"Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up"



As most of you already know, ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a passionate love affair going on with old films.

I can watch them over and over, and still watch them over and over again.

One of my all-time favorite black and white films is Sunset Boulevard.

I don’t know whether it’s because I have such fond memories of sitting in the den of our home; watching it with my fabulous mother on a Saturday afternoon while eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, or the simple fact that I’m an overly dramatic character myself, but I LOVE Sunset Boulevard.

It’s grand, Gothic, eerie, and oh-so intriguing.

It is the story of a demented and faded silent film star, Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) who refuses to accept the present by living in the past, and has delusions of making a comeback (or rather a return) to the movie screen in a screenplay she has written herself.

At the beginning of the film, she meets a young handsome screenwriter, Joe Gillis (William Holden) who ends up at her home because his car has a flat tire directly in front of her Sunset Blvd. mansion. They eventually have a torrid and strained “younger man, older woman” affair, while simultaneously using each other for opportunism.


Towards the end of the film, Joe decides to break off the affair, which makes Norma FREAK OUT with jealousy and go totally insane; taking a gun from her dresser drawer and shooting him DEAD into a swimming pool.

Talk about overly dramatic!


But don’t allow the ending to make you think this movie is only dark and dismal, because there’s also a lot of wonderful campy humor in the film.

There is much more that happens between what I just shared with you, but it would take too long to tell. Besides, if you enjoy old movies like me, you really should rent it to see the whole story because it’s truly a brilliant script, mixed with a masterpiece of cinematography.

It is a flawless depiction of what Hollywood was like back then, GLAMOROUS and GRAND.

Movie stars were movie stars.


I would like to share a short montage from some of the best scenes in the movie, infused with the powerful and haunting soundtrack from the Broadway show.

Some of you may have already seen this clip, because I had it on my sidebar last week as one of my movie favorites. So I apologize if you’re watching it for the second time, but it’s such a perfect example of why I love this film.
(and if you have head phones, please use them while watching this because the music is phenomenal)

So, in the infamous last words of the character Norma Desmond, I say……

….“Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”





50 comments

  1. Ah ! Oldies were never meant to die. Well, even Joe narrates the story from the beyond.
    I have two favorite movies from way back which I love just because the medium has allowed these actors to live on.
    One is "Goodbye, Mr Chips". Love old movies that depict how schools were back in those days. And what a tear jerker.
    The other one is "It happened one night". I only love it for that one scene in the bus.

    P.S. my blog is back up online

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  2. "Movie stars were movie stars..."

    You ain't kidding. This is a giant of a movie, and one of the best ever made. It's been a part of my movie collection for quite some time now, and ranks up there with Casablanca, Raging Bull, Citizen Kane and Fight Club. This is one of those films that I enjoy watching at least once a year, and is required viewing for anybody who loves film.

    Oh, and that pose of Gloria Swanson is *classic* cinema!

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel like going swimming face down in the pool for a few hours...

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  3. Ron I absolutely love this movie as well. It is such a sad movie. The face on Gloria Swanson is almost a caricature and yet so compellingly sad.
    What a telling tale about the fate of aging actresses. Their value lost due to wrinkles upon their faces. Instead of being revered for their knowledge. They are cast aside scratching for days gone by...days they will never recapture. It is all so sad and tragic and glam and scary all rolled into one. I never saw the play. I think some things are best left to the original. There is no one else who could replace the look on Gloria's face when she asks Mr. DeMille for her close-up.

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  4. Ron, I've seen many old classics, but somehow I haven't seen this one. I sometimes tune in to channel 61 on cable. They play oldies round the clock.

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  5. I love old films too Ron. My favourites are the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films - boy could they dance!

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  6. :-) Now there's one of my favorites of all time. And I enjoyed the clip--twice now, ty.

    Yes, please--more tomato soup. :-)

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  7. Gloria Swanson, my, oh my, I remember my granny raving about her... a bit before my time, you understand. Just a teeny bit...grins. Seriously, I don't think granny ever went to the movies and I certainly never saw Sunset Boulevard. That's sSomething I aim to change forthwith cos the plot sounds terrific. So move over, Ron, let's all get in on the act....

