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   109,092 votes »
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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 23 wins & 17 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Best Performance in Film History: Gloria Swanson 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:
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 »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Norma tells Joe how Mabel Normand was a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty with her in the old days, but Mabel was never in that group, having left Keystone for Goldwyn by the time they became a film staple.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 Domino (2005)See more »
Soundtrack:
Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor, BWV 565See more »

FAQ

Does the mansion still exist?
Who are Norma's card-playing partners?
What model is Norma Desmond's car?
See more »
37 out of 51 people found the following review useful.
Best Performance in Film History: Gloria Swanson, 11 January 2006
Author: drednm from United States

The plot has been discussed at length in other comments.

To me SUNSET BOULEVARD has it all. The comedy is sly, the drama is of epic proportions because it's not JUST a story about Hollywood or an aging actress. It's really about the giving up of dreams.

Norma's dream of return, held to for 20 years, is ironic because Norma so closely parallels Gloria. That Norma cannot make a comeback in 1950 even with connections to DeMille is sad. The sadness is due to Norma's refusal to accept her aging or the politics of Hollywood that worship youth. It's ironic that Norma has no place in Hollywood (the parade has passed by) but DeMille is still working and in the scenes from Samson and Delilah we spot other old-timers like Henry Wilcoxon and Julia Faye--still working but not as STARS. The final irony here is that Gloria did make the comeback that Norma couldn't make.

Norma has a thing about STARS.... she says at one point... "the stars are ageless." Well this is true in a filmic sense. I can still watch Gloria Swanson in THE LOVE OF SUNYA or MANHANDLED and yup, she is ageless. She is still twenty something. That screen image is forever held up like a bad mirror to the reality of being 50. On another occasion Norma says "nobody leaves a STAR, that's what makes one a STAR." True again, but it's not just Gillis who is leaving Norma, her fans have already left. Hence if one is left, one cannot be a STAR.

Gillis also gives up his dream (temporarily) of being a writer, Max gives up his dream of directing, and even Betty gives up her dream of love with Gillis. Scary stuff.

The film is also about LOVE. Look what these people have done for love: love of another person or love of fame or whatever. Max loves Norma. Norma loves Gillis. Gillis loves Norma and Betty. Betty loves Gillis and Artie. Artie loves Betty. And all of them love Hollywood.

Everyone is crushed at the end of this film..... The scene of Max "directing" the scene as Norma descends the staircase is one of the all-time great scenes in a film. Norma's final speech, which sums up everything ("there is nothing else"), is devastating. Can she really be insane and make this lucid speech? If she's NOT insane then she has knowingly killed Gillis to prevent his leaving her (a STAR)....... Also the shots of Max blinking away tears as Norma descends (supposedly into madness) and also of Hedda Hopper crying are equally as devastating as Norma's speech about "being back" and "all those wonderful people out there in the dark" (which of course includes us every time we watch the film).

I cannot think of any other film (possibly CITIZEN KANE) that works on so many different levels. And Gloria Swanson gives the greatest performance in film history!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (411 total) »

Message Boards

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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