No other motion picture about Hollywood comes near Billy Wilder's searing, uncompromising and utterly fascinating portrait of the film community. Beneath it all is vanity, madness, murder, and a twisted obsession with filmdom's past. Wilder's work is a sardonic portrait of an aging silent
film star and a cynical young man who is engulfed by the demented siren's delusions.
The movie opens with a jolt: the bullet-riddled body of a young man is seen floating face down in the pool next to a mansion. The ghostly voice of Joe Gillis (William Holden) recounts the events leading up to his death, which are shown in flashback. A hack screenwriter, Joe is hounded by credit...