Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard is one of the greatest film noirs of all time; how much do you know about the historic film?

Sunset Boulevard from director Billy Wilder was so successful that it went on to inspire parodies, television episodes, and, of course, a popular Broadway musical. The film kicked off careers like actor William Holden and served as a short rebirth for actors like Gloria Swanson.

The film is about aging silent film star Norma Desmond and her affair with Hollywood Writer, Joe Gillis. Wilder supposedly approached Mary Pickford and Pola Negri before finally convincing former silent screen star Gloria Swanson to portray Desmond. Swanson herself was a former silent film star who eventually faded away due to age and modern film-making.

Throughout the entire film, the idea that Hollywood is an impossible place to survive is driven home. It’s as if the story-line is mimicking the lives of it’s stars and writers. Watch to find out more about some of the many other themes and facts from the movie: