Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin; the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a great power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia, which became a military power under Frederick William, known as "The Great Elector". Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great, the third son of Frederick William I. Frederick the Great was instrumental in starting the Seven Years' War, holding his own against Austria, Russia and Sweden and establishing Prussia's role in the German states, as well as establishing the country as a European great power.
After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a major power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles, many wars; because of its power, Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule, although whether Austria would be included in such a unified German domain was an ongoing question. After the Napoleonic Wars led to the creation of the German Confederation, the issue of more unifying the many German states caused revolution throughout the German states, with each wanting their own constitution. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful member states and Austria; the North German Confederation, which lasted from 1867 to 1871, created a closer union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent. The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War but many of its laws were used in the German Empire.
The German Empire lasted from 1871 to 1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony, this was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. The war united all the German states against a common enemy, with the victory came an overwhelming wave of nationalism which changed the opinions of some of those, against unification. In 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the legal predecessor of the unified German Reich and as such a direct ancestor of today's Federal Republic of Germany; the formal abolition of Prussia, carried out on 25 February 1947 by the fiat of the Allied Control Council referred to an alleged tradition of the kingdom as a bearer of militarism and reaction, made way for the current setup of the German states. However, the Free State of Prussia, which followed the abolition of the Kingdom of Prussia in the aftermath of World War I, was a major democratic force in Weimar Germany until the nationalist coup of 1932 known as the Preußenschlag.
The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which has become one of the largest cultural organisations in the world. In 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. After the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states, including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia; the towns were poverty stricken, with the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade. Poverty in these towns was caused by Prussia's neighbours, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns could not compete; these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these towns gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west, allowed the urban middle class of Brandenburg to prosper.
It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, as it faced two dangers that the other German territories did not, partition from within and the threat of invasion by its neighbours. It prevented partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea, which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories; the second issue was resolved through expansion. Brandenburg was surrounded on every side by neighbours whose boundaries were political. Any neighbour could consume Brandenburg at any moment; the only way to defend herself was to absorb her neighbours. Through negotiations and marriages Brandenburg but expanded her borders, absorbing neighbours and eliminating the threat of attack; the Hohenzollerns were made rulers of the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1518. In 1529 the Hohenzollerns secured the reversion of the Duchy of Pomerania after a series of conflicts, acquired its eastern part following the Peace of Westphalia. In 1618 the Hohenzollerns inherited the Duchy of Prussia, since 1511 ruled by Hohenzollern Albrecht of Brandenburg Prussia, who in 1525 converted the Teutonic Order ruled state to a Protestant Duchy by accepting fiefdom of the crown of Poland.
It was ruled in a personal union with Brandenburg
The Academy Awards known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership; the various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more referred to by its nickname "Oscar". The award was sculpted by George Stanley from a design sketch by Cedric Gibbons. AMPAS first presented it in 1929 at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; the Academy Awards ceremony was first broadcast on radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953. It is now seen live worldwide, its equivalents – the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, the Grammy Awards for music – are modeled after the Academy Awards. The 91st Academy Awards ceremony, honoring the best films of 2018, was held on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles, California.
The ceremony was broadcast on ABC. A total of 3,072 Oscar statuettes have been awarded from the inception of the award through the 90th ceremony, it was the first ceremony since 1988 without a host. The first Academy Awards presentation was held on 16 May 1929, at a private dinner function at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people; the post-awards party was held at the Mayfair Hotel. The cost of guest tickets for that night's ceremony was $5. Fifteen statuettes were awarded, honoring artists and other participants in the film-making industry of the time, for their works during the 1927–28 period; the ceremony ran for 15 minutes. Winners were announced to media three months earlier; that was changed for the second ceremony in 1930. Since for the rest of the first decade, the results were given to newspapers for publication at 11:00 pm on the night of the awards; this method was used until an occasion when the Los Angeles Times announced the winners before the ceremony began.
