There once was a time in this business when I had the eyes of the whole world! But that wasn't good enough for them, oh no! They had to have the ears of the whole world too. So they opened their big mouths and out came talk. Talk! TALK!

Norma Desmond

[whispering in Joe's ear] As long as the lady is paying for it, why not take the Vicuna?


[after hearing that Norma Desmond has come to see DeMille]
First assistant director: I can tell her you're all tied up in the projection room. I can give her the brush.
Cecil B. DeMille: Thirty million fans have given her the brush. Isn't that enough?
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Norma Desmond: No-one ever leaves a star. That's what makes one a star.

[voice-over] The whole place seemed to have been stricken with a kind of creeping paralysis - out of beat with the rest of the world, crumbling apart in slow motion.

Joe Gillis

Joe Gillis: [voice-over] You don't yell at a sleepwalker - he may fall and break his neck. That's it: she was still sleepwalking along the giddy heights of a lost career.

Betty Schaefer: Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Gillis, but I just didn't think it was any good. I found it flat and trite.
Joe Gillis: Exactly what kind of material do you recommend? James Joyce? Dostoyevsky?
Betty Schaefer: I just think that pictures should say a little something.
Joe Gillis: Oh, one of the message kids. Just a story won't do. You'd have turned down Gone With the Wind.
Sheldrake: No, that was me. I said, "Who wants to see a Civil War picture?"

[narrating] How could she breathe in that house full of Norma Desmonds? Around every corner, Norma Desmonds... more Norma Desmonds... and still more Norma Desmonds.

Joe Gillis

[Norma thinks Joe is a funeral director] I'd like the coffin to be white, and I want it specially lined with satin. White... or pink. Maybe red! Bright flaming red! Let's make it gay!

Norma Desmond

Joe Gillis: I'm not an executive, just a writer.
Norma Desmond: You are, are you? writing words, words, more words! Well, you'll make a rope of words and strangle this business! With a microphone there to catch the last gurgles, and Technicolor to photograph the red, swollen tongues!

You don't yell at a sleepwalker. He may fall and break his neck.

Joe Gillis (as narrator)

So they were turning after all, those cameras. Life, which can be strangely merciful, had taken pity on Norma Desmond. The dream she had clung to so desperately had enfolded her.

Joe Gillis

First assistant director: [about Norma Desmond] She must be a million years old.
Cecil B. DeMille: I hate to think where that puts me. I could be her father.

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