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  8. Love me some Gloria Swanson (and Bette Davis). Love old films. I need to go back and rewatch this. It's been a while. Thanks for reminding me! Back then being a "cougar" was such a torrid thing. I'm sure it happened a lot more than we heard about but you just didn't DO that! Know what I mean?

    Fabulous post my dear friend!

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  9. Good Morning Jaffer~

    "Ah ! Oldies were never meant to die. Well, even Joe narrates the story from the beyond."

    You said it, buddy! "Because the medium has allowed these actors to live on." Thank god for FILM, right?

    I've seen both the films you mentioned here, and I totally agree, they're WONDERFUL!

    OMG...I'm so happy to hear about your blog being back up - yahooo! I'll be sure to place you on my reader so I don't miss your posts, and I'll be stopping by sometime today.

    Thanks for stopping by, Jaffer. Always great to see ya. Have a great Monday!

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  10. Good Morning Herman!

    *clapping*

    "This is a giant of a movie, and one of the best ever made."

    Yup, I had a feeling you were a lover of old films, as well. About four years ago, I bought the anniversary DVD of Sunset Boulevard with all the special features at the end - it's freakin' awesome! Me too, I watch it at least once or twice a year. I can only imagine what your movie collection looks like, I bet it puts mine to shame.

    "Casablanca, Raging Bull, Citizen Kane and Fight Club."

    Faaaaaaabulous films!

    "Oh, and that pose of Gloria Swanson is *classic* cinema!"

    You said it, buddy! Classic!

    "Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel like going swimming face down in the pool for a few hours..."

    HAHAHHHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Always enjoy our chats.

    Have a marvi Monday!

    X

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  11. Good Morning Matty~

    If you ever get the chance to see this film, I think you may enjoy it. Especially if you appreciate old films. It's a masterpiece. They just don't make them like this anymore.

    Always so great to see ya, neighbor! Thanks for stopping by!

    Have a great Monday!

    X

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  12. Good Morning Akelamalu~

    Yes, I had a feeling you loved old films too!

    "My favourites are the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films - boy could they dance!"

    BOY...COULD THEY DANCE!!!!

    They were the greatest dance couple, weren't they? They always made dancing look so effortless!

    Thank you for stopping by, m'dear!

    Happy Monday!

    X

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  13. Gooood Morning Mel~

    Yaaaaaaay! It's one of your favorites, too? Ain't it GRAND?

    Thanks for watching the clip again, dear lady. I had a feeling you had seen it last week.

    "Yes, please--more tomato soup."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nothing goes better with an old film, than tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Thanks for stopping by, Mel! Wishing you a maaarvalous Monday!

    X to you and the bug!

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  14. Good Morning Valerie~

    "Gloria Swanson, my, oh my, I remember my granny raving about her... a bit before my time, you understand. Just a teeny bit...grins."

    HAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHA! "Just a teeny bit...." Oh, you are a RIOT, dear lady!

    I've never seen Gloria in any of her silent films, however they do use an actual clip from one of her old silent films in Sunset Boulevard, in one of the scenes. She truly had the perfect fact for silent movies - gorgeously expressive!

    If you ever have the chance to watch this film, I just KNOW you're gonna love it. Get yourself a nice glass of red wine, sit back, and take a ride to Sunset Blvd.

    ALWAYS so wonderful to see you, Valerie! Thank you for stopping by!

    Have a glorious Monday!

    X

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  15. Good Morning Peg~

    "Love me some Gloria Swanson (and Bette Davis). Love old films."

    Ooooo...oooo...me too, me too! And also Joan Crawford - "Mildred Pierce."

    "Back then being a "cougar" was such a torrid thing. I'm sure it happened a lot more than we heard about but you just didn't DO that! Know what I mean?"

    Yes, I do. This movie had so many taboos weaved between the script, and yet it was brilliant how they did it. This movie touched on so many things that people didn't talk about back then.

