Friday, July 17, 2009

Gloria Swanson and the Tower of the Hat Boxes


Gloria in 1951 with a small monument to hats. It was the year after her comeback hit Sunset Boulevard but most of her work after that was in television. She was only fifty when she did Sunset Boulevard but for most actresses, Meryl Streep, Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck notwithstanding, fifty may as well be 100 as far as Hollywood is concerned

Now as to Sunset Boulevard, I watched it again recently and even though they go out of their way (Wilder and company) to show Joe Gillis (William Holden) being disgusted with her and her advances and further take any opportunity to show the relationship as sexless, I think Joe slept with her in the early stages when he was interested in being kept. The violent reaction (you know, her shooting him multiple times when he tries to leave) she has at the end makes more sense if there was more going on than just showing off a trophy boyfriend. Of course, I always think characters are sleeping with each other (Charlie and Jedediah? Without a doubt.) so I'll leave it up to you.

7 comments:

NATHANIEL R said...

clearly sleeping together.

It makes more sense as an entire film let alone her violent reaction at the end.

Arbogast said...

I think Norma liked it a little on the rough side. Nothing degrading, mind you, but I always suspected that she liked having her ass paddled just a little and her boobs worked.

Pax Romano said...

I am pretty sure that Joe supplied sexual favors for Ms. Desmond, of course this being the 50's it could not be said out loud.

Whatever the case, a wonderful film.

Greg said...

Gentlemen, I believe we have a quorum. I call for a vote: Norma sleeping with Joe? Four "yays", zero "nays."

It's official. And Arbo I agree, I think she wanted Joe to be a little on the rough side too which is why he could talk to her with such contempt and get away with it.

Christopher said...

I think Joe might have got his own clothes and his own Car if he'd been a little more servicable.. I've put myself in his place many times ..I've always wanted my own haunted house..and the boat bed from The Phantom of the Opera..

Doug Bonner said...

I occasionally volunteer at the Film Archives of the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, which holds [among other treasures] the Selznick Archives, the Ernest Lehman Archives, the Robert DeNiro Archives and the Gloria Swanson Archives. One day I came across Swanson's script for SUNSET BOULEVARD and made a great discovery: her final line was written, "I'm ready for THE close-up" but she had struck thru "THE" and wrote in pencil "MY."

Greg said...

That's a brilliant change. I would have assumed it was written that way but if it was Gloria who made the decision, bravo to her. It makes the line. Thanks for that interesting bit of info.