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

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9780312302542: Close-up on Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder, Norma Desmond, and the Dark Hollywood Dream

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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About the Author:

Sam Staggs is the author of All About "All About Eve" and a novel, MMII: The Return of Marilyn Monroe. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

From Publishers Weekly:

Staggs serves up another round of popcorn in this highly enjoyable follow-up to All About "All About Eve," plumbing the depths of the noir homage to the silent era, Sunset Boulevard. The book traces the film's history from the studio pairing of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett as screenwriters to the Academy Award disappointments to the film's rebirth as an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical in the 1990s. Staggs's research is impressive: in addition to traditional print sources, he tapped unexpected sources, such as the film's previously uninterviewed supporting actress Nancy Olson, and explored nifty locales, like Norma Desmond's would-be neighborhood. The intrepid reporting results in little-known film facts: how co-art director John Meehan conceived and set up the face-down water shot of the dead Joe Gillis (William Holden) and why then-megastar Montgomery Clift did not want to play opposite older female character Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson). Also entertaining are Staggs's descriptions of the many behind-the-scenes cat fights. Some of Staggs's film analysis such as his take on the "crowd-pleasing kitsch" sound movies of Cecil B. DeMille is standard, but his opinions on the Wilder-Brackett and Wilder-I.A.L. Diamond pairings are sharp and original. There are also plenty of edifying sidebars on topics such as the history of Norma Desmond's exotic car (the Isotta-Fraschini), changes made to the script and "Smiling Franklyn Farnum," the silent western star who plays Norma Desmond's pet undertaker. Staggs has succeeded in presenting another remarkable film study. Photos not seen by PW.
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Book Description St. Martin s Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780312302542

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Book Description St. Martin s Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780312302542

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Book Description St. Martin's Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 448 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.4in. x 1.2in.Classic storytelling about one of Hollywoods 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. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312302542

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