    Thanks oodles for stopping by, dear friend! Always enjoyed!

    Have a fantabulous Monday!

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  16. Ronnie...

    As you know already... I'm FROM Hollywood-- and I though I'm not a STAR (maybe in my own mind, yes)... I LOVEEEEEEEEEEE old Hollywood films-- Such class - they were all soooo beautiful back then!!!!

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  17. Good Morning Susie~

    Ah...I KNEW you'd seen this film!

    "Ron I absolutely love this movie as well. It is such a sad movie. The face on Gloria Swanson is almost a caricature and yet so compellingly sad."

    You're absolutely right, my friend.

    "Their value lost due to wrinkles upon their faces. Instead of being revered for their knowledge."

    You said it!

    "It is all so sad and tragic and glam and scary all rolled into one.'

    Yes, and that's what I LOVE about this film...you can't pinpoint what it is. It's the perfect blend of comedy, tragedy, and scary. I remember as a kid, thinking it was only a horror film, but later on discovered all the various rich levels in the script.

    "There is no one else who could replace the look on Gloria's face when she asks Mr. DeMille for her close-up."

    No one.

    The Broadway show is also wonderful, in fact, brilliant. Webber did an amazing job with the score and script, bringing to life onstage.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, Susie! We've discover, yet another thing we have in common!

    Happy Monday!

    X

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  18. Bonjour Leesa~

    Yes, I know....you're a HOLLYWOOD GIRL - YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

    And yes, you ARE a star!

    Aren't the old Hollywood films amazing? And you shared the perfect word.....CLASS! They may not have had all the technical/special effects that some of the films have today, but they had a brilliance and genius all their own!

    Always so great seeing you, my friend! Mucho thanks for stopping by!

    Happy Monday!

    X

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  19. what's up ron. i'm back at a decent computer. been reading though from my hand held.

    i don't watch much TV at all, but the movie sounds interesting.

    i may give it a look. there is nothing in my netflix queue but darn workout DVDs.

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  20. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay...V!

    OMG, it's sooooooooo great to see ya, girl! Glad to hear your back on your computer.

    ((( V )))

    " don't watch much TV at all, but the movie sounds interesting."

    Me neither, in fact, I don't watch ANY TV, only movies I rent. You, being a photographer would absolutely adore this film. It's truly a black and white masterpiece of cinematography. Many photographers use this film as a study in black and white.

    I think you'll LOVE it!

    Thanks for stopping by, girl! Have a wonderful Monday!

    X

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  21. I love old movies, but don't remember seeing this one. Guess I need to make a point of it!

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  22. Hey SuziCate~

    You'll absolutely LOVE it!

    It's a work of art!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady!

    Have a grrrrrrreat Monday!

    X

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  23. Yes Sir, they don't make them like this anymore, do you have a suggestion for a good one to watch Ha Ha.

    Excellent post Buddy I know you are steering us in the right direction here :)

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  24. I too, love the old movies. Sunset Boulevard is so campy. I love it too. All About Eve is one of my favorites. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." Love the cameo by Marilyn Monroe. Do you remember Carol Burnett spoofing this movie on her television show? It was hilarious.

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  25. Howdy Jimmy~

    "do you have a suggestion for a good one to watch?"

    Yes, watch this one on Halloween night, it'll be sure to give you and Cindy the FRIGHTS - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for stopping by, pal! Always so great seeing ya!

    Enjoy your evening!

    X to you and Cindy!

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  26. Can you believe I have never seen this movie!? *hangs head in shame*
    But I will definitely keep it in mind, the clips looked so interesting!
    And that music for those clips... soooo wonderful and intense!
    I do watch certain movies over and over again, but for some reason, never really got into the old black and white ones. I have seen a few. My favorite I guess would be 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane', I know you love that one too!

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  27. Hey Gal From Brooklyn~

    OMG...I CANNOT believe you mentioned "All About Eve" because I actually own that DVD and just watched it a week or so ago. LOVE IT! It's in my top three list of favorite Bette Davis films.

