Sunset Boulevard - The Centennial Collection

I love some good satire.  Ben Stiller’s latest movie, soon out on DVD, is an excellent example of that.  When movies and actors lampoon themselves, how can that not be comic gold?  Satire is a dark humor, usually deliciously so.  That’s why I’m an Al Franken fan and even did some work for his Senate campaign.  Satire is humor for the intelligent and it’s always enjoyable.  Now there’s a film out, newly on DVD, which is a soft satire, a gentle poke in the eye.

Starting this November 11th, now available as a two-disc collector’s edition boxed set from Paramount Studios Home Entertainment comes the story of a down and out actress desperate to get back up and in.  Sunset Boulevard – Centennial Collection is ready to come blazing out of your television screen in black and white glory where even in the good old days, there were shades of grey.  Bring home this cinematic milestone today!

Directed by Billy Wilder, this film stars Gloria Swanson, William Holden and Erich von Stroheim.  Gloria plays one of the stars of the silent film era whose sun has set.  Looking for a comeback and a return to the spotlight she so desperately craves, she teams up with Holden’s screenwriter who has prepared the magnum opus she needs to come back swinging.  Von Stroheim is her devoted servant, but as things heat up, is he exactly what he has always seemed?

The special features included in this 2-disc boxed set are an optional audio commentary by Billy Wilder expert Ed Sikov, a look into the origins of this film, a featurette exploring the film noir side of this film, a look at how the film became a classic, a featurette about William Holden, a look into the city behind the story, the score of the film is explored, the original theatrical trailer and so much more.

Old movies still don’t do a whole lot for me, unless they have Paul Newman or Gregory Peck in them.  I appreciate the fact that they are classics, yet there is little to no personal connection to the story for me.  Nonetheless, it is something which is good for one to expose themselves to.  For that reason alone, it’s well worth getting this film.  Of course, it’s also an exciting look at life in Hollywood and the struggle to stay at the top.  It’s darkly fantastic and a story any real film fan will certainly enjoy.

Take a delightful trip down Sunset Boulevard.

The Centennial Collection is a series of releases from the award-winning depths of the vaults at Paramount Studios.  Each two-disc set undergoes extensive restoration to present the film in the award-winning glory that first set it apart.

This two-disc set is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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