For this week's special edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot -- temporarily redubbed "Hit Me With Your Second-Best Shot" as I've declared that iconic finale off limits -- we're looking at the finest Movie About the Movies ever made. Or one of them at least. The point is it's entirely unmissable and a candidate for any sane All Time Greatest Movie list. The film never gets old or becomes irrelevant even though those are two of its best and most horrifically stared-down topics.
Billy Wilder's masterpiece (or one of them at least), immeasurably aided by inspired performances from William Holden as the screenwriter to Gloria Swanson's screen siren, is not just an acting and writing triumph. It's also a stunner in all the craft categories, particularly its Oscar-winning art direction and its cinematography by John F Seitz, a seven time nominee. His work is magnificent throughout, providing maximum pleasure to "those wonderful people out there in the dark" with his expressive lighting.
So let's get right to those (second) best shots...
A Visual Index of Sunset Blvd (1950)
(Second) Best Shot. According to these 15 movie-loving participants
Click on any image to be taken to the corresponding article
Images presented in rough order as to when they appear in the movie
My New Plaid Pants - this is not technically an entry but people, let this be a lesson to you. If you've already chosen a shot, write a sentence or two about it. The hard part is choosing after all. If you've chosen, do it. We'll link up!
- Movie Motorbreath *video entry*
'Stars are ageless.' This shot disagrees."
-I Want to Believe
There is one entity who has never betrayed her: her 'celluloid self.'"
-The Entertainment Junkie
Everyone, including Norma, can't help but look at Norma...
-Sorta That Guy
This image sums up Sunset Blvd., and even more than that, the entire psychological universe of noir...
-Antagony & Ecstasy
No matter how crazy Norma Desmond may be, I always find her incredibly sympathetic...
We might be entering the movie’s world through Joe Gillis’s point of view, but unlike him, we *are* here to see Norma Desmond.
-Coco Hits NY
It's easy to imagine she does this ever year, even without a handsome writer..."
Already too attached to Norma and her gifts...
-Dancin Dan on Film
If Norma Desmond is a fictionalized version of Gloria Swanson, Max Von Mayerling is a quasi-(auto)biographical portrait of Erich von Stroheim...
We expect cold humiliating truth but what we get is the film's most genuinely warm moment...
- The Film Experience
Norma Desmond would be proud of the leading lady portraying her..."
-54 Disney Reviews
A true star always finds the light...
-Jija Crazy Movie *first time participant*
A one-man army of servants, for her sake, steps back into his role as director once more..."
Please do visit each article, share, and comment. The more eyes the merrier when it comes to worshipping great stars. You haven't forgotten what a star looks like.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: 1995's [safe] starring Julianne Moore