In his role as a struggling young screenwriter in Hollywood, William Holden in Sunset Boulevard pays heavily for giving up his craft to move in with an aged, has-been, profoundly narcissistic silent-film screen idol (Gloria Swanson).
Bill has experienced serious rejection as a writer in tinsel-town, and is eventually reduced to hiding his car from the repo man. A chance meeting with Gloria offers an opportunity for Bill to make some good cash editing her own screenplay, which she is counting on as a comeback vehicle for her moribund career.
Holden is sucked deeper into Gloria’s insanity by his own greed and becomes her kept man and lover, turning down opportunities to return to his writing and a normal relationship. When he finally decides to leave and tells the truth to Gloria about her terrible screenplay…well, you should watch it, but I can tell you Gloria is none too happy about this conversation, and Bill ends up floating face down in the pool.
I take this movie as a cautionary tale for struggling writers. Better to lose your car, miss a few meals, and stay true to your writing, than sell out for a swim in the cold, dark pool of greed.