Sunset Boulevard (1950)

99½EPISODE # 11:  Arguably the greatest movie ever made about Hollywood, Billy Wilder’s masterpiece SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) is a tremendously entertaining combination of noir, horror and black comedy. An aging silent film queen refuses to accept that her stardom has ended, and she hires a young screenwriter to help set up her movie comeback. The screenwriter believes he can manipulate her, but he soon finds out he is wrong. The screenwriter’s ambivalence about their relationship and her unwillingness to let go leads to a situation of violence, madness, and death.
One of the coolest thing about this film is how it blurs the lines between truth and fiction, as real-life former silent film stars play themselves, Cecil B. DeMille plays himself, and Gloria Swanson is surrounded by glamour shots from HER silent film career. Join us as we talk about all of this, some of the most memorable lines in all of film history, and how James once tried to find the mansion on Sunset Boulevard. Ready for your close-up?

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