Friday, February 08, 2008

Max's Directing Academy


What would Sunset Boulevard be without a tribute to Sunset Boulevard?

While that particular avenue in Disney's Hollywood Studios was directly inspired by the iconic Tinsel Town street of the same name, a second floor window above the Sunset Beverly Shops pays subtle homage to the classic 1950 Paramount film Sunset Boulevard.

Max's Classic Directing Academy employs the latest movie techniques. Its motto: "Are you ready for your close-up?"

The movie Sunset Boulevard was a showcase for Gloria Swanson, portraying a faded silent movie queen who becomes infatuated with a down-0n-his-luck screenwriter played by William Holden. While the name of Swanson's character, Norma Desmond, has found a place in pop culture vernacular, the name of Desmond's butler, Max von Mayerling, is not nearly as well known. According to the story, Max, played by Erich von Stroheim, was in fact a movie director, having worked with Desmond at the height of her silent-era stardom. The casting was significant in that Stroheim was similarly a director of silent movies and had worked with Swanson on a number of films during the 1920s.

The motto on the window refers to Swanson's famous line at the end of Sunset Boulevard, "All right, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close up."

A clip from Sunset Boulevard appears in the montage at the end of The Great Movie Ride, in which Swanson, when talking of silent films, tells co-star Holden, "We didn't need dialog, we had faces."

2 comments:

Doc Terminus said...

I am big... Its the pictures that got small...




Great dialog in that film...

Thanks for the memory... Of course I was negative eighteen when the film came out so my memories are limited...

Ken said...

Sunset Blvd is one of my all time favorite movies