100 Memorable Moments in Sunset Boulevard

SUNSET BOULEVARD is playing at the Colony this week.  The 50th 
Anniversary print looks *great*, with only a few rough patches--
places where everything appears under-lit or overly-dark.  (Per-
haps a piece of film that couldn't be cleaned?)  I watched with 
pen in hand, jotting the many memorable moments.  They're listed 
below, a hundred of 'em Sweetheart, but, how 'bout a little triv-
ia first, courtesy of the Internet Movie Database (us.imdb.com)?  
Swanson's role was initially offered to Mae West, Mary Pickford, 
and Pola Negri.  Montgomery Clift first signed to play Joe.  He 
dropped out and Fred MacMurray was offered the part.  The "Desmond 
mansion" was built in 1924 at a cost of $250,000 by William Jen-
kins.  The second owner was J. Paul Getty, who purchased same for 
his second wife.  Mrs. Getty, later divorcing the millionaire, re-
ceived custody of the house.  She, in turn, rented it for filming.  
And, the movie that Norma screens in her living room is QUEEN KEL-
LY, filmed in 1929 and directed by Erich Von Stroheim, who plays 

  1. Curb lettering in close-up
  2. Body of young man floating in pool
  3. William Holden so young!  And thin!  And hairy-chested!
  4. $290.00
  5. "He'd just look at your heels and know the score"
  6. "He was a smart producer with a set of ulcers to prove 
  7. Being wrong about people wanting to see a Civil War 
  8. Sounding a bunch of New York critics
 10. Schwab's Pharmacy, AKA "Headquarters"
 11. Yes men who say no
 12. "The finest things in the world are written on an empty   
 13. "Uh-oh"
 14. "A great, big [ choose one: empty garage | package of 
      rain | white elephant of a place ]"
 15. Decrepit palm trees in a decrepit courtyard
 16. Butler, staircase, and a monkey with its eyes closed
 17. "I *am* big.  It's the *pictures* that got small"  "I  
      knew there was something wrong"
 18. The origins of the popcorn business
 19. "Words, words, more words"
 20. "Young man"
 21. Jutting chin
 22. Raised eyebrows
 23. Seemingly fused-together teeth
 24. How bad bad writing can be
 25. "He must've been a very important chimpanzee"
 26. "This is fascinating."  "Of course it is"
 27. Bribed hairdressers and a pair of silk stockings
 28. Strains of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor"
 29. Erich Von Stroheim's scalp
 30. "Cut away from *me*?"
 31. "Put it back!"
 32. Why yelling at sleepwalkers is not good
 33. A rising cloud of illuminated cigarette smoke
 34. "We didn't need dialogue.  We had *faces*"
 35. Buster Keaton as a fourth for bridge
 36. Norma Desmond on cars:  "Cheap new things made of 
     chromium and spit"
 37. Norma Desmond on fashion:  "That's a dreadful shirt 
     you're wearing"
 38. Norma Desmond on etiquette:  "And must you chew gum?"
 39. Doors, but no locks
 40. And don't look too closely at the postmarks
 41. New Year's Eve
 42. Holden in a tux; Swanson a giddy gargoyle
 43. "An hour dragged by"
 44. "I felt caught, like a cigarette in that contraption on 
      her finger"
 45. Then she gets drunk
 46. And Holden can't even get through the door
 47. Jack Webb, young and with personality!  Judas H. Priest!
 48. The Rainbow Room
 49. Max relates the razor; heavy chords on the soundtrack
 50. "Don't race up the stairs.  The musicians must not know 
      what happened"
 51. Bandaged wrists in the foreground
 52. "Go away. Go to that girl of yours"
 53. And "Auld Lang Syne" plays over her sobbing
 54. Spider-like fingers reaching out for his face
 55. Max wears white
 56. Holden looking buff in a swimsuit
 57. "Check those studs!  Get those cufflinks!"
 58. The Norma Desmond Follies
 59. Thinking that the actors make it up as they go along
 60. "I've waited twenty years for this call; DeMille can 
      wait until I'm good and ready"
 61. One half-pound of make-up 
 62. Max looking imperial in the driver's seat
 63. "Norma who?"
 64. The chain of assistants passing the word
 65. A pestering boom mike
 66. "C.B."
 67. "Did you see that?"  "Did you see how they came?"
 68. "You know pictures have changed quite a bit..."
 69. An army of beauty experts
 70. "Ready for those cameras that would never turn"
 71. "You went out last night, didn't you Joe?"
 72. A signed cigarette case
 73. "That's the trouble with you readers.  You know all the 
 74. "I come from a picture family"
 75. $300 nose jobs
 76. "What's wrong with being on the other side of the 
 77. "Nothing like being twenty-two"
 78. In case of emergency, remove shoe and club head
 79. "I was her first husband"
 80. Then cue crashing music
 82. Betty watching Joe, her arms resting arms on a 
 83. Telegram from Artie
 84. "What happened?"  "You did"
 85. She was a fool; he was a heel
 86. "Here's that weird-sounding woman again..."
 87. Holden throws the phone down
 88. "I never got those telephone calls and I've never been 
      in this house!"
 89. Another women breaks into tears
 90. "Here's the pool"
 91. Norma gapes in disbelief
 92. "Max!  Max!"
 93. He can have anything he wants!
 94. "Max!  Max!" (again)
 95. The greatest star of them all 
 96. "Goodbye Norma"
 97. Three gunshots
 98. Cops, reporters, passer-by's
 99. Norma dramatically descends the staircase
100. "Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up"
Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros