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Greatest Written Films of All Time - Sunset Boulevard plus a flash fiction

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
- Bill Gates

Flash Fiction

(All That Money...)
(Alluring Theft Magnet)

I'm walking past the service station. My bank's ATM is in there. I don't really need money. But I suppose it will save me worrying about it later. Other banks are now charging people to use their ATM's. As if they don't make enough money.

Money. I know its a cliché that it's evil. But is it necessary? When are we going to get a better system? We surely don't need cash anymore. There's something dirty about it. It's been through a thousand fingers. Who knows where they've been?

I walk through the auto double doors. It's quiet. Must be a lull. I walk up and slide my card in. I've got so much work to do. And I have to get it out of the way if I want to catch up with my friend later. Work... work to earn. Earn to live. Live to work. It just goes on. And on...

Something prods my spine. Ouch.

'Give me the money.'

I want to turn.

'Don't look. Give it or I'll stick ya.'

'Shit. Is this serious? Okay. I will but what's that? How do I know it's not just a pen or something?'

'Shut the fuck up and gimme it.'

'Okay, I will. Please just be calm, but listen... I'm not pulling out any money till I have proof.' I turn.


'Okay, that's definitely a...'

I spin and karate chop and limbs blur and the blade clatters to the floor. He's a young punk with sunglasses. I'm sure beneath them his eyes are beaming. Crimson on high. Now he doesn't know what to do.

I pull a karate stance. 'Get moving or I'll mess you up!' Overcome, he drops to the floor unconscious.

I smile. Foiled him. Little shit. He's as bad as those bankers. Steal you blind, while your back is turned.

But somehow, the world flips. He rises and I lower, like a see-saw. I'm the one on the floor. And he's pumping the ATM. I had already entered the code. I'm sure he's pulling out the daily maximum.
I want to get up but my energy is seeping into the floor. Draining out. And my back feels cold. And wet. I reach out to his ankle but he steps over my hand and sprints away.

… I wonder what he'll do with my money....?


Written after watching a disturbing story about teens who hang around ATM's to rob people and the banks that charge us for the privilege.

Greatest Written Films of All Time

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Sunset Boulevard could just as easily be called the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It is the story of a has been Hollywood starlet whose career, which once flourished, is over. Unfortunately, she can't come to terms with it. Her time is up. She has aged and her beauty has faded. Her desire for things past is so strong that she still lives there; at the risk of her sanity.

There are brilliant performances from Erich von Stroheim, William Holden and of course, Gloria Swanson in the lead, (in a art imitating life role) under Billy Wilder's expert direction. Wilder co-wrote the screenplay with Charles Brackett, a renowned screenwriter and D.M. Marshman Jr. The script was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Oscar.

There are some great quotes such as: There's nothing tragic about being fifty. Not unless you're trying to be twenty-five. And of course the immortal, All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

It is a tale of the cruel nature of Hollywood and the real price for our dreams. They can elevate us to great places, but they can destroy in the process. It also contains a lot of black humor. It is a film that has survived well beyond its period, despite the many injokes and sideswipes to the Hollywood types of the day. In this age of celebrity, it has never been more poignant.

Previous Posts:
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Dead Poets Society (1989)

More Greatest Written Films
More Stories

Coming Soon

A change of pace with The Cow and the Sow
and we've all worked with someone like this in A Workplace Glasshouse.

Until Then,


  1. You scared me with that ATM story, but I was hoping the withdrawal fee wasn't too high.
    I think I saw Sunset Blvd and was more impressed with the filming (having grown up in LA) than the plot - which I don't remember at all.

  2. See... this is why I never use an ATM. If I want cash I use eftpos and get cash while at the checkout! :-)

  3. It's funny. 2 Hours after I posted this, I was at the supermarket checkout & a woman had a $50 note in her Mouth! as she was sifting through her purse which she gave to the guy. I thought of this story. Unfortunately not enough as when I paid for my food I withdrew cash... guess which note I received... ahhhh - ATM's are dangerous but cash is disgusting!

  4. A.T.M.

    I like an instance in time, and brilliant visual you depict in this piece. "Something prods my spine. Ouch" Not only can one see it, one can feel it too. The assailant, clear in his intention described with "eyes are beaming. Crimson on high" succeeds his profile, beautifully.

    Like a camera snap shot, the whole scene is very well written, concise and to the point.

    Another excellent piece Anthony. Keep up the good work! Ms_Ozzi

  5. Thanks alot jackie..

    I really appreciate that too Ms.Ozzi - thats awesome feedback...!
    Thank you..

    Hope to see you at the next post....


  6. ATM was scary. I always use the drive up Atm because I have a false sense of security in my car.

  7. Thanks Sara... We dont have drive ups here.. But yr prob right.. not sure if theyd be any safer.. i try to use cash withdrawal at supermarkets now.. but sumtimes....

    thanks for swingng by..


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