (Black-and-White) Nominated John F. Seitz

Best Film Editing Nominated Arthur Schmidt, Doane Harrison

Best Music (Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Won Franz Waxman

Of the various films that have attracted nominations in all four acting categories, Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
is one of only three not to win in any category, the others being My Man Godfrey
My Man Godfrey
(1936) and American Hustle (2013). At the time its eleven Oscar nominations were exceeded only by the fourteen received by All About Eve, which won six awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Many critics predicted that the Best Actress award would be given to Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
or Bette Davis for All About Eve
All About Eve
and were surprised that the recipient was newcomer Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday
for Born Yesterday[12]. Bette Davis
Bette Davis
believed that her and Swanson's comparable characters effectively "cancelled each other out", allowing Holliday to win.[45] Swanson recalled the press's reaction following Holliday's win: "It slowly dawned on me that they were asking for a larger-than-life scene, or better still, a mad scene. More accurately, they were trying to flush out Norma Desmond."[36] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
also received Golden Globe
Golden Globe
awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Motion Picture Actress (Swanson), Best Motion Picture Director and Best Motion Picture Score. Wilder and Brackett won a Writers Guild of America, East Award for Best Written American Drama, while the Directors Guild of America
Directors Guild of America
nominated Wilder for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. The National Board of Review voted it Best Picture, and Swanson received Best Actress. It was dramatized as an hour-long radio play on the September 17, 1951 broadcast of Lux Radio
Theater with Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
and William Holden in their original film roles.[46] Recognition since 1989[edit]

The famous "I'm ready for my close-up" scene from Sunset Boulevard

In 1989 the film was among the first group of 25 deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.[47] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
received 33 votes in the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound polls, making it the 63rd greatest film of all time in the critics’ poll and 67th in the directors' poll.[48] In a 2015 poll by BBC
Culture, film critics ranked Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
the 54th greatest American film of all time. [49] American Film Institute
American Film Institute
included the film on these lists:

1998 – AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies – #12 2005 – AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes:

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." – #7 "I am big, it's the pictures that got small!" – #24

2005 – AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
– #16 2007 – AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – #16

