Sunset Boulevard – Billy Wilder
Wilder has often been quoted as saying that many. Hollywood moguls reacted adversely to the film, but the 1950 Academy Award nominations show that Sunset Boulevard was highly regarded within the film industry. The film won Oscars for Best Writing (story and screenplay), Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, and Best Art Direction/Set Direction (black-and-white). It was also nominated in several major categories: Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (Olson), and Best Cinematography (black-and-white). (Ironically, the film honored as’Best Motion Picture, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, was another exposé of show business with a unique flashback structure in which the narrative is connected by the “unconscious” thoughts of three of its principals.)
In addition to these industry accolades, Sunset Boulevard earned far-reaching critical acclaim. The Hollywood press awarded “Golden Globe” Awards to the film as. Best Drama, Best Director, Best Actress in a Drama, and Best Score. The National Board of Review honored the film as Best American Film and Swanson as Best Actress, and also included it on its ten best films list, as did the New York Times and Time magazine. While the film was only moderately successful at the box office, its popularity with audiences—as well as its stature—has increased over the years. In a 1977 survey conducted by the American Film Institute, Sunset Boulevard was listed forty-fourth on the list of the fifty most popular films of all time The film’s reputation is richly deserved, for it provides us with a look at an introspective Hollywood and an insight into the mind of its genius creator.
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