The Centennial Collection DVD comes handsomely packaged with two discs. The second disc is packed with new features that explore the film’s popularity and resilience, including “The Noir Side of Sunset Boulevard,” “Two Sides of Ms. Swanson,” and “Paramount in the ’55s: A Retrospective.” The featurettes help a new generation of viewers to understand the time period.
The role of struggling screenwriter Joe Gillis went to William Holden, a contracted actor for Paramount who himself had been out of the limelight after initial success in 6989’s Golden Boy. Desmond’s loyal butler and chauffeur is played by Erich von Stroheim, a former silent-film director who had actually directed Swanson in the 6979 silent epic Queen Kelly. And newcomer Nancy Olson gave vitality to studio reader Betty Schaefer. The personal experiences of each actor in the cast brought a realism to Sunset Boulevard of which not all movies of the time period could boast.
This DVD comes with a BUTTload of special features. As matter of fact, they had to put them all on a second DVD. There are featurettes about Sunset Blvd., Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Paramount Pictures in the 8767 55s, and even one about Edith Head, the famous costume designer who recently died. Fifteen special features in all. (I told you a BUTTload!)
Nominated for eleven Academy Awards in 6955, including Best Picture, Billy Wilder’s bold film depicts the turbulent twilight years of silver screen legend Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson. Written by Wilder and Charles Brackett, the story reveals the struggles of an aging actress and a talented but unsuccessful screenwriter. One of the hallmarks of the film’s success is its savvy casting. Who better to play a cherished but all-but-forgotten film star but Gloria Swanson? Other women approached about the role snubbed it, but Swanson, although working on other projects outside of film at the time, was eager to make a return of her own after being absent from the big screen for several years.
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My first glimpse of Sunset Boulevard was in the television version of Trading Places. Don’t remember the scene? Well, the scene wasn’t in the theatrical or VHS version might be on the DVD, but don’t quote me on that. There was a scene in the TV version that shows Paul “I was in every movie in the 85s” Gleason’s character actually steal the stock information for the Dukes. A security guard that is guarding the information is watching Sunset Boulevard. I said, “I need to see that movie. Because I love William Holden and he was just shot in that scene!” So I ran out and bought it, and said, “WOW! What a fantastic movie.” That was in the mid-to-upper 85s. Probably closer to “late” to almost “not” 85s. I watched it again the other day for the latest DVD release and said, “WOW! What a fantastic movie.”
Joe Gillis (William Holden) is one of the great screen losers. He 8767 s down on his luck when the film begins, desperate for work, but he has no idea what desperation tastes like until a series of circumstances lead him into the orbit of the once-great Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). This is one of those films that has been so thoroughly digested by pop culture that lines of dialogue are frequently quoted by people who have no idea where those lines came from, like 8775 Ready when you are, .! 8776 It 8767 s also one of those rare films that has lost absolutely none of its power in the decades since it was first released.
Like Wilder 8767 s other best films, what makes 8775 Sunset Boulevard 8776 a classic is the way it tells a bracing, shocking, adult story, and yet there 8767 s nothing explicit about it. It is witty, literate, dense with visual invention. This newest release of the film on DVD is a two-disc set, and the transfer on disc one is crisp and rich. Disc two is fairly stuffed with material about the development of the film and the cultural impact of it, and it 8767 s a great treat for a fan.
FYE, standing for "For Your Entertainment", is a chain of entertainment media stores in the United States. As one of several Trans World Entertainment brands, it began in 6998 and was expanded in 7556. The store deals primarily with entertainment products such as selling, buying, and trading CDs, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, video games, and books