[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

[narrating] Well, this is where you came in, back at that pool again, the one I always wanted. It's dawn now and they must have photographed me a thousand times. Then they got a couple of pruning hooks from the garden and fished me out... ever so gently. Funny, how gentle people get with you once you're dead.

Joe Gillis

Oh, wake up, Norma, you'd be killing yourself to an empty house. The audience left twenty years ago.

Joe Gillis

Norma Desmond: Don't be silly.
[hands Joe a present]
Norma Desmond: Here, I was going to give it to you at midnight.
Joe Gillis: Norma, I can't take it, you've bought me enough.
Norma Desmond: Shut up, I'm rich! I'm richer than all this new Hollywood trash! I've got a million dollars.
Joe Gillis: Keep it.
Norma Desmond: Own three blocks downtown, I've got oil in Bakersfield, pumping, pumping, pumping! What's it for but to buy us anything we want!
Joe Gillis: Cut out that "us" business!
Norma Desmond: What's the matter with you?
Joe Gillis: What right do you have to take me for granted?
Norma Desmond: What right? Do you want me to tell you?
Joe Gillis: Has it ever occurred to you that I may have a life of my own? That there may be some girl I'm crazy about?
Norma Desmond: Who? Some car hop, or dress extra?
Joe Gillis: What I'm trying to say is that I'm all wrong for you. You want a Valentino, somebody with polo ponies, a big shot!
Norma Desmond: What you're trying to say is that you don't want me to love you. Say it. Say it!
[slaps him hard across the face]

Audiences don't know somebody sits down and writes a picture; they think the actors make it up as they go along.

Joe Gillis

Joe Gillis: [sarcastically] They'll love it in Pomona.
Norma Desmond: They'll love it everyplace.

We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!

Norma Desmond

She was the greatest of them all. You wouldn't know, you're too young. In one week she received 17,000 fan letters. Men bribed her hairdresser to get a lock of her hair. There was a maharajah who came all the way from India to beg one of her silk stockings. Later he strangled himself with it!

Max Von Mayerling

Joe Gillis: I didn't know you were planning a comeback.
Norma Desmond: I hate that word. It's a return, a return to the millions of people who have never forgiven me for deserting the screen.

They took the idols and smashed them, the Fairbankses, the Gilberts, the Valentinos! And who've we got now? Some nobodies!

Norma Desmond

[narrating] The poor dope - he always wanted a pool. Well, in the end, he got himself a pool.

Joe Gillis

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

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