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!

[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

[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

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?"

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.

[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

[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.

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

Norma Desmond: My astrologist has read my horoscope, he's read DeMille's horoscope.
Joe Gillis: Has he read the script?

Joe Gillis: May I say that you smell really special?
Betty Schaefer: It must be my new shampoo.
Joe Gillis: That's no shampoo. It's more like freshly-laundered linen handkerchiefs, like a brand new automobile.

There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five.

Joe Gillis

[to newsreel camera] And I promise you I'll never desert you again because after 'Salome' we'll make another picture and another picture. You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Norma Desmond

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Sunset Blvd. Quotes

We don't need two cars, we have a car. Not one of those cheap new things made of chromium and spit, an Isotta-Fraschini. Have you ever heard of Isotta-Fraschini? All handmade. Cost me $28,000.

Norma Desmond

[Joe wants to move out from Norma's house] No one ever leaves a star...

Norma Desmond