Aftermath[edit] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
was the last collaboration between Wilder and Brackett. They parted amicably and respected their long-term partnership by not airing any grievance publicly. Their mutual respect and courteous integrity remained in force throughout the rest of their lives. In later years, Brackett confided in screenwriter/director Garson Kanin
Garson Kanin
that he had not anticipated the split, or had ever understood exactly what happened or why. He described it as "an unexpected blow" from which he never recovered fully. When asked to respond to Brackett's comments, Wilder remained silent.[50] The two men briefly reunited in October 1951 to face charges that they had plagiarized Sunset Boulevard. Former Paramount accountant Stephanie Joan Carlson alleged that in 1947 she had submitted to Wilder and Brackett, at their request, manuscripts of stories, both fictional and based on fact, she had written about studio life. She claimed that one in particular, Past Performance, served as the basis for the Sunset script, and sued the screenwriters and Paramount for $100,000 in general damages, $250,000 in punitive damages, $700,000 based on the box office returns, and an additional $350,000 for good measure, for a total of $1,400,000. Carlson's suit was dismissed after two and a half years. In 1954, a similar suit was filed by playwright Edra Buckler, who claimed material she had written had been the screenplay's source. Her suit was dismissed the following year.[51] Brackett's Hollywood career continued after his split with Wilder. He won an Academy Award
Academy Award
for his screenplay for Titanic (1953), and wrote Niagara (1953), the breakthrough film for Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
as a dramatic actress. It was Wilder, however, who realized Monroe's comedic abilities in The Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch
and Some Like it Hot. Brackett's career waned by the end of the decade, though he did produce the critically praised and Oscar-nominated film The King and I (1956). William Holden
William Holden
began receiving more important parts and his career rose. He won the Best Actor Oscar for Stalag 17
Stalag 17
(1953), also directed by Wilder, and by 1956 he was the top box-office attraction in the United States. Nancy Olson's pairing with William Holden
William Holden
was considered a success, and she appeared opposite him in several films during the 1950s, although none of them repeated their earlier success. She went on to star in The Absent-Minded Professor
The Absent-Minded Professor
(1961) and Son of Flubber
Son of Flubber
(1963), in which she was paired with Fred MacMurray, but despite the films' popularity with movie-goers, her career stalled. Holden and Wilder also rejoined forces in 1978 for Fedora, another film critical of Hollywood. Similarly, Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
was not able to leverage her own success in Sunset Boulevard. Although offered scripts, she felt that they all were poor imitations of Norma Desmond. Imagining a career that would eventually reduce her to playing "a parody of a parody," she virtually retired from films.[4] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
was shown again in New York City
New York City
in 1960, and drew such a positive response that Paramount arranged for a limited rerelease in theaters throughout the United States. Films that discuss Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
in their screenplays or pay homage in scenes or dialogue include Soapdish
(1991), The Player (1992), Gods and Monsters (1998), Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive
(2001),[6] Inland Empire (2006) and Be Cool
Be Cool
(2005). The ending of Cecil B. Demented
Cecil B. Demented
(2000) is a parody of Sunset Boulevard's final scene. Restoration and home media[edit] By the late 1990s, most Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
prints were in poor condition, and as the film was shot using cellulose nitrate filmstock, much of the original negative had perished. Paramount Studios, believing the film merited the effort of a complete restoration, mounted an expensive project to have it digitally restored. This restored version was released on DVD
in 2002.[52][53] In 2012, the film was digitally restored by Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
for Blu-ray Disc debut. Frame-by-frame digital restoration by Prasad Corporation removed dirt, tears, scratches and other defects.[54][55] Musical adaptations[edit] Stapley and Hughes[edit] From around 1952 to 1956, Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
herself worked with actor Richard Stapley
Richard Stapley
(aka Richard Wyler) and cabaret singer/pianist Dickson Hughes on an adaptation titled Boulevard! (at first Starring Norma Desmond). Stapley and Hughes first approached Swanson about appearing in a musical revue they had written, About Time (based on Time). Swanson stated that she would return to the stage only in a musical version of her comeback film. Within a week, Stapley and Dickson had written three songs which Swanson approved.[56] In this version, the romance between Gillis and Schaefer was allowed to blossom, and rather than shoot Gillis at the end, Norma gave the couple her blessing, sending them on their way to live "happily ever after." Although Paramount gave verbal permission to proceed with the musical, there was no formal legal option. In the late 1950s, Paramount withdrew its consent, leading to the demise of the project. In 1994, Dickson Hughes incorporated material from Boulevard! into a musical Swanson on Sunset, based on his and Stapley's experiences in writing Boulevard!. Other failed attempts[edit] Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
briefly considered turning Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
into a musical until meeting Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
at a cocktail party, who told him that the film would be better adapted as an opera rather than a musical.[57] Hal Prince later approached Sondheim to adapt the film as a musical with Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
playing Norma Desmond.[58] Sondheim declined based on Wilder's previous advice. John Kander and Fred Ebb
Fred Ebb
were also approached by Hal Prince to write a musical of Sunset Boulevard.[59] Lloyd Webber and Black & Hampton[edit] Main article: Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(musical) A musical adaptation with a book written by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
was staged in 1993 in London. It closely followed the film story, retained much of the dialogue and attempted to present similar set designs. It reached Broadway in 1994, with Glenn Close
Glenn Close
playing Norma Desmond. The production staged 17 previews beginning November 1, 1994, and played 977 performances at the Minskoff Theatre
Minskoff Theatre
from November 17, 1994 through March 22, 1997.[60] In 2017, Close reprised the role, this time at the Palace Theater in Times Square, in a critically acclaimed performance; the limited 12-week run, from February 2, 2017 through June 25, 2017, followed a sold-out run in London’s West End. In popular culture[edit] Television[edit]

The movie was parodied on The Carol Burnett Show
The Carol Burnett Show
in a recurring sketch called “Sunnyset Boulevard” in which Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
played the insane "Nora Desmond" and Harvey Korman
Harvey Korman
(in a bald cap) her servant Max. The Tiny Toon Adventures
Tiny Toon Adventures
episode, "Sepulveda Boulevard", is a parody of the movie. In the episode of American Dad!, entitled "Star Trek", the plot revolves around the downfall of stardom and pays homage by replicating the opening scene of the movie. The plot of the episode "A Star is Reborn" is also based on the film. The Bunheads
episode "Take the Vicuna" includes the line "As long as the lady's paying for it, why not take the vicuna?" The Archer season 7 finale and segue to the film noir Archer: Dreamland season 8 recreate the pool scene from the opening of the film. The Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks
character Gordon Cole is named after the Sunset Boulevard character. A scene from the film itself appears in Part 15 of Twin Peaks: The Return. In the scene, being viewed by Dale Cooper, the name "Gordon Cole" is spoken, which stirs Cooper's buried memory of his time in the FBI.

