Sunset Blvd. (1950)
9/10
Stereotypes, famous lines and HollyWeird!
6 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Sunset Boulevard (1950) Hollywood is the land of dreams, fame, money, and broken hearts. "Sunset Boulevard" is an almost behind the scenes look at the industry and the type of people in it. Sunset Boulevard is a real road that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills and features real Hollywood landmarks like the movie Mulholland Drive.

"Sunset Boulevard" opens with a murder scene, murder is always a hot subject in Hollywood, especially if it was someone famous or in the industry, such as Elizabeth Short, an inspiring actress became California's most infamous murder victim in 1947 because of the mystery behind her death and that she was actress and actor River's Phoenix who died from a drug overdose on the actual Sunset Boulevard, outside of the Viper Room. The movie also features a starving struggling writer and his experience with his rotten agent and the movie producer who wants to change his script. There's also the loyal butler, the fresh newbies to the scene writer and the party guy film crew worker. All of these stereotypes work very well to help create the world of Hollywood. They were made so stereotypical to the point of parody to show how crazy it can be to live in Hollywood, or as some people call it, HollyWeird! The bizarreness doesn't stop there, pet monkeys, Directors marring the stars, becoming their butlers, and super ego complexes.

At the center of the film is Norman Desmond, as played by Gloria Swanson. Gloria Swanson wasn't by far the first person considered for the film, she wasn't even the sixth. But Gloria Swanson delivers one of the most memorable roles of all time with some of the most famous lines of movie history. Norman Desmond is a former silent movie star the world has seemed to forgotten, living in a huge run down mansion with a faithful butler. With a larger then life ego and in deep denial of her stardom, Norma is a diva that demands a lot of attention and often acts like the world revolves around her. Norma is writing a script when Joe first meets her and after reading it and hearing that it was written from the heart Joe says that it's the best kind of writing, but the script is heavily flawed. Norma longs to return to the limelight, she's had a taste of it and wants it back. She's also looking for someone to love and keep her company. When Joe arrives that fateful day Norma finds a gentleman who could help her with her script, but the relationship slowly grows and changes until Joe has become Norma's show boy. Joe doesn't really like being kept, but soon learns to live with it and enjoy the loveless relationship, well loveless to him. With Joe around Norma becomes more outgoing and ventures outside of her estate and sees more old friends. Much like Norma, Joe's taste of the limelight remains and he also gets caught up back in the industry and starts to enjoy writing once again.

Casting is extremely well done for "Sunset Boulevard", it casts a former silent movie star Gloria Swanson who fit the role perfectly, to getting cameo appearances from other silent movie era stars. The casting adds to the world of Hollywood and makes it feel real with a real director playing himself (Cecil B. DeMille) and a director(Erich von Stroheim) playing the butler.

"Sunset Boulevard" contains everything Hollywood has: romance, power, money, deceit, actors, actresses, new comers, writers, directors, murder, a come back attempt, a studio and scandal.
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