No film since Sunset Boulevard has better captured the spotlight’s cruel, heartless glare. In one of Hollywood’s iconic performances, Gloria Swanson stars as Norma Desmond, a once-great silent film star who has packed herself away in an enormous mansion now that the movies have passed her by. Surrounded by pictures of herself from her heyday and watching her old films each week, Desmond lives in a perpetual time machine. Joe Gillis (William Holden), the younger writer she hires to pen her comeback film, compares the milieu to that of Dickens’ deluded Miss Havisham, but he’s being too kind. Director Billy Wilder, who wrote the movie with Charles Brackett, peppers Sunset Boulevard with real-life Hollywood references – the great comedian Buster Keaton makes a cameo as his faded self – and dialogue that can only be described as delicious. The most famous line in the film sums up the egomania the spotlight can breed. When Gillis first meets Norma and says she ‘used to be big,’ the actress widens her eyes and purrs, ‘I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.