Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Sunset Boulevard


Still just as good as the first time I saw it. If All About Eve hadn’t come out in the same year it certainly would have won Best Picture. I don’t have a lot to add to the thousands of essays that have been written about it. Look some of them up, see the movie again, marvel at Billy Wilder’s audacity at even making it, and at Gloria Swanson’s bravery in letting it all hang out in such a personal way.

(One little bit of trivia from the IMDb: “Upon seeing the film at a star-studded preview screening at Paramount, MGM studio head Louis B Mayer screamed at director Billy Wilder that he should be tarred, feathered and horse-whipped for bringing his profession into such disrepute. Wilder’s response was a terse, “Fuck you.” I love it!)

I rented it because we’re making a trek down Sunset, we’re a little past the halfway mark, and I wanted to see what I could about what it looked like 56 years ago. The answer is: almost unrecognizable. None of the giant walls and hedges the super-rich hide behind, which I detailed in Part 12 of my account of our adventure. Of course, the actual mansion used in the picture was on Wilshire and is gone now, but there were a lot of exterior shots of the Boulevard before it got so paranoid.