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Sunset Boulevard (Bilingual)


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Sunset Boulevard (Bilingual) + Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman Jr.
  • Producers: Charles Brackett
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Release Date: Nov. 26 2002
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXCW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,886 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Billy Wilder's noir-comic classic about death and decay in Hollywood remains as pungent as ever in its power to provoke shock, laughter, and gasps of astonishment. Joe Gillis (William Holden), a broke and cynical young screenwriter, is attempting to ditch a pair of repo men late one afternoon when he pulls off L.A.'s storied Sunset Boulevard and into the driveway of a seedy mansion belonging to Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a forgotten silent movie luminary whose brilliant acting career withered with the coming of talkies. The demented old movie queen lives in the past, assisted by her devoted (but intimidating) butler, Max (played by Erich von Stroheim, the legendary director of Greed and Swanson's own lost epic, Queen Kelly). Norma dreams of making a comeback in a remake of Salome to be directed by her old colleague Cecil B. DeMille (as himself), and Joe becomes her literary and romantic gigolo. Sunset Blvd. is one of those great movies that has become a part of popular culture (the line "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," has entered the language)--but it's no relic. Wow, does it ever hold up. --Jim Emerson

Special Features

The highlights of the Sunset Boulevard DVD are a standout transfer and three 2002 documentaries. In "Sunset Boulevard: A Look Back" (26 min.), author Ed Sikov, actress Nancy Olson (who played Betty Schaefer), critic Andrew Sarris, and producer A.C. Lyles discuss the perfect cast, the alternate opening, and various anecdotes. "Edith Head: The Paramount Years" (13 min.) and "Franz Waxman and the Music of Sunset Boulevard" (14.5 min.) provide retrospectives on the legendary costume designer and composer. Sikov, the author of On Sunset Boulevard: The Life and Times of Billy Wilder, also provides a very informative if rather dry commentary track. Other features include a map spotlighting the Hollywood locations in the film, photo galleries, and two versions of the script for the original morgue opening, one of which is supplemented with silent footage cut from the picture. --David Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on May 16 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Gloria Swanson, William Holden and Erich von Stroheim are all stellar in their performances in Billy Wilder's superb microcosm of a decadent Hollywood, "Sunset Boulevard".
A svelte and handsome Holden playing young, financially strapped screenwriter Joe Gillis accidently stumbles onto the palatial estate of aging silent film siren Norma Desmond. The reclusive, suicidal and delusional Desmond played hauntingly by Gloria Swanson, has been out of pictures for twenty years. She has absurd desires to attempt a comeback using a script she has written as the vehicle.
Her fantasies are nurtured by her faithful and protective manservant Max played stoically by von Stroheim.
Swanson convinces Holden to work on refining her script and he ultimately becomes the kept man of the fading movie goddess. Eventually he tires of his ensnarement and secretly leaves the estate to co-write a script with young screenplay reader Nancy Olson. They fall in love but Holden is unable to leave the jealous Desmond resulting in his downfall.
What a treat it was to finally see this flick which embarrassingly has eluded me until now. It was a true cinema classic. Swanson was absolutely unforgetable.
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By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 9 2006
Format: DVD
"Life which can be so minuscule had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her."

Movie script writer Joe Gillis found him self in the sunset of his career. While escaping auto preprocessors, by accident or fait he turns into a driveway on Sunset Boulevard and begins a new chapter with a mysterious actress who is in the sunset of her career.

This play in three acts is packed with stars of the time. Many of the Stars and the writer reflect their real lives in the story. I am not going to bring up a list because they are fun to discover as they show up on the screen.

Even though the movie can hold its own and is worth re-watching, be sure to get a DVD with the audio commentary. The commentary helps you see what you are watching; it also covers the original beginning of the movie.

I have been tainted before viewing this movie by watching then Carol Burnet version.

All About Eve (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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Format: DVD
This motion picture is simply a 5 star film by any definition of cinema art... period. Hollywood criticizing itself in the post-war era is amazing enough, but with the perfectly cast players directed by Wilder, this film is sure fire on every note. Swanson in the role of her life, overacting JUST as a former silent film star would, Holden as the impatient and reluctant beau, Stroheim as the former director locked in eternal love, satisfied to simply be at the "greatest star's side"....... and so many other characters playing themselves in real locations make this film authentic and compelling from the opening credit.
This DVD release is NOT perfect.. alas, the transfer IS the best I have seen in any format, but in the garage scenes and a few other very dark scenes, there is a sort of fluctuation in the contrast which is distracting at times. I own a state of the art liquid crystal display, so for me it is visible... for most with CRT monitors, it may not be so easy to spot. The other downside is the dry and totally useless commentary by the author of Billy Wilder's book... which could have simply been left off the disc... the only reason to play it would be for someone who is visually impared, I would think....... don't watch it. These 2 points are definitely NOT enough to bring the 5 star rating down, nor do they take away from the beauty of the way this film has been brought to DVD with the stylish menus and extras.
The upside is that the sound, menus, and "making of" portions of the DVD are first rate. The menu is similar to a silent film and beauifully created. Totally consistant with the look and feel of the film.
ANY SERIOUS FILM BUFF, HISTORIAN, or STUDENT of film MUST see this film.
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Format: DVD
In the period of time know as the Golden Age of Hollywood, most of the movies were carried by the performances and the scripts, computer generated special effects were unavailable, so when you see a movie from this period of time, you know that is going to be a showcase for the actors and directors. I wish that more films like "Sunset Boulevard" were made in these days, but this is the era of the big blockbusters and movie franchises.
"Sunset Boulevard" is a film packed with fascinating and very complex characters, who can ever forget the former diva and walking contradiction Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), the opportunistic Joe Gillis (William Holden) or the mysterious butler Max Von Mayerling?
The situations in the story are always interesting, thanks to the great script "Sunset Boulevard" has both comedy and drama. "Sunset Boulevard" has several unforgettable scenes, from the opening scene where we can see one of the main characters already dead, to the final scene where we can see that one of the characters has finally lost it (by the way, the scene of the funeral for the death monkey is one of the most original scenes I have ever seen).
For these reasons and many more "Sunset Boulevard" is a classic that must be seen by anyone that considers himself / herself a movie buff.
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