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.