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Tuesday April 16th 2024

A.W.O.L. | 1998

A.W.O.L. location: the Sunset Tower, Sunset Boulevatd, West Hollywood, Los Angeles
A.W.O.L. location: The Argyle, now the Sunset Tower Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, Los Angeles

Lyon Gaultier (Jean-Claude Van Damme) goes AWOL from the French Foreign legion in North Africa to avenge the death of his brother in Los Angeles.

The glorious deco skyscraper, in which Gaultier winds up in Los Angeles – courtesy of villainous Cynthia (Deborah Rennard) – and where we get the obligatory butt shot (damn, she burned all his clothes!), is the the Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Boulevard at Kings Road, West Hollywood.

Previously the St James Club, and before that, Sunset Towers, the block was pretty dilapidated for many years, but now it’s been beautifully restored. Catch it at sunset when, like in the movie, the upper storeys are illuminated. This striking art deco tower has been a frequent film location. You can see it in the 1944 Philip Marlowe thriller Farewell My Lovely (aka Murder My Sweet), with crooner Dick Powell as Raymond Chandler’s private eye; Robert Altman’s The Player; Barry Sonnenfeld’s Get Shorty; the 2003 remake of The Italian Job; and Kathryn Bigelow’s futuristic Strange Days.