Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Aging silent-film star Norma Desmond ensnares a young screenwriter in this poison-pen valentine to Hollywood.

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: August 4, 1950
DVD Release Date: November 26, 2002
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Arguably the greatest movie about Hollywood, Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard is a tremendously entertaining combination of noir, black comedy, and character study.

Don Druker
Chicago Reader

A tour de force for Swanson and one of Wilder's better efforts.

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

Still the best Hollywood movie ever made about Hollywood.

Sean Axmaker

Sunset Boulevard (1950), the blackest of Hollywood's self-portraits, is an old dark house of a ghost story inhabited by the living shadows of its discarded stars.

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William Brogdon

...They rate a nod for daring, as well as credit for an all-around filmmaking job that, disregarding the unpleasant subject matter, is a standout.

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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice

What's not recognized enough is the indelible, self-sickened performance of William Holden as Desmond's boy-toy/hired hack.

Marc Lee
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Rarely is fiction shot through so glitteringly with real life.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

One of Wilder's finest, and certainly the blackest of all Hollywood's scab-scratching accounts of itself.

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James Berardinelli

This is the greatest film about Hollywood ever put on celluloid by Hollywood.

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Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] Billy Wilder's deft weaving of gothic elements, not the least of which is Nora's decrepit mansion, casts a spell from which Joe is unable to break free. He, like the audience, is stuck in a terrible place awaiting an equally frightful fate.

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More reviews for Sunset Boulevard

Flixster Audience Score: 95% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
The definition of timeless classic, superbly written and directed, blending dark humor and tragic film noir - and it offers splendid performances by William… More
Melvin White
Norma Desmond: I am big! It's the pictures that got small. "A Hollywood Story" Sunset Boulevard is one of those timeless classics that every… More
Christian C
Deliciously over-the-top with a satisfyingly dark turn -- and a hunky, young William Holden to boot! What's not to love? It's also great to see an… More
Lanning : )
From a writing standpoint, kudos for this script. <p> There is something about getting old, in Hollywood, that is imminently topical. In this movie about… More
Daniel Mumby
Ever since film became a widely-spread medium, filmmakers have turned the camera on themselves or the industry that produced them. There is a rich pantheon of… More
Kevin M. Williams
William Holden plays one of the new blood of Hollywood, unsuccessfully seeking fame and fortune, just as his circumstances put him across the path of one of the… More