Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard” is a 1950’s film about famous, but forgotten, Norma Desmond, a silent film star, who has been living in exile, in her gloomy rundown mansion. William Holden stars as Joe Gillis, a struggling Hollywood screenwriter looking for work with no success. During a car chase between Joe Gillis, and the repo men who are after his car, his tires blow out leaving him stranded in Desmond’s deserted mansion. Desmond spends her time watching her old films, dreaming of the day when she makes her grand comeback. Gillis agrees to help Desmond edit her script, that she’s been working on, soon their relationship goes through twist and turns. Swanson, who plays Norma Desmond, gives a great performance with stellar acting; her theatrical mannerisms were perfectly executed. Holden also does a great job counteracting Desmond’s delusional rants. His character is well balanced, and at times is the voice of reason. The film is not only a love story, but also a story about redemption. Overall, the film has beautiful cinematography, great dialogue, and amazing acting.
The cinematography was really ahead of the 1950’s standards. When Joe Gillis first encounters the mansion, there is a grimy, dark feel. The crumbling mansion, the drained pool, and a broken garage door, sets up the perfect backdrop for the story. Wilder uses the film's visual elements to good effect. The "fish's eye" shot of Gillis in the pool was very interesting, and intriguing. There’s also a short car chase, which gives the film a good action sequence. Also, the clothing was very glamorous, from Gillis’ press suits, and his gold cigarette holder, to Desmond's jewels, and make up. Everything was perfectly executed. The stellar, and compelling script helped the Cinematography shine.
The script had many references to...