Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Movie You Might Have Missed: 33

Sunset Blvd. title card
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

"The poor dope. He always wanted a pool."
The movie begins watching a dead man floating in a pool with a voice over from the man himself. You then hear this quote and you remember that Billy Wilder's dialogue crackles with verve and multiple layers of meaning.

We then flash back to see the story of Joe (William Holden) who is an aspiring screenwriter but on the run from repo men when he dodges into a driveway to throw them off the track. He finds a dilapidated house from the 1920's and Gloria Swanson as the equally dilapidated former silent screen star who lives in the past and is planning her comeback. Joe finds himself lured into becoming her rewrite man and gigolo.

It is an unforgettable film that is a blistering expose of Hollywood which still holds true today. Interestingly many stars of the silent screen had parts in this to add authenticity and Cecil B. DeMille actually played a much more significant role than we would have thought ... and did so with surprising gentleness and charm.

1 comment:

  1. William Holden often went for the "hard truth" roles.