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Old January 12th, 2018, 11:03 AM
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Re: Ashdoc's mainstream english movie thread

Sunset Boulevard ( 1949 )



The movie is from the black and white era .

William Holden plays an out of luck movie script writer named Joe Gillis whose scripts are not accepted by most directors . While running away from men trying to take his car because he has not paid it's dues , he accidentally stumbles into the mansion of a forgotten movie star of the era of silent films named Norma Desmond ( Gloria Swanson ) . She lives in her own world where she is still supposed to be a great star with a huge fan following , though it is actually her own butler ( played by Erich von Stroheim ) who writes the fan letters . And he too was a former movie director who had discovered Norma but whom she married and later divorced , but became her butler because he could not live apart from her . Can things get quirkier than that ?

Yes , they can get quirkier . Because Norma takes a fancy to Joe and decides to make the much younger Joe her keep , and Joe accepts because he has run out of funds . Norma wants to make grand comeback to films even though she is 53 , and Joe becomes the scriptwriter of her bizarre comeback movie . But actually he is interested in another girl called Betty ( Nancy Olsen ) and soon Betty spurns her fiance for him .

But Joe has got too much entangled in the situation created by Norma to ever get out . She wants the great director Cecil B. DeMille to direct her film , and her faded but still remembered star power is on display as she enters his shoot to be warmly greeted by him and recognised by people . But he is not really interested in directing her .

The crisis occurs when Norma discovers that Joe and Betty are in love . And when Joe tries to walk out with some harsh words of truth , she fires a gun on him....his fate is like the male spider who mates with the female spider only to find that there is no release as she devours him . As the police come to arrest Norma with reporters for shooting the arrest , she has gone sufficiently mad to think that the scene is of the shooting of a film being enacted .

The film actually is in touch with the truth , for in the film industry there are several former stars who live in the memory of the former halcyon days . The Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna was one such person , who was constantly reliving his former superstardom long after it had perished . The dialogue by Norma in the movie saying 'I am big . It is the pictures that got small.' aptly sums up this attitude . Not surprisingly , the film is regarded as a classic . Acting is good , if you are willing to tolerate Gloria Swanson's overdramatic acting as Norma Desmond . Photography is good if you are willing to tolerate black and white colours and small screen format .

Verdict---Good .

Four stars out of five .
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Last edited by ashdoc; January 12th, 2018 at 11:08 AM.
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