Thursday, January 06, 2011

Radio review – Lux – “Sunset Boulevard” (1951) ****

Montgomery Clift was offered the role of the screenwriter but turned it down – too close to the bone, apparently. (Just a thought – you could do Sunset Boulevard based on Montgomery Clift’s last years, with Clift very close to Desmond, riddled with pills and demons, lusting after some young guy). It would have been great to hear him do it on radio just to get some idea of what he would have been like – less hard and ruthless than William Holden, who repeats his film role, as does Gloria Swanson. The haunted house aspects of the story, with Norma Desmond as Dracula and Joe Gilles as someone lured by the vampire, mean it works very effectively on radio. Someone called Nancy Gates plays the Nancy Olson role and you won’t be able to tell the difference (there were all these Nancys running around Hollywood in the 50s – Nancy Davis was one too). Unfortunately Cecil B de Mille was not on hand to play himself.

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