Saturday, February 5, 2011

Heroes Of Blaxploitation: Max Julien

Day Five:

Max Julien was in quite a few pictures by the time he got to his Blaxploitation film debut. Among them were: The Black Klansman (1966), Psych-Out, The Savage Seven, Up Tight (all 1968) He made a few TV appearances on such programs as The Mod Squad, CBS Playhouse and The Name Of The Game.

Getting Straight (1970) was up next for Max, and it was a good role in a film by Richard Rush who he previously worked with on Psych-Out and The Savage Seven. The picture did pretty well at the box office but It took a few years, alongside the likes of Richard Pryor, where Max would help write, produce and star in the film he would ultimately be most known for: The Mack (1973).  

Julien next went on to write and produce the Blaxploitation fav Cleopatra Jones (1973) as well as Thomasine & Bushrod (1974)... A film in which he was the star, alongside girlfriend, the beautiful Vonetta McGee... who he originally wrote Cleopatra Jones for.

Max, who was a classically trained actor, to everyone's surprise virtually dropped off the face of the earth. He became a notorious recluse, instead focusing his attention of poetry and writing but eventually popped up years later in a cameo part in 1997's How To Be A Player and later a role on One On One (2005). By then, Max's role as Goldie, the smooth talking pimp in The Mack, had such a profound effect on those who've seen the film that traces of it's effect can still be found in the world of rap & hip hop today.

The Mack and Max Julien was the man!


Bryce Wilson said...

Funnily enough I've actually met Julian. He might not have done much acting afterwards but recluse seems like a bit strong of a word.

He used to come into the grocery store I worked at in (Unnamed Los Angeles Suburb). Friendly, personable, happy to be recognized and to talk about his old stuff and what he was working on.

I couldn't resist bringing in my DVD of The Mack one day and he was happy to sign it, and chatted for a few minutes about Richard Pryor, Willie Hutch and his efforts to turn the film into a Broadway Musical.

It was a great day.

Cinema Du Meep said...

That's so cool Bryce!

I think I meant more so in the days after The Mack/Thomasine. He definitely warmed up to his past over the years. I loved that he was a sport to send up his Mack past in How To Be A Player as fly uncle fred.

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