Filming was allowed for the first time at many of the historic sites relating to Napoleon. She was hesitant to hire Stroheim, who was known for being difficult to deal with and who was unwilling to work within any budget. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin.  Filming of Queen Kelly began in November.  He was at that time president of Equity Pictures Corporation and later the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant. While trying to escape from his creditors, he has a flat tire and parks his car in a decadent mansion in Sunset Boulevard. View production, box office, & company info.  He had become a star in 1921 for his appearance in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but Swanson had known him since his days as an aspiring actor getting small parts, with no seeming hope for his professional future.  His filming was slow, albeit meticulous, and the cast and crew suffered from long hours. In a department store, American actress Gloria Swanson introduces her signature line of women's wear, 'Forever Young' , New York, New York, 1964.  Kennedy then created the position of "European director of Pathé" to put her third husband Henry de La Falaise on the payroll. A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.  After her success with Sunset Boulevard, she starred on Broadway in a revival of Twentieth Century with José Ferrer, and in Nina with David Niven. Director Charley Chase recalled that Swanson was "frightened to death" of Vernon's dangerous stunts. If that weren't enough, there's even a cameo by silent film great Buster Keaton (among others).One of the most appealing aspects of this film is how, in the story, an aging, forgotten star is trying to recapture a bygone era (the silent film era).  She made six pictures under the direction of DeMille, including Male and Female (1919) in which she posed with a lion as "Lion's Bride". She becomes totally delusional by the time the police and news media arrive. Norma proposes Joe to move to the mansion and help her in writing a screenplay for her comeback to the cinema, and the small-time writer becomes her lover and gigolo. Griffith. The car used in Sunset Boulevard is now displayed in Museo Nazionale dell'Automobile in Turin. Her father was a Swedish American and her mother was of German, French, and Polish ancestry.  Upon his advice, she fired most of her staff and sold her rights for The Love of Sunya and Sadie Thompson to Art Cinema Corporation.  Desmond lives in the past, assisted by her former-director-turned-butler Max, played by Erich von Stroheim, who personally disliked the role and only agreed to it out of financial need. A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. Max sets up studio lighting towards her on the staircase and directs her down towards the waiting police and news cameras, where she looks directly into the camera and says, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up. My marriage to Henri gave me the only real peace and happiness I had ever known—or have ever known since. After becoming pregnant, she saw her husband with other women and learned he had been fired from Keystone. From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in 1919, a contract with Cecil B. DeMille.  He also ghostwrote Swanson's 1981 autobiography Swanson on Swanson, which became a commercial success. , As a Republican she supported the 1940 and 1944 campaigns for president of Wendell Willkie and the 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater. Gloria Swanson, Actress: Sunset Blvd.. Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Swanson recreates her iconic role as the faded silent screen star Norma Desmond. To present day viewers, Gloria Swanson of the 1950's is a long forgotten lost gem and to experience her own longing for the 1920's is especially captivating (and a little chilling, I might add).  Hays was enthusiastic about the basic story, but did have specific issues that were dealt with before the film's release. It was a great comeback and introduced her to a whole new audience. , She turned down a one-million-dollar-a-year (equivalent to $14,700,000 in 2019) contract with Paramount to join the newly created United Artists partnership on June 25, 1925, accepting a six-picture distribution offer from president Joseph Schenck.  On hand were Swanson, Charlie Chaplin, Norma Talmadge, John Barrymore, Dolores del Río and D. W.  Taking medication given to her by Beery, purported to be for morning sickness, she aborted the fetus and was taken unconscious to the hospital. Another Her sound film debut performance in the 1929 The Trespasser, earned her a second Academy Award nomination. Most people today associate her with that film and her role as the reclusive (and delusional) former star, Norma Desmond.  During the scene leading up to Cecil B. DeMille's cameo, where Max chauffeurs Desmond to the studio, her Isotta Fraschini luxury automobile was towed from behind the camera because Stroheim had never learned to drive. Sunset Boulevard is the story of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a former silent-movie star who is desperately trying to make a comeback with the assistance of Joe Gillis (William Holden), a down-on-his-luck screenwriter. An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator. Movies.  In the subsequent legal separation proceedings, the judge ordered him to pay Swanson alimony.  Swanson left school to work full-time at the studio.  Kennedy, however, advised her to hire Erich von Stroheim to direct another silent film, The Swamp, subsequently retitled Queen Kelly.  Her last major Hollywood motion picture role was also her first color film, the poorly received Three for Bedroom "C" in 1952.  The storyline depicts faded silent movie star Desmond falling in love with the younger screenwriter Joe Gillis, played by William Holden.  Soon afterwards, she filed for divorce, which was not finalized until December 13, 1918. The members took further steps by registering their discontent with Will H. Hays, Chairman of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. She spent some of her childhood in Key West, Florida, where she was enrolled in a Catholic convent school, and in Puerto Rico, where she saw her first motion pictures. Title:  Swanson had initially thought she was going to be able to retire from acting, but the marriage was troubled by Davey's alcoholism from the start. Her sixth husband William Dufty was a writer who worked for many years at the New York Post, where he was assistant to the editor from 1951 to 1960.  When Farmer found out she was pregnant, he threatened to go public with the news unless she agreed to marry him, something she did not want to do.  