USA, 1950, 110 min
Direction: Billy Wilder
Cast: Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
Awards: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay, Academy Awards, USA, 1951, Best Foreign Language Film, Blue Ribbon Awards, 1952, Best American Film, Bodil Awards, 1951, Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama (Gloria Swanson), Best Motion Picture Director, Best Motion Picture Score, Golden Globes, USA, 1951, Best Actress - Foreign Film (Gloria Swanson), Best Director - Foreign Film, Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, 1951, Foreign Actress (Gloria Swanson), Jussi Awards, 1951, Best Actress (Gloria Swanson), Best Film, National Board of Review, USA, 1950, National Film Registry, National Film Preservation Board, USA, 1989, Best Written American Drama, Writers Guild of America, USA, 1951; nominations: 13 in total
Selection: Pedja's Film Collection
The last screenplay made as a result of cooperation between Brackett and Wilder is a story about Hollywood behind the scene, Sunset Blvd., one the most popular noir movies, was created on the basis of the screenplay. In 1951, after 11 nominations, this master piece of the film art won three Oscars in the following categories: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.
The movie shows the decadence of the Hollywood glamour with a retrospective narration, from the point of view of a deceased writer who ended his life murdered, floating in his swimming pool. Joel Gills, an unsuccessful screenplay writer, tries to get famous by writing screenplays where the leading role would be given to former diva Norma Desmond. However, he ends up murdered. The narrator’s voice promises that he is going to show us the real course of action that brought the young screenplay writer to death. So the time goes six months before his death to reveal what happened with the unsuccessful writer who, deeply in debts, tried to gain something more from his unusual acquaintance with Norma Desmond…
An interesting manner used in the movie, playing with the poetic problems of relationship between fiction and reality, represents its special charm. Real references, such as Hollywood legends, characters, movie stars, and the well-known label of Paramount studio, appear as an integrated part of the imaginary film story called Sunset Blvd.