CTCS 200 – Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Sunset Blvd. (1950) – Billy Wilder
Example of classical Hollywood cinema, watch for the influence of German
An interesting film about Hollywood, etc.
Theme of old Hollywood vs. new Hollywood
Sin, vice, decadence, struggle for outsiders to make it
Theme is so popular right now in tv shows, Entourage, Extras, The
1950’s – hard time for the film industries, need for greater realism after
the postwar period
Very cynical film, Wilder is probably best known for the cynicism of his
Gloria Swanson – Wilder cast her, blurred fiction and reality, Von
Strohein, Buster Keaton at table, etc.
Nora Desmond performance, extravagance, important, ridiculousness,
Classic melodramatic villain (Glenn Close in the musical mimics
A lot of people in Hollywood really hated this movie, because of the
depiction of Hollywood, etc.
German films at the time were some of the best, many left Germany
before things got too bad. Wilder left in 33, made some films in France
and then came to America. 27 years old, roommates with Peter Laurie,
manages to become a contract writer at Paramount.
Family killed in the holocaust.
Many films in the 30’s are about American’s in Europe, about
differences between Europeans and Americans, etc.
Made some 60 films, a few classics, (Some Like it Hot, Double
Indemnity, Seven Year Itch, Sunset Blvd.)
Only took up directing so they wouldn’t ruin his scripts (started as a
Think about the difference in writing for movies in the 30’s as opposed
Contract writers, office hours, vs. being on spec, putting your
own things together.