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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 127,142 users  
Reviews: 445 user | 185 critic

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


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Title: Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Sunset Blvd. (1950) on IMDb 8.5/10

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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 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
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Cameron Crowe, who shadowed Billy Wilder in his twilight years, a typical day in his office would consist of him answering numerous phone calls from people requesting to remake this film, upon which he would inform them that he didn't own the rights and promptly hang up. See more »


When Joe Gillis gets out of the pool and Norma offers to dry him off, several crewmembers as well as lighting, microphones, and other equipment, are reflected in Norma's large, dark sunglasses. 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.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »


Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Hummed by Gloria Swanson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Reel Life Gothic
16 September 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every time I go to L.A., which isn't too often, I look at these palm-bemused, once smart stucco facades, and wonder if a Norma Desmond from a later era might be hiding from the world inside them, buttressed by cable TV (AMC or TCM, no doubt), a poodle named FiFi or Sir Francis, walk-in closets full of leopard-print Capri pants that haven't fit in decades, and a world class liquor cabinet that has seen heads of state under the table on a good night. It is because of Sunset Blvd., for certain, that my mind could ever go there. It is one of the most indelible films you will ever see.

This film is great for many reasons, not the least of which is because it is Hollywood's first look back at itself. In the milieu of this film, the silent era is only 22 years behind us. The people left behind by the rush to sound can still palpably TASTE the fame, the accolade, that particular past being not so very dim and distant. The sadness of their lives was real, and at that point in history, all around, if hidden. Way more has been made of the supposed "savagery" of this film vis a vis the faded star than I think exists now, or ever did. The often cynical Wilder is deeply in touch with the tragic here, as much as the grotesque.

54 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
Someone please answer nitinmohankapoor
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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