I had the opportunity to see Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard” on the big screen in a movie theater. The movie stars William Holden, Gloria Swanson, written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman Jr. and directed by Billy Wilder. For those not familiar with him, 4 of his movies are on the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest films ever made. They are “Some Like It Hot” (if you haven’t seen it, see it now), “The Apartment”, “Double Indemnity” (great movie) and “Sunset Boulevard”.
I own a copy of the movie on disc, but Turner Classic Movies, in conjunction with Fathom Events, has a Classic Film Series playing in selected theaters. “Sunset” was on the list.
Plot summary from IMDB–
“In Hollywood of the 50’s, the obscure screenplay writer Joe Gillis is not able to sell his work to the studios, is full of debts and is thinking in returning to his hometown to work in an office. While trying to escape from his creditors, he has a flat tire and parks his car in a decadent mansion in Sunset Boulevard. He meets the owner and former silent-movie star Norma Desmond, who lives alone with her butler and driver Max Von Mayerling. Norma is demented and believes she will return to the cinema industry, and is protected and isolated from the world by Max, who was her director and husband in the past and still loves her. Norma proposes Joe to move to the mansion and help her in writing a screenplay for her comeback to the cinema, and the small-time writer becomes her lover and gigolo. When Joe falls in love for the young aspirant writer Betty Schaefer, Norma becomes jealous and completely insane and her madness leads to a tragic end. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”
Acting in the film as themselves, Buster Keaton, Hedda Hopper, Ceil B. DeMille, H.B.Warner, Anna Q. Nilsson. The great director Erich Von Stroheim plays the butler and driver. Plus a young Jack Webb – “Just the facts, ma’am” – in a small supporting role.
Sunset was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 3. Info here.
Two movies on the TCM list I want to see – one in June – “The Producers”. And in August – “The Big Lewbowski”. I want to see “The Dude”!
…..3 days to go.
The battle to save the galaxy from the evil Imperial forces continues…
My son has decided to offer his opinion on some recent films. He requested my help when he gets an image pertaining to the film that I put his face into the frame. He uses these images as a “cover” for his YouTube videos.
Pictured above, left to right top – The Martian, Creed. Bottom – Spectre, Black Mass.
His YouTube channel is named “Green Screens“.
It’s the weekend and time to go to the movies!
You never know who you’ll be sitting next to at the movie theater because
everybody and EVERYTHING just loves going to the MOVIES!
The title is a quote from a famous movie,
and the location above has been in many movies.
So it is “the stuff that dreams are made of…”
Photograph taken years ago.
For those never having been to London,
this is where the London Eye will be built.
I wonder what they were filming.
In an earlier life, I went to school for filmmaking. The photograph above is from a film that I made. It was a comedy and I kept it simple since it was my first 16mm film and I was new to the process. When the project was completed, it made its way to a movie theater in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I had a friend that ran the theater there and he was happy to show it. Recently he told me a story that I didn’t know –
“I never told you, but the night that we showed “The Children of Quasimodo” Filmmaker John Waters, actor Divine and Boston film critic David Brudinoy were in the audience. He returned a few nights later (we changed films every three days in the summer)to see another film with just Devine (not in drag). I asked him what he thought about your film. He said ‘It creeped me out….it was funny.’ Ha ha ha. He also said that he liked the idea that we were showing unadvertised underground films at our midnight shows as a bonus.”
Wow. The Man, They Myth, The Director saw my movie. That’s the closest I ever got to Hollywood.
For me seeing the new apes movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, was not a choice but an obligation. When the original Planet of the Apes film with Charlton Heston premiered in 1968 I was around 14 years old. I sat in the Plaza Theater in Paterson, NJ and was transported to a world that held me by my heart and soul. I had chills when the character “Taylor” played by Mr. Heston uttered the words, “Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.” And those chills were intensified with the ending of the movie – seeing the remains of the Statue of Liberty on the sandy beach. It’s an iconic moment in American film history. I walked out of the theater in a daze. To this day, I do not remember if I saw the film with anyone else. That movie cemented a relationship with the soon-to-be-made franchise. I bought a hardcover of the original novel written by French author Pierre Boulle, also author of The Bridge over the River Kwai. For a 14 year old to purchase a hardcover of a book displays the respect I had for the material. The novel was different than the movie, but it was just as perfect.
After the original film premiered I was first on line for everything that followed – Beneath the Planet…., Escape from the Planet…., Conquest of the Planet…., and finally Battle for the Planet….. Nothing equaled the original, but the movies were entertaining. Sometime in the 1970s a close friend and myself sat through a marathon of the 5 films at the Plaza theater. A bland TV followed in 1974, comic books (not interested) and the Tim Burton remake in 2001. I’d lump Burton’s remake with the sequels, entertaining but nothing special.
I don’t remember the year, but sometime between 2000 and 2009 the original Planet of the Apes film was playing at the Lafayette theater in Suffern, NY. The theater had a sci-fi movie weekend with the Heston movie being one of the films shown. Also present at the showing was Linda Harrison, aka “Nova”. It was a fan’s dream to see and hear Ms. Harrison reminisce about the making of the movie.
Back to the new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was entertaining, more so than some of the other sequels. There were plenty of references to the original – some subtle, some not. I don’t remember the reason given in Conquest of the Planet for the rise of the apes intelligence, been a long time since I’ve seen it, but the logic in the new movie was very good, in my opinion. My only real qualm was the ending of the movie. It contradicts the original story, how the apes became the dominant species, and I didn’t see any real reason to change it.
Regarding the photo above – that’s my wife and I. It has nothing to do with the apes movies. I also love comedy and the Three Stooges, and as any student of film comedy will say, gorilla costumes are part of that history. I thought that it was time me for to be a stooge.
Several years ago the American Film Institute created a list of “AFI 100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes”.
A thought came to mind – What if someone else said, “Say ‘hello’ to my little friend,” and not Scarface.