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!


2 comments:

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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