The classic movie Sunset Boulevard, starring Gloria Swanson, is set in '50s Hollywood. Norma Desmond, a one-time famous silent-screen star finds her life down in the dumps and becomes a recluse. Her crumbling Sunset Boulevard mansion where she lives with her butler, Max, has become her self-contained world. Protected and isolated from the world by Max, who was her director and husband in the past and still loves her, Norma believes she can make a comeback.
She meets Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who wants to break into the movie industry. She has him move into her mansion so they can collaborate. But when Joe meets studio reader Betty Schaefer, Norma becomes jealous, descending further into madness.