Literature[edit] Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
is heavily referenced in The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero
Greg Sestero
and Tom Bissell. Quotes from the film are used as epigrams to many chapters, for example chapter 11 quotes "No one leaves a star. That what makes one a star."[61] Plot and themes of the film are directly invoked to point out parallels in the production of The Room. In an interview Sestero states, "I saw a lot of similarities with my story, especially when Tommy lived in a place that had a pool and wanted to make his own vanity project."[62] Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight issue number 41 was influenced by Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
with the title 'Sunset'. Batman
finds an abandoned film studio to hide in. He is knocked out by the valet to a former silent film actress, Nina Demille. She imprisons Batman
in her home. Scenes of the movie parallel the comic book, such as driving in the car outside. Music[edit] During the recording of the Metallica
song 'The Memory Remains', Marianne Faithfull's manager told her to "picture Sunset Boulevard".[63] See also[edit]

Film in the United States portal 1950s portal Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles


^ Dirks, Tim. " Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(1950)". AMC Filmsite.  ^ "Isotta Fraschini Mod. 8 A". Museo dell'automobile di Torino.  ^ a b c d Brackett, Charles; Wilder, Billy; and Marshman, Jr., D.M. (1949-03-21). Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
script. Dated March 21, 1949, by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and D.M. Marshman, Jr. Retrieved on 2005-07-21 from http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/sunset_bld_3_21_49.html. ^ a b c Perry, p. ?? ^ Kehr, Dave (March 11, 2010). "An Independent Woman, Nobly Suffering in Silents". The New York Times. Retrieved November 19, 2011.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Staggs (2002), p. ?? ^ Kirgo (1979), p.276. ^ Theaters in the then-semirural Los Angeles
Los Angeles
suburb of Pomona were favored by Hollywood studios for sneak previews of newly completed films so that the responses of a "normal" American audience could be studied. The Pomona Fox Theater is an example. ^ Corliss, p. 147 ^ Wood, Michael (March 2, 2000). Review of Conversations with Wilder by Cameron Crowe. London Review of Books, Retrieved on July 21, 2005 from http://www.lrb.co.uk/v22/n05/wood01_.html. ^ Sikov, p. 286 ^ a b c d Swanson, pp.249-260 ^ Sikov, p. 285 ^ Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
– "About Film Noir. Interview July 1975. Retrieved July 21, 2005. ^ Art, Stephen Harvey; Stephen Harvey is assistant curator in the Department of Film of the Museum of Modern (1985-09-22). "'queen Kelly' Opens - More Than 50 Years Late". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-17.  ^ Sikov, p. 288 ^ Petersen, Anne Helen (23 September 2014). "Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 3 December 2016. He was also close with stage actress Libby Holman, 16 years his senior, who had become a notorious feature in the gossip columns following the suspicious death of her wealthy husband, rumors of lesbianism, and her general practice of dating younger men. Clift was so protective of Holman that when offered the plum role of the male lead in Sunset Boulevard, he turned it down—reportedly to avoid any suggestion that Libby Holman
Libby Holman
was his own delusional Norma Desmond, using a handsome young man to pursue her lost stardom.  ^ Gritten, David (3 February 2013). "Montgomery Clift: better than Brando, more tragic than Dean". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 3 December 2016. His agent Herman Citron later suggested to Clift's biographer Patricia Bosworth that the Gillis role might have been too close for comfort; at the time, the 30-year-old actor was conducting a secret liaison with singer-actress Libby Holman, 16 years his senior, a state of affairs that would have been considered scandalous.  ^ Sikov, pp. 288–289 ^ Beach, Christopher (2015). A Hidden History of Film Style: Cinematographers, Directors, and the Collaborative Process. Oakland, California: University of California Press. pp. 86–114. ISBN 9780520284357.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Terry, Ryan. "Why Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
Still Capture the "Eyes of the World" Today". The Artifice. Retrieved 12 February 2018.  ^ Truhler, Kimberly. "Cinema Style-- Edith Head
Edith Head
