Joe Gillis (William Holden), bankrupt screenwriter, hides from car
repossessors in the garage of a deserted-looking mansion which proves to be the grotesque
home of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), retired silent screen star. Joe takes refuge there,
with a nominal job of rewriting Norma's hopeless 'comeback' screenplay. The mansion has a
creepy major domo (Erich von Stroheim) and a menagerie of other oddities. Weeks pass;
feeling more and more like a kept man, Joe grasps at reality in the form of a clandestine
friendship with script reader Betty Schaefer (Nancy Olson), but it's too late...
Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett and D. M. Marshman wrote the screenplay for
which they won the Academy Award for 1950. Also won Academy Awards for best musical score
(Franz Waxman) and best set decoration (B&W). Received eight other Academy Award nominations
Learn more about Film Noir.
The director's filmography
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