The Bodyguard | 1992
British director Mick Jackson finds a selection of excellent locations around Los Angeles, as Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) is the bodyguard hired to protect diva Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) from a murderous nut.
The wild, pre-Columbian nightmare of a theatre, where Rachel defies the threats to perform (and in the ensuing chaos provides the image for the movie poster) is the Mayan, 1038 South Hill Street, downtown Los Angeles. It’s followed the standard pattern of grand ‘themed’ movie theatre in the twenties (along with the Chinese and the Egyptian), a sixties slump into porno house and revival as a nightclub.
You can see its incarnation as an XXX movie dive in the 1973 Jack Lemmon Oscar-winner Save The Tiger. It pops up again in the 1979 Roger Corman-produced Rock'n'Roll High School, with the Ramones; as the nightclub’s interior in A Night at the Roxbury; and again in Be Cool, the disappointing sequel to Get Shorty.
The working class bar where Farmer and Marron stop off for a drink, is the venerable institution Joe Jost’s, 2803 East Anaheim Street in Long Beach.
Marron nips off to Miami, Florida, perform an AIDS charity benefit (with not a red ribbon in sight?) at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. Yes, that’s the hotel where James Bond stymied the crooked poolside card game in Goldfinger, Tony Montana ogled the ladies in Scarface and where Jerry Lewis worked as The Bellboy.
Rachel Marron's estate is the extensive property at 1011 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. Built in the 1920s, and once owned by William Randolph Hearst (the newspaper magnate on whom the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane was based), it was put on the market in 2007 for $165 million. It also provided the exterior of the Woltz estate (where the movie magnate finds something unpleasant in his bed) in The Godfather.
The climactic Academy Awards ceremony was filmed at two different locations. You won’t find the imposing exterior with its enormous Egyptian statues in any guide book to Hollywood: it’s the imposing frontage of the Park Plaza Hotel, 607 South Park View Street, overlooking MacArthur Park, downtown Los Angeles. The 37-foot tall statues were added by Production Designer Jeffrey Beecroft. The hotel, which closed in 1990, has been given a smart revamp as an event space.
And to confuse things further, the luscious black and gold zigzag moderne interior is a few miles away in Hollywood. It’s the 1929 Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, which, in the Fifties, actually was home to the Academy Awards ceremony. It now showcases live theatre, specialising in blockbusting Broadway musicals. The Pantages' interior is also seen in Batman Forever (as a casino) and in Species (as a nightclub), and its exterior in Tim Burton's Ed Wood.
The ‘Rotary Club’ dinner epilogue filmed in the familiar Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, on Pershing Square, downtown Los Angeles, familiar from dozens of films, including The Fabulous Baker Boys, Splash!, Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop and Daredevil.