Sunset Boulevard Synopsis and Characters
So, whats the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic all about? Read on to find out...
Joe Gillis hasn't had much success as a screen writer. His car runs out of petrol on Sunset Boulevard, outside the mansion owned by former silent film star, Norma Desmond.
Repossession agents are in hot pursuit of him and his car. He hides the car in the garage and asks if he can phone his friends. But Miss Desmond has another, better, idea. She wants to make a screen comeback. He's a writer, perhaps he can edit her self-penned script, Salome, ready for presentation to Cecil B. de Mille. He can live at the mansion too, all expenses paid. That seems fine. But there's a complication. When he goes back to the studio in an attempt to borrow money, he meets young Betty Schaefer, who subsequently cooperates on another script with him - one of his own. And Norma is jealous.
Back at the mansion, Joe realises that Norma has fallen in love with him. She lavishes expensive gifts on him and attempts suicide when he goes out to a party. Joe finishes the script and Norma prepares to sally forth to present it to de Mille. A phone call from the studio invites her to visit, but all they want is the use of her car for a film. Max, her major-domo (and ex-husband), conceals this from her. Norma goes to the studio and de Mille greets her, but is non-committal on her script. Norma discovers Joe is having a relationship with Betty, and phones her. Joe, snatching the receiver from Norma, invites her over to see how he's living. When Betty arrives, Joe announces he's leaving with her. Norma is beside herself with rage and grief. She shoots Joe dead. Now totally beyond the bounds of reality, she mistakes the arriving police who have come to arrest her for studio executives. She's ready for her close up, Mr de Mille.
Cast of Characters:
Norma Desmond - a star of the silent screen
Joe Gillis - a young screenwriter
Max von Mayerling - Norma's Major-Domo
Betty Schaefer - a secretary at Paramount
Cecil B. DeMille - Film Director
First Harem Girl, Beautician, Young Writer, Salesman, DeMille's Assistant, Heather, Second Masseuse, Cliff, Salesman, Young Guard, Third Harem Girl (Jean), Beautician, Hedy Lamarr, Morino, Salesman, Hog Eye, Lisa, Doctor, First Financeman, Film Actor, Salesman, Katherine, Psychiatrist, Second Harem Girl, Beautician, Mary, First Masseuse, Sheldrake, Police Chief, John, Salesman, Victor Mature, Myron, Manfred, Second Financeman, Salesman, Party Guest, Jonesy, Sammy, Salesman, Choreographer, Salesman, Joanna, Astrologer