The first Best Actor awarded was Emil Jannings, for his performances in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. He had to return to Europe before the ceremony, so the Academy agreed to give him the prize earlier. At that time, the winners were recognized for all of their work done in a certain category during the qualifying period. With the fourth ceremony, the system changed, professionals were honored for a specific performance in a single film. For the first six ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned two calendar years. At the 29th ceremony, held on 27 March 1957, the Best Foreign Language Film category was introduced; until foreign-language films had been honored with the Special Achievement Award. The 74th Academy Awards, held in 2002, presented the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Since 1973, all Academy Awards ceremonies have ended with the Academy Award for Best Picture. Traditionally, the previous year's winner for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor present the awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, while the previous year's winner for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress present the awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
See § Awards of Merit categories The best known award is the Academy Award of Merit, more popularly known as the Oscar statuette. Made of gold-plated bronze on a black metal base, it is 13.5 in tall, weighs 8.5 lb, depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Directors and Technicians; the model for the statuette is said to be Mexican actor Emilio "El Indio" Fernández. Sculptor George Stanley sculpted Cedric Gibbons' design; the statuettes presented at the initial ceremonies were gold-plated solid bronze. Within a few years the bronze was abandoned in favor of Britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy, plated in copper, nickel silver, 24-karat gold. Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, the Academy invited recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones; the only addition to the Oscar since it was created is a minor streamlining of the base.
The original Oscar mold was cast in 1928 at the C. W. Shumway & Sons Foundry in Batavia, which contributed to casting the molds for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Emmy Award's statuettes. From 1983 to 2015 50 Oscars in a tin alloy with gold plating were made each year in Chicago by Illinois manufacturer R. S. Owens & Company, it would take between four weeks to manufacture 50 statuettes. In 2016, the Academy returned to bronze as the core metal of the statuettes, handing manufacturing duties to Walden, New York-based Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry. While based on a digital scan of an original 1929 Oscar, the statuettes retain their modern-era dimensions and black pedestal. Cast in liquid bronze from 3D-printed ceramic molds and polished, they are electroplated in 24-karat gold by Brooklyn, New York–based Epner Technology; the time required to produce 50 such statuettes is three months. R. S. Owens i
James Whale was an English film director, theater director and actor. He is best remembered for several horror films: Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, all considered classics. Whale directed films in other genres, including the 1936 film version of the musical Show Boat, he became disenchanted with his association with horror, many of his non-horror films have fallen into obscurity. Whale was born into a large family in Dudley, in the Black Country area of the English West Midlands, he studied art. With the outbreak of World War I he became an officer, he was captured by the Germans and during his time as a prisoner of war he realized he was interested in drama. Following his release at the end of the war he became set designer and director, his success directing the 1928 play Journey's End led to his move to the US, first to direct the play on Broadway and to Hollywood, California, to direct films. He lived in Hollywood for the rest of his life, most of that time with his longtime companion, producer David Lewis.
Apart from Journey's End, released by Tiffany Films, Hell's Angels, released by United Artists, he directed a dozen films for Universal Pictures between 1931 and 1937, developing a style characterized by the influence of German Expressionism and a mobile camera. At the height of his career as a director Whale directed The Road Back, a sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front. Studio interference spurred by political pressure from Nazi Germany, led to the film's being altered from Whale's vision and it was a critical and commercial failure. A run of similar box-office disappointments followed and, while he would make one final short film in 1950, by 1941 his film directing career was over, he continued to direct for the stage and rediscovered his love for painting and travel. His investments made him wealthy and he lived a comfortable retirement until suffering strokes in 1956 that robbed him of his vigor and left him in pain, he committed suicide on 29 May 1957 by drowning himself in his swimming pool.
Whale was gay throughout his career, something, unusual in the 1920s and 1930s. As knowledge of his sexual orientation has become more common, some of his films, Bride of Frankenstein in particular, have been interpreted as having a gay subtext and it has been claimed that his refusal to remain in the closet led to the end of his career. Whale was born in Dudley, the sixth of seven children of William, a blast furnaceman, Sarah, a nurse, he attended Kates Hill Board School, followed by Bayliss Charity School and Dudley Blue Coat School. His attendance stopped in his teenage years because the cost would have been prohibitive and his labor was needed to help support the family. Thought not physically strong enough to follow his brothers into the local heavy industries, Whale started work as a cobbler, reclaiming the nails he recovered from replaced soles and selling them for scrap for extra money, he discovered he had some artistic ability and earned additional money lettering signs and price tags for his neighbors.
He used his additional income to pay for evening classes at the Dudley School of Crafts. World War I broke out in early August 1914. Although Whale had little interest in the politics behind the war, he realized that conscription was inevitable so he voluntarily enlisted just before it was introduced into the British Army's Inns of Court Officer Training Corps in October 1915, was stationed at Bristol, he was subsequently commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Worcestershire Regiment in July 1916. He was taken prisoner of war in battle on the Western Front in Flanders in August 1917, was held at Holzminden Officers' Camp, where he remained until the war's end, being repatriated to England in December 1918. While imprisoned he became involved, as an actor, writer and set-designer, in the amateur theatrical productions that took place in the camp, finding them "a source of great pleasure and amusement", he developed a talent for poker, after the war he cashed in the chits and IOUs from his fellow prisoners that he had amassed in gambling to provide himself with finances for re-entry into civilian life.
