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Sunset Boulevard


Sunset Blvd

I watched this film in a film class that I took in college and completely enjoyed the film. There are amny aspects of this film that make it entertaining and good. But I want to go at this film from the point of view as to how it can be interpreted and looked at in different ways.

The first way I will address is that of a horror film. This doesn't seem like a typical way to look at it, but when the prof. had us write up about this film after watching it, he had given us a few different categories, I chose to write about the horror elements in the film. The are some definite horror elements in the film, one of the big ones is the setting of the house in the film. The house is broken and run down. There are bars in the doorways, and shrubs and trees that are all overgrown. Also, the Norma Desmond character is often shown focusing on her long fingers with her clawlike fingernails. So there are several parts in this film that are easy to say that they are in the style of a horror film.

Another way of looking at this film is as a dark comedy, and this is the most common way. The aspects of Norma Desmond's delusions of granduer. The places that Joe Gillis finds himself in, stuck between someone he can't stand and the girlfriend/fianse of his good friend.

The final way that, in my class, we could write about it was as a romance, or a romantic comedy. It does have some elements of a typical romance. Joe Gillis is trapped in this wrong relationship, and then he finds the right person. And he has to win over the right person and figure out some way to get out of the wrong situation. It doesn't end up as a happy romance, but it definitely could be looked at as a romantic tragedy.

I think that the combination of all these different elements, most of which end up causing it to be a dark comedy, blend perfectly into an interesting look at the change from the era of silent film to "talkies", and how that transition occurred for the movie stars. Billy Wilder does an amazing job of creating this dark story.

Overall Grade: A

Acting: B+
Story: A+
Visual/Audio: A-