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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 11.48%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 1.64%
Total Crap: 3.28%

2 reviews, 49 user ratings

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Sunset Boulevard
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by Chris Parry

"Once you start watching, you can't help but watch to the end."
5 stars

Magnificent stuff. For a lot of people, when you're flicking through the channels and you stop momentarily on an old black and white movie, you just flick on to the next channel. It's an understandable inclination, especially if you have 150 channels to flick through. But every now and then you might want to stop on one of these flicks, kick back for ten minutes and see if it grabs you. Why? Because of Sunset Boulevard and films just like it. Sunset was an Oscar winner and for a good reason - it's every bit as outstanding as Rebel Without A Cause, North By Northwest, On The Waterfront and any number of equally good, if old, films that so many people go through there life knowing about, but never actually seeing.

William Holden is a hack screenplay writer trying his hand in Hollywood, to much and heavy failure. His car is being hunted by repo men, his rent is three months late, and when he takes his latest screenplay to his only remaining studio contact, he overhears it being slammed by his colleague's script assessor. Life could be worse, but he doesn't know how.

As he leaves, he learns exactly how. The repo men spot his car at an intersectoin and chase him at high speed, causing our hero to have a blow-out and limp his car to the safety of a nearby sprawling, derelict Hollywood mansion.

"Madamme has been expecting you," mutters the butler, Eric Von Stroheim, before leading our boy up the twisting stairs to a silent film superstar, long forgotten by the masses and played to insane perfection by Gloria Swanson.

Where it goes from here is what the movie is all about, and I'd much prefer you learn the details by watching the film. Swanson gives a performance that in it's time was unparalelled, much the same as James Dean's turn in Rebel Without A Cause, and just as occured in Rebel, the perfection of one of the leads leaves the others looking flat. Only Von Stroheim, in what at first seems a bit part but as the film progresses turns into an integral character, manages to come close to the scenery chomping mastery of Swanson in full mental mode.

I don't care what kind of film you like to watch when you're out for a few laughs. I don't care if the idea of renting a black and white film leaves you less than enthused. Just take my word on it and go find Sunset Boulevard. It's not only well worth your time, but as a standard of the era that left others in the movie industry looking on in awe, it's a piece of history that you must see if you're to ever truly call yourself a film fan.

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originally posted: 07/03/01 06:27:13
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User Comments

5/21/20 Marty Good writing, acting, direction, well-rounded movie. Little corny at times, but it's 1950 4 stars
1/30/20 Dr. Lao If it were a book, it would be "unputdownable" 5 stars
12/17/18 Ajp wales Better than what i thought. Different. 5 stars
5/22/18 Herb Slojewski still a great mysterious story 5 stars
1/29/18 Anne Selby very special 5 stars
4/13/17 Suzanne So glad I finally watched this - what a masterpiece! 5 stars
3/08/15 stanley welles brilliant hollywood-on-hollywood satire 5 stars
2/15/15 filmiw23 in my top 10 worst film ever made 1 stars
2/08/15 russel what the fuck!!! this movie in the top 3 best movie ever?????? 1 stars
1/07/15 Robert Tschinkel This to me is the perfect movie. Great performances, writing, directing. 5 stars
5/18/14 mr.mike A must for cinema buffs. 5 stars
10/18/11 C.M. Chan One of the great Hollywood tragedies. 5 stars
10/02/11 7thstranger One of the GOAT! They had faces then! 5 stars
2/21/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess A deadpan and disturbing satire on the Hollywood system. 5 stars
7/04/09 Kristen Wilder's deliciously dark script + amazing noir cinematography = masterpiece. Perfection! 5 stars
1/15/09 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
12/09/08 MP Bartley Twisted brilliance. Excels in every department. 5 stars
2/05/08 Paul Shortt Brilliant film noir. Certainly a genuine contender for the greatest film ever made 5 stars
1/26/08 proper amateur film critic briliant and fascinating drama with many memorable marvellous moments 5 stars
6/13/07 fools♫gold This and "The Gunfighter" threaten what I said about (the also awe-some) "All About Eve." 5 stars
1/03/07 ashley bissette this is an amazing film that can be viewed over and over again 5 stars
10/11/06 R.W.Welch Was anybody ever as good as Wilder? Was anybody ever better than Swanson? 5 stars
7/20/06 Agent Sands One of the greatest American classics. Truly mesmerizing final shot. 5 stars
5/14/06 mr.mike slightly overrated but holds your interest 4 stars
4/01/06 John Dog A must-see for every movie fan. 5 stars
11/21/05 David Fowler Swanson is EXQUISITE! Possibly, probably, the greatest film ever made 5 stars
11/03/05 Peter Ernst Your right great movie have seen it numerous times 5 stars
8/06/05 jay boggs This is an intensely fascinating film that stays with you forever. Must see! 5 stars
6/03/04 Angel Delicious Noir, and very entertaining. 4 stars
12/17/03 Tim Triangle Yawn Yawn probably not that bad if only I could of stayed awake. 2 stars
6/08/03 earl hoffert swanson, von strohiem are brilliant 5 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink A classic. This is the film that all Hollywood satires should be measured by. 5 stars
8/10/02 I Can't Swim Swanson gives a towering performance; Bill makes a good boytoy too 5 stars
4/06/02 Ryan Imhoff An absolute masterpiece. This film epitomizes perfection. 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver A true classic. Remember Carol Burnett's parody? 5 stars
1/07/02 mattski brutally good, a lesson in how films should be 5 stars
1/05/02 Monster W. Kung Good, but a little bit too depressing. 4 stars
12/19/01 Hum wow 5 stars
12/17/01 Herb Slojewski A great great film, a tribute to Bill Holden, Swanson could not have been more perfect. 5 stars
12/17/01 Andrew Carden Pretty Good Movie...but I Prefer The 1996 B*Way Recording. 4 stars
11/26/01 donna fucking sick 5 stars
10/21/01 Robert Still an excellent critique of Hollywood, even 50 years later 5 stars
9/29/01 Magdalena Garrido Very good 5 stars
9/28/01 George Spelvin One of the best films ever made. Brilliant in every way. 5 stars
7/31/01 Big Bob Good movie if a bit dated 4 stars
7/21/01 gus i liked it 5 stars
7/07/01 Elvisfan NOTHING like it. Stands alone. Swanson should've won Oscar 5 stars
7/03/01 Boomshanka Swanson is out of control good. Holden a bit stiff, but Wilder's script brings him up. 4 stars
12/13/99 JonnyAngel Excellent everything! 5 stars
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  10-Aug-1950 (NR)
  DVD: 11-Nov-2008



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