Gets Gloria Swanson Ready for her Close-Up in SUNSET BOULEVARD". GlamAmor. Retrieved 10 February 2018.  ^ 'Wilshire Phantom House Soon to be Only Memory", Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times, February 24, 1957 ^ Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
film locations, The Worldwide Guide To Movie Locations, 2013 ^ "The top houses from the movies". Daily Telegraph.  ^ Sikov, Ed (2017). On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press. p. 300. ISBN 1496812654.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ "Soundtrack details: Sunset Blvd". SoundtrackCollector. Retrieved 2010-03-17.  ^ Staggs (2002), pp. 151-152 ^ Production dates per the online AFI Catalog of Feature Films detailed listing ^ Sikov, Ed (1999). On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder. Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-8503-3.  ^ Eyman, Scott (2005). Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0481-6.  ^ Ankerich, Michael G. (2013). Mae Murray: the girl with the bee-stung lips (lack of capitalization sic per colophon), The University Press of Kentucky. According to Kevin Brownlow's foreword (page ix), the "rigorous work" of Ankerich "indicates that Murray never made this remark." ^ Staggs (2002), pp. 161-163 ^ Staggs (2002), pp. 154-156 ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1950', Variety, January 3, 1951 ^ a b c Wiley and Bona, p. ?? ^ Box Office Movie Review Review dated April 22, 1950. Retrieved July 21, 2005. Archived October 31, 2004, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Thomas M. Pryor (August 11, 1950). "Sunset Boulevard". The New York Times.  ^ Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
review June 27, 1999. Retrieved July 21, 2005. ^ Kael, s.v. Sunset Boulevard. ^ Myrna Oliver. "Writer-Director Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
Dies", Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2002. Retrieved July 21, 2005. ^ Anthony Breznican, "Oscar winning filmmaker Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
dies at 95" (Associated Press), Gettysburg Times, March 29, 2002. Retrieved November 20, 2011. ^ Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
at Rotten Tomatoes. Last accessed: March 5, 2013. ^ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, award nominations for Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
Archived 2012-01-12 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved July 21, 2005. ^ The Playboy interviews : larger than life. Randall, Stephen. (1st M Press ed ed.). Milwaukie, OR: M Press. 2006. ISBN 1595820469. OCLC 71350355. CS1 maint: Extra text (link) ^ Staggs (2002), p. 297 ^ List of selected films 1989–2004. National Film Registry
National Film Registry
of the Library of Congress. Retrieved July 21, 2005. ^ "Votes for Sunset Blvd. (1950)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 14 February 2018.  ^ "The 100 Greatest American Films". BBC
Culture. Retrieved 15 February 2018.  ^ Sikov, pp. 305–306 ^ Sikov, pp. 310–311 ^ Robert A. Harris, "Saving Sunset Archived 2005-11-22 at the Wayback Machine.", The Digital Bits, November 15, 2002. Retrieved November 21, 2011. ^ Brevet, Brad (14 January 2009). "Paramount's Centennial Collection: Sunset Blvd. and Four Hepburn Flicks". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 26 November 2016.  ^ King, Susan (November 5, 2012). "'Sunset Boulevard' digitally restored for its Blu-ray debut". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved November 26, 2016.  ^ prasadgroup.org, Digital Film Restoration ^ Based on liner notes to Boulevard! demo recording CD release, by Richard Stapley, Tim J Hutton and Steven M Warner ^ Stephen., Sondheim, (2011). Look, I made a hat : collected lyrics (1981-2011) with attendant comments, amplifications, dogmas, harangues, wafflings, anecdotes and miscellany. London: Virgin. ISBN 0753522608. OCLC 751797401.  ^ "Side by Side With Stephen Sondheim". www.sondheim.com. Retrieved 2018-02-18.  ^ Staggs, Sam (@2003). Close-up
on Sunset Boulevard : Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the dark Hollywood dream (1st St. Martin's Griffin ed.: Feb. 2003 ed.). New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 320. ISBN 0312302541. OCLC 51815402.  Check date values in: year=, date= (help)CS1 maint: Date and year (link) ^ "Sunset Boulevard". Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
(The Broadway League). Retrieved February 27, 2016.  ^ Sestero, Greg (2014). The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Simon and Schuster. p. 152.  ^ Bergeron, Michael (28 November 2017). "Disaster Artist: An Interview With The Room's Greg Sestero". Free Press Houston. Retrieved 17 February 2018.  ^ "Metalica Q&A". CMJ New Music Monthly. 54: 9. Feb 1998. 


