In Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder paints a sobering picture of Hollywood mores in the 1940s and 1950s. MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer was furious, accusing Wilder of having "disgraced the industry that made and fed" him and fuming that he "should be tarred and feathered and run out of Hollywood". Not that this bothered Wilder in any way, and rightfully so. The film garnered a slew of awards, including three Oscars.
One day, the not very successful screenwriter Joe Gilles (William Holden) meets Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a former silent-film star who is under the delusion that she is still one of the greats. Opportunistic Gilles cunningly tries to capitalize on her dreams by promising to engineer her comeback. It is a dangerous promise.