First assistant director: I understand she
[Norma Desmond]
First assistant director: was a terror to work with.
Cecil B. DeMille: Only toward the end. You know, a dozen press agents working overtime can do terrible things to the human spirit.

Betty Schaefer: I've been hoping to run into you.
Joe Gillis: What for? To recover that knife you stuck in my back?

Max Von Mayerling: There were three young directors who showed promise in those days: D. W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, and Max Von Mayerling.
Joe Gillis: And she made you her servant.
Max Von Mayerling: It was I who asked to come back. I could have continued my career, but I found it unbearable after she'd left me. You see, I was her first husband.

Norma Desmond: You're a writer, you said.
Joe Gillis: Why?
Norma Desmond: Are you or aren't you?
Joe Gillis: That's what it says on my Guild card.
Norma Desmond: And you have written pictures, haven't you?
Joe Gillis: I sure have. Want a list of my credits?
Norma Desmond: I want to ask you something. Come in here.
Joe Gillis: Last one I wrote was about Okies in the Dust Bowl. You'd never know because when it reached the screen, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat.

Max Von Mayerling: You see those offices up there? That was Madame's dressing room, the whole row.
Joe Gillis: Didn't leave much for Wallace Reid.
Max Von Mayerling: Oh, he had a big bungalow on wheels.

[Joe is reading Norma's script] Sometimes it's interesting to see just how bad bad writing can be. This promised to go the limit.

Joe Gillis

Policeman: [calling on the phone] Coroner's office. Who's on this line?
Hedda Hopper: [in Norma's room, on the phone] I am. Now, get off. This is more important.

Joe Gillis: Tell her, Max. C'mon, do her that favor. Tell her there isn't going to be any picture. Tell her there are no fan letters other than the ones you write.
Norma Desmond: It's not true! Max!
Max Von Mayerling: Madame is the greatest star of them all.

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.

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

Yes, this is Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, California. It's about five 0'clock in the morning. That's the homicide squad, complete with detectives and newspaper men.

Joe Gillis

Betty Schaefer: Oh, the old familiar story. You help a timid little soul cross a crowded street, she turns out to be a multimillionaire and leaves you all her money.
Joe Gillis: That's the trouble with you readers, you know all the plots.

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Sunset Blvd. Quotes

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

Joe Gillis (as narrator)

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

Salesman