After the armistice, he tried to find work as a cartoonist. He was unable to secure a permanent position; that year he embarked on a professional stage career. Under the tutelage of actor-manager Nigel Playfair, he worked as an actor, set designer and builder, "stage director" and director. In 1922, while with Playfair, he met Doris Zinkeisen, they were considered a couple for some two years, despite Whale's living as an gay man. They were engaged in 1924, but by 1925 the engagement was off. In 1928 Whale was offered the opportunity to direct two private performances of R. C. Sherriff's then-unknown play Journey's End for the Incorporated Stage Society, a theatre society that mounted private Sunday performances of plays. Set over a four-day period in March 1918 in the trenches at Saint-Quentin, Journey's End gives a glimpse into the experiences of the officers of a British infantry company in World War I; the key conflict is between Capt. Stanhope, the company commander, Lt. Raleigh, the brother of Stanhope's fiancée.
Whale offered the part of Stanhope to the barely known Laurence Olivier. Olivier declined the role, but after meeting the playwright agreed to take it on. Maurice Evans was cast as Raleigh; the play was well received and transferred
National Socialism, more known as Nazism, is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party – the National Socialist German Workers' Party – in Nazi Germany, of other far-right groups with similar aims. Nazism is a form of fascism and showed that ideology's disdain for liberal democracy and the parliamentary system, but incorporated fervent antisemitism, anti-communism, scientific racism, eugenics into its creed, its extreme nationalism came from Pan-Germanism and the Völkisch movement prominent in the German nationalism of the time, it was influenced by the Freikorps paramilitary groups that emerged after Germany's defeat in World War I, from which came the party's "cult of violence", "at the heart of the movement."Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarchy and Social Darwinism, identifying the Germans as a part of what the Nazis regarded as an Aryan or Nordic master race. It aimed to overcome social divisions and create a German homogeneous society based on racial purity which represented a people's community.
The Nazis aimed to unite all Germans living in German territory, as well as gain additional lands for German expansion under the doctrine of Lebensraum and exclude those who they deemed either community aliens or "inferior" races. The term "National Socialism" arose out of attempts to create a nationalist redefinition of "socialism", as an alternative to both Marxist international socialism and free market capitalism. Nazism rejected the Marxist concepts of class conflict and universal equality, opposed cosmopolitan internationalism, sought to convince all parts of the new German society to subordinate their personal interests to the "common good", accepting political interests as the main priority of economic organization; the Nazi Party's precursor, the Pan-German nationalist and antisemitic German Workers' Party, was founded on 5 January 1919. By the early 1920s the party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party – to attract workers away from left-wing parties such as the Social Democrats and the Communists – and Adolf Hitler assumed control of the organization.
The National Socialist Program or "25 Points" was adopted in 1920 and called for a united Greater Germany that would deny citizenship to Jews or those of Jewish descent, while supporting land reform and the nationalization of some industries. In Mein Kampf, Hitler outlined the anti-Semitism and anti-Communism at the heart of his political philosophy, as well as his disdain for representative democracy and his belief in Germany's right to territorial expansion; the Nazi Party won the greatest share of the popular vote in the two Reichstag general elections of 1932, making them the largest party in the legislature by far, but still short of an outright majority. Because none of the parties were willing or able to put together a coalition government, in 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul Von Hindenburg, through the support and connivance of traditional conservative nationalists who believed that they could control him and his party. Through the use of emergency presidential decrees by Hindenburg, a change in the Weimar Constitution which allowed the Cabinet to rule by direct decree, bypassing both Hindenburg and the Reichstag, the Nazis had soon established a one-party state.
The Sturmabteilung and the Schutzstaffel functioned as the paramilitary organizations of the Nazi Party. Using the SS for the task, Hitler purged the party's more and economically radical factions in the mid-1934 Night of the Long Knives, including the leadership of the SA. After the death of President Hindenburg, political power was concentrated in Hitler's hands and he became Germany's head of state as well as the head of the government, with the title of Führer, meaning "leader". From that point, Hitler was the dictator of Nazi Germany, known as the "Third Reich", under which Jews, political opponents and other "undesirable" elements were marginalized, imprisoned or murdered. Many millions of people were exterminated in a genocide which became known as the Holocaust during World War II, including around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. Following Germany's defeat in World War II and the discovery of the full extent of the Holocaust, Nazi ideology became universally disgraced.
