IMDb > Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Sunset Blvd.
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Sunset Blvd. (1950) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 60 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
Sunset Blvd. -- Trailer for the classic film Sunset Blvd., starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, and Erich von Stroheim
Sunset Blvd. -- Clip: Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready For My Close Up
Sunset Blvd. -- Clip: I Am Big... It's The Pictures That Got Small
Sunset Blvd. -- Clip: I am big, it's the pictures that got small

Overview

User Rating:
8.6/10   108,758 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Charles Brackett (written by) &
Billy Wilder (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sunset Blvd. on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 August 1950 (Australia) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Hollywood Story See more »
Plot:
A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(1107 articles)
R.I.P. Publicist Bob Palmer
 (From Deadline New York. 18 September 2014, 12:24 PM, PDT)

Bob Palmer, Longtime Publicist, Dies at 85
 (From Variety - Film News. 18 September 2014, 8:36 AM, PDT)

Variety Critics Pick the Best Films of Venice, Telluride and Toronto
 (From Variety - Film News. 15 September 2014, 11:47 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Hollywood Myth FOREVER Shattered !!! See more (411 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Holden ... Joe Gillis

Gloria Swanson ... Norma Desmond

Erich von Stroheim ... Max Von Mayerling

Nancy Olson ... Betty Schaefer

Fred Clark ... Sheldrake
Lloyd Gough ... Morino

Jack Webb ... Artie Green
Franklyn Farnum ... Undertaker
Larry J. Blake ... 1st Finance Man (as Larry Blake)
Charles Dayton ... 2nd Finance Man

Cecil B. DeMille ... Cecil B. DeMille (in opening credits) (as Cecil B. De Mille)

Hedda Hopper ... Hedda Hopper

Buster Keaton ... Buster Keaton

Anna Q. Nilsson ... Anna Q. Nilsson

H.B. Warner ... H. B. Warner
Ray Evans ... Ray Evans
Jay Livingston ... Jay Livingston
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred Aldrich ... Cop Who Drags Joe's Body from Pool (uncredited)
Joel Allen ... Prop Man #2 (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Courtier (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Accordionist (uncredited)
Ken Christy ... Homicide Captain (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Sheldrake's Secretary (uncredited)
John Cortay ... Mac - Young Gate Guard at Paramount Studios (uncredited)
Archie R. Dalzell ... Camera Operator (uncredited)
Eddie Dew ... Assistant Coroner (uncredited)
Peter Drynan ... Tailor (uncredited)

Julia Faye ... Hisham (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Phone Standby (uncredited)
Gerry Ganzer ... Connie - Betty's Roommate (uncredited)
Kenneth Gibson ... Salesman at Men's Shop (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Sanford E. Greenwald ... Newsreel Cameraman (uncredited)
Creighton Hale ... Creighton Hale (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Grip on DeMille Set (uncredited)
James Hawley ... Camera Assistant (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
E. Mason Hopper ... Doctor (uncredited)
Stan Johnson ... First Assistant Director (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Little Woman outside Paramount Gate (uncredited)
Howard Joslin ... Police Lieutenant (uncredited)
Arthur Lane ... Camera Operator (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Violinist at Norma's New Year's Eve Party (uncredited)
William Meader ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Gertrude Messinger ... Hairdresser (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Man on Golf Course (uncredited)
John 'Skins' Miller ... Hog-eye - Electrician (uncredited)
Lee Miller ... Dancing Party Guest / Paramount Studio Employee (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Prop Man #1 (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Gordon Cole (uncredited)
Jay Morley ... Fat Man (uncredited)
Bernice Mosk ... Bernice (uncredited)
Howard Negley ... Police Captain (uncredited)
Ottola Nesmith ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Eva Novak ... Courtier (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Courtier (uncredited)
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Jonesy - Older Paramount Gate Guard (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Detective (uncredited)
Virginia L. Randolph ... Courtier (uncredited)
Bill Sheehan ... Second Assistant Director (uncredited)
Sidney Skolsky ... Sidney Skolsky (uncredited)
Emmett Smith ... Black Man (uncredited)
Roy Thompson ... Rudy - Shoeshine Boy (uncredited)
Archie Twitchell ... Salesman at Men's Shop (uncredited)

Yvette Vickers ... Giggling Girl on Phone at Party (uncredited)
Edward Wahrman ... Camera Assistant (uncredited)

Henry Wilcoxon ... Actor on DeMille's 'Samson & Delilah' Set (uncredited)

Directed by
Billy Wilder 
 
Writing credits
Charles Brackett (written by) &
Billy Wilder (written by) &
D.M. Marshman Jr. (written by)

Produced by
Charles Brackett .... producer
 
Original Music by
Franz Waxman 
 
Cinematography by
John F. Seitz (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Arthur P. Schmidt  (as Arthur Schmidt)
 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
John Meehan 
 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Ray Moyer 
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Nellie Manley .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Karl Silvera .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Frank Thayer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Vera Tomei .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Hugh Brown .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles C. Coleman .... assistant director (as C.C. Coleman Jr.)
Gerd Oswald .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Steve Beers .... head carpenter (uncredited)
Jack Colconda .... props assistant (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Tom Plews .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John Cope .... sound recordist
Harry Lindgren .... sound recordist
 
