Tuesday, October 7, 2014
#559 Sunset Boulevard
"Back then we didn't need dialogue. We had faces!" The introduction of talkie pictures was such a major event in film history, so it isn't a surprise that there are a bunch of great films about this subject, especially films with a focus on the effect it had on silent film actors. These films include "Singin' in the Rain," "The Artist," and the film I just watched, "Sunset Boulevard." The film is about a writer, who find his way into the house of former silent film star. He moves in with her, and she becomes his sugar mama who dresses him, and buys him lots of gifts. She asks him to help her with her script for a film that she wants to be her comeback film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, who she had previously made twelve films with. Unfortunately for her, DeMille has no interest in helping her relaunch her career, but he also doesn't have the guts to tell her himself. So, the writer, and her butler decide to keep it a secret. I felt so bad for the butler character. At first, he just seems like a man who has served her forever and is thus very loyal, but you eventually find out that he wasn't always her servant. In fact, he was the director of her earliest films, and he was her first husband. He made the choice to serve her after he couldn't handle it when she left him. So, he does whatever she asks, writers her fans letters so that she thinks she still has fans, and makes sure that she doesn't find out that DeMille has no interest in making her film. At the end of the movie, he even indulges her fantasy after she kills the writer and goes crazy, and makes her think she is shooting a film while she is being taken away by the police.