    Yes, Marilyn Monroe's cameo, as George Sanders love interest was faaaaaabulous! Everyone in that cast was so perfect for their roles.

    "Do you remember Carol Burnett spoofing this movie on her television show? It was hilarious."

    HAHAHHAAHAHAHAHA! Yes, and that you for reminding me of that because I had totally forgot. I also loved her spoofs on "Mildred Pierce" and "Gone With The Wind!"

    What a great show that was!

    Always great seeing ya, dear lady! Thank you for stopping by!

    Hope you had a wonderful Monday!

    X

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  28. Helloooooo Crystal Chick~

    "Can you believe I have never seen this movie!?"

    OMG...I'm SHOCKED; being the movie lover that you are! I do realize that not everyone is as INSANE about black and white films as I am, however if you ever watch it, I KNOW you'll just adore it. It's so artistic!

    Isn't the music for that clip, wonderful? You said it, intense! Webber did an amazing job on the score for the Broadway show. I saw the touring company while I was still living in Florida, and it totally amazed me how he took that film and transformed it into a stage show. It was like watching the movie come to life, right before your eyes! I wish I had seen Glenn Close as Norma, I heard she was incredible.

    Oooo...."Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?"....also, one on my favorites. I own the DVD.

    Always so wonderful sharing with ya, M! Thanks for stopping by!

    Hope you had a great Monday!

    X

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  29. I found your site from Blunt Delivery. I love it. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

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  30. Greetings Kate~

    Welcome! Thank you for stopping by and sharing a comment. It's so nice to meet ya!

    OMG...isn't Blunt faaaaaaaabulous? I love her to pieces!!!

    Please poke around as much as you wish. And don't worry about putting everything back where you found it, because I have a maid who does that every morning.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Stop back anytime, you're always welcomed!

    Enjoy your evening!

    X

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  31. Absolutely one of my all time favorites too. Wasn't Gloria Swanson just downright scary creepy fabulous? Oh, and I just fell in love with Bill Holden. *sigh*

    Another one of my very favorites is The Bishop's Wife. I love those scenes where Cary Grant and David Niven are communicating without words. And the part where he begins to recite the twenty third psalm always makes me cry. *another sigh*

    And then, of course, there's Bill Holden again in Sabrina. And Audrey. And Bogart. Which brings us to a fork in the road. We could go on all night now, couldn't we?

    tres entertaining!! mais oui!

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  32. Gooood Evening Diane~

    "Wasn't Gloria Swanson just downright scary creepy fabulous? Oh, and I just fell in love with Bill Holden. *sigh*"

    Yes! Miss Swanson scared the shit out of me!

    And it's ironic you mentioned falling in love with Bill Holden, because my mother was IN LOVE with him too! She told my father that the only man she would ever leave him for was Bill Holden - HAHAAHAHAHAHA!

    OMG...yes! yes! "The Bishop's Wife" I loved that one too! Boo-hoo buckets! Cary Grant was one of my all-time favorite actors. I loved him in "Penny Serenade" with Irene Dunn. Talk about CRYING!

    And "Sabrina!" Boy, you really DO love old movies, don't ya?

    "Which brings us to a fork in the road. We could go on all night now, couldn't we?"

    Yes, we could. Maybe one day if we should ever meet, you, Cristy, and I can get a bottle of wine and watch old movies!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady! ALWAYS a delight!

    Hope you had a super Monday!

    X

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  33. I so love the fact that back then ladies dressed up, wore garters and sat straight. Life is what we make of it. In this spirit, I like setting a pretty table, beautifying my nights with candles around the apartment, wearing pearls to run errands.

    Glamour is where we choose to set it! You spread that lovely scent of poise so magnificently, dear Ron!

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  34. I used to watch old movies with my mom as well when I was a kid. She was also a total music fanatic. I grew up listening to all the music from the forties and fifties. I still love Steve and Edie - Baby it's cold outside!
    My favorite movie is All About Eve. I really need to rent that again. Thanks for getting me to think about it!

