Nov. 6, 1948: Gloria Swanson meets Billy Wilder and Charles Bracket to discuss "Sunset Boulevard."
Feb. 10, 1949: The script isn't done.
Above, Gloria Swanson and Melvyn Douglas in a clip from the 1931 picture "Tonight or Never."
But despite her long film career, Swanson made a screen test for "Sunset Boulevard," according to The Times, Feb. 17, 1949
Feb. 22, 1949: Swanson is cast in "Sunset Boulevard."
March 4, 1949: The cast includes Montgomery Clift.
March 19, 1949: Clift is out.
March 27, 1949: A prophetic notice in The Times.
April 2, 1949, Erich von Stroheim returns to Hollywood to make "Sunset Boulevard."
May 28, 1950: The Times says William Holden had never seen Gloria Swanson in a film until working on "Sunset Boulevard."
At left, Sept. 22, 1950: Swanson and Von Stroheim are paid $430,592.11 USD 2007 for their roles in the film.
May 1, 1949: Swanson is emphatic that "Sunset Boulevard" is not autobiographical. Von Stroheim complains bitterly about being typecast by Hollywood.
June 1, 1949: Casting Hedda Hopper in "Sunset Boulevard" was a brilliant stroke of marketing as it ensured frequent plugs for the movie.
Above, a description of the opening that was cut from the final version of the film.
June 18, 1949: Hopper reports on her scene in the film.
Wilder wanted Nancy Olson to look plain for her scenes in the film.
June 20, 1949: A Swanson impersonator is a regular on the set.
Above: "They'll love it in Pomona."
Jan. 3, 1950: A photo shows people on the set while Holden and Swanson film a key scene.
Aug. 25, 1950: "There is just one primary issue and that is of public receptiveness to a story of this kind. Will people welcome tearing aside the curtain on much that is sinister and terrible in Hollywood? ... 'Sunset Boulevard' ... tells a sordid narrative that might very well be duplicated in real life. It minces no issues. It is threaded with bitterness, disillusionment and hovers ever over the age of despair."
-- Edwin Schallert
At left, one of the stranger items I've ever found in going through the old papers: An Earl Scheib ad that features "Sunset Boulevard." Scheib actually mentioned the movie several times in his ads.
Above, Nov. 7, 1950: Hopper reports that Brackett has signed a seven-year contract with Fox after the end of his deal with Wilder and Paramount.