(Review originally written at 19 January 2010)

There are quite a few movies out there are about life inside of Hollywood. These pictures particularly show the dark and downsides of this strange world of its own. This movie is full with references to Hollywood, as it's a story about a fading star from the silent era who meets up with a young struggling script writer.

The movie has a quite interesting story, that builds on its great characters. It's a greatly cast movie, that features Gloria Swanson, an actress who more or less gloriously plays herself in this movie. She herself was an actress during the silent movie era and actually hadn't appeared in any movie for 9 years before singing on for this movie. The movie is filled with some casting like this. For instance Erich von Stroheim plays a once great director and Cecil B. DeMille appears as himself in this movie, in a quite big talking role. It's also the movie the well known line 'All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up' comes from The movie truly benefited from its great and smart casting.

It's a real character driven movie, in which more and more becomes obvious about the female lead, who is slowing loosing her mind and sense of reality because she is in full denial about her fading career and glamorous stardom. Its mostly were the movie its drama is coming from, though of course there is a whole lot more going in this movie. The writer William Holden also has his own issues and there are a bunch of more different story-lines and characters that the movie involves.

It's really pleasant that this movie is a fast going one. Unlike many other movies from the same time period this movie rarely has slow or dull moment in it. Yes, it's a drama but it's one of those dramatic movies that also still is really pleasant to watch.

It's simply a really done well movie. It had a a great story to work with but having a good story is of course one thing, having a great movie is a totally different thing. It's no big wonder that this movie worked out so great, since it had Billy Wilder at the helm of it. He does not only tell the story great and with lots of pace but also makes the movie with a lot of eye for detail. It's also a movie with some good looking sets and costumes for instance, though initially these are not really the things you will notice first.

A great movie about Hollywood done by some of Hollywood's biggest.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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