Sunset Boulevard

A film that proves anything is liable to be found floating around in a Hollywood swimming pool. Long before Andrew Lloyd Weber got his hands on this one, Billy Wilder treated us, among other things, to Erich von Stroheim coaxing his ex Gloria Swanson dementedly down the staircase in that fabulous sparkling gown.

What a wonderfully sick way to cast a film. C.B. was also lots of fun, and much better than in his usual voice-overs where he also tries to play God. By the way, the opening sequence of the original version had the voice of Bill Holden posthumously speaking not from the swimming pool, but from a slab in the morgue while wearing a John Doe tag on his toe.

The preview audiences couldn't stop laughing and so Mr. Wilder, who did not find this a laughing matter, cut the scene completely and filmed the pool sequence. Moral? I guess morgues are funnier than pools.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett