Sunset Boulevard (1950) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • In Hollywood of the 50's, the obscure screenplay writer Joe Gillis is not able to sell his work to the studios, is full of debts and is thinking in returning to his hometown to work in an office. While trying to escape from his creditors, he has a flat tire and parks his car in a decadent mansion in Sunset Boulevard. He meets the owner and former silent-movie star Norma Desmond, who lives alone wit her butler and driver Max von Mayerling. Norma is demented and believes she will return to the cinema industry, and is protected and isolated from the world by Max, who was his director and husband in the past and still loves her. Norma proposes Joe to move to the mansion and help her in writing a screenplay for her comeback to the cinema, and the small-time writer becomes her lover and gigolo. When Joe falls in love for the young aspirant writer Betty Schaefer, Norma becomes jealous and completely insane and her madness leads to a tragic end.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Desperate for cash, screenwriter Joe Gillis has a chance meeting with a faded silent film star. Norma Desmond lives in her crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion with only her butler to keep her company. She has become a sad demented recluse convinced that the outside world is clamoring for her dramatic return. Enticing him with the prospect of script work she puts him up in her mansion and he becomes ever more involved and entangled in her life.

    - Written by B.A. Black
  • Joe Gillis is a struggling hack B-movie Hollywood screenwriter who is having problems making ends meet, his car, a symbol to him of independence, which is threatened to be repossessed due to he being behind in payments. In eluding the repossessors, Joe stumbles onto the decaying Sunset Boulevard mansion of fifty year old faded silent movie star Norma Desmond, who has largely been forgotten by the movie going public. The only other person besides Norma living at the mansion is Norma's valet, Max, whose unofficial job is to prime Norma's fragile but larger than life ego. It is somewhat due to Max's lies about the public still clamoring for her that a delusional Norma is working toward her return to pictures in what is a vanity project. Even if her script was any good, the lead role should be filled by someone half Norma's age. Joe senses an opportunity to act as Norma's ghost writer, he only wanting to make a quick buck to pay off his creditors, not caring if the movie gets produced. In maneuvering to do the ghost writing work, Joe may be unprepared for what else Norma has in store for him in her need to be loved and wanted. As Joe gets seduced by the comfort that Norma's wealth can afford, it may be too late for him when he finally comes to the realization about what he really wants and how much he has to forgo in stoking Norma's ego.

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

    - Written by Alan Smithee


The film opens with the camera tracking down Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California as police cars begin racing down it...

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