Tag Archives: Sunset Boulevard

“I don’t really know why, but danger has always been an important thing in my life – to see how far I could lean without falling, how fast I could go without cracking up.” — William Holden

It’s his birthday today. In a career of famous roles in famous films, I think his best – and perhaps most characterstic and essence-driven – of his roles is Sgt. J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17. Sefton has not just a … Continue reading

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Present Tense: Death Scenes

William Holden, “Sunset Boulevard” For my next “Present Tense” column at Film Comment, I wrote about a long-time obsession – which I have covered from time to time here on my site: Actors performing death scenes. And a tribute to … Continue reading

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The Books: Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays, ‘It Happened on Sunset’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays In this 1995 essay for Vanity Fair, about the history of Sunset Boulevard, Hitchens gives Joan Didion a run for her money in delving into the history (social, cultural, … Continue reading

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Supernatural: Season 1, Episode 16: “Shadow”

Directed by Kim Manners Written by Eric Kripke “Sam, this is bigger than you think.” – John Winchester said. I’ll say. Shadow is one of the rare urban-setting episodes, which always seems to bring out interesting romantic things in the … Continue reading

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Great Mad Women in Cinema

Some of these women probably would not qualify for a diagnosis from the psychiatric profession. And perhaps their madness is actually a heightened level of sanity, as is often the case. Nevertheless, they are mad. Wonderfully mad.

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Mirrors #2: The Man In the Mirror

You didn’t think I’d forgotten, did you? I forget nothing. I still haven’t written the damn thing but I now have a file folder on my desktop filled with screengrabs of men looking at themselves (or at somebody else) in … Continue reading

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Sunset Boulevard Chairs

I love how “Script” and “Dialogue” have their own chairs, along with all those giants.

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Holden’s Death Scene In Sunset Boulevard:

Holden has to be shot three times – stagger forward – turn back – turn the other way – be shot one last time and fall face first into the pool. One take. That takes not only acting chops and … Continue reading

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Holden’s Death Scene in Sunset Boulevard: The “Bang Bang You’re Dead” School of Acting

It is the best kind of make-believe acting. The kind of acting that little kids do so brilliantly when they’re playing and making up games. The kind of belief in the imaginary circumstances that so many adult actors have to … Continue reading

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Thoughts on William Holden

William Holden, over his long career, racked up an astounding body of work. He is one of our greatest actors. Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17 (later to be made into a TV series called Hogan’s Heroes), Picnic, he played Joe Bonaparte … Continue reading

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