Norma Desmond
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Quotes for
Norma Desmond (Character)
from Sunset Blvd. (1950)

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Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Joe Gillis: Wait a minute, haven't I seen you before? I know your face.
Norma Desmond: Get out! Or, shall I call my servant?
Joe Gillis: You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.
Norma Desmond: I *am* big. It's the *pictures* that got small.

Norma Desmond: They took the idols and smashed them, the Fairbankses, the Gilberts, the Valentinos! And who've we got now? Some nobodies!

Joe Gillis: I didn't know you were planning a comeback.
Norma Desmond: I hate that word. It's a return, a return to the millions of people who have never forgiven me for deserting the screen.

Norma Desmond: We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!

Norma Desmond: Don't be silly.
[hands Joe a present]
Norma Desmond: Here, I was going to give it to you at midnight.
Joe Gillis: Norma, I can't take it, you've bought me enough.
Norma Desmond: Shut up, I'm rich! I'm richer than all this new Hollywood trash! I've got a million dollars.
Joe Gillis: Keep it.
Norma Desmond: Own three blocks downtown, I've got oil in Bakersfield, pumping, *pumping*, pumping! What's it for but to buy us anything we want!
Joe Gillis: Cut out that "us" business!
Norma Desmond: What's the matter with you?
Joe Gillis: What right do you have to take me for granted?
Norma Desmond: What right? Do you want me to tell you?
Joe Gillis: Has it ever occurred to you that I may have a life of my own? That there may be some girl I'm crazy about?
Norma Desmond: Who? Some car hop, or dress extra?
Joe Gillis: What I'm trying to say is that I'm all wrong for you. You want a Valentino, somebody with polo ponies, a big shot!
Norma Desmond: What you're trying to say is that you don't want me to love you. Say it. Say it!
[slaps him hard across the face]

Joe Gillis: [Norma threatens suicide again] Oh, wake up, Norma, you'd be killing yourself to an empty house. The audience left twenty years ago. Now, face it.
Norma Desmond: That's a lie! They still want me!

[last lines]
Norma Desmond: [to newsreel camera] And I promise you I'll never desert you again because after 'Salome' we'll make another picture and another picture. You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, and the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Joe Gillis: You really going to send that script to DeMille?
Norma Desmond: Yes, I am! This is the day! Here's the chart from my astrologer. She read DeMille's horoscope, she read mine.
Joe Gillis: Did she read the script?
Norma Desmond: DeMille is Leo. I'm Scorpio. Mars' been transiting Jupiter for weeks. Today is the day of *greatest* conjunction.

Norma Desmond: There once was a time in this business when I had the eyes of the whole world! But that wasn't good enough for them, oh no! They had to have the ears of the whole world too. So they opened their big mouths and out came talk. Talk! TALK!

Norma Desmond: No one ever leaves a star. That's what makes one a star.

Norma Desmond: [Norma thinks Joe is a funeral director] I'd like the coffin to be white, and I want it specially lined with satin. White... or pink. Maybe red! Bright flaming red! Let's make it gay!

Joe Gillis: I'm not an executive, just a writer.
Norma Desmond: You are, are you? writing words, words, more words! Well, you'll make a rope of words and strangle this business! With a microphone there to catch the last gurgles, and Technicolor to photograph the red, swollen tongues!

Joe Gillis: Tell her, Max. C'mon, do her that favor. Tell her there isn't going to be any picture. Tell her there are no fan letters other than the ones you write.
Norma Desmond: It's not true! Max!
Max Von Mayerling: Madame is the greatest star of them all.

Norma Desmond: The stars are ageless, aren't they?

Norma Desmond: Without me, there wouldn't be any Paramount studio.

Norma Desmond: You're a writer, you said.
Joe Gillis: Why?
Norma Desmond: Are you or aren't you?
Joe Gillis: That's what it says on my Guild card.
Norma Desmond: And you have written pictures, haven't you?
Joe Gillis: I sure have. Want a list of my credits?
Norma Desmond: I want to ask you something. Come in here.
Joe Gillis: Last one I wrote was about Okies in the Dust Bowl. You'd never know because when it reached the screen, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat.

Norma Desmond: Jonesy! Hey, Jonesy!

