Sunset Boulevard (stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.) is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the thoroughfare with the same name that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California.
The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent-film star who draws him into her fantasy world, where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen. Erich von Stroheim plays Max von Mayerling, her devoted servant, and Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough, and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent-film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nilsson.
Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for 11 Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. Deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number 12 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007, it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list.