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
Gordon Jennings .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Otto Pierce .... camera operator (uncredited)
Glen E. Richardson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Harlow Stengel .... camera assistant (uncredited)
Walter Tayler .... gaffer (uncredited)
Fred True .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Fitzharris .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Hazel Hegarty .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Doane Harrison .... editorial supervisor
Frank Bracht .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Lupe Hall .... script clerk (uncredited)
Ronnie Lubin .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Norris Stensland .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sunset Boulevard" - UK, USA (alternative spelling)
See more »
Runtime:
110 min | Argentina:115 min | West Germany:104 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 (re-rating) | Hungary:14 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1951) | Portugal:M/12 (DVD rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 (original rating) | Sweden:11 (re-rating) (1982) | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2002) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2003) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #13955) | West Germany:16 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Co-writer D.M. Marshman Jr. was hired to help batten down a script that was giving Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett great difficulty. Marshman was a journalist but both Wilder and Brackett had been impressed by the critique he had given of their earlier film, The Emperor Waltz (1948).See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Norma tells Joe that she's bought a "revolver," but the gun is not a revolver.See more »
Quotes:
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in R U Invited? (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Auld Lang SyneSee more »

FAQ

Who are Norma's card-playing partners?
What is the correct title - "Blvd." or "Boulevard"?
Does the mansion still exist?
See more »
185 out of 252 people found the following review useful.
The Hollywood Myth FOREVER Shattered !!!, 22 April 1999
Author: Donald J. Lamb from Philadelphia, PA

Until 1950, American films were strictly entertainment, some deeper than others. Studio executives were very protective of image and star-making. In essence, everything seemed perfect. Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and D.M. Marshman, Jr. created a stunning work of art that splits the Hollywood sign in two and exposed a dream factory for what it really is: a struggle to both gain and keep notoriety in the limelight. "Norma Desmond" and "Joe Gillis" are at opposite ends of this warped Hollywood mindset, with Gillis, played by that most cynical of actors, William Holden trying to pay the rent and Norma (Gloria Swanson) living a lie as a silent queen whose star burned "10,000 midnights ago". How a picture with such a snide look at the industry could come out in 1950 is simply mind-boggling, considering some of the light fodder that came out of Hollywood at the time. It has inspired many modern day disciples such as Altman's THE PLAYER, and Sonnenfeld's GET SHORTY, both of which took their vicious, hilarious parodies to the jugular of the movie capital of the world. SUNSET BLVD is the father of all socially oriented pictures regarding the movies and is by far the best.

The images of this beautiful black and white powerhouse are fascinating and unforgettable: the dead writer floating in a pool, eyes wide open, looking right at us at the beginning; the eerie pipe organ that plays by the breeze in the middle of one of the most deep and dustiest sets ever; the funeral ceremony of the dead monkey in Norma's courtyard ("That must have been one important chimp. The grandson of King Kong perhaps." says Holden in a delightfully crisp and wise voice-over.) Holden pulls his car into a driveway off of the boulevard that will change his life forever. He is the emblem of the struggle to get notoriety. He has only a few B Movies to his credit. Swanson as Norma Desmond is the symbol of lost fame and has become the talk of legend. What is ironic about her character is that she may be playing herself in an odd way. She WAS an actual silent star whose career went down the tubes after the talkies came about. Her madness combined with Holden's last drop of naiveté combine to give us one of the most electrifying "give and take" between actors I've ever witnessed.

Both lead parts were passed over by several actors. Holden was eventually forced into it as a contract player. How could you pass on such a script? Even "wax figures" (as Holden calls them) Buster Keaton, H.B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nilsson come to Norma's to play bridge, of course being Hollywood outcasts themselves, after the invention of sound in film. Some of the dialogue takes a swing at actual movies and people (GONE WITH THE WIND, Zanuck, Menjou). This must have brought the house down in Hollywood screening rooms throughout the town. Louis B. Mayer even condemned Billy Wilder for "ruining the industry". The film is sad and darkly humorous depicting the antics of Norma, who is quite insane, and Holden who is going along with what Norma is giving him, but has plans of his own. Another wax figure still alive and kicking in 1950 appears as himself in an important role. Cecil B. Demille, who once directed Norma/Gloria back in the silent heyday, tries to set her straight, telling her pictures have "changed". They had indeed, especially after this searing comment on celebrity status. I wonder if they knew what they were creating while making this gem.

Scenes are shot right on the lot of Paramount Studios (even the front gate), and Norma's mansion is an unforgettable piece of history and gloom with a floor that "Valentino once danced on." There is so much to discuss, but little to enlighten you on how great SUNSET BLVD is without you seeing it. Just two years later, films began to crop up with the same tainted view of Hollywood, most with varying degrees of deception. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, one of the all-time entertainments quietly had a nasty taste in its mouth regarding celebrity and the invention of sound movies. Watch these films closely and see the skeletons of the modern Hollywood bash films.

RATING: 10 of 10

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
the musical version shadaif
What Insulting , Sexist Drivel! bjs3
Nancy Olson IloveMuggy
Did anybody else find Gloria Swanson acting... snow_crash-3
Joe and Betty in the 'Rainbow Room' cbrunson100
Great webpage about actual house location enneagram4
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