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  35. Bonjour Susu~

    "Glamour is where we choose to set it!"

    Ah...oui, oui, Madame!

    "Life is what we make of it. In this spirit, I like setting a pretty table, beautifying my nights with candles around the apartment, wearing pearls to run errands."

    And you make this world so GLAMOURS, beautiful lady!

    Thanks for stopping by this morning, Susu!

    Hope you're having a terrific Tuesday!

    X

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  36. Good Morning Jen~

    "I used to watch old movies with my mom as well when I was a kid."

    Ahhh....wasn't that wonderful? My mother was the biggest influence over my appreciation of old movies.

    "My favorite movie is All About Eve."

    OMG, meeee too, Jen! I have that film on DVD and will watch it often. "Fasten your seatbelts...it's going to be a bumpy night!"

    HA!

    "I still love Steve and Edie - Baby it's cold outside!"

    Can't wait to hear that one this holiday season!

    Always so great seeing ya, my friend! Thanks for stopping by!

    Happy Tuesday!

    x

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  37. I love her jaw line
    that may sound crazy to some but I'm guessing you agree
    she could hold her head like nobody's business
    all that drama in the tilt of her head, or the slight movement of an eyebrow
    and her eyes!! could she get them to go any wider

    wonderful!!

    did you see the Broadway musical version? I had tickets when it was Glenn Close and got sick that day - deadly fever sick
    my SIL scored - I had great seats

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  38. "Sunset Boulevard" is a classic. I can't ever watch it though without thinking of Carol Burnett doing the Norma Desmond role on her show. When Norma (Gloria) does that, "ready for my close-up" I see Carol and start laughing.

    I also never can watch GWTW and see Scarlett in that green dress made from curtains without seeing Carol in hers with the curtain rod still attached.

    Damn, that Carol Burnett! LOL

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  39. Good Morning Lady Dianne~

    "I love her jaw line
    that may sound crazy to some but I'm guessing you agree
    she could hold her head like nobody's business."

    No, that doesn't sound crazy at all, and I TOTALLY agree! She had a strong, yet very feminine face, it was PERFECT for this role!

    Oh...and those eyes and eyebrows! Bellissima!

    "did you see the Broadway musical version? I had tickets when it was Glenn Close and got sick that day - deadly fever sick
    my SIL scored - I had great seats."

    Holy shit! You had tickets to see GLENN CLOSE??? OMG, even if I were sick, I would have had them take me to the theater in an ambulance and a stretcher, to see her perform that role - HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    *only kidding*

    No, I didn't see the show on Broadway, however I saw the national touring company while they were in Orlando, Florida. I saw Petula Clark play the role, and to be totlly honest, I didn't care for her performance. She played it rather boring. I did however, get to meet her backstage after the show because someone I knew, knew her from another show they did with her. Lovely lady!

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady! ALWAYS grand to see ya!

    X to and the gang!

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  40. Good Morning Nitebyrd~

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHA!

    I so totally agree with you!

    Carol Burnett did SO MANY wonderful spoofs on SO MANY wonderful films, that it's impossible to see any other person doing the roles!

    GWTW was PRICELESS! Even until today, some of the guys I work with and I will sometimes talk about that scene. HYSTERICAL!

    Thanks for stopping by, Sis! Always great to see you!

    Hope you're having a terrific Tuesday!

    X ya!

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  41. In Norma's defense, who hasn't, in a fit of rage, shot somebody in a pool?

    Am I right?

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  42. Hi Megan~

    "In Norma's defense, who hasn't, in a fit of rage, shot somebody in a pool?"

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA...tooo funny!

    And you're right...I just did that last week!

    Thanks for stopping by, Megan!

    Hope you're having a super Tuesday!

    X

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  43. there's some old movies i like, mostly old liz taylor's when she was a teen and all of bette davis all the way to her demise, poor dear, i wish she could have gone on and on...this is not one of my faves but is one of husband faves...he adores old old movies, the older the western the better he likes it! that and old musicals, well really he'll watch just about anything if it's pre 1955! xxoxox

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  44. Hello Dearest Linda~

    "...mostly old liz taylor's when she was a teen and all of bette davis all the way to her demise..."