It is regarded as immoral and evil, with only a few fringe racist groups referred to as neo-Nazis, describing themselves as followers of National Socialism. The full name of the party was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei for which they used the acronym NSDAP; the term "Nazi" was in use before the rise of the NSDAP as a colloquial and derogatory word for a backwards farmer or peasant, characterizing an awkward and clumsy person. In this sense, the word Nazi was a hypocorism of the German male name Ignatz – Ignatz being a common name at the time in Bavaria, the area from which the NSDAP emerged. In the 1920s, political opponents of the NSDAP in the German labour movement seized on this and – using the earlier abbreviated term "Sozi" for Sozialist as an example – shortened NSDAP's name, Nationalsozialistische, to the dismissive "Nazi", in order to associate them with the derogatory use of the term mentioned above; the first use of the term "Nazi" by the National Socialists occurred in 1926 in a publication by Joseph Goebbels called Der Nazi-Sozi.
In Goebbels' pamphlet, the word "Nazi" only appears when linked with the word "Sozi" as an abbreviation of
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian-born composer and conductor. He is considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity, he first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. The latter transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design, his "Russian phase" which continued with works such as Renard, the Soldier's Tale and Les Noces, was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms, drawing on earlier styles from the 18th century. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures.
His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, of instrumentation. Stravinsky was born on 17 June 1882 in Oranienbaum, a suburb of Saint Petersburg, the Russian imperial capital, was brought up in Saint Petersburg, his parents were Fyodor Stravinsky, a well-known bass at the Kiev opera house and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Anna, a native of Kiev, one of four daughters of a high-ranking official in the Kiev Ministry of Estates. Fyodor, born into a mixed Polish-Russian family, was "descended from a long line of Polish grandees and landowners." It is believed that Stravinsky’s ancestry is traceable back to the 17th and 18th centuries, to the bearers of the Soulima and Strawinski Coat of Arms. Stravinsky's family branch most came from Stravinskas, polonized Lithuanian land owners, nobles of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to Stravinsky himself, his family had a Soulima-Stravinsky surname, the name "Stravinsky" originated from the word "Strava", one of the variants of the Streva River in Lithuania.
It is still unclear when the Soulima part of the surname was dropped. Stravinsky recalled his schooldays as being lonely saying that "I never came across anyone who had any real attraction for me". Stravinsky began piano lessons as a young boy, attempting composition. In 1890, he saw a performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre. By age fifteen, he had mastered Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G minor and finished a piano reduction of a string quartet by Glazunov, who considered Stravinsky unmusical and thought little of his skills. Despite his enthusiasm for music, his parents expected him to study law. Stravinsky enrolled at the University of Saint Petersburg in 1901, but he attended fewer than fifty class sessions during his four years of study. In the summer of 1902, Stravinsky stayed with composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his family in the German city of Heidelberg, where Rimsky-Korsakov, arguably the leading Russian composer at that time, suggested to Stravinsky that he should not enter the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire but instead study composing by taking private lessons, in large part because of his age.
Stravinsky's father died of cancer that year, by which time his son had begun spending more time on his musical studies than on law. The university was closed for two months in 1905 in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday: Stravinsky was prevented from taking his final law examinations and received a half-course diploma in April 1906. Thereafter, he concentrated on studying music. In 1905, he began to take twice-weekly private lessons from Rimsky-Korsakov, whom he came to regard as a second father; these lessons continued until Rimsky-Korsakov's death in 1908. In 1905, Stravinsky was engaged to his cousin Katherine Gavrylivna Nosenko, whom he had known since early childhood. In spite of the Orthodox Church's opposition to marriage between first cousins, the couple married on 23 January 1906: their first two children and Ludmila, were born in 1907 and 1908, respectively. In February 1909, two of Stravinsky's orchestral works, the Scherzo fantastique and Feu d'artifice were performed at a concert in Saint Petersburg, where they were heard by Serge Diaghilev, at that time involved in planning to present Russian opera and ballet in Paris.
