The main reason I love Sunset Blvd., aside from the sharp dialogue and narration, is that it’s literally the story of my life. Well, kind of… well, I hope I don’t end up like William Holden does at the end. He plays a struggling writer who quits his newspaper job to pursue writing Hollywood scripts, only, that endeavor isn’t working out so well. His agent’s a bum and when he pulls into the driveway of a dilapidated mansion because the tire on his car blew out, well, things get interesting. I can say that I’ve never met a silent movie star who had a dead chimpanzee resting by her fireplace.
But to get back to the dialogue, this is yet another classic movie full of classic zingers, the most famous of which is probably, “I didn’t get small, it’s the pictures that got small,” and “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.” And then there’s the pulpy, snappy narration. “The plain fact was that she was afraid of the world outside. Afraid that it would remind her that time had passed her by,” and “ In December the rains came. A great, big package of rain. Oversized, like everything else in California.”
Also, check out the cameo by Jack Webb a.k.a. Joe Friday from Dragnet as Artie Green at the New Years party.
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I’ve completed one whole column of movies on my white board! Quite an accomplishment and I look forward to tearing into the next column, which begins with 1951’s Strangers on a Train.