sunset boulevard

This classic tale of Norma Desmond, darling of the silent screen, who clings to the idea of a comeback, features the classic line “I’m ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille.” Gloria Swanson made this picture her own, portraying the fine line between beloved star and pitiful has-been. This film is fascinating for its contrast of the possibilities for men and women in the film industry—De Mille (played by himself) is the most powerful man in Hollywood while well into his seventies, while Norma is a washed up pariah while only in her fifties because she doesn’t want to fade into the woodwork. And don’t get us started on William Holden’s character… [us, 1950]

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