There’s only so much that can be said about Sunset Blvd. One of Hollywood’s most tongue-in-cheek productions, Swanson’s greatest achievement, a gem of its time and one of the greats from the Billy Wilder &etc. Whether or not you’re a fan…maybe it’s not your favourite. Nonetheless, you can’t help but be impressed with Sunset Blvd; this was a film that was sure of itself and it wasn’t afraid to go places that others had never dreamed of.
The most enticing thing about Sunset Blvd is its irreverence. For a film narrated by a murder victim it sure is snappy and as is wont in such scenarios, sometimes we even forget that someone’s going to die. Silly, but true. One word – atmosphere. It isn’t important in every film, I suppose that the black and white helps a bit. Those crevices in Norma’s house are as disconcerting as they need to be and Billy Wilder is able to make every moment as dramatic as it needs to be, proving that he’s as comedian as he is a dramatist – a rare feat.
It’s not surprising that Sunset Blvd has become the stuff of legends, with a script chequered with all those quotable quotes…how could it not be? And that acting, I swear I’ve never been a big fan of Holden and sure it’s not that much of a stretch as far as roles are concerned, but he was good in this. Same goes to Gloria Swanson, it’s the role of a lifetime and she’s sensational, playing it with that tinge of camp that makes it all the more enjoyable.