Mel & Danny
are tortured by the bad guys in the back room of a nightclub/bar.
They finally manage to escape, and as they shoot up the bar, 'Mr. Joshua'
runs out of the club, onto Hollywood Blvd.
of the nightclub may (or may not) have been just a studio set, but when
they emerge from the nightclub, they actually come out of the front door
of what was (back in 1987) the Pussycat Theatre,
a porn theatre that was located at 6656 Hollywood
Blvd., in Hollywood
- just west
of Cherokee Ave. (In the photo below, you can see the theatre's concession
counter on the right side as they run out.)
theatre in Hollywood ran a single movie, "Deep Throat" for
almost ten years, and closed in the early 90's. Before the Pussycat moved
in, it was originally built in 1939, and has been known as the New View
Theatre, The Newsreel theatre and The Ritz theatre.
(The basement at one time was a punk rock club known as The Masque.)
In recent years, it has been home to a Mexican church. The theatre's marquee
now shelters a popular hot dog stand called
of Hollywood Boulevard,
just west of Cherokee Ave.,
is the scene of much of the ensuing street battle.
Since the movie takes place at Christmas time, the boulevard was strung
with Christmas lights, even though it was actually long before Christmas.
Some of the action
seen on the boulevard includes:
Busey runs out
into the middle of Hollywood Blvd
and hijacks a car from a woman (who was heading west); this again, is just
west of Cherokee Ave.
Across the street, on the north side of
the boulevard, you can see the marquee of the Vogue theatre
(located at 6675 Hollywood Blvd,
and the adjacent Musso & Frank
Grill (the oldest
restaurant in Hollywood) located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd.
(The Vogue theatre is now closed and is reportedly haunted,
but its marquee can still be seen. The Musso & Frank
Grill is still going strong.)
Mel & Danny
chase him out onto the boulevard. You can see the stars
on the sidewalk at their feet, part of
the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
(Two of the stars the include Raymond Burr
("Perry Mason") and singer Ertha Kitt.)
When Busey opens
fires on them (from his hijacked car), we see Mel & Danny Glover drop
to the street and takes shelter behind a parked car, right under the bright
marquee of the Pussycat theatre
(which was showing a double feature of "Debbie Does Em All" and
Mel runs out
to the middle of Hollywood Blvd and fires at Busey's car as it drives away
The photo below shows the view of Hollywood Blvd behind Busey, looking
back east as
he flees. You can see the marquee of The Vogue
theatre as well as the Musso
& Frank sign on the left (north),
as well as the oval Pussycat sign
& marquee on the right.(south).
speeds west up
Hollywood Blvd, then makes a screeching right turn, north
to Mel that Busey is heading for the freeway, and urges him to take a shortcut
by using "the 3rd Street Bridge". ( Which is odd, since
there is no 3rd Street Bridge" in the area. ) Gun in hand,
Mel takes off running on foot east down
When the bad
guys try to run down Danny, he fires into the car and kills the driver,
but the second guy in the car steers the out-of-control car out onto the
street where it is hit head-on by a bus. The car is flipped upside down,
and eventually explodes.
In that scene,
the car comes from the south, heading north out out of Cherokee
Avenue onto Hollywood
Blvd., where it turns left (west) on the
boulevard, and is hit by the bus right between the Vogue Theatre
and Musso & Frank.
The upside down car is knocked a few yards east by the bus impact, to the
intersection of Hollywood & Cherokee,
where it explodes. Mel comes running east down the crowded sidewalk on
the south side
of Hollywood Blvd and meets Danny at the bus accident scene.
After the Boulevard
battle, Mel & Danny get back in the car (headed to Danny’s house)
and head west on
Hollywood Blvd, turning right (north)
on Orchid Ave.
This is ironic, because Orchid Avenue
no longer exists (at least not the
south end that once intersected with Hollywood Blvd). The new, giant Hollywood
& Highland center was built on top
of Orchid Avenue, so Mel & Danny are driving where the Kodak
Theatre (home of the Oscar Awards show) is today.
a map showing some of these key locations on the Boulevard.
In the middle
of this Hollywood Boulevard battle, the producers take an odd geographical
detour, as the location suddenly leaps four
miles to the southeast.
When Gary Busey drives away from Hollywood Boulevard, Mel chases after
him on foot, trying to stop him before he reaches the freeway. Now, the
last time we saw Busey, he was turning north up Las Palmas. In real life,
he would just have to take Franklin Avenue and Cuhuenga Blvd less than
a mile to the onramp of the Hollywood Freeway. Or, he could have just headed
straight east on Hollywood Blvd for just over a mile, to another entrance
to the same freeway, . Either way, it would be impossible for Mel, running
on foot, to overtake him.
But in this movie, the action shifts to an area just south of the
Hollywood Freeway, but four miles southeastof Hollywood Blvd,
at the intersection
of Temple Street and Silver Lake Blvd (near
Here's how the action plays out in this Mel/Busey chase scene:
We see Busey
make a screeching left turn. When he does that, he's actually heading south
on Hoover Street
as he turns left (southeast)
onto Temple Street.
(Moments later, we see Mel follow the same route on foot.)
to drive southeast on
as it crosses over Silver Lake Blvd
(which, at this point, is sunken, below Temple). As soon as he passes Silver
Lake Blvd, he turns right (southwest),
this time onto an offramp -
going the wrong way.
( We're supposed to believe that he turned onto a freeway offramp, but
actually, it's an unusualstreet offramp
leading up (northeast)
from (the sunken) Silver
Lake Blvd to Temple Street above. Busey
drives the wrong way, southwest, down the ramp, but doesn't get very far...
At this point,
Mel shows up (on foot), runs across the street to an overpass, spots Busey's
car below, and opens fire on him. The car is hit, crashes down the dirt
slope of the onramp and bursts into flames.
In this scene,
Mel stands on top of the Temple Street
overpass (at the west end of that bridge)
and fires down (south) on Busey, who is heading down the Silver Lake
to Temple onramp. Busey's car skids down
the slope, bursts into flames, and smashes into a bus bench below on Silver Lake
Blvd, but he keeps going.
Busey then drives
(in flames) northeast on
Silver Lake Blvd
back under the
Temple Street overpass and
out the other side, and continues on Silver
Lake Blvd (about 150 yards) where he smashes
into a telephone pole, then abandons the car.
Wanting to get
down to Silver Lake Blvd himself, Mel runs back (northeast) across
Temple Street and to the other side of
Temple, and jumps down onto Silver Lake, where he confronts Busey.
There is a running
gun fight between the two on Silver Lake
Blvd. But Busey hijacks another car and
escapes, heading northeast on
(In the photo
above, you are looking northeast up
Silver Lake just before it passes under the Hollywood Freeway. You can
see the actual overpass to the Hollywood Freeway behind Busey, as well
as a sign on Silver Lake pointing out an onramp.)
The action then
cuts back to Hollywood Blvd (four
miles away), where Danny is shooting the bad guy's car and sending it into
the bus. Mel miraculously shows up (still on foot), and they are off to
their final battle.
a map showing some of this scene's key locations. *
The final battle
is a bruising, one-on-one fist fight to the death between Mel Gibson and
Gary Busey. It takes place on the lawn of Danny's family home, which takes
us back around to that fake house at the Warner
Ranch in Burbank.