Desmond's dreams of a comeback are subverted and when Gillis tries to end their romance, she threatens to kill herself, but instead fatally shoots him. Comedy, Certificate: Passed J.R. Gonzales May 14, 2015 Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn Reddit Pinterest. , In 1960, Gloria Swanson was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures at 6750 Hollywood Boulevard, and another for television at 6301 Hollywood Boulevard. Awards and Nominations. , As Gillis sits on the side next to Desmond, she plays bridge with a group he refers to as "the Waxworks": actors Buster Keaton, H.B.  Triangle had never put Swanson under contract, but did increase her pay to $15 a week.  Gross receipts slightly exceeded $850,000 (equivalent to $12,500,000 in 2019).  In 1980, she chaired the New York chapter of Seniors for Reagan-Bush. Swanson declared "Under God we became the freest, strongest, wealthiest nation on earth, should we change that?  She made a guest appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in the summer of 1970; a guest on the same show as Janis Joplin. A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. Swanson was mobbed by adoring fans. In 1925, Swanson joined United Artists as one of the film industry's pioneering women filmmakers. , While still married to Henri, Swanson had a lengthy affair with the married Joseph P. Kennedy, father of future President John F. A seemingly timid but secretly ruthless ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an aging Broadway star and her circle of theater friends. Soon afterwards, Triangle was in a financial bind and loaned Swanson to DeMille for the comedy Don't Change Your Husband. Winner of three Academy Awards®, director Billy Wilder's powerful orchestration of the bizarre tale is a true cinematic classic. Sunset Boulevard, American film noir, released in 1950, that is often cited as one of Hollywood’s greatest films, especially noted for Gloria Swanson’s portrayal of a fading movie star. Sunset Blvd.  United Artists had its own Art Cinema Corporation subsidiary to advance financial loans for the productions of individual partners. Best Sunset Boulevard Quotes.  They met in the mid-1960s and moved in together. I don't think this film could have had that same effect when it debuted and maybe this added dimension holds so much more appeal for today's audiences.  Her last major stage role was in the 1971 Broadway production of Butterflies Are Free at the Booth Theatre. Swanson began spending time with him, during which she discovered a breast lump and also became pregnant, but was not yet divorced from Henri. , She was a pupil of the yoga guru Indra Devi and was photographed performing a series of yoga poses, reportedly looking much younger than her age, for Devi to use in her book Forever Young, Forever Healthy; but the publisher Prentice-Hall decided to use the photographs for Swanson's book, not Devi's. Sunset Boulevard. The film tells the story of Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, played by William Holden who stumbles across the Hollywood mansion home of yesteryear in which Norma Desmond lives.  Swanson appeared in a 1925 short produced by Lee de Forest in his Phonofilm sound-on-film process. , When she made the transition to sound films as her career simultaneously began to decline, Swanson moved permanently to New York City in 1938.  The film was panned by the critics upon its release and failed at the box office. , Swanson hosted The Gloria Swanson Hour, one of the first live television series in 1948 in which she invited friends and others to be guests. Written by , The movie industry was still in its infancy, churning out short subjects, without the advantage of today's casting agencies and talent agents promoting their latest find. 214 of 291 people found this review helpful.  They married on August 16, 1931, and separated 2 years later. Cinema Style--Edith Head Gets Gloria Swanson Ready for her Close-Up in SUNSET BOULEVARD Few films capture the feel of Hollywood better than director Billy Wilder 's Sunset Boulevard (1950). Swanson made only three films after Sunset Boulevard, but starred in numerous stage and television productions during her remaining years. They married January 29, 1945.  Her first picture under her new contract was DeMille's World War I romantic drama For Better, for Worse. , Swanson's final marriage occurred in 1976 and lasted until her death.  By bringing him to the table, literally over breakfast in her home, Hays and Swanson developed a working relationship for the film. Swanson now held the title of Marquise. , Why Change Your Wife? This photograph originates from a press photo archive. Free shipping for many products! , At the behest of DeMille, Swanson signed a contract with Famous Players-Lasky on December 30, 1918, for $150 a week, to be raised to $200 a week, and eventually $350 a week. , She married Herbert K. Somborn on December 20, 1919.  She was cremated and her ashes interred at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest on Fifth Avenue in New York City, attended by only a small circle of family.  Badger was sufficiently impressed by Swanson to recommend her to the director Jack Conway for Her Decision and You Can't Believe Everything in 1918. Gloria Swanson, as Norma Desmond, an aging silent-film queen, and William Holden, as the struggling young screenwriter who is held in thrall by her madness, created two of the screen's most memorable characters in "Sunset Boulevard."  She made a notable appearance in a 1966 episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, in which she plays herself. He was the co-author (ghostwriter) of Billie Holiday's autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, the author of Sugar Blues, a 1975 best-selling health book still in print, and the author of the English version of Georges Ohsawa's You Are All Sanpaku. Her schoolgirl crush on Essanay Studios actor Francis X. Bushman led to her aunt taking her to tour the actor's Chicago studio.  United Artists bought back all of her stock with them, in order to provide her financing to make this film, and thereby ending her relationship with the partnership. Other accounts have the star-struck Swanson herself talking her way into the business. Gloria Swanson | American motion-picture, stage, and television actress who was known primarily as a glamorous Hollywood star during the 1920s and as the fading movie queen Norma Desmond in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. Swanson was soon hired to work in California for Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios comedy shorts opposite Bobby Vernon. " In 1956, Swanson made Nero's Mistress, an Italian film shot in Rome, which starred Alberto Sordi, Vittorio de Sica and Brigitte Bardot.  Kennedy wrote the script for the play A Goose for the Gander, which began its road tour in Chicago in August 1944. 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