Close-up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the Dark Hollywood Dream

Overview

Classic storytelling about one of Hollywood’s darkest masterpieces, Close-up on Sunset Boulevard goes behind the scenes to reveal everything about the making of this movie and the larger-than-life personalities of its creators and stars. Close-up on Sunset Boulevard features unforgettable anecdotes about every player: from silent queen Gloria Swanson in her poignant comeback to the cheerful ingenue Nancy Olson (who had never heard of the great and glamorous Gloria), from henpecked, handsome—-and hungover—-William...

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Close-up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the Dark Hollywood Dream

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Overview

Classic storytelling about one of Hollywood’s darkest masterpieces, Close-up on Sunset Boulevard goes behind the scenes to reveal everything about the making of this movie and the larger-than-life personalities of its creators and stars. Close-up on Sunset Boulevard features unforgettable anecdotes about every player: from silent queen Gloria Swanson in her poignant comeback to the cheerful ingenue Nancy Olson (who had never heard of the great and glamorous Gloria), from henpecked, handsome—-and hungover—-William Holden to the raucous writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Close-up on Sunset Boulevard is a fascinating, unputdownable movie history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312302542
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 744,107
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

Voice-Over, 1948 1
1. A La Recherche de Norma Desmond 4
2. When Queens Collide 11
3. The Happiest Couple in Hollywood 15
4. Chaz 37
5. Who Is Gloria Swanson? 47
6. "The Cameras Have Arrived" 71
7. The Bedroom of Norma Desmond 82
8. That's Why the Lady Has a Chimp 95
9. "Ten Thousand Midnights Ago" 101
10. "All Right, Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready for My Close-up" 118
11. Chiffon, Velvet, Chinchilla, Tulle, Brocade, Taffeta, Ermine, and Leopard-Printed Crepe 126
12. If It's a Paramount Picture, It's the Best Show in Town 136
13. Fiasco 148
14. The Whole Audience Stood Up and Cheered 154
15. And the Winner Isn't Gloria Swanson 173
16. I've Got Nobody Floating in My Pool 188
17. Boulevard! 202
18. "Funny How Gentle People Get with You Once You're Dead" 224
19. Popcorn in Beverly Hills with Nancy 232
20. "Buttons and Bows" 246
21. Men in Uniform 252
22. "We'll Make Another Picture, and Another Picture" 274
23. Sunset Cul-de-sac 295
24. Life Upon the Wicked Stage 303
25. Fifteen Minutes of Close-ups 309
26. A Dethroned Queen 316
27. If They Put All the Norma Desmonds on an Island, Which One Would Survive? 354
28. Billy Wilder from Noir to Blackout 363
29. Lux Perpetua 374
Acknowledgments 381
Selected Bibliography 385
Notes 389
Index 407
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    Outstanding book!

    Quite simply, Sam Staggs IS big ... it's the authors who got small. This was my second read by Mr. Staggs, and it even surpassed his astoundingly entertaining 'All About 'All About Eve''. This book gives an inside view of the production of 'Sunset Boulevard' from the infancy of the film's production, through it's many incarnations on stage and screen, and into it's influence on film even today. Again I was riveted by Mr. Staggs' writing style and tireless research. I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of the film, it's stars, or the glory days of the Hollywood studio system. But be warned: You'll get little done until you're finished with this book. I went to sleep with it, and woke up with it. A MUST read for any Swanson, Holden, or Wilder fan!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2005

    Should have been better

    At some points, the analysis is either over-simplified or just plain labored. I also found factual errors . . . this always raises my hackles!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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