Chapter

Dark Windows

GENE D. PHILLIPS

in Some Like It Wilder

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125701
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125701.003.0007
Dark Windows

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This chapter gives an analysis on Sunset Boulevard. It begins by describing the story conferences. The film's title refers to the passing of the old Hollywood: It recalls the tragic lives of has-been film stars like Norma Desmond, whose careers in silent pictures were eclipsed by the advent of sound. The decaying swimming pool on Norma's estate, in which John Gilbert swam ten thousand midnights ago, is a relic of the grandeur of Norma's long-lost heyday as a superstar in Hollywood. The stunning finale of Sunset Boulevard makes for one of the greatest moments in all cinema. It is blessed with a superb screenplay and inspired direction, topped off by Gloria Swanson's superlative performance as Norma and Erich von Stroheim's indelible portrayal of Max. Moreover, the movie is sterling for Billy Wilder's consummate craftsmanship in producing well-defined, plausible characters.

Keywords: Sunset Boulevard; Billy Wilder; Norma Desmond; Hollywood; John Gilbert; Gloria Swanson; Erich von Stroheim

Chapter.  8852 words. 

Subjects: Film

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