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Sunset Boulevard (Bilingual)

William Holden , Gloria Swanson , Billy Wilder    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.55
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Sunset Boulevard (Bilingual) + Double Indemnity (1944) + Treasure of the Sierra Madre
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Product Description

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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

Product Description

Boulevard du crépuscule (Sunset Boulevard ou Sunset Blvd.1) est un film noir américain, réalisé et coécrit par Billy Wilder, sorti sur les écrans en 1950, mêlant drame et humour noir. Il tire son nom du célèbre Sunset Boulevard, qui traverse Los Angeles et Beverly Hills, bordé de villas de vedettes hollywoodiennes. William Holden interprète le scénariste malchanceux Joe Gillis, et Gloria Swanson incarne Norma Desmond, une ancienne vedette du cinéma muet (comme elle), qui parvient à enfermer Gillis dans sa vie dominée par le fantasme d'un retour triomphant à l'écran. Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough et Jack Webb apparaissent dans des seconds rôles. Le réalisateur Cecil B. DeMille et la journaliste à scandales Hedda Hopper jouent leurs propres rôles, tandis qu'on peut voir une apparition fugace de vieilles stars du muet : Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner et Anna Q. Nilsson. Apprécié par la critique américaine à sa sortie, Boulevard du crépuscule obtient onze nominations aux Oscars du cinéma, et en remporte trois. Considéré depuis comme un classique, le film est parfois cité parmi les chefs-d'œuvre du cinéma américain. C'est ainsi qu'il a été considéré comme « culturellement significatif » par la Bibliothèque du Congrès en 1989 qui l'a inclus dans sa première sélection de films pour faire partie du National Film Registry et y être restauré. L'American Film Institute l'a, en outre, placé en douzième place de son Top 100, en 1998, puis en seizième place dans celui de 2007.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Tinseltown classic 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on Sunset Blvd in DVD March 7 2004
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but not perfect.... Feb. 14 2004
Format:DVD
This DVD is great. Because the film and actors are great. The extra feature "The Making of Sunset Blvd" is great, but all other extra features leave much to be desired. There is not rare footage in it, as I heard before this purchase, at least not with any actors! There are car shots and morgue shots only! Hardly rare or interesting. More absurd are the actual pages of meaningless dialog of scenes that were either deleted or never used( none with Gloria Swanson...). What is VERY annoying, is the commentary by some guy who feels he is an authority on the film. He makes his OWN assertions, and basically explains the film as it plays, as if we are too stupid to know what is right before our very eyes and ears! Thank goodness that is an option to use or not use while viewing the film. There is however, a great short documentary on Edith Head and some great behind the scenes photos. Over all, it is worth buying. The quality is excellent, and of course we must all have this film in our collection!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Classic for our collection....
Published 28 days ago by Stan Rae
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloria Swanson fills the Silver Screen
This Classic film is a real gem. William Holden, Gloria Swanson, and Erich von Stroheim shine in Billy Wilder's adaptation of Sunset Boulevard. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tyler Stacey-Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Classic film, great performances, a great way to spend a weekend afternoon immersed in a well written, well acted drama.
Published 12 months ago by BG McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars A oldie but a goody
A classic. If you ever heard the line " I'm ready for my close up Mr. Deville" and wondered what it meant or where it came from. It's the famous line said in this movie.
Published on Jan. 7 2011 by ptilyn
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm shocked it didn't win Best Picture
Sunset Blvd. is often overlooked as first-tier Hollywood filmmaking in light of other classics such as Citizen Kane, Casablanca or It's a Wonderful Life. Read more
Published on July 5 2007 by Rob Larmer
5.0 out of 5 stars "Back at that pool again. The one I always wanted"
I watched "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) for the first time a few days ago, after a friend lent it to me. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2007 by M. B. Alcat
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie for lover of movies
"Life which can be so minuscule had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her. Read more
Published on July 9 2006 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars SWANSON SHOULD HAVE WON THE ACADEMY AWARD
Swanson deserved the Academy Award for this picture. The ending shot alone shows this.
A superb film all the way around except for the casting of Nancy Olson. Read more
Published on July 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars FULL AND WIDE
While widescreen films date back as early as 1930 (The Bat Whispers), Sunset Boulvard is not a widescreen DVD because Sunset Boulevard is not a widescreen film.
Published on July 7 2004 by J. Poling
5.0 out of 5 stars A supreme film: a ltrue andmark in the american cinema.
This movie belongs to the legend from its release. Never before Wilder got down to the deepest regions of the soul, like in this one. Read more
Published on June 4 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
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