Diaghilev was sufficiently impressed by Fireworks to commission Stravinsky to carry out some orchestrations and to compose a full-length ballet score, The Firebird. From 1890 until 1914 the composer visited Ustilug, a town in the modern Volyn Oblast, Ukraine, he spent most of his summers there. In 1907, Stravinsky designed and built his own house in Ustilug, which he called "my heavenly place". In this house, Stravinsky worked on seventeen of his early compositions, among them Feu d'artifice, The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. Renovated, the house is now a Stravinsky house-museum open to the public. Many documents and photographs are on display there, a Stravinsky Festival is held annually in the nearby town of Lutsk. Stravinsky became an overnight sensation following the success of the Firebird's premiere in Paris on 25 June 1910; the composer had travell
Sunset Boulevard (film)
Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the thoroughfare with the same name that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California; the film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent-film star who draws him into her fantasy world, where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen. Erich von Stroheim plays Max von Mayerling, her devoted servant, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough, Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent-film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner, Anna Q. Nilsson. Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won three. Deemed "culturally or aesthetically significant" by the U. S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
In 1998, it was ranked number 12 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, in 2007, it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list. At a mansion on Sunset Boulevard, the body of Joe Gillis floats in the swimming pool. In a flashback, Joe relates the events leading to his death. Six months earlier, down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe tries selling Paramount Pictures producer Sheldrake on a story he submitted. Script reader Betty Schaefer harshly critiques it, unaware. While fleeing from repossession men seeking his car, Joe turns into the driveway of a deserted mansion. After concealing the car, he hears a woman inside call to him. Ushered in by Max, the butler, Joe recognizes the woman as long-forgotten silent film star Norma Desmond. Learning Joe is a writer, Norma asks his opinion of a script she has written for a film about Salome, she plans to play the role herself in a return to the screen. Joe flatters her into hiring him as a script doctor. Moved into Norma's mansion at her insistence, Joe resents but accepts his dependent situation.
He sees that Norma refuses to face the fact that her fame has evaporated and learns that the fan letters she still receives are secretly written by Max, who explains that Norma is fragile and has attempted suicide. Norma buys him expensive clothes. At her New Year's Eve party, he discovers that he is the only guest and realizes she has fallen in love with him. Joe tries to let her down but Norma slaps him and retreats to her room. Joe visits his friend Artie Green to ask about staying at his place. At Artie's party he again meets. Betty thinks a scene in one of Joe's scripts has potential; when he phones Max to have him pack his things, Max tells. Joe returns to Norma. Norma has Max deliver the edited Salome script to her former director Cecil B. DeMille at Paramount, she starts getting calls from Paramount executive Gordon Cole, but petulantly refuses to speak to anyone except DeMille. She has Max drive her and Joe to Paramount in her 1929 Isotta Fraschini; the older studio employees warmly greet her.
DeMille receives her affectionately and treats her with great respect, tactfully evading her questions about her script. Meanwhile, Max learns that Cole wants to rent her unusual car for a film. Preparing for her imagined comeback, Norma undergoes rigorous beauty treatments. Joe secretly works nights at Betty's Paramount office, his moonlighting is found out by Max, who reveals that he was a respected film director, discovered Norma as a teenage girl, made her a star and was her first husband. After she divorced him, he found life without her unbearable and abandoned his career to become her servant. Meanwhile, despite Betty's engagement to Artie and Joe fall in love. After Norma discovers a manuscript with Joe's and Betty's names on it, she phones Betty and insinuates what sort of man Joe is. Joe, invites Betty to come see for herself; when she arrives, he pretends he is satisfied being a gigolo, but after she tearfully leaves he packs for a return to his old Ohio newspaper job. He bluntly informs Norma there will be no comeback, her fan mail comes from Max, she has been forgotten.
He disregards the gun she shows him to back it up. As Joe walks out of the house, Norma shoots him three times and he falls into the pool; the flashback ends. The house is filled with reporters. Norma, having lost touch with reality, believes. Max and the police play along. Max sets up a scene for her and calls, "Action!" As the cameras roll, Norma descends her grand staircase. She pauses and makes an impromptu speech about how happy she is to be making a film again, ending with, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." The street known as Sunset Boulevard has been associated with Hollywood film production since 1911, when the town's first film studio opened there. The film workers lived modestly in the growing neighborhood, but during the 1920s, profits and salaries rose to unprecedented levels. With the advent of the star system, luxurious homes noted for their incongruous grandeur were built in the area; as a young man living in Berlin in the 1920s, Billy Wilder was interested in American culture, with much of his