Day 259 – Sunset Boulevard / Pop Chart Lab Scratch #14

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Movie Title: Sunset Boulevard

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.

Rated: Not Rated

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Sunset Boulevard stars William Holden as Joe Gillis. Joe Gillis is a down on his luck screen writer in Hollywood. He owes money all over town and they have come to repossess his car. He tries to pitch screen plays, but is rejected. He tries to borrow money, but no one has any faith in his ability to pay them back. While on the way home he runs into the people sent to repossess his car. He runs, blows a tire, and glides into a rundown mansion. He believes the mansion is unoccupied and seeks to squat in it. He hides the car in the garage and hopes for the best. When he arrives he runs into Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) a faded film star from Hollywood’s golden age and her butler Max.

After a strange introduction involving a monkey, Gillis is hired to do a rewrite of an original screen play that would return Norma Desmond to the screen. The screen play isn’t very good, but Gillis needs the money and senses a big payday. Norma starts to slowly weasel her way more and more into the life of Gillis. She buys him presents and slowly starts to come onto him. Gillis starts to realize he is over his head in the gilded glitz of the mansion and seeks to escape.

Verdict:

The set pieces are lovely and Gloria Swanson’s performance of the borderline psychotic Norma Desmond is picture perfect. Joe Gillis’ internal monologue is great and the movie as a whole is a great character drama. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Chappie (2015)

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