Norma Desmond: You heard him. I'm a star.
Joe Gillis: Norma, you're a woman of 50, now grow up. There's nothing tragic about being 50, not unless you try to be 25.
Norma Desmond: The greatest star of them all.

Norma Desmond: Those idiot producers. Those imbeciles. Haven't they got any eyes? Have they forgotten what a star looks like? I'll show them! I'll be up there again, so help me!

Norma Desmond: We don't need two cars, we have a car. Not one of those cheap new things made of chromium and spit, an Isotta-Fraschini. Have you ever heard of Isotta-Fraschini? All handmade. Cost me $28,000.

Norma Desmond: [Joe wants to move out from Norma's house] No one ever leaves a star...

Norma Desmond: You there! Why are you so late? Why have you kept me waiting so long?

Norma Desmond: This way. In here. I put him on my massage table, in front of the fire. He always liked fires and poking at them with a stick. I've made up my mind, we'll bury him in the garden.

Norma Desmond: How much will it be? I warn you, don't give me a fancy price just because I'm rich!

Norma Desmond: Young man, tell me something; how long is a movie script these days? I mean how many pages?
Joe Gillis: Depends on what it is: a Donald Duck or a Joan of Arc.

Norma Desmond: It's the story of Salome. I think I'll have DeMille direct it.
Joe Gillis: DeMille?
Norma Desmond: We made a lot of pictures together.
Joe Gillis: And you'll play Salome?
Norma Desmond: Who else?

Norma Desmond: Salome... what a woman. What a part! The princess in love with a holy man. She dances the dance of the seven veils. He rejects her. So, she lands his head on a golden tray - kissing his cold, dead lips.
Joe Gillis: They'll love it in Pamona.
Norma Desmond: They'll love it every place!

Joe Gillis: [Critiquing a movie script] What it needs is - eh - maybe a little more dialogue.
Norma Desmond: What for? I can say anything I want with my eyes.

Norma Desmond: Sagittarius! I like Sagittarians - you can trust them.

Norma Desmond: Cut away from me?
Joe Gillis: Well, honestly, its a little too much of you. They don't want you in every scene.
Norma Desmond: They don't? Then why do they still write me fan letters every day? Why do they beg me for my photographs? Why? Because they want to see me! Me! Norma Desmond!

Norma Desmond: There just aren't any faces like that any more. Maybe one - Garbo.

Norma Desmond: One diamond.
Anna Q. Nilsson: One heart.
H. B. Warner: Spade.
Buster Keaton: Pass.

Joe Gillis: [Wearing his new tuxedo] You know, to me, getting dressed up was always just putting on my dark blue suit.
Norma Desmond: I don't like the studs they sent. I want you to have a pearl - a big luscious pearl.
Joe Gillis: Well, I'm not going to wear earrings. I can tell you that.

Norma Desmond: You know, this floor used to be wood. But, I had it changed. Valentino said there's nothing like tile for a tango.

Norma Desmond: There are no other guests. We don't want to share this night with other people. This is for you and me.

Norma Desmond: Great stars have great pride!

Norma Desmond: I'll do it again. I'll do it again! I'll do it again...

Norma Desmond: I'm not just selling the script. I'm selling me!

Norma Desmond: [Acting out a scene from Max Sennette's "Bathing Beauty"] I can still see myself in the line. Marie Prevost. Mabel Normand. Mabel was always stepping on my feet.

Max Von Mayerling: Madame is wanted on the telephone.
Norma Desmond: You know better than to interrupt me.
Max Von Mayerling: Paramount is calling.
Norma Desmond: Who?
Max Von Mayerling: Paramount studios.

Norma Desmond: The last time I saw you was someplace very gay! I remember waving to you. I was dancing on a table!
Cecil B. DeMille: A lot of people were. Lindbergh had just landed in Paris.

Joe Gillis: Norma, I haven't done anything.
Norma Desmond: Of course, you haven't. I wouldn't let you.

Norma Desmond: Cameras? What is it Max?
Max Von Mayerling: The cameras have arrived.
Norma Desmond: They have? Tell Mr. DeMille I'll be on the set at once.

Norma Desmond: I can't go on with the scene. I'm too happy. Mr. DeMille, do you mind if I say a few words? Thank you. I just want to tell you all how happy I am to be back in the studio, making a picture again! You don't know how much I've missed all of you.