    OMG...me too! Wasn't Liz Taylor in "A Place in the Sun" absolutely stunning? She and Vivian Leigh are two of my favorite Hollywood beauties. And Bette Davis? Simply, faaaaaabulous in everything she did.

    Yes, "Sunset Boulevard" is not everyone's cup of tea, because parts of it are very macabre.

    Like your husband, I too enjoy the old musicals!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend!

    Always such a joy to see you!

    Hope you had a beautiful day!

    (((( Linda ))))

    xoxoxox

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  45. Hi there Ronnie,
    I have been very busy so this is my catchup time.
    You are going to gasp but I believe that I have never seen Sunset Bvd! Of course, daaaling, I know the film's reputation as one of the all-time classics.
    I have to bone up...

    But, I have seen many old vintage films in my younger years. I think that it has to do with the fact that I had an older Dad. And, he wanted me to know all the classic stars and many of the b&w classics. If it not have been for him, Cary Grant,Bogey,the Marx bros,Laurel & Hardy and so many others would have not been exposed to me.

    Thanks Dad X

    What do you do when you want to see oldies? Do you find a film festival? Or squat a friend's TV? :)

    Big hugs xxxx

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  46. Bonjour Barbara~

    "You are going to gasp but I believe that I have never seen Sunset Bvd!"

    OMG...GASP!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    That's okay, my friend....at least you know the film's reputation as being one of the all-time classics!! It's faaaaaabulous!

    " If it not have been for him, Cary Grant,Bogey,the Marx bros,Laurel & Hardy and so many others would have not been exposed to me."

    Ah yes...those are some of the GREATEST!!!!

    So, thanks Barbara's dad! X

    Whenever I want to see the oldies, I either just rent them, or watch one from my HUGE collection. Can you believe I still have VHS tapes? Slowly, I am collecting them on DVD.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend! Glad to hear your busy.

    Have a VUNDERBAR Wednesday!

    ((( Barb ))))

    xxxxx

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  47. Oh wow. I have NEVER seen the movie Sunset Boulevard. And now I just HAVE TO!

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  48. Hi Meleah~

    Oooooooooo....you're gonna LOVE it, girl!

    Very much a LIBRA movie - HA!

    Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

    X

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  49. This movie is a classic. They do not make movies like this anymore. That is when you became part of the movie. It was as if you actually were in the film, tucked away in all that black and white splendor where no one could see you but you were part of the film not just a spectator like today. Today it is like being a vouyer looking at nooks and crannies of naked bodies and rivers of blood that embelish a plot that is about as sexual as whoopie cushion. In the black and white days your imagination was what stirred your emotions not the 25 gsllons of coke and the trailer load of popcorn you get to take your mind off the shit on the screen. The good ones now are far and few in between. We watch Larry the Cable guy now and he has a love affair with a goat. What the hell has happened? Where are the Sophia Lorens the Betty Grables and Patrica Neals? Now we have a whole new gendre of boobs and penises that are suppose to help us forget about life and enter a place call feel good.
    Thank You for the trip down memory lane. It was great to see that old clip.

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  50. Hi Dave~

    "They do not make movies like this anymore. That is when you became part of the movie. It was as if you actually were in the film, tucked away in all that black and white splendor where no one could see you but you were part of the film not just a spectator like today."

    OMG...you are soooooooo correct, my friend! What you just shared is absolutely brilliant, and exactly how I feel about old films!

    "Today it is like being a vouyer looking at nooks and crannies of naked bodies and rivers of blood that embelish a plot that is about as sexual as whoopie cushion."

    "Now we have a whole new gendre of boobs and penises that are suppose to help us forget about life and enter a place call feel good."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Agreed!

    As you shared, there is no imagination needed anymore in many of the films of today. It's all about "special effects" and little or no story.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing on this post, buddy! Always enjoyed! Always appreciated!

    Hope you had a great Wednesday!

    X

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