Franz Waxman's Sunset Boulevard

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

The 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard is one of the great film noirs, and one of the great Hollywood films to examine the ego-boosting and ego-crushing effects of Hollywood stardom. Director Billy Wilder elicited unforgettable performances from leads William Holden, as a desperate screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson, as an aging starlet who's finally ready for her "close-up."

Sunset Boulevard was lauded in its day, and appreciation for the film has only increased over time. Crucial to the effectiveness of the movie is its Oscar-winning score by Franz Waxman. Waxman's score has been re-recorded several times, but the original recording, conducted by Waxman himself, has never been released -- until now.

Counterpoint Records will release a lavishly packaged soundtrack CD later this month, and the recording receives its broadcast premiere on this show. Host David Garland is joined by John W. Waxman, the composer's son, who will help point out the musical and dramatic riches of the score.

Sunset Boulevard Trailer:

Comments [7]

Richard Clark from New Windsor, New York

....Great program!.....Thank You!

.......Now how about a program on TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD........Mary Badham would be a good guest.

......I don't know who you could get to help in the analysis of the score.

Nov. 14 2010 10:30 AM
Robert from New York City

Thank you, Mr. Garland, for such an insightful program. We are big fans of your "Movies on the Radio" and Franz Waxman's work and stayed in especially to hear this broadcast.

"Sunset Boulevard" is one of our favorite movies. It's our tradition to watch it every New Year's Eve to reenact Norma's New Year's Eve party. ("Who needs other people?") Swanson is phenomenal at any age.

Nov. 13 2010 10:20 PM
Michael Meltzer

Mr. Garland has always presented high quality content for this program, and it is understood that not every composer can be a Brahms.
However, Franz Waxman, for his genre, was a Brahms. Every single note in tonight's broadcast commanded attention, it was riveting. Bravo!
On the Gloria Swanson age issue, what is different today is the significant number of eligible bachelors over sixty. 'Nuff said.

Nov. 13 2010 10:07 PM
Frederick Willman

David, thank yu for playing Sunset's music but give us some more details please.

What orchestra and when was the recording?

Madison, WI

Nov. 13 2010 09:24 PM

Does it really matter how old Gloria Swanson was when she made the film? The idea that she created such a memorable character should be the focus, not the irrelevant subject of age?

Nov. 13 2010 04:30 PM

Gloria Swanson was 49 years old when SUNSET BLVD. was filming -- she was not in her early 50's.

Nov. 11 2010 02:40 PM

How much have ideas and attitudes toward age changed in 50 years! Gloria Swanson was in her early 50s when this movie was made, but she is seen as an old has-been. Today many actresses her age are still going strong.

Nov. 10 2010 06:03 PM

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