Corliss, Richard (1974). Talking Pictures: Screenwriters in the American Cinema, 1927–1973. Overlook Press. ISBN 0-87951-007-2 Hadleigh, Boze (1996). Bette Davis
Bette Davis
Speaks. Barricade Books. ISBN 1-56980-066-9. Kael, Pauline (1982). 5001 Nights at the Movies. Zenith Books. ISBN 0-09-933550-6. Kirgo, Julie (1979). "Sunset Boulevard". In Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward, eds, Film noir: An encyclopedic reference to the American style. Woodstock: Overlook Press, 1979. ISBN 0-87951-055-2. Perry, George & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
(1993). Sunset Boulevard, From Movie to Musical. Pavilion. ISBN 1-85793-208-0. Randall, Stephen (2006). The Playboy Interviews: Larger Than Life. Milwaukie, OR: M Press. ISBN 1595820469. Sikov, Ed (1998). On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6194-0. Sondheim, Stephen (2011). Look, I made a hat : collected lyrics (1981-2011) with attendant comments, amplifications, dogmas, harangues, wafflings, anecdotes and miscellany. London: Virgin. ISBN 0753522608. Staggs, Sam (2001). All About "All About Eve". St Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-27315-0. Staggs, Sam (2002). Close-up
on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the Dark Hollywood Dream. New York St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-27453-X. Swanson, Gloria (1981). Swanson on Swanson, The Making of a Hollywood Legend. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-20496-0. Wiley, Mason and Damien Bona (1987). Inside Oscar, The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-34453-7.

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(1950 film)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sunset Blvd. (1950 film).

Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
on IMDb Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
at AllMovie Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
at the TCM Movie Database Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
at the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
Catalog Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
at Rotten Tomatoes Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
on Lux Radio
Theater: September 17, 1951

v t e

Films directed by Billy Wilder


Mauvaise Graine
Mauvaise Graine
(1934) The Major and the Minor
The Major and the Minor
(1942) Five Graves to Cairo
Five Graves to Cairo
(1943) Double Indemnity (1944) The Lost Weekend (1945) Death Mills
Death Mills
(1945, documentary) The Emperor Waltz
The Emperor Waltz
(1948) A Foreign Affair
A Foreign Affair
(1948) Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(1950) Ace in the Hole (1951) Stalag 17
Stalag 17
(1953) Sabrina (1954) The Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch
(1955) The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) Love in the Afternoon (1957) Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot
(1959) The Apartment
The Apartment
(1960) One, Two, Three
One, Two, Three
(1961) Irma la Douce
Irma la Douce
(1963) Kiss Me, Stupid
Kiss Me, Stupid
(1964) The Fortune Cookie
The Fortune Cookie
(1966) The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
(1970) Avanti!
(1972) The Front Page (1974) Fedora (1978) Buddy Buddy
Buddy Buddy

v t e

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama


The Song of Bernadette (1943) Going My Way
Going My Way
(1944) The Lost Weekend (1945) The Best Years of Our Lives
The Best Years of Our Lives
(1946) Gentleman's Agreement (1947) Johnny Belinda / The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) All the King's Men (1949)


Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(1950) A Place in the Sun (1951) The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) On the Waterfront
On the Waterfront
(1954) East of Eden (1955) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge on the River Kwai
(1957) The Defiant Ones (1958) Ben-Hur (1959)


Spartacus (1960) The Guns of Navarone (1961) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) The Cardinal
The Cardinal
(1963) Becket (1964) Doctor Zhivago (1965) A Man for All Seasons (1966) In the Heat of the Night (1967) The Lion in Winter (1968) Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)


