Sunset Boulevard movoe photo

Sunset Boulevard

"A Hollywood Story"

Director Billy Wilder is ice cold in his captivating Hollywood drama Sunset Blvd. A screenwriter begins an affair with a silent film actress who thinks she’s at the top of her field...

-- Box Office --
Released: Aug 4th, 1950
Budget: $1,752,000.00
Revenue: N/A

Sunset Boulevard Main Cast

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William Holden
William Holden
plays Joe Gillis
Gloria Swanson
Gloria Swanson
plays Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim
plays Max Von Mayerling
Nancy Olson
Nancy Olson
plays Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark
Fred Clark
plays Sheldrake
[More Cast]

Movie Trivia/Goofs

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  • Other actresses considered for Norma Desmond were Mae Murray and Mary Pickford. In fact, Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett even went to Pickfair to pitch the story to Pickford, but her horrified reaction as the story progressed made them stop halfway through and apologize to her.
  • In "On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder", Ed Sikov relates a story about Wilder's explanation of the true meaning of the strange dead chimp scene from the start of the film. Sikov says that during the mid-1990s, both Wilder and Nancy Davis [First Lady Nancy Reagan] were at a party for an opening of one of the productions of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the film, when, with Reagan nearby, an older woman approached Wilder with a question about what the chimp scene meant. Wilder's typically outrageous answer, probably intended to shock the former First Lady as much as to inform the woman of the true meaning of the scene, was, "Don't you understand? Before Joe Gillis came along, Norma Desmond was f**king the monkey."
  • The character of Joe Gillis was very much in tune with William Holden's standing at the time. When he appeared in the 1939 film Golden Boy, he was hailed as exactly that, but had seen his stock fall, largely through his problems with alcohol and a string of unmemorable films in the 1940's. On the basis of this film and largely out of his continuing association with director Billy Wilder, Holden would reach the zenith of his career from 1950-57.
  • SPOILER: In the penultimate scene, as Max tells Norma that "the cameras have arrived," the high strings in composer Franz Waxman's Oscar-winning score quote a chord from Richard Strauss's "The Dance of the Seven Veils" (from his opera "Salome", a reference to the now-mad Norma's final possession by the woman Salome with which she'd been so obsessed). The same musical quote from "Salome" is used again as she descends the stairs, where Waxman segues into his own original musical statement of "The Dance of the Seven Veils".
View All: Trivia - Goofs - Quotes


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