Director: Billy Wilder
Screenwriter: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and D. M. Marshman, Jr.
It's very rare that you know the ending of a movie from the beginning, and even more rare when that ending is more shocking the second time around. But that's the case in Billy Wilder's sophisticated noir, Sunset Boulevard. The film explores the toll that fame can take on a person's sense of reality. The silent-film-star-gone-shut-in Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) has one last performance in her, and when Joe Gillis (William Holden), her last shot at fame, tries to walk out the door, the results are truly spectacular. There's no doubt whom the focus is on when she delivers her chilling final line: "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." —GT