Archive for March, 2009

Yes, I am going from seven days in a row expounding about the virtues of Sunset Boulevard to quoting writer/director Kevin Smith. While he’s no stranger to controversy, raunchiness, and profanity, you have to at least give the guy credit for launching a career by making Clerks for $26,000. All filmed and edited in a New [...]

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Yes, I am going from seven days in a row expounding about the virtue of Sunset Boulevard to quoting writer/director Kevin Smith. While he’s no stranger to controversy, raunchiness, and profanity, you have to at least give the guy credit for launching a career by making Clerks for $26,000. in a convenience store in New Jersey [...]

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 “Somebody came up to Arthur Miller after an opening and said ‘That was a nice play, but couldn’t you call it Life of a Salesman?’ But a play is not nice things happening to nice people. A play is about terrible things happening to people who are as nice or not nice as we [...]

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She stood there bright as the sun on that california coast
He was a midwestern boy on his own
She looked at him with those soft eyes,
So innocent and blue
He knew right then he was too far from home he was too far from home
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“The Wilder message is don’t bore - don’t bore people.”
                                                    Billy Wilder
 
By the time Billy Wilder directed Sunset Boulevard he had already worked on over 40 feature films. He had already [...]

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The thing that often gets lost when we talk about the outstanding career of writer/director Billy Wilder is the contribution of screenwriter Charles Brackett who wrote 13 films together with Wilder. Brackett won three Oscar awards as well as a lifetime achievement award from the Academy in 1959. 
Brackett was 14 years older than Wilder and brought [...]

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Did you know Illinois had a big part in the success of Sunset Boulevard? Not only was Gloria Swanson born in Chicago and William Holden born in O’Fallon, Illinois (just east of St. Louis) but it was a preview screening just north of the city of Chicago that first signaled there was a problem with [...]

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There is so much ground to cover with Sunset Boulevard I think I’ll focus on it a few days. And while we’re looking at a movie about a screenwriter who is thinking about moving back to Ohio I thought I’d find a quote from a real Hollywood screenwriter who actually did move back to his [...]

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Mentioning yesterday that the character William Holden played in Sunset Boulevard was a screenwriter from Dayton, Ohio triggered in my mind an actor/comedian with Daytion ties, Jonathan Winters. Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio and went to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio (where Paul Newman also attended) where he studied acting and began developing his [...]

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It’s been many years since I watched the classic Billy Wilder film Sunset Boulevard. I don’t recall seeing it in the over five years since I moved to Iowa. What I realized seeing it recently is that perhaps the most famous on-screen screeenwriter ever had Midwest roots. 
“As I drove back into town I added up [...]

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