Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

THE DEMENTED RECLUSE: Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond making her final descent into her imaginary close-up and madness. This scene, more than any other, has come to represent the sometimes tragic downside of fame lost.

The breathing waxworks —
when fallen stars dim to shells
of their former selves.

The scene that inspired the haiku, although I'd never consider Keaton nor Swanson as has-beens. In fact, observe how, even with such a minor part, Keaton works the shot and steals viewer attention with nothing more than a brief facial expression.

Norma Desmond's famous happy ending.

The "Sunset Boulevard" movie trailer.

One of Comedienne Carol Burnett's zany spoofs as "Nora" Desmond. (This is live TV. Notice how you can see the set brace during the two-shot at the door.)


  1. The mansion used in "Sunset Boulevard" was the former home of J. Paul Getty, located on Wilshire Blvd. at Irving Blvd. in Los Angeles. Five years after the making of this film, the pool on the grounds of the deserted Getty mansion was used for the last scenes of "Rebel Without a Cause."

    Sadly, the mansion was torn down and replaced by a Getty Oil office building.

  2. I'll have to catch it on TCM!!! Looks good!!

  3. The film received eleven Oscar nominations and won three of them. It won the 1951 Golden Globes for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Director and Best Musical Score.