Barscream’s review published on Letterboxd:
Some powerhouse films were released in 1950. Among them: All About Eve, The Asphalt Jungle, and Sunset Boulevard.
Gloria Swanson plays Norma Desmond, an aging semi-delusional Hollywood star who hasn't worked in a while and desperately wants to get back in. William Holden plays a struggling screenwriter who decides to help Norma polish up a script she's written in order to make some easy money. For a time, both get what they want out of their relationship.
Swanson's acting is off the charts. Her facial expressions - especially her eyes are mesmerizing. Master writer/director Billy Wilder shows the dark underside of Hollywood fame and what it can do to people. The casting is mind-blowing. Swanson herself was a star who had not worked for a while. Her butler is played by Erich von Stroheim, who actually directed Swanson in a film that is shown in the movie. Cecil B. DeMille, Buster Keaton, and others play themselves.
Sunset Boulevard is truly one of the all-time greats.
Fun Fact: David Lynch has said that Sunset Boulevard is one of his favorite films. The name of the character Lynch plays in Twin Peaks, Gordon Cole, is a name from Sunset Boulevard.