Love Story (1970) The French Connection (1971) The Godfather
The Godfather
(1972) The Exorcist (1973) Chinatown (1974) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Rocky
(1976) The Turning Point (1977) Midnight Express (1978) Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer


Ordinary People
Ordinary People
(1980) On Golden Pond (1981) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
(1982) Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment
(1983) Amadeus (1984) Out of Africa (1985) Platoon (1986) The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
(1987) Rain Man
Rain Man
(1988) Born on the Fourth of July (1989)


Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves
(1990) Bugsy
(1991) Scent of a Woman (1992) Schindler's List
Schindler's List
(1993) Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump
(1994) Sense and Sensibility (1995) The English Patient (1996) Titanic (1997) Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan
(1998) American Beauty (1999)


Gladiator (2000) A Beautiful Mind (2001) The Hours (2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) The Aviator (2004) Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
(2005) Babel (2006) Atonement (2007) Slumdog Millionaire
Slumdog Millionaire
(2008) Avatar (2009)


The Social Network
The Social Network
(2010) The Descendants
The Descendants
(2011) Argo (2012) 12 Years a Slave (2013) Boyhood (2014) The Revenant (2015) Moonlight (2016) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

v t e

Streets in Los Angeles
Los Angeles
and the metropolitan area

Numbered streets


1st 3rd

11–40 41–250 Avenues

North–south streets

Alameda Alvarado Atlantic Blvd./Atlantic Ave. Avalon Blvd. Aviation Blvd. Beverly Dr. Broadway Cahuenga Blvd. Central Ave. Crenshaw Blvd. Doheny Dr. Fairfax Ave. Figueroa Garfield Ave. Glendale Blvd./Brand Blvd. Gower Grand Avenue Highland Ave. Hill Hoover La Brea Ave./Hawthorne Blvd. La Cienega Blvd. Laurel Canyon Blvd./Crescent Heights Blvd. Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles Main Normandie Ave. Ocean Ave. Robertson Blvd. Rosemead Blvd./Lakewood Blvd. San Fernando Rd. San Pedro Sawtelle Blvd. Sepulveda Blvd. Sierra Hwy. Soto Pacific Blvd./Long Beach Blvd. Union Ave. Vermont Ave. Vine Van Ness Ave Western Ave. Westwood Blvd. Wilcox Avenue

East–west streets

Adams Blvd. Alondra Blvd. Arrow Hwy. Artesia Blvd. Bandini Blvd. Beverly Blvd. Carroll Ave. Carson Century Blvd. Compton Blvd./Marine Ave. Del Amo Blvd. El Segundo Blvd. Florence Ave. Franklin Ave. Garvey Ave. Hollywood Blvd. Imperial Hwy. Jefferson Blvd. Lomita Blvd. Los Feliz Blvd. Manchester Ave./Firestone Blvd. Manhattan Beach Blvd. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Melrose Ave. Montana Ave. Mulholland Dr. Nadeau Olympic Blvd. Pico Blvd. Rosecrans Ave. Santa Monica Blvd. Slauson Ave. Sunset Blvd./Cesar Chavez Ave. Temple Valley Blvd. Vernon Ave. Venice Blvd. Washington Blvd. Whittier Blvd. Wilshire Blvd.

The Valleys

Arrow Hwy. Balboa Blvd. Beverly Glen Blvd. Cahuenga Blvd. Coldwater Canyon Ave. Colorado Blvd. Foothill Blvd. Glenoaks Blvd. Lankershim Blvd. Laurel Canyon Blvd. Mulholland Dr. Reseda Blvd. Riverside Dr. San Fernando Rd. Sepulveda Blvd. Sierra Hwy. Sunland Blvd./Vineland Ave. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Valley Blvd. Van Nuys Blvd. Ventura Blvd. Victory Blvd.

Intersections and traffic circles

Hollywood and Vine Los Alamitos Circle

Diagonal streets

Centinela Ave./Bundy Dr. San Vicente Blvd. California Incline

Streets in San Pedro

Gaffey Western Ave.


Olvera Santee Alley

In popular culture

77 Sunset Strip "All I Wanna Do" "Blue Jay Way" "Dead Man's Curve" "Down Rodeo" "I Love L.A." Mulholland Drive "Pico and Sepulveda" "LA Devotee" Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
(film, musical)

All un-suffixed roads are streets unless othe