Sunset Boulevard (1950) 4K Restoration
Director: Billy Wilder Run Time: 110 min. Release Year: 1950
Starring: Erich von Stroheim, Fred Clark, Gloria Swanson, Nancy Olson, William Holden
Country: United States
Some Like It Hot: The Films of Billy Wilder
A new retrospective celebrating one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema.See more Billy Wilder
About the film:
Gloria Swanson, as Norma Desmond, an aging silent-film queen, and William Holden, as the struggling young screenwriter who is held in thrall by her madness, created two of the screen’s most memorable characters. Winner of three Academy Awards, director Billy Wilder’s powerful orchestration of the bizarre tale is a true cinematic classic.
From the unforgettable opening sequence — a body found floating in a decayed mansion’s swimming pool — through the inevitable unfolding of tragic destiny, Sunset Boulevard (1950) is the definitive statement on the dark and desperate side of Hollywood. Erich von Stroheim as Desmond’s discoverer, ex-husband and butler, and Nancy Olson as the bright spot amidst unrelenting ominousness, are equally celebrated for their masterful performances.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) is often ranked among the greatest movies ever made and was included in the first group of 25 films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989.
About the filmmaker:
Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema.
Wilder first became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He relocated to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit as a co-writer of the screenplay to the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation after helming Double Indemnity (1944). In 1950, he co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard. From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the darkly funny war film Stalag 17 (1953), the romantic comedies Sabrina (1954) and The Apartment (1960), the courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959).
Over his five decade career, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director eight times, winning twice, and for a screenplay Academy Award 13 times, winning three times. He earned numerous lifetime honors, including AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1988, and the National Medal of Arts in 1993. Wilder holds a significant place in the history of Hollywood censorship for expanding the range of acceptable subject matter.See our upcoming films