Gavin Rye’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m often left feeling a bit cold with this classic films, but I found a great deal to enjoy here. The story really pulled me in from the very start and kept me, just about, throughout. I liked how no one is really hateful in the film. It would have been very easy for Joe to not be likeable and to take advantage of Norma making him a kept man, but it’s always on his mind and we see that he feels bad and isn’t comfortable with the situation.
The performances are great, though Swanson as Norma does go a little off the rails in the final scene. I understand that exactly what’s happening to her character, but she does take it a little too far in the final “I’m ready from my close up” scene.
I did feel the film started to loose it’s way a little as Joe falls for the young girl he’s working on a script with. It was too obvious and it began to loose me a little. It does come around though and didn’t go exactly where I expected it.
Sunset is one of the better films I’ve seen from the 50’s, a decade I’m still relatively inexperienced in outside of Hitchcock. I’ll certainly be delving into more. On a side note, I love the ring cigarette holder Norma uses in the film. A touch of class.