Sunset Boulevard (1950) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunset Boulevard1950

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

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Critic 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.

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Movie Info

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

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Cast

William Holden
as Joe Gillis
Gloria Swanson
as Norma Desmond
Erich von Stroheim
as Max Von Mayerling
Nancy Olson
as Betty Schaefer
Fred Clark
as Sheldrake
Jack Webb
as Artie
Franklin Farnum
as The Undertaker
Franklyn Farnum
as Undertaker
Charles Dayton
as Finance Man
Hedda Hopper
as Herself
H.B. Warner
as Himself
Ray Evans
as Himself
Bernice Mosk
as Herself
Larry Blake
as 1st Finance Man
Eddie Dew
as Assistant Coroner
Billy Sheehan
as 2nd Assistant Director
Roy Thompson Jr.
as Shoeshine Boy
Ruth Clifford
as Sheldrake's Secretary
Bert Moorhouse
as Gordon Cole
E. Mason Hopper
as Doctor/Courtier
Yvette Vickers
as Girl on Telephone
Eva Novak
as Courtier
Al Ferguson
as Phone Standby
Stan Johnson
as 1st Assistant Director
Bill Sheehan
as 2nd Assistant Director
Julia Faye
as Hisham
Gertrude Messinger
as Hair Dresser
Ralph Montgomery
as First Prop Man
John Cortay
as Young Policeman
Gertrude Messenger
as Hair Dresser
Jay Morley
as Fat Man
Howard Negley
as Captain of Police
Ken Christy
as Captain of Homicide
Len Hendry
as Police Sergeant
Arthur Lane
as Camera Operator
Archie R. Dalzell
as Camera Operator
James Hawley
as Camera Assistant
Edward Wahrman
as Camera Assistant
Sanford E. Greenwald
as Newsreel Cameraman
Howard Joslin
as Police Lieutenant
Larry J. Blake
as 1st Finance Man
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Critic Reviews for Sunset Boulevard

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (31)

Smashing drama of the old-fashioned kind, plus elegant perceptive characterization of the modern school, combined to make Sunset Boulevard one of the greatest films of the decade.

October 11, 2021 | Full Review…

It is Hollywood craftsmanship at its smartest and at just about its best, and it is hard to find better craftsmanship than that, at this time, in any art or country.

October 11, 2021 | Full Review…

It takes you behind the scenes in the celluloid city and into the hearts of those who make the pictures.

October 11, 2021 | Full Review…

The direction is by Billy Wilder who did Lost Weekend, and it is superb -- detailed, evocative and absorbing. Hollywood, with its mania for success is sardonically observed and there are a hundred witty touches to enliven the general atmosphere of decay.

October 11, 2021 | Full Review…

Dead fame, the grim phantom that often uniquely besets careers in Hollywood, becomes the theme for one of the most remarkable pictures ever produced.

October 11, 2021 | Full Review…

Sunset Boulevard is one of those films which serve as milestones in the progress of the motion picture toward its goal of an entertainment art You must see it!

October 11, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sunset Boulevard

William Holden plays one of the new blood of Hollywood, ardently seeking fame and fortune (if unsuccessfully), just as his circumstances put him across the path of one of the old school success stories, the radiant Gloria Swanson, whose ardently trying to recapture past glories (if unsuccessfully). Perhaps Billy Wilder's best film is an indescribable jewel of infinite facets, not the least of which is the constant and continuing struggle for self worth as seen through the eyes of others. Von Stroheim stoically exudes "no comment" while keeping watch on the proceedings ...

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The definition of timeless classic, superbly written and directed, blending dark humor and tragic film noir - and it offers splendid performances by William Holden and Gloria Swanson, who play a sarcastic writer and a histrionic diva of yore, respectively.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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 at-times-unrecognizable bit of LA from 60+ years ago.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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