Reader recommendation by “Brad”
DIRECTED BY: Billy Wilder
FEATURING: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim
PLOT: An unlucky screenwriter, Joe (Holden), begins a chance relationship with once popular actress Norma Desmond (Swanson), getting caught up in a world of mystery and eventual murder.
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: This noir-ish 50’sdrama is not only an early inside look on Hollywood actors dealing with being washed up and forgotten about, but it has an atmospheric weirdness that builds and builds until its ending, which is actually the beginning.
INDELIBLE IMAGE: Norma Desmonds’ pet monkeys funeral.
COMMENTS: A non-linear, shadowy, and dark examination of those working within the Hollywood business. Mixing Hollywood and murder-mystery before it was a formula. Directed by great Austrian filmmaker Billy Wilder with as much tension as a Hitchcock film. This film is one of the most bizarre to come out of Hollywood pre-1960, outside of Blonde Venus. The film is definitely an American classic that can also be classified as a strange classic. Cecil B. DeMille and Buster Keaton have cameos. David Lynch named Sunset Boulevard as one of his personal favorites.