“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” was heard by audiences for the first time on August 10, 1950
“Sunset Boulevard” – A timeless and magnificent cinema masterpiece
One of the greatest “Film Noir” movies of all time, “Sunset Boulevard” is, as it was described by Time back in 1950, “Hollywood at its worst told by Hollywood at its best”. The signature role of actress Gloria Swanson remains a timeless classic, with the actress playing Norma Desmond, a character that can be said familiar to Swanson. The faded silent-film star who draws him into her fantasy world, where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen and in between meets a young lover who triggers her descent into madness, always surrounded by Max von Mayerling, her devoted servant played by Erich von Stroheim. This masterpiece, directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett, it’s a deep, thoughtful insight into what is called the Hollywood Golden Age, Swanson fills the screen with her presence in a role that she was born to play. There is passion, and mystery, and crime and…drama. Lots of it. But it’s a good thing and fits perfectly into the all dark atmosphere of the movie, that is named, for those who don’t know, after thoroughfare that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California and has been associated with Hollywood film production since 1911, when the town’s first film studio opened there. This is definitely a movie you don’t want to miss, even if classics aren’t your cup of tea, you will like it, and you’ll be absorbed by the story and by Swanson’s performance which earned her an Academy Award nomination. In fact, the whole cast is magnificent: William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson and even cameo appearances by leading silent-film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nilsson. There’s no excuse for you to not give a chance to this movie that inspired so many others that came after, most notably David Lynch’s 2001 “Mulholland Drive”, that payed homage to it, and so many endless Pop culture references. “Sunset Boulevard” had its official world premiere at Radio City Music Hall on August 10, 1950, praised by many critics when first released and end up nominated for 11 Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It earned an estimated $2,350,000 at the U.S. box office in 1950, which makes it one of the most commercially successful movies of all time. And I’ll finish this small appreciation of “Sunset Boulevard” under a ceiling from Portugal in Norma Desmond style: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
Released: August 10, 1950
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Starring: Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
Watch the trailer of “Sunset Boulevard”
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