Sunset Boulevard

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)
[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

Number 31 on IMDB's top-250 movies of all time. So I'm really supposed to like this movie a lot more than I did.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is that it was probably pretty daring for its time, but that time was 1950. It seems clichéd and a little trashy now, but mainly because of later imitators. Life is unfair.

The actor coming off the best here is … Cecil B. DeMille! He actually gives a believable and unmannered performance. It's also neat to spy a pre-Dragnet goofy Jack Webb (Is he on something?) and a dour Buster Keaton. But Gloria Swanson manages to be over-the-top even playing an intentionally over-the-top role. And William Holden one-notes the doomed corrupted cynic. The script puts Chandleresque dialogue in his mouth, which I think only only a few actors can do believably. (Bogart, Eastwood, James Garner, maybe Harrison Ford on a good day.)

However, it's well worth watching, if only to improve your movie literacy. Only $7.97 at Amazon as I type!

Last Modified 2024-02-04 4:35 AM EDT

URLs du Jour -- 12/2/2005

  • I've already turned in my Christmas list to Mrs. Salad, but if someone wants to buy me this, I wouldn't say no. (Via Instapundit.)
  • Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek posts a longish article about Wal-Mart and makes a pointed observation about the folks who oppose the chain's expansion plans and organize boycotts:
    How strange that those who would help the Wal-Mart worker do so by NOT shopping there! How strange it is that those who would help the Wal-Mart worker want fewer Wal-Marts built, reducing the demand for such workers temporarily or for even longer!
    Good point. We like these people so much, we want to take away their jobs. Blogger Dan Drezner and WaPo columnist Sebastian Mallaby also have some push-back articles about why Wal-Mart is not the Great Retail Satan. Both these articles are somewhat inspired by an essay by Jason Furman entitled "Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story" (PDF). All well worth reading.

    I like Wal-Mart just as much as the next fan of laissez-faire capitalism; I simply wish that just one freakin' time that I would get served by the competent, efficient, employees that I know must work at some Wal-Mart store, somewhere; I have yet to encounter them.

  • Although I hate using psychobabble, a recurring theme these days seems to be "projection": accusing someone of a character flaw while simultaneously displaying it yourself, usually in spades. (I guess you say "projection" if you're tired of saying "hypocrisy"?)

    For example, (via Drudge) a student newspaper reports a speech by Joseph Wilson at Northeastern U. Kind of in the middle he refers to "pro-war policy makers" who were "engaged in character denigration". Gasp! But he also in the same speech (a) referred to the Iraqis as 'assholes,'; (b) called Saddam Hussein a 'madman.'" (well, fair enough); (c) deemed Robert Novak an "asshole" and a "jerk." Nope, no character denigration there!

  • Things I wish I'd written:
    If I'm watching a commercial and I think it's too long, it doesn't help my mood that the name of the product is Infiniti.
    (Ann Althouse)

Last Modified 2005-12-06 10:07 AM EDT