"I am big! It's the pictures that got small!" Regarded by many as the best film ever made about Hollywood — and by others as audacious treachery. In flashback, recently deceased screenwriter/kept man Joe Gillis (William Holden) narrates his tormented, mutually exploitative affair with has-been star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Erich von Stroheim (Desmond's devoted valet in the film, and himself a former star/director familiar with the vicissitudes of Hollywood fame) came up with the memorable idea of having his character write the star's fan mail. Director Billy Wilder rejected his other suggestion: von Stroheim washing and ironing her panties. Nominated for 11 Oscars®, winning three including Best Screenplay. DIR/SCR Billy Wilder; SCR/PROD Charles Brackett; SCR D. M. Marshman, Jr. U.S., 1950, b&w, 110 min. NOT RATED
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