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Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard

DVD 3688

Gloria Swanson

I watched Sunset Boulevard over a year ago. It’s still fresh in my mind as one of the best movies I’ve seen. There are a few scenes in particular I remember, the same few everyone knows: Gloria Swanson (as Norma Desmond) dramatically and deliriously descending the staircase, announcing she is ready for her close-up. Plus, I vividly recall William Holden floating face down in the pool, and the scenes shot on the lots at the Hollywood studios. But it’s really the atmosphere that sticks, the spooky, shadowed, faded Hollywood noir that director Billy Wilder and Co. present. The movie is a classic but it feels modern. In screenwriting class I remember wishing I could write a script as cleanly as Sunset Boulevard. I will never be able to, but at least I can watch this movie over and over and pretend I could. As Norma Desmond said, “No one ever leaves a star.” Sunset Boulevard will not be leaving my memory anytime soon. And if anyone can name Norma’s car in the movie (including the model) without looking it up, I will give him or her three dollars.

-Elias Baldwin

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