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Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  25 August 1950 (Australia)
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 128,969 users  
Reviews: 446 user | 187 critic

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.


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Top Rated Movies #50 | Won 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Gough ...
Larry J. Blake ...
1st Finance Man (as Larry Blake)
Charles Dayton ...
2nd Finance Man
Cecil B. DeMille (as Cecil B. De Mille)
Anna Q. Nilsson
H. B. Warner


The story, set in '50s Hollywood, focuses on Norma Desmond, a silent-screen goddess whose pathetic belief in her own indestructibility has turned her into a demented recluse. The crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion where she lives with only her butler, Max who was once her director and husband has become her self-contained world. Norma dreams of a comeback to pictures and she begins a relationship with Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who becomes her lover, that will soon end with murder and total madness. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A HOLLYWOOD STORY: Sensational...Daring...Unforgettable...Sunset Blvd. See more »


Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 August 1950 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Can of Beans  »

Box Office


$1,752,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The producer in the film was originally called Kaufman and was to be played by Joseph Calleia. The name was then changed to Millman and finally to Sheldrake and was played by Fred Clark. See more »


When beauty experts give Norma facials and other beauty treatments, she is still wearing wearing makeup and false eyelashes, which would always be removed prior to normal skin care treatments. See more »


[first lines]
Joe Gillis: Yes, this is Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, California. It's about 5 0'clock in the morning. That's the homicide squad, complete with detectives and newspaper men.
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Crazy Credits

The Paramount logo appears as a transparency over the opening shot. The words "Sunset Blvd." are shown stenciled on the curb of that street. See more »


References Dracula's Daughter (1936) See more »


Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor, BWV 565
(ca 1705) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played on an organ by Erich von Stroheim
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Another Billy Wilder masterpiece
11 April 2004 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

I have yet to see a Billy Wilder film that I haven't loved, and Sunset Boulevard is definitely one of those films. It's interesting to watch the film during different times in one's life – when I was a child watching this film, I thought the story was good and that Norma Desmond (Swanson) was a pretty scary lady. In my teens/college years, I appreciated it as a certified classic and for its commentary on Hollywood. Now, in my late 20's and early 30's I found it to have a different impact on me – I was saddened by Desmond's mental illness, and when she makes her final descent down her staircase and utters her famous line as the camera pans the faces of the people around her, so full of pity, and the care her butler/ex-husband takes to make sure she's happy for maybe the last time in her life made more of an impact on me than any other time in the 20-odd times I've seen this film. There are only a small handful of central characters in Sunset Boulevard and they are so richly written that this film will remain timeless. There are not a lot of `dated' themes in this film – the circle of life that is Hollywood isn't going to be much more evolved in 2050 than it was in 1950. If you haven't seen this film, watch it because there is something for just about anyone in this film.


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Aging or the arrival of sound? Erniesam
DeMille was quite a good actor yniehr
Does this film fall under the Hays Code marhefka
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At what age is it okay to watch this? sabika-angelz
Did anybody else find Gloria